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Church of St Anne: monument to faith and enduring legacy

The humble legacy of 19th century French missionaries that has become among the greatest pilgrimage centres of the region.

Church of St Anne

One of the most alluring landmarks of Bukit Mertajam is a little white church perched conspicuously on the side of a small hill, above a flight of stone steps seen afar from the road.

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Kuala Muda’s old man and the sea

A native of Kuala Muda remembers the simple yet meaningful life amid the rigours and beauty of nature

Aman Din

The space farthest north in Penang, the absolute northernmost contour of the state, is defined by a river. This is the mighty yet gentle Sungai Muda. 

The undulating waterway is not just a geographical marvel – it snakes along some 180 kilometres of natural terrain upon springing from a source deep within the interior of peninsular Malaysia’s Ulu Muda rainforest – but is also a focal political landmark. Regarded as a convenient natural boundary Sungai Muda has for some centuries now been deemed as the official border between Penang and its northern neighbouring state of Kedah.

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Penang Bird Park

A living sanctuary that houses and protects more than 300 species of birds 

Penang Bird Park

When it opened in 1988, the Penang Bird Park was the first man-made bird sanctuary of its kind in Malaysia. Comfortably nestled in a sheltered corner in urban Seberang Jaya, it features some 3,000 birds, consisting of more than 300 local and foreign species.

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Traditional Malay homes of northern Seberang Perai

Appreciating the endangered beauty, charm and functionality of vernacular Malay architecture 

Seberang Perai Utara - rural and traditional architecture

When one thinks of a traditional Malay ‘kampung’ or village, the idyllic picture that usually comes to mind is something like that of carefree children playing around a charming wooden house, contented grandmother weaving mengkuang mats on the raised porch, friendly neighbours gossiping away, and rustic birds, hens and chicks scuttling freely about.

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Kuala Muda fishing village and whispering market

Where fisher folk keep alive a most quaint and unusual tradition of bidding

Pasar Bisik © Adrian Cheah

The political boundary between the states of Penang and Kedah is partly defined by a majestic age-old gift of nature. This is the magnificent Sungai Muda river which meanders quietly but imposingly from the Ulu Muda rainforests deep in the interior of peninsular Malaysia towards the Straits of Malacca. 

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Merdeka Bridge

A historic link across the Muda River memorable for its bowstring design

Merdeka Bridge © Adrian Cheah

This is quite likely the oldest road connection across the natural water boundary separating Penang and its neighbouring state of Kedah. It is also one of the most historic inter-state links in Malaysia. 

The Merdeka Bridge was so named as it was intentionally launched in 1957, the very year Malaysia attained independence from the British. The structure had already been completed and opened in 1955.

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Air Hitam Dalam Educational Forest, Tasek Gelugor

Ecological haven within a fertile riverside mangrove swamp

Air Hitam Dalam Educational Forest

Who would have thought that somewhere on mainland Penang lies a little world just the size of three football fields but has sheltered more than a hundred species of birds, and scores upon scores of reptiles, insects and mammals? Sited just twenty kilometres from the Penang Bridge nestles Air Hitam Dalam, a secret forest of surprises, a dense mangrove wetland that houses a rich ecological realm waiting to be explored.

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Bagan Ajam R&R

One of the newest and most picturesque outdoor recreation spots in Penang

Bagan Ajam R&R

Offering a panoramic view of the Penang Channel and the island, this coastal rest-and-recreation area lies along the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR), with a hawker centre built beside a rather pristine sandy beach. 

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The ironsmiths of Pekan Darat

Preserving an amazing apprenticeship culture of more than 150 years 

Somewhere off a quiet rural road in a secluded area known as Pekan Darat (literally translated, “the town on land”) is an unassuming little village unheard of by the outside world. Nothing much really seems to stand out as one enters Permatang Benuan among the small houses and huts that lie scattered around. One sees chickens scuttling about and children playing in the neighbourhood. 

Pekan Darat ironsmiths

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Kuala Muda Tsunami Gallery and Memorial

In memory of one of the most tragic natural disasters to hit Asia

Kuala Muda Tsunami Gallery and Memorial © Adrian Cheah

The coastal fishing settlement of Kuala Muda was among the worst places to be hit in Malaysia when the dreadful and infamous tsunami disaster affected the Indian Ocean and its surroundings on December 26, 2004.

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The military pillbox of Bumbong Lima

A forgotten relic whose serenity belies a wartime crisis of the past 

British war pillbox © Adrian Cheah

The sleepy hinterland of Bumbong Lima in Seberang Perai is better known for its iconic Merdeka Bridge which spans across the great Sungai Muda river, bisecting the state of Penang on this side from neighbouring Kedah in the north.

While people crossing the bridge are generally aware that there is some historical significance attached to this monument, they invariably fail to notice another object of equal historical import lying nigh around.

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