If you read this review here! Yahoo Travel Guide has selected Penang as the 8th Best Island In The World to Visit....placing it in the same top 10 as Bali and Bora Bora....
Come on! Seriously?
Now,far be it for me to suggest the reviewer was paid to say it...but to me Penang is really over-rated.
Here's a few reasons why...
4.Very little is done to preserve the remaining old buildings. Despite all the "hoo-ha" over being given UNESCO status they still managed to screw-up-an example being replacing the Penang Hill funicular railway.)
5.Batu Ferringhi Beach is full of touts giving non-stop hassle,litter everywhere,polluted water.
6.The strip of restaurants at Batu Ferringhi is quantity over quality.
7. It's a bit pricey...and not very friendly.
I could go on but I'm sure you get my point.
I may be a bit biased as my last few trips there just involve the Industrial Park at Bayan Lepas.
So for balance, a few good points about Penang are:
1.You get some nice views of greenery and beach.
2.Georgetown is very nice to wander around for a few hours.
3 The food is OK-but so what?
4.It's not KL-so it's nice to visit once in a while.
5.If you think of any more let me know...
My wife fondly remembers cycling around Penang as a child-try doing that now and you won't survive the first road junction!
Many people from Penang now work in KL and they will all say the same thing...that Penang is overdeveloped,overpriced and dirty.
It was probably a brilliant island to go to 25-30 years ago but in my opinion the rampant development over the past 2 decades has destroyed any charm that "The Pearl of the Orient" used to have.