Top 10 things to do in Penang

top 10 things to do in Penang

1. POKE AROUND GEORGE TOWN’S ART STREET: 

Location: around Georgetown (Jalan Penang, Muntri Street, Weld Quay, Lebuh Leith, Armenian Street, Ah Quee Street and more).

Exploring George Town by bicycle or on foot is recommended because you can slowly travel through old buildings and be able to easily enjoy these hidden art pictures; or if you are lucky, you sometimes catch amazing street performs of tourists by accident.

As what I have read, the Art Street was drawn and completed by a young Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic. He became popular after the project of a series of mural entitled “Mirrors George Town” in the Festival of 2012.

The paintings represent characters and scenes of people and their life in the old town. However, over the years, a lot of them already faded; then if you don’t want to miss this, hurry up, come and visit because soon they will disappear or be replaced by the new art pictures.

Art Street - George Town
Art Street – George Town
Art Street - George Town
Art Street – George Town

2. DISCOVERING JETTY CHEW (Clan Jetties)

Jetty Chew is the biggest and mostly renowned jetty in six clan jetties in existence in Penang nowadays (the Lim, Chew, Tan, Yeoh, Koay, Lee Jetty). There are 75 floating houses on the Jetty converted into souvenirs shops, food restaurants and guesthouses.

Jetty Chew is like a floating village at the seaside which is a great spot for tourists especially photographers. I highly recommend to visit this attraction in the early morning or evening as you can take a lot of nice photo of sunrise or sunset during these periods.

You can catch CAT free bus to the Weld Quay Ferry & Bus Terminal and walk to Chew Jetty, a distance of about 250 meters. My first day, I chose bicycle to travel around Georgetown, I stopped my bike in front of Jetty Chew and walked inside. Very flexible and convenient when travelling by bike.

Jetty Chew- Penang
Jetty Chew- Penang

3. TAKE A TRAIN RIDER UP TO PENANG HILL

How to get to Penang Hill: Rapid Penang 204 bus (ticket fare: RM2) is the only bus that takes you all the way from Georgetown to Penang hill. The 204 bus passes Kek Lok Si temple before reaching the Penang Hill train station, so you can combine a visiting tour of Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si temple in 1 day. The most convenient way up to Penang Hill is by means of Penang Hill Railway which offers non-stop ride to the top in five to seven minutes.

Opening hours of train ride: from 6:30am- 23:00 pm when last train leaves the top of the hill. The tickets office closes at 22:30 pm.

Ticket price: For Malaysians, the fare for a return ticket is RM10/ adult and RM4/ child. If you are expats being working in Malaysia for more than 6 months will be considered with this fare as well. For foreigners, the return fare would be RM30/adult and RM15/child (updated in 2017). You aren’t recommended to travel to the hill at weekends to avoid the crowded and crazy long queues. However, you can pay double for the “fast lane” if you want to travel faster.

You can visit the official website of Penang hill to update new information and tickets price here.

On the top of the hill, you can pay around RM10-RM30 for a buggy ride to bring you to all the spots and give a briefing of the surroundings as well. Try to bargain the price if the driver has got more customers in 1 ride.

Both the train ride and the view at the top are amazing. There is much to do on the top: sipping a cup of coffee, shopping, taking photos, walking around, enjoying the view, visiting Hindu temple, visiting the Love lock street.

Penang Hill, Malaysia
Penang Hill, Malaysia

Love Lock Street, Penang
Love Lock Street, Penang

4. TREKKING IN PENANG NATIONAL PARK.

How to get to the National Park: By 101 bus you can easily get to the Park with only RM4.

This is a nice place for photographers to capture the wildlife, particularly monkeys and lizards. The trekking paths are easy and a bit of hiking up and down the hill. There are some resting areas where you can sit down and enjoy the fabulous nature with cool atmosphere. I love it so much, I took most of my time taking photos, relaxing and enjoying the nature. You can also opt for water taxi to the beach or other spots of the National Park if you travel with family or you want to save time for other spots.

Penang National Park is definitely an option for those who want to run away from the busy city for a while to enjoy the fresh air. So even if you only have a few days in Penang, make sure that the National Park is on your itinerary.

The Ferry in Penang national Park
The Ferry in Penang national Park
Penang National Park
Penang National Park

5. VISITING KEK LOK SI TEMPLE

Opening hours: 9am-5:30pm

The entrance fee: RM2 (2017)

How to get to Kek Lok Si: the Penang Rapid 204 bus (RM2). Besides, you can also catch 201,203,206,306,U502 bus around Penang to reach the temple.

There are many stalls selling souvenirs, local products on boths sides of the street in front of the temple.

Kek Lok Si was completed in 1930, it is one of Southeast Asia’s largest Chinese Buddhist temples with millions of magnificent Buddha statues and hundreds of beautiful carvings and sculptures.

The seven-storey main pagoda is the fabulous combination of the ancient Chinese temple’s architecture with Thai design in the temple’s tiers and the Burmese crown . You can climb to the top of the pagoda and enjoy the great view of Penang city. At the time of my visit in 2017, they were building the railroad from the entrance to the highest level of the temple and I believe it is completed now.

Kek Lok Si Temple - Penang
Kek Lok Si Temple – Penang
Kek Lok Si Temple Penang
Kek Lok Si Temple Penang

6. ENJOY A TRISHAW TOUR OF GEORGE TOWN.

Travelling around the heritage town by trishaw ride is relaxing and interesting, but before you get on one, make sure that you work out the price with the driver. Most of trishaw drivers are knowledgeable and well English spoken. Take a tour around the heart of the old town by trishaw is a great way to see the city.

Travel around George Town Penang
Travel around George Town Penang
Around George Town Penang
Around George Town Penang

7. SHOOTING AROUND CENTRAL GEORGE TOWN

If you are into shooting pictures, then Georgetown is a right place for you. Getting lost around the old town and taking photos of old buildings, art streets, people in the town and their life are my hobbies. Just capture whatever I like, old or new, dark or bright, busy or simple, colorful or black and white, all the things give me a set of unique photos. I’m not really good at photograph, but I always try to chase the better photos, Penang gave me a chance to practice my skill. Got some lovely photos which I am really happy with and it will be great to look back on later then.

George Town Penang
George Town Penang
George Town Penang
George Town Penang

8. HOP ON FREE CAT BUS FOR A FREEZING TOUR

Rapid Penang CAT is free shuttle bus which travels around George Town with 19 stops at the strategic points of interest. The bus runs from 6:00 am until 12:00 am midnight. With CAT, visitors can explore the town in comfort without even paying a cent and without missing any nice spots of the old town.

Some nice spots that you should check out: Little India-Lebug Pantai, Musuem-Lebuh Farquhar, St George’s Church-Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keliang, Sri Penang Hall-Lebug Light, Weld Quay Bus Terminal (walking distance to The Chew Ferry).

You can download George town brochure here

And CAT route here

9. ENJOY COZY NIGHTLIFE IN PENANG

Georgetown night streets are cozy with many colorful lanterns in front of each buildings and restaurants. And there are many fun places and activities to stroll around in the evening, such as: bars, pubs, nightclubs, shopping, night market, food street or even walk around the peaceful town at night. I am not a fan of clubs, so night markets and street food are my best choices. It is easy for you to find a local market where sells souvenir, T-Shirts, shoes as well as many cheap delicious street food.

George Town Penang
George Town Penang
George Town Penang
George Town Penang

10. COMPLETE YOUR DAY IN A LANTERN RESTAURANT

Ending my last night by enjoying traditional food in a very special restaurant with many colorful lanterns. The food there, to me, is more delicious and cheaper than Kuala Lumpur’s. But anyway, every city has its own unique beauty, it’s just the way how we look at it.

Hope you have a great time in Penang. All the best!!!!

Lantern restaurant in Penang
Lantern restaurant in Penang
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29 thoughts on “Top 10 things to do in Penang

  1. Great tips. We spent three weeks in Malaysia and we’re sad we didn’t get to Penang. But it was a work/vacation trip. We’d heard the Jetty Chew and George Town were great. Reading this makes me want to get back to Malaysia and get to Penang!

  2. I’ve heard really great things about Pengang but have never been. I’d love to go the temple and even the lantern museum

  3. Penang Hill, with its trails, flower gardens and panoramic views sure is a dreamy place to visit. I like to visit Historical places and I think I would love to visit landmarks such as colonial Fort Cornwallis, the ornate Chinese clan house Khoo Kongsi and the Kapitan Keling Mosque. I am saving this post for future 🙂

  4. What a great guide to Penang. I love the look of eating in a lantern restaurant, it looks super fun and colorful.

  5. Penang is the next international destination where I am planning a visit to. My last visit to Malaysia was just formal but this blog will surely help me plan better.

    1. Thank you. Malaysia is more than a twin tower or shopping-mall city. It is a beautiful country with full of stunning mounts and must-visit national parks. Penang national park is one of them. Hope you have chance to see a different part of Malaysia.

  6. I have now been to Penang twice and loved both visits. Georgetown is gorgeous and the food in and around the island is divine.

  7. What a great post! We’ve never been to Penang, but would love to visit someday. The lantern restaurant looks awesome, and we love traditional food so it’s perfect!

  8. I like trekking and exploring local streets plus historical sites. Would love to roam in art street and go for ride on trishaw. Those trishaw looks fascinating.

  9. Georgetown is one of my favorite city’s, but I mostly do art hunting there – there is sooo much to explore. Too bad I missed the lantern place; but I’ll be back for sure since I like it so much.

  10. I would love to consider these things once I visit Penang. I really want to go for a ride on a trishaw. Didn’t know how beautiful Penang was until I read this article! 🙂

  11. Soooo much to do in Penang! I absolutely have to put Kek Lo Si Temple on my bucket list – looks amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. I’ve always wanted to see those wall art at Georgetown in person. They look so cool! Eating a meal at a lantern restaurant would be fun too. I love street food!

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