Penang Hotels & the Dragon Boat Festival

Penang Hotels & the Dragon Boat Festival

Claire Hillsmith

Dragon Boat Festival is an ancient Chinese tradition which is celebrated by racing boats to the sound of drums, eating zongzi (sticky rice with various fillings wrapped in bamboo) and decorating front doors throughout the cities. The festival is becoming increasingly popular in cities all over the world, including in Europe and Australia, but is still mainly celebrated in China and its neighbouring countries. Why not book a hotel in Penang and join in the festivities, along with exploring a city of eastern traditions and western modernity.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Georgetown is home to the stunning Bayview Hotel Georgetown, with a swimming pool, business facilities and 24-hour room service. The hotel also boasts a 16th floor restaurant with a 360 degree revolving review of the surrounding city. Relax in the sauna at Eastern & Oriental Hotel or dine in colonial style at one of the many restaurants. The hotel is ideally situated for exploring the historical architecture or the Penang Museum and Art Gallery. Stay close to the numerous shopping and eating destinations, along with Gurney Drive beach at G Hotel Penang. With an outdoor swimming pool and local cuisine cookery classes you won’t be short of entertainment.

Marking the 35th Penang International Dragon Boat Festival, 2014 will see thousands of people arriving to the city to be a part of the traditions. Whether you’re watching or taking part in the races, there will be endless activities for all ages to engage in. Delicious cuisines will be served from a variety of stalls and musical performances will be taking place throughout the festival, so don't forget your camera.

While you’re in the city, explore some of the local and intriguing attractions from The Floating Mosque in Tanjung Bungah to The House of Yeap Chor Ee on Penang Street. Georgetown has a range of religious buildings, with Dharmikarama Burmese Temple being one of the favourites amongst tourists. The Camera Museum, Kek Lok Si Temple and the Old Protestant Cemetery are rich in history and also well worth a visit.

If you’re feeling peckish then you’re spoilt for choice in Penang, from fine dining in Il Bacaro after a day of sightseeing in Georgetown, to relaxing in the homely atmosphere of Violet House Cafe in Batu Ferringhi. For a glass of wine, why not head to The Cellar - Macalister Mansion, which also serves a selection of tapas or indulge in a creative cocktail at the Hard Rock Café Penang.

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