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Disabled Holidays in Penang

Famed for its legendary street food scene and bustling capital George Town, the island of Penang is an ideal destination for those looking to experience the best authentic sights, sounds and tastes of Malaysia.

Located off the Malay Peninsula’s north-western coast, the island offers a vast array of diverse sights and activities in a beautiful setting, with sandy beaches and verdant jungle bordering modern cities.

The UNESCO Heritage Site of George Town is a fascinating fusion of the old and new, combining well-preserved colonial buildings and Chinese temples with colourful modern street art and mega malls.

It’s also the main place to go to sample some of Penang’s famously diverse cuisine that has seen it crowned the food capital of Malaysia.

Here the street food is on par with gourmet restaurants, with a vast array of options on offer from the region’s blend of Chinese, Malay and Indian communities. Don’t leave without trying signature creations such as char koay teow (fried noodle strips with prawns, cockles and bean sprouts), asam laksa (rice noodles in a fish soup) and Malaysia’s national dish nasi lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in pandan leaves).

The central and western parts of Penang are more rural than the east and are known for their palm-lined beaches, mountainous rainforest and sleepy fishing villages.

Accessible attractions

Penang’s most popular attraction, Penang Hill, is also one of its most accessible. You can reach the summit via a funicular railway, which is free for disabled customers. Rising to over 800 metres, the hill offers stunning views of the island and surrounding seas.

Of Penang’s many temples, the most attractive is undoubtedly Kek Lok Si, a colourful collection of sacred buildings and landscaped gardens that ranks as one of the largest complexes in Asia. (For the best accessible experience, ask your taxi driver to take you up to the highest-level car park, where you’ll find the most convenient access for wheelchairs.)

There are some excellent gardens to explore too, the most accessible of which is the Botanic Gardens, whose 30-hecatre grounds feature many indigenous and exotic plant species, a fern rockery, an orchidarium and a lily pond.

Elsewhere, the Penang State Museum and Art Gallery, Entopia Butterfly Farm and numerous shopping malls are all accessible and well worth a visit.

The majority of Penang’s tourist sites can be reached via the wheelchair-friendly Hop-On Hop-Off tourist bus service. You can buy 24-hour, 48-hour and three-day passes to save on transport costs. The busses also provide city tours of Penang.

Getting there

Flights are available from multiple UK airports, usually with one stop in Singapore, the Middle East or Kuala Lumpur. Average flight time is between 15 and 20 hours, including stops.

NB: We can provide adapted transfers to take you from the airport to your hotel, making your holiday in Malaysia even more convenient and stress-free.

Accessible transport for the disabled in Malaysia

Please note: The information we provide on accessible locations and local attractions is subject to change, specific accessibility requirements and availability. We do our utmost to ensure all information is as up to date as possible based on the information we receive.

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