Penang, an island that is dubbed the Pearl of the Orient, is filled with wonders, vibrant and oozing with history. Welcome to Visit Penang, your official city guide to Penang, Malaysia. Plan your trip to Penang with useful traveller information brought to you by Penangites.
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Things You Should Know About Penang
Penang is a state in northwest Malaysia comprising mainland Seberang Perai and Penang Island. On the island, the state capital of George Town is home to landmarks such as colonial Fort Cornwallis, the ornate Chinese clan house Khoo Kongsi and the Kapitan Keling Mosque, all testaments to centuries of foreign influence. To the west, a funicular ascends Penang Hill, with its trails, flower gardens and panoramic views.
What is the currency used in Penang?
Penang’s currency is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) or the locals named it RM (Ringgit Malaysia). You will see banknotes in denominations of RM100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1.
What is Penang in food?
Penang is the Asia’s Food Paradise. What is the must-try food here? Don’t miss out laksa, char koay teow, nasi kandar, hokkien mee, chendol, lok-lok, rojak, mee goreng and fried oyster here.
What are the common languages of Penang?
The common Penang languages, depending on the social circles and ethnic backgrounds are Penang Hokkien, English, Malay, Tamil and Mandarin.
Travelling is something all millennials hold close to heart. In fact, we’re often described as a generation that spends more time on vacations than we do at work. Simply put, we love travelling and nothing is going to stop us from planning our next vacation—except maybe the limited funds we hope in our bank account. Sure, a trip to Japan or Australia is enticing but only a few may be able to afford it. So, where can we go or rather what can we do on a tight budget? Explore Malaysia’s Pearl of the Orient, Penang, of course. Whether you’re a Tourist, Malaysian, or a Penangite yourself, this list is dedicated to bringing you some of Penang’s popular tourist spots that will not break the bank. Here are our top 10 popular tourist spots in Penang.
The Top Komtar
Starting at the top of our list (pun intended) is none other than The Top at Komtar, Penang’s tallest building. We hope you’re not afraid of heights because the rainbow skywalk at The Top offers some of the best views of Penang that must be witnessed for yourself. Enjoy the thrilling experience of watching the world go by below as you stand 249m above ground. Aside from the rainbow skywalk, visitors can also enjoy other various attractions at The Top such as the Jurrasic Research Centre, 7D Discovery Motion Theatre, and Magic Mirror Maze. History buffs can also get caught up in Penang’s rich history at Penang’s state gallery, a one-stop Centre to learn about anything and everything Penang.
Escape Theme Park
Escape theme park is Penang’s only theme park and is the perfect option for a fun day out with your loved ones. There is no age restrictions on fun here as it’s complete with both an Adventure Park and Water Park, so there is surely something for all ages. Learn how to climb like a pro in Monkey Business, a challenging rope course designed to perfect your balancing skills. Discover the thrill of flying with fun activities such as flying lemur or kite flyer. Or why not challenge your friends to take the plunge down Mega Drop’s massive slide. Spending a day in Escape theme park is a great way to have some outdoor fun while being surrounded by greenery. In essence, Escape is a park like no other and is the perfect getaway to de-stress and reconnect with our younger side. Gather your friends and book your tickets right now.
Entopia at Penang Butterfly Farm
If you’re looking to get up close and personal with nature then you can’t go wrong with a visit to Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm. Here, you get to discover and interact with a variety of insects while being surrounded in a lush green environment. There are a bunch of activities at Entopia that will surinstiltill knowledge in you about all things bugs and insects. Among their more popular activities is Vita Nova, meaning, new life as you will get to witness the first-flight of newly-emerged butterflies. Another interesting activity is Firefly Breeder, an activity designed to take a closer look at the secret lives of fireflies. Noteworthily, Entopia proudly maintains around 50 species of butterflies at any given time, so there is much to discover at Entopia.
As the sun sets in Penang, Batu Ferringhi comes to life. This tourist hotspot offers the best nightlife on the island. Batu Feringghi’s night market is a good option to get some souvenirs for yourself or for your loved ones—just be sure to bargain, however. Aside from the night market, there are several bars in the area for you to party it up with your friends. Alternatively, you can also watch the sunset at one of Batu Feringghi’s beaches with your loved ones. There is always a party at Batu Ferringhi, parties that we’re always eager to be a part of.
Mural Hunting Around George Town
This is a fun way to both tours the city as well as getting Instagram-worthy shots. George Town is littered with street art that offers visitors a chance to step up their Instagram game. There is a wide variety of artistic murals around George Town so grab your camera and start shooting!
Kek Lok Si is Malaysia’s largest Buddhist temple and is one of Penang’s popular tourist spots. Buddhist congregate at the temple to pay their respects to the Buddhist Goddess Guan Yin while others simply visit the temple to immerse themselves in the culture and witness the architecture. Whatever your reasons are, visiting Kek Lok Si while you’re in Penang is a must as it truly is a unique experience. To get the most out of your visit, try to visit the temple during the Chinese New Year Celebrations as the whole temple is beautifully lit up.
No trip to Penang is complete without a visit to Penang Hill, a worthy entry of Penang’s popular tourist spots. Penang Hill or Bukit Bendera is Penang’s highest point, offering breathtaking views of the island. The cool air and rich history of Penang hill make it a must-see. The newly opened, The Habitat, also offers visitors a unique experience and a bunch of activities to immerse themselves in. Noteworthy attractions at The Habitat include the Nature Trail, Tree Top Walk, and the Canopy Walk. A visit to Penang Hill and The Habitat is the perfect way to complete your vacation in Penang.
Unique Places in Penang
There are several unique places you should visit if you’re on the island. For instance:
A unique family entertainment venue for children and adults. It is a 10,300 sq ft. comprehensive indoor facility catering for family style activities when children, teens can interact together in a safe environment. Housed within this air-conditioned facility are three categories of exciting drop slides, multiple sections of modular play equipment, a game zone and themed birthday party rooms.
Covering a cosy area around Lebuh Queen, Lebuh Chulia and Jalan Pasar (Market Street), Little India is a great place to visit if you are seeking an interesting shopping experience. All along these streets, you will find shops selling everything Indian – from gorgeous silk, cotton and brocade saree materials to stainless steel tiffin carriers.
Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Depicting the typical home of rich Baba of more than a century ago, the opulent lifestyle of these locally accultured Chinese is recreated in the Pinang Peranakan Mansion to offer a glimpse of their many customs and traditions.
Tropical Fruit Farm
A visit to this 25-acre farm is both an educational and delectable experience. This farm has about 140 varieties of tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees, from the ordinary to the less common.
Toy Museum Heritage Garden
Asia’s first and the world’s largest Toy Museum offers a smashing treat for visitors of all ages and races. Visitors are assured of an amusing and colourful spectacle. An exploration of creativity and beauty would be apt to describe a trip to the Toy Museum. This unique museum is truly a wonder to behold. Some of the toys even interact with visitors through sound, voice and motion when visitors walk past them.
Penang Time Tunnel / 3D Fluorescent Art Museum
The History Museum displays a fine collection of old photographs, draws and maps of Penang. The story of Penang was written in 5 different languages – English, Japanese, Korea, Chinese and Malay. Many historical relics are exhibited in the museum such as Malay and Indian cooking utensils, Baba-Nyonya wares and wear, the 1950s workers’ quarters and more. Sculptures and dioramas are also displayed to give the visitor a better picture of Penang history.
Experience the first museum in the world that provides not only an upside down interior but also the exterior, and different kinds of sloping angles.
This temple is framed for the pit vipers that coil around altars, pillars and potted plants which are believed to be rendered harmless by burning incense. The temple was built in 1850 in memory of Chor Soo Kong, a Buddhist priest renowned for his healing powers. The temple also accepts donations from the public.
The star-shaped Fort Cornwallis stands at the place where Francis Light and crew landed on August 11th, 1786 to “take possession” of the island of Penang. Before that, the island belonged to the Sultan of Kedah.
St. George’s Church
The oldest church in Southeast Asia and another congregation that is as old as Penang. Completed in 1818 after the neoPalladian Georgian style, the church has become a symbol of religious harmony in Penang.
On 7 July 2008, George Town, the capital of Penang, together with Melaka, two famous historic cities of the Straits of Malacca has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
George Town rich collection of historic buildings are in various styles. They include the Indo-Malay Palladian Style, Anglo-Indian Bungalow, Sino-Anglo Bungalows, Early Shophouses, Early Transitional Style, Early Eclecticism Shophouses, Art Deco Style, Neo-Classical Style, as well as numerous religious buildings such as mosques, churches, Chinese and Indian temples.