Air Itam

Air Itam

Have a Wonderful Time at Air Itam (or Ayer Itam)
A picturesque town nestled in the center of Penang Island, which is situated in the western part of George Town in Malaysia. This lovely place houses the renowned Kek Lok Sai Temple and Penang Hill.

How to Reach Here?
Penang International Airport is the nearest airport to Air Itam and is just around 16kms away from George Town. This airport has extensive air services with connecting domestic and international flights across all the important parts of South Asia and beyond. The two important budget airlines having maximum flight from Penang are Fire Fly and Air Asia.
You can also board Rapid Penang that is the public network of buses to reach Air Itam. This is by far the most economic means to reach your destination. Majority of the people board a bus from George Town, that will end its journey either in the middle of the local market or at Penang Hill’s base.
KTMB has excellent rails services right up to Butterworth Station that lies in close proximity to a ferry terminal that helps to take you to Penang Island and from there you can travel by bus or car to Air Itam.
Although hailing a Taxi turns to be quite an expensive option, this is best means if you happen to travel during night time. Just make sure you bargain with the taxi driver and settle at a reasonable rate rather than burning a hole in your pocket.

How to Get Around Air Itam
Since Air Itam is quite a compact and small town, you can get around the entire place on foot. There are bus services you can board on to if you happen to be one of those who do not like walking.

Main Attractions of Air Itam
Air Itam Dam: The very first dam that was constructed on the lovely island and happens to be one of the most popular haunts for the locals for jogging and also a lovely picnic spot. Viewing George Town from the Dam’s crest is something spectacular and a must visit. You need to hire a car or cycle to reach the top of the dam that takes around 20 minutes by foot.
Jade Emperor’s Pavilion: This is actually a Taoist Temple situated at the base of Penang Hill and built in dedication to the renowned Jade Emperor that is one of the most important men in Taoism. Built as early as 1905, it was renovated in 2002. A lot of worshippers visit the temple on the auspicious birthday of the Jade Emperor.
Kek Lok Si Temple: A breathtaking and expansive temple that is found to be the largest Buddhist Temple in South East Asia. You can spend hours here visiting the various shrines and halls. “The Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas “is something worth seeing in this temple. The temple also has a mini train that carries tourists to the top the complex where you will find a huge statue of Kuan Yin, made in bronze.
War Memorial Park: A small and lovely park that is built in memory of the martyrs of the IInd World War.
Penang Hill Mosque: An ornate but simple mosque situated at the summit of Penang Hill.
Air Itam Market: A nice place for a stroll that sells clothing, fresh produce and filled with street hawkers too.

Where to Stay
Air Itam do have luxury accommodation options available, but most of them turm to burn a hole in your pocket. A lot of people also opt to stay in George Town and Batu Ferringhi, both the places which are in close proximity to Air Itam.
At the same time, there are a lot of service apartments, houses & villas available at Home Away. These options not just fit into the budget but they also provide an opportunity to experience the local culture. For larger groups, villas with up to 6 bedrooms are also available.

What to Eat
Air Itam is well known for its tasty and lip smacking local cuisine that is a must have if you visit this place. You have no lack of options as far as food is concerned and the fare is absolutely delicious.
Some of the local dishes worth tasting include
Char Koay Teow: With the authentic taste of Malaysia, there are a number of stalls that offer you this special dish. Each mouthful provides you with fresh flavors that linger a long while.
Koay Teow Th’ng: This is a lip smacking soup with tasty pork or fish slices cooked in a frothy broth along with flat noodles made of rice. It is a must try when you visit Air Itam.
Penang Assam Laksa: An authentic dish of Penang, a spicy and rich soup with a fishy base with noodle broth cooked in rich spices of tamarind, lemon grass, chili paste and given a topping of prawn paste.
Mee Goreng: A Muslim Indian dish that comprises of noodles with ample portion of potatoes, cuttlefish and bean sprouts.
Penang Teochew Chendol: This is the authentic dessert of Penang that you have to taste while in Air Itam.
You will find umpteen restaurants and street hawkers offering you a wonderful fare of their local cuisine mentioned above. On the other hand, if you prefer Chinese or Continental or even Thai or Japanese cuisine, you have a lot of restaurants offering this also.