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Qatar Airways Black Friday Sale Includes Return Flights to Maldives from €680!

Maldives-with-Qatar-Airways

Fly to the Maldives from €680 return, and Zanzibar from just €535 return, with Qatar Airways Black Friday Sale.

Since my trip to the Maldives last week I have had many requests for prices, so I am delighted to showcase Qatar Airways Black Friday offers, which include amazing prices to Maldives, South Africa, Australia and lots more. All Black Friday sale fares are available to book from Friday 26th November.

Qatar Airways Black Friday

I have been a big fan of Qatar Airways since I flew with them to Malaysia in 2018, and I am not a bit surprised that they have been voted the world’s best airline six times – an achievement held by no other airline.

They have also won the world’s best business class, best business class seat, business class lounge, and catering. I could go on and on, but it might be easier to read my review of Qatar Airways service here and see the highlights from my recent trip with Qatar Airways here.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

It was not only Qatar Airways business class that impressed me. Economy class passengers can enjoy a generous baggage allowance , free seat selection and unlimited drinks on board – all included in the cost! And that’s not all – Qatar Airways has over 4,000 entertainment options to choose from.

Children are well catered for too, with kids traveller packs and children’s meals available. Wi-Fi is available on selected flights and lounge access is available to purchase – see more here.

review of qatar airways service

Another massive advantage of booking with Qatar Airways is the guaranteed flexibility that is offered across all fare types. If you book now, you have peace of mind knowing you have unlimited date and destination changes, or no-quibble refunds.

These flexible booking options are available for bookings made up to 31st May 2022 – see more about Qatar Airways guaranteed flexibility here.

qatar airways flexible booking options

Qatar Airways fly to 140 different destinations with all-inclusive fares starting from €459 in economy class and €1,689 in business class. I have chosen a few destinations to highlight from the Qatar Airways Black Friday sale below, but many more are available on their website

 

Male, Maldives:

Economy class from €680 return; Business Class from €2,273 return

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)


The Maldives is on most travel bucket lists, but it may surprise you that it can be affordable, especially with airfares such as these! Choose economy class from just €702 return, or the world’s best business class from €2269 return.

I have visited three islands in the Maldives, and I am already planning a return visit – it is paradise! Enjoy a morning dip from your over water bungalow, relax on pristine white sand beaches, go snorkelling or diving in the Indian Ocean, and witness some of the best sunsets in the world.

Book from 26th November to 2nd December 2021 for travel up to 30th September 2022.

Check prices here
 

 

Zanzibar, Tanzania:

Economy class from €535 return; Business Class from €1,797 return

Zanzibar Rock Island

Tanzania is home to some of the best safari adventures in the world. Whether you choose luxury tented camps in the Serengeti, or eco-friendly lodges at Ngorongoro Crater, you are bound to see some incredible wildlife. A few days on safari followed by a beach holiday in Zanzibar is the ultimate holiday for adventure lovers.

Book from 26th November to 2nd December 2021 for travel up to 30th September 2022.

Check prices here

 

Australia:

Economy class from €987 and Business Class from €3,403 return

Visit Australia with Qatar Airways

While Australia may still be closed for leisure travellers, Australian residents and fully vaccinated family members of Australian citizens can now enter Australia without quarantine requirements – see more here. This will allow people to reunite with their families once again. There is also plans to allow vaccinated students and business visa holders to enter Australia – see more here.

It is important to note that not all states are open for visitors – see more here, it is vital you check the entry requirements for each state. With Qatar Airways guaranteed flexibility you know that if restrictions change, you can change dates or secure a refund without penalty, if you are due to travel before 31st May 2022.

Book from 26th November to 2nd December 2021 for travel up to 30th September 2022.

Check prices here

 

Muscat, Oman:

Economy class from €625 return; Business Class from €2,486 return

Chedi Muscat hotel
Chedi Muscat Hotel

With its very own version of the Grand Canyon, superb white sand beaches, some of the best diving in the world, and mind blowing five-star hotels, Oman is a place that is firmly on my own wish list. 

For the ultimate in five-star luxury, check out Chedi Muscat Hotel which boasts an adult-only pool that is the longest pool in the Middle East. 

Book from 26th November to 2nd December 2021 for travel up to 30th September 2022.

Check prices here

 

Add a stopover in Qatar from $14:

Doha

Why choose one destination when you can have two? Qatar Airways offer some of the world’s best value stopover rates, with luxurious hotels available in Doha from just $14 per night! Visit the National Grand Mosque of Qatar, shop till you drop at the Souq Waqif or Villaggio Mall, and take in the waterfront views at La Corniche walkway.  

Note: If travelling onwards to another destination, you may need to take an additional PCR test in Doha before departure.

See more here

 

Black Friday Sale Terms and conditions:

  • This promotion applies to Qatar Airways operated flights only.
  • Sales period: 26 November 2021 – 2 December 2021.
  • Travel period: 26 November 2021 – 30th September 2022.
  • This promotion applies to Economy and Business Class tickets from Dublin to select destinations.
  • Minimum stay: 3 days.
  • Maximum stay: 1 month.
  • Seasonal surcharges, weekend surcharges, and blackout dates apply. Please review at the time of booking.
  • Fares shown are the lowest fares for a specific route in the next 6 months from today.
  • Fares are refreshed daily and may change.
  • Fares shown include taxes, fees, and airport surcharges, and are subject to availability.
  • Specific fare rules apply. Please review at the time of booking.

 

Search and book here

 

Note: Travel restrictions and country entry requirements are changing regularly, so it is vital you check both before you book and before you travel, to ensure you have the right documents or testing required. I also recommend purchasing travel insurance with Covid cover when booking your holiday.

 

I hope this post on Qatar Airways Black Friday offers will inspire you to book a trip soon. This post was sponsored by Qatar Airways, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

 
AsiaDestinationsLong Haul

7 Things You Must Do in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

From the world’s tallest twin towers, to the world’s best Irish bar – here are 7 things you must do in Kuala Lumpur!

 

My second stop in Malaysia brought me to Kuala Lumpur, a modern bustling city where skyscrapers stand along side colonial buildings, mosques beside Chinese temples and street markets beside designer shopping malls. Most people fly into KL but we drove from Penang, (read my Penang travel guide here). We crossed the Penang bridge, a 13.5km bridge that crosses the Penang Strait, and the drive in total was a leisurely four hours. We only spent two nights in Kuala Lumpur, but I saw enough to know that it is a city I would like to come back to. Many choose KL as a short stopover on route to Asia or Australasia, but I recommend spending at least three nights there to enjoy all the highlights. Kuala Lumpur is very easy to navigate, as most of the sights are all within walking distance of each other.  Here are 7 things you must do in Kuala Lumpur when you visit!

1. Visit the Petronas Towers

No visit to KL would be complete without seeing the Petronas Towers. These iconic towers are not only synonymous with Kuala Lumpur, but they are the tallest twin towers in the world. Night-time is the best time for photos as the lights shine so brightly. It is impossible not to get a good photo, even on your phone! Purchase a wide angle lens from the street vendors outside. They will try to charge you about €20 but after haggling you should settle on about €5, or 25 Malaysian ringgits. This lens will allow you to fit both towers into the frame.


Make sure you visit the Petronas Towers during the day too. As well as having an enormous shopping mall inside, you have the opportunity to cross the Sky Walk bridge on the 41st floor. This is 179 meters above street level and you can walk between the towers, which is a great way to see the city. Be sure to book in advance online, as they only allow 1000 people to access the bridge each day. Don’t miss the observation deck on the 86th floor, at 370 meters above street level, you can see the second tower up close.

2. Go to Independence Square

The colonial quarters of Kuala Lumpur, this area is very different to the modern skyscrapers of downtown. The pretty Moorish buildings as well as the grass lawns of Independence Square, are definitely a ‘must see’. This is where the Union Flag was lowered and the Malayan flag hoisted for the first time in 1957. It happens to be home to the world’s tallest flag pole too!

things you must do in Kuala Lumpur

The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is also located here. You will see miniature replicas of the cities most popular attractions and get free tourist information, as well as getting some great photos! The featured image for this post, where I have skyscrapers as wings, was taken there. The ‘I love KL’ sign is right outside too, which is another great spot for selfies.

3. Visit the KL Tower

Adrenaline junkies will love the Sky Box at the KL Tower, a ledge that extends out with a glass floor, 300 meters above street level. Face your fears and get incredible photos at the same time! There is also revolving restaurant here, where you can get great views of the skyline. I would suggest trying it at night to catch the bright lights. We went for lunch and it was not as dramatic, although if you want to walk the Skybox, daytime is probably best!

things you must do in Kuala Lumpur

4. Step inside the National Mosque of Malaysia

What I love about this Mosque is that all races and religions are allowed enter. It has what looks like a half open umbrella at the top, not a traditional dome. This symbolises that, rain or shine, you can get many people under an umbrella, from all walks of life. The Masjid Negara mosque holds 15,000 people and has beautiful reflection pools as well as amazing architecture throughout. Women need to be covered when entering but robes are available at the entrance.

5. Stay at the Majestic Hotel

I can’t say enough good things about the Majestic Hotel. This landmark which dates back to 1932 was one of the first hotels in Kuala Lumpur, the original building is a national heritage site. Prince Charles stayed here last winter and it is the venue for many glamorous social events and receptions. The rooms, service and food are terrific. What amazed me the most was how reasonably priced it was. Standard rooms in the new wing cost from €100 per night including breakfast and junior suites from €140 per night. The junior suites are huge with a free standing bath, two TV’s (one over the bath) and even a small office desk.

things you must do in Kuala Lumpur

The buffet is superb with a wide selection of local and international dishes. From prawns to pizza, steaks to sushi, you name it, they have it, and all exceptional quality. They also offer a great ‘unlimited wine’ deal for 70 ringgit, about €15. Wine is expensive in KL, in fact all alcohol is heavily taxed, so this is excellent value. If you have time, treat yourself to a Malaya massage, trust me you won’t regret it.

6. Shop till you drop.

Shopping is great in Kuala Lumpur.  Although renowned for its cheap electronics (many international brands are actually made here), Malaysia also has excellent designer and high street clothes shops. The shopping mall in the Petronas Towers is a must visit with many brands about 20% cheaper than you will find at home.

things you must do in Kuala Lumpur

The Central Market is one of KL’s most famous shopping areas, with indoor and outdoor shops selling everything from local souvenirs to antiques! Just around the corner is Chinatown where you can find designer bags, sunglasses and copies of the latest trends. Petaling Street has the best selection but make sure you haggle!

things you must do in Kuala Lumpur

7. Pay a visit to  Healy Mac’s Irish Pub

This bar was voted the best Irish pub in the world by the Irish Times and Diageo, so they must be doing something right! We watched one of 6 Nations rugby matches here and the atmosphere was electric. You can also go to listen to some music, enjoy some pub grub and some famous Irish hospitality. It is located just minutes from the Petronas Towers, so you can grab a night time photo before, or after your visit. Visit their website here.

things you must do in Kuala Lumpur

How to get there:

Qatar Airways fly daily from Dublin Airport to Doha with onward connections to Kuala Lumpur four times weekly and Penang three times weekly. They will also be starting a new service to Langkawi later this year. You can choose to avail of a free overnight stay in a four star hotel in Doha, or connect straight to Malaysia with a short layover. At the time of issue, return economy tickets to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, are available from €602, with return business class saver tickets from €3098, both including taxes and charges. For more details visit Qatar Airways or see your local travel agent.

 

Like Long haul holidays? See more destination advice, travel guides and the best travel deals here.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

FeaturedRest of the WorldTravel News and Reviews

My Review of Qatar Airways Service

787 aircraft

Qatar Airways have been voted the world’s best airline. I had the pleasure of flying with them to Malaysia recently. Read my review of Qatar Airways service and find out why.

Gazing out at the bright blue skies, with a glass of pink champagne in hand, it felt almost surreal. For once in my life I didn’t want the plane journey to end. In fact I would have been quite happy to just stay on the plane for 24 hours. Being wined and dined with Qatar Airways service on the world’s best business class was a far cry from the school runs….

review of qatar airways service

When we book holidays, we tend to focus on hotels and destinations, rather than the airline who takes us there – but maybe it is time to change that. I like to think of airlines in the same way as hotels. Qatar Airways is a five star airline, that offers five star service.

Think of the difference between booking a three, four or five star hotel; airlines have a similar grading. Flying with Qatar Airways is the equivalent of staying in five star hotel. Recently voted the best airline in the world and winner of the best business class airline award at the World Airline Awards, I was going to make sure I appreciated every minute of it.

 

Normally the first thing I do when I get on a long haul flight is to check out the inflight entertainment. I browse the latest blockbusters that I haven’t seen, and try to catch up. Not this time! The menu, or should I say ‘menus’ were my first port of call.

They were given to me by my flight attendant, Praveem, who courteously introduced himself to me before take off. He called me by name and said he would be looking after me throughout the flight. I received a hot towel, noise cancelling headphones and a luxury amenity kit, packed with toiletries. I was then asked if I would like an aperitif before take- off? Sure it would be rude not to……

review of qatar airways service

The drinks menu consisted of fine wines and champagne as well as premium spirits and soft drinks. I enjoyed a few glasses of Lanson pink champagne (as you do!) and opted for a delicious Bordeaux with dinner. Speaking of dinner, this too is an experience.

While white linen table cloths and hot towels may be standard in business class, but Qatar Airways extra touches are the reason it is rated a five star airline. My drinks were served in beautiful champagne and wine glasses, and they served on demand.

There were no trollies up and down the aisle. When Praveem came out from behind the curtain with my drinks or snacks, I felt like he was bringing it from a kitchen, that there was a chef somewhere making it just moments before it was served. These subtle touches made for a special dining experience.

The substantial menu was available at any time throughout my flight. Qatar Airways offer a dine on demand system. If you want to eat immediately and settle down for a nap, you can. You also don’t need to worry about missing breakfast, you can simply have it whenever you wake up.

review of qatar airways service

The food options were superb. For dinner I enjoyed the traditional Arabic Mezze to start, followed by a delicious spiced chicken for main cours,e and a cheese plate to finish. If I had to find fault, I would say the cheese plate could be improved. Some of my colleagues opted for the fillet steak and said it was excellent.

Breakfast was also impressive, the menu was so extensive I didn’t know which to choose. There were three choices of juices including a carrot and ginger energiser, followed by a choice of five appetisers and four main courses.

If this all sounds too much, you can just have an express breakfast of coffee and croissants, before you disembark. On my return flight home, I opted for a light-option for dinner, a Thai noodle beef salad. It was perfectly balanced, full of of flavour and something I would expect to find in an upmarket oriental restaurant.

review of qatar airways service

After I was wined and dined I was able to recline my seat and watch a movie on my 17-inch flat screen TV. Qatar Airway’s Oryx One system has over 4,000 in-flight entertainment options. Suffice to say, I was spoiled for choice!

I also tried the WiFi on board which was excellent, but you need to pay the $20 fee for unlimited use. The so-called thirty minutes free use, is fairly poor and only lasted five minutes. Although $20 is cheap, I did think it was unusual to ask business class travellers to pay for it.

review of qatar airways service

It was then time to convert my seat into a fully lie-flat bed and get some sleep for a few hours. This comfortable 80 x 30 inch lie-flat bed, together with a heavy velour blanket and The White Company pyjamas, made it very easy!

review of qatar airways service

Seat preferences on Qatar Airways:

On the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft from Dublin to Doha, the seat configuration is 1-2-1. If travelling alone I would suggest booking a window seat where you can have complete privacy. The two middle seats are ideal if travelling as a couple. One of the huge advantages of this configuration is that all seats have aisles.

On the A330 from Kuala to Doha the configuration was slightly different and there were no single seats. I happened to be sitting in seat 1a on this flight. The problem was when my colleague was sleeping, it was difficult climbing over her when I needed to go to the bathroom.

In this configuration I would choose an aisle seat rather than a window. Qatar Airways even have a love-seat on their Dreamliner aircraft, which is typically booked for honeymooners. Located at the back of the business class cabin, it is separated from the other passengers, although it is close to the bathrooms…

review of qatar airways service

Economy class benefits:

It is not only in business class that Qatar Airways service excels. Their economy class service is excellent too, with a generous 30kg baggage allowance and the same 4,000 in-flight entertainment options, that are available in business class.

The Dreamliner’s spacious cabin is not only visually attractive with mood lighting, but this state of the art aircraft comes with all mod cons, such as USB ports, apple iPorts and individual 12 inch touch screen TVs.

I particularly like the large windows. Not only are they much bigger than comparable aircrafts, but they are also dimmable. If you fancy a snooze during the day time, you can reduce the light coming in, with the touch of a button!

review of qatar airways service

I was amazed at how quiet it was in business class, but the Dreamliner has reduced cabin noise in both cabins. The cabin pressure is set to a lower altitude which means there is more clean air circulating the cabin. This reduces travel fatigue and headaches.

Menus are given in economy class too. I managed to get a glance at the breakfast menu and there were three choices available, grilled sausage with omelette, fish congee or buttermilk pancakes. Another highlight of Qatar Airways service is the unlimited drinks available throughout the flight, including premium spirits, a rarity in economy class these days!

You can also avail of WiFi on-board. There is a 30 minute free option which probably allows for one selfie post, but for $20 you can have unlimited use throughout the flight. All passengers receive an amenity kit with socks, toothpaste, eye masks etc and blankets and pillows are also given.

Kids are not overlooked either, I was really impressed with the kids packs. I brought one home to my daughter and she played with it for hours!

review of qatar airways service

Qatar Airways fly daily from Dublin Airport to Doha with onward connections to 150 destinations. At the time of issue return economy tickets to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, are available from €602, with return business class saver tickets from €3098, both including taxes and charges. For more details visit Qatar Airways or see your local travel agent.

Note: I was on a press trip with Qatar Airways and the Malaysia Tourism Board but all views, as always, are my own.

 

 

AsiaDestinationsFeaturedLong HaulTravel Guides

My Penang Travel Guide, All You Need to Know And Why You Must Go!

IMG_3783

Penang, a cocktail of Asian cultures where Chinese, Indians and Malays live happily together on an island that is so diverse. I trekked through rainforests in the morning, lazed on a beach in the afternoon and enjoyed the bustling city of George Town by night.

 

I was  delighted to be invited by Qatar Airways and the Malaysian Tourism Board to stay in George Town, the island’s capital for three nights. This cultural town is the very heart of Penang. With a population of 1.8 million, of which a staggering 70% are Chinese, it was completely different to what I had imagined. Penang is not typically Malaysian, in fact at times I felt it was more like a large Chinatown, than a Malaysian island. This, however, has its advantages. The influx of Chinese and Indians make for a bustling multicultural capital, that absolutely oozes character and has a strong cultural heritage. There are British colonial buildings alongside Chinese shophouses, mosques next to Chinese temples, yet somehow it all works! The old town is certainly the heart of the city and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, but there is also a modern side, with shopping malls and skyscrapers, if you fancy a change of scenery.

Penang Travel Guide

George Town – What to do:

We took a walking tour of George Town, something I would highly recommend you do on your first day.  It is a great way to see the highlights and to get a feel for places you want to return to on your own. The first thing that struck me was how completely safe I felt. Malaysia is a prosperous country and I saw no seedy elements and no one hassling you to come into their shops. I would have no problem walking around there on my own. George Town has a happy vibe to it too, a local man was delighted to show us how he made incense sticks, people were excited to pose for pictures and no one ever asked to be compensated.

Penang Travel Guide

Our first stop was the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, a nineteenth century mansion that has been transformed into a museum, housing over 1,000 antiques. This is a typical home of a wealthy Chinese man or ‘Baba’ as they are known. The lavish furnishings and classic architecture make it a must see in Penang.

Penang Travel Guide

There are numerous temples throughout George Town, most of which you can admire as you pass by. Take time though to visit the temple at Khoo Kongsi. This was originally built to support Chinese immigrants and was a place where Chinese families with the same surname could go to worship their ancestors. The Kek Lok Si Temple is one of the largest temples in Southeast Asia and is also a must visit. We went at night time where it was illuminated for Chinese New Year.

Penang Travel Guide

I liked the look and feel of George Town. Walking around the city, admiring the pretty Chinese shophouses and extraordinary mix of temples is an attraction in itself. There is also fantastic street art scattered throughout the old town. If you have a guide they will point it out to you, but it would also be fun trying to find them on your own, it would be one way to ensure you see the main cultural centre.

Penang Travel Guide

Another way to get around is by trishaw (three wheeled bicycle). These are great fun and ideal if you need to rest the legs for a bit. My driver, ‘Lee’, a 68 year old Malaysian Muslim as he liked to tell me, was delightful. He talked non-stop describing the highlights and was clearly proud of his city and its culture. A full hour trishaw ride is only €10!

Penang Travel Guide

We walked down the popular Love Lane, once home to the mistresses of wealthy Chinese immigrants, but is now the hotspot for nightlife. There are numerous cocktail bars and cafes that spill out on to the street and it is lively until the small hours. Mish Mash, a more sophisticated choice is just around the corner and serves the best Guinness in Penang (apparently!) and some kicking cocktails too.

Penang Travel Guide

Beyond George Town:

If you fancy a break from the buzz of the city, take the 30 minute bus ride to Penang Hill. This hill resort was used as a retreat during the British colonial period and is the oldest British Hill station in South East Asia, dating back to the late 1700’s. There are still colonial bungalows located there and it is 833 meters above sea level. We took the funicular to the top and went to one of Penang’s top attractions, The Habitat. This eco tourism site in the heart of a rainforest is spectacular. A short walk through the authentic rainforest leads you to a canopy walk, 230 meters in length and an even higher tree top walk. The latter is 13 meters high and is the highest viewing platform on the island, with 360 views of Penang and its surrounding islands. Ironically this was built by an Irish engineering firm, ClearTech Engineered Solutions! Try to visit on a clear day for the very best views and arrive early to avoid queues.

The rainforest is home to many nature trails and complimentary guided tours are provided. Home to a myriad of flora and fauna as well as giant black squirrels, reptiles and exotic butterflies, we saw a snake lazing on a branch and numerous spider holes with tarantulas inside! Not exactly for the fainthearted perhaps, but with our guide beside us, we felt safe at all times.

Penang Travel Guide

The beaches:

On our final day we enjoyed another completely different experience. We left George Town and took a forty minute bus ride to Kuala Sungai Pinang Jetty, in the Penang National Park, where we embarked on a boat trip through a mangrove, into the sea. The scenery was spectacular and the contrast of wildlife in the mangrove to the vast open sea was staggering. From the boat we saw a large monitor lizard escaping from the water, eagles soaring overhead, hundreds of walking fish  (something I had never seen before) as well as numerous exotic birds.

When we arrived into the open sea, the scenery changed dramatically. There were numerous white sandy beaches dotted around the coastline with rainforests tucked in behind them, it was spectacular. We stopped at Pantai Kerachut beach which was practically deserted. There is a turtle sanctuary there as well as a bridge which leads right into the rainforest. We opted for a short trek but there are also two longer trails that take about two hours. Would you believe that some of the Malaysian rainforests are 130 million years old? I was amazed to learn that contrary to popular belief, it is not the Amazon that is the oldest rainforest in the world, that accolade belongs to Malaysia.

Our next stop was the popular Monkey Beach, which is only accessible by trekking through the rainforest or by boat. You can actually walk through the jungle from Kerachut beach to get to it, which must be a cool thing to do, but we went by boat to save time. We enjoyed a barbeque on the beach and some chill time. As the name suggests there are also some resident monkeys hanging around which added to the experience. There were some jellyfish in the sea so only the brave went swimming. I decided against it, even though it was very tempting – the seawater was so warm!

And so it was time to say goodbye to Penang, an island that left me hungry to see more of Malaysia. I loved that there are so many different experiences to be found there. The island is so diverse, with tropical rainforests, white sandy beaches and the bustling city of George Town, all within easy reach of each other. It is not just the range of activities available but it is the happy vibe from it’s people, where people from China, India and Malaysia, with completely different religions and cultures coexist in one thousand square kilometers. It is impossible not to appreciate that in these modern times.

Penang Travel Guide

 

Where to stay:

There are a wide selection of hotels and apartments to choose from. We stayed in the landmark Eastern and Oriental hotel (or commonly known as E&O). This five star heritage hotel is located in the heart of the city and was visited by Prince Charles in November last. Suffice to say, if you are looking for luxury in the city, look no further!

If you are looking for a more authentic experience check out the local Clans Kongsi hotel, which is a collection of 15 traditional houses in an extraordinary setting in the heart of the George Town Unesco World Heritage site. The houses were originally occupied by the Khoo Clan in the 1860’s, wealthy Chinese newcomers fresh off the boat from China. They combine traditional furnishings with a modern twist – I loved them. For a beach holiday there are numerous hotels in the popular resort of Batu Ferringhi.

Penang Travel Guide
Bathroom with outdoor shower in the Clans Hotel

Where to eat:

Penang is renowned for its delicious food and for its eclectic mix of Asian cuisine. There are traditional Indian, Chinese and Malaysian restaurants but I like that in many places you can have a combination of all three. One of my favourites was a local café called the Mews Cafe. We were treated to beef rendang and a delicious seabass that was bursting with flavour. The typical Malaysian lok-lok or hot pot, is a great sharing dish and can be found at many street food vendors or local restaurants. You cook fresh meat, fish and vegetables in a pot of boiling water and eat with a variety of home made sauces. Another local favourite, char koay teow is Malaysia’s take on pad-thai, but with seafood and a little more spice added. I had this a few times and loved it.

How to get there:

Until recently, you had to take three flights to get to get to Penang, but with the new service from Dublin with Qatar Airways, you can get there seamlessly on their modern Dreamliner aircraft, with just one stop in Doha. Qatar Airways fly daily from Dublin to Doha with onward connections to Penang three times weekly, and Kuala Lumpur four times weekly. They will also be starting a new service to Langkawi later this year, which is only a 3.5 hour boat ride from Penang. A two centre holiday of Langkawi and Penang would be a winning combination. You can choose to avail of a free overnight stay in a four star hotel in Doha or connect straight to Malaysia with a short layover. Visit QatarAirways for more details.

Penang Travel Guide

After our three night stay in Penang, it was time to move on to Kuala Lumpur. You can take a short one hour flight but we opted to go by bus instead. This may sound like a daunting task but the access of the Penang bridge, a 13.5km bridge that crosses the Penang Strait, makes it a pleasant 4 hour drive. See my post about things you must do in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Like Long Haul holidays?  See more destination guides, tips and travel deals here.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 

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