Malacca and Penang: Which is Better to Visit?

When it comes to travel to Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Penang will come to many tourists’ minds. Penang or Malacca? Which one is better to visit? Both Malacca and George Town(Penang) are UNESCO World Heritage Sites of historic cities of the Strait of Malacca. Both Penang and Malacca are world-famous tourist destinations in Malaysia with rich history and picturesque scenery. Both Malacca and Penang have multi-culture and various types of delicious foods. Which city is better to visit depends on your like, and there is not a certain answer. This article will help you better know these two cities in history, foods and attractions. Maybe you can have an answer after reading.





Penang VS Malacca: Historical Significance

Followings are the description of Malacca and George Town(Pe nang) from UNESCO: Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca have developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca. The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the towns with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible. With its government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications, Melaka demonstrates the early stages of this history originating in the 15th-century Malay sultanate and the Portuguese and Dutch periods beginning in the early 16th century. Featuring residential and commercial buildings, George Town represents the British era from the end of the 18th century. The two towns constitute a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.



As for the historical significance, we should say that Malacca has a rich colonial history by Netherlands, Portugal and Britain, which left influences on the architectures in Malacca like the Dutch Square Market, Porta De Santiago and the Church of Saint Paul. If you like history and want to experience the history in a short time, you can visit Malacca to learn about its rich and characteristic by visiting the various architectures and feeling the rich colonial history. To be specific, Malacca is a city of historic charm, where you can experience history and culture.



Having been a colony of Britain, Penang’s colonial history is not so richer than Malacca. In Penang, you will learn about the stories of the Chinese immigrants at the early stage. Penang also witnessed the glory days of Strait of Malacca. With about 70 percents of Chinese residents, visitors will have a feeling of familiar because there are many Chinese Malaysian in Penang. At the Clan Jetties, you will know about the stories of the Chinese immigrants and the wisdom of Chinese. Penang is rather a picturesque island with various Street Arts for leisure.





Penang VS Malacca: Foods


With the influence of the Chinese, Indians and Europeans, foods in Malacca are various and characteristic. There are plenty of foods you can taste in Malacca including chicken rice, satay celup, satay, duck noodle, Nyonya cuisine, laksa and many other things. You can taste Chinese cuisine, Malaysian cuisine, Indian cuisine, Nyonya cuisine and many international foods in Malacca. No matter in the local restaurants, shopping malls or the streets stores, you can taste many delicious foods, drinks, desserts and snacks.


chicken rice



As for foods, Penang is more famous than Malacca in the world. Penang is not only the main producing area of durian, but also boasts many types of tasty foods. Penang is a melting pot of Malaysian, Chinese and Indians, which makes it a paradise of foodies because it concentrates many kinds of foods of various people. You can taste local Malaysian cuisine, Chinese cuisine, Indian cuisine and Nyonya cuisine. You can taste famous Char Koay Teow, white curry mee, white coffee, Asam Laksa, Hokkien Mee, cendol and Nyonya dishes. There are many other tasty foods, drinks and snacks in Penang that we do not mention. In Penang, you can have different foods for a week, and we make sure that it will be different. If you are a foodie, Penang is waiting for you. Welcome to visit Penang.


Nyonya cuisine



Penang VS Malacca: Attractions


Penang is rich in tourism resources, with abundant sunshine and pleasant climate, with many high-quality beaches, strange islands, primitive tropical jungles and precious animals and plants. In 2008, Georgetown, located in Penang Island, was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2019 and 2020, Penang Island was selected as One of the Best Retirement Cities and One of the 11 Most Suitable Islands in the World to Live in after Retirement by The New York Times and International Living. In April 2021, Penang Island was selected by Travel Awaits as the 15 Most Suitable Islands for Retirement in the World.


Founded in 2010, George Town Art Festival is the most influential and highest-level international art festival in Malaysia. It has been rated as One of the Most Potential Popular Art Activities in Asia by The New York Times, and Penang has been labeled as a Must-visit Place for International Artists. From July 10th to 18th, 2021, Penang State Government held the 11th George Town Art Festival online.


Penang Street Art



Malacca is characterized by traditional architectures, including many architecture styles including Chinese architectures and Dutch buildings. As the core attraction of Malacca, the ancient city of Malacca has witnessed the history of the city for centuries. Walking in the ancient city, you can feel the strong historical atmosphere. The Dutch Square Market in the ancient city is an important historical site, which shows the history and culture of Malacca. In addition, St. Paul's Church and Porta De Santiago in the ancient city are also worth visiting. Also, you can take the cruise on the Malacca River to enjoy the wonderful views on the both sides of the river like the buildings and the murals.





Conclusion: Which City is Better to Visit

As the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, both Malacca and Penang are worth visiting. If you want to learn more about the history of Malaysia, you can visit the historical sites in Malacca. The charm of Malacca will be impressive with the beauty of history. And if you want to enjoy the picturesque scenery of Penang Island and experience a slow-paced life, you can choose to visit Penang. With wonderful street art, beautiful seaside view, various delicious foods, Penang is worth visiting, which will give you surprise.


And if you have enough time, it is recommended to visit both Malacca and George Town to feel the remarkable examples of historic colonial towns on the Straits of Malacca that demonstrate a succession of historical and cultural influences arising from their former function as trading ports linking East and West.

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