Penang Thaipusam Festival (3D/2N)
Be part of this colourful festival of the Pearl of the Orient and witness how the faithful devotees of Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity, celebrate his victory over a mythical demon.
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Join in a truly wondrous cultural experince as Thaipusam is celebrated in Penang, the Pearl of the Orient. Witness the devotion of the kavadi bearers – faithful followers who bear colourful wooden structures attached by hooks and skewers to their bodies as penance – as they fulfill their vows to Lord Murugan by journeying from to the heart of Georgetown to the temples on the city during Thaipusam. Thaipusam celebrates the victory of Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity, over a mythical demon and is a major celebration in Malaysia.
Day 1: Arrival in Penang
An entire world of wonders awaits you as you begin your tour. Founded in 1786, the island rapidly rose to fame as the Pearl of the Orient, one of the most illustrious jewels of the British Empire. Its rich history and culture led to the listing of its city Georgetown as a World Heritage City by the UNESCO in 2008.
The city's unique blend of diverse cultures is evident as you visit landmarks like Fort Cornwallis, the starting point of British expansion in South East Asia, and the Khoo Kongsi clan house, the ancestral heart of one of the most illustrious chinese clans in Penang. Marvel at the docile pit vipers that reside within the island's legendary Snake Temple, and gaze in awe at the world's third largest reclining Buddha statue at the Buddhist temple Wat Chayamangkalaram. Wander through the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, a museum showcasing the Peranakan Chinese lifestyle and traditions and immerse yourself in Penang's unique heritage.
Day 2: Thaipusam in Penang
Wake up early and head down to Mahamariamman Temple at the heart of Georgetown if you wish to see the beginning point of the procession headed towards Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple near the Penang Botanical Gardens. Many devotees begin in the city and head towards the Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple on foot in the early hours of the morning in a bid to avoid the large crowds later in the day. City roads used in the procession route are closed to traffic for the ease of the devotees, and all along the way, small temporary pavillions playing Indian music offer free snacks and drinks to the pilgrims. These pavillions are usually sponsored by various cultural organisations and are manned by volunteers who decorate the pavillions with murals of Hindu deities, flower garlands and festive streamers.
Return from the festivities and rest your weary feet in the evening. For those eager for some modern entertainment, check out the many nightclubs and lounges along the Upper Penang Road area or head up to Batu Ferringhi at the north of the island.
Day 3: Depart Penang
Spend your time walking the streets of Georgetown, sampling some local delicacies or relax at the many pocket beaches that line Penang's northern coastline. Remember to grab some last minute bargains at nearby shopping malls or gift shops before your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.