Insights into Seberang Perai Tengah

After discovering Gems of Seberang Perai Utara, it would be surprising if you don’t continue with the middle bit of Penang’s mainland. Why? Simply because there are marked differences between these two. For instance, while Malay food of ikan bakar or grilled fish accompanied by curries, vegetables, other proteins displayed in a dizzying amount of choices and mee rebus are popular and almost ubiquitous in the northern area, Chinese food dominates the food scene in the middle area of mainland. The food compass also reflects the community that is dominant in each area which in turn influences its architecture, ambience and development.
General Outlook 
Bukit Mertajam is the main town in Seberang Perai Tengah and it’s also where the administration centre of Seberang Perai is located in a very large building – an indication of how space is a luxury the mainland can afford unlike the island side. Straddling the north and middle areas is the Jalan Raja Uda stretch where cafes, restaurants and Chinese hawker stalls are mainly found. This stretch of road is also known as Chinatown of Seberang Perai. (Rapid Penang bus no. 604) 
Multi level malls such as Sunway Carnival Mall and Megamall Pinang can satisfy your shopping needs of popular clothing brands as well as being the commercial areas of SPT. 

Green Lung 
In fact, considered as the only green lung of SPT is the Hutan Lipur Bukit Mertajam which is too far in from the main road to access by foot but possible by bicycle or a taxi if you don’t have your own car. It’s only 8km away from Bukit Mertajam town via Jalan Kulim. There are camping sites, a large pond, streams, resting posts and a viewing station on site. It’s a good place to hike while enjoying the flora and fauna of a rainforest.
To Try: At the main road turn off into Hutan Lipur, on the right-hand corner is a little stall that is famous for its mee kuah ketam. Open daily except for Friday.
Getting Around 
From Penang Sentral in Butterworth, Rapid Penang buses 701, 702 and 703 will offer access to SPT areas, especially the commercial areas. Otherwise, by car with GPS is your best bet if not by bicycle. You can charter a taxi easily at the ferry or bus terminal in Sentral and it is advisable to agree on the price before your discovery trail of SPT begins.

Two Big Cultural Hot Spots of Seberang Perai 
There are two spots in Seberang Perai that are celebrated annually by those of the Christian faith and another by the Buddhist faith – St. Anne’s Day (24 July 2015) and the Nine Emperor Gods Festival (21 Oct 2015).
St. Anne’s Church: On an immense piece of land sit the main church with its extension buildings and the original chapel built in the 1800s on top of a small hill. It’s located on Jalan Kulim in Bukit Mertajam.
Nine Emperor Gods Temple: Also known as Tow Boo Kong temple is on Jalan Raja Uda in Butterworth. Impressive with a glorious archway and intricately carved ornamental roof and pillars, this temple is one of the largest on the mainland. 

Tourist Attractions in SPT 
Penang Bird Park: It has around 300 species of birds and is the largest bird park in Penang with around 2,500 birds in residence in its aviary. It’s on Jalan Todak in Seberang Jaya, just down the road from Sunway Carnival Mall.
Empangan Mengkuang: This dam was the second one to be built in Penang after the Air Itam dam and is the largest one in the state. Located in Bukit Mertajam, it is a popular recreational spot for locals.
Seberang Perai After Dark 
Auto-City in Juru only truly comes alive when the sun sets. This modern area prides itself to be the one-stop place for cars, food, entertainment and shopping. There are choices of restaurants, pubs and a night shopping market too. It’s the spot for a night out when on Penang’s mainland. To get here, from the north-south highway, exit at Juru.