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Penang butterfly farm

Top 5 favourite reasons to visit Penang

with kids

Holidays with Kids blogger, Amanda Kendle, tell you her 5 top reasons to visit family-friendly Penang with your kids.

There is a lot to endear the Malaysian island of Penang to kids of all ages; I took my son when he was almost four and we have both been keen to return ever since.

1. Food for everyone
Penang is an absolute hotspot for food choice.

I remember being a bit concerned before we arrived, because although my son wasnít a fussy eater, he didnít really know much about Asian cuisine beyond his beloved Japanese food.

I neednít have worried. Within a couple of hours of arriving he was scoffing down a plate full of honey soy noodles and apart from the odd moment when vendors assured us a dish had no chilli when it did, he ate very well and very happily throughout our stay.

He also made it a personal challenge to try every kind of fresh juice available!

penang food

2. Farms of Penang
Not quite the kinds of farms that might first come to mind - but two spots in the north-west corner of the island worth visiting are the Butterfly Farm and the Tropical Fruit Farm.

Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm is one of the best Iíve seen with a large collection of exotic butterflies flitting about a tropical garden. My son was almost equally intrigued by the museum-like display inside.

Iíd suggest timing a visit to the Tropical Fruit Farm to finish around lunchtime, because at the end of your tour youíll be able to go wild at the fruit buffet. What kid can resist a platter of a dozen or more colourful varieties of fruit? Mine sure couldnít!

3. Spot the street art
George Town, Penangís capital, is full of street art and murals which captivated my son. A number of them were painted by a Lithuanian artist and feature children, but there are others to discover as well.

Penang FestivalsPenang Chinese New Year

4. Exploring temples
The temples of Penang are often colourful, lively places and definitely appealed to my son.

His favourite was Kek Lok Si, the largest temple in south-east Asia - this one has literally hundreds of steps, though, so donít attempt it with a stroller or pram.

Other Buddhist temples like Wat Chayamangkalarm tickled his fancy too - especially the giant statues.

5. Festival time
If you can time your visit to coincide with one of the festivals or religious celebrations in Penang, I heartily recommend it.

We were just a touch early for Chinese New Year but were able to see the shops and malls getting all their decorations up.

We were lucky enough to be there for the Thaipusam Festival and had local friends guide us to one of the best spots in George Town to witness it. Part of the festival includes smashing coconuts onto the street and we discovered that three-year-old boys arenít strong enough to smash a coconut (and his mum only just managed!).

Amanda Kendle is a born and bred Perth girl who loves to hang around with her rubbish-truck-loving five-year-old son. Amanda has lived and worked abroad in Asia and Europe and has been blogging about her travels at home and abroad for almost a decade at Not A Ballerina

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