When thinking about Penang, the murals along Georgetown’s streets, numerous famed delicacies, and sacred Hindu and Buddhist temples come to mind. Whether you are here to sightsee, explore or eat, Penang has much to offer.
Penang’s capital city, Georgetown, is a popular destination. Home to elaborate street art and well-preserved historic buildings, Georgetown recently earned a spot on UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage Sites. Wander along the streets of Georgetown on foot. Take guided walking tours or trishaw package tours, organised by the Penang Heritage Trust and Metro Bike respectively, for a better understanding of the city. Indulge in sumptuous hawker food and delectable treats from roadside stalls.
Some of the prominent attractions in Georgetown include the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, the filming location for Oscar-winning French film Indochine and critically-acclaimed motion picture The Blue Mansion; the Clan Jetties; Georgetown’s largest mosque, Kapitan Keling Mosque; Malaysia’s biggest Buddhist temple, Kek Lok Si Temple; as well as the Khoo Kongsi, an iconic Penang clan house with a 650-year history.
Take a 3-hour trek up Penang Hill for an amazing bird’s-eye view of Georgetown, and enjoy cooler weather at the peak. Along the way, look out for diverse flora and fauna found in the tropical rainforest. Alternatively, cable car rides are also available for those with walking difficulties. These cable car rides, lasting about 30 minutes, can be taken from the Air Itam station to the top of Penang Hill.
For food lovers, apart from Georgetown, the go-to place for authentic Penang food has to be Gurney Drive. Choose from a wide selection of local delights including Penang laksa, oh chien (fried oyster omelette), char kuay teow, satay, nasi lemak, and many more. The New Gurney Drive Food Court opens from 6pm till late, making it a good supper location for your meal fixes late into the night. Unusual treats like the tau sar piah and the Indian-Muslim dish rojak pasembur are also available along Gurney Drive.
Penang has quite a lot to offer in shopping as well. Visit the Lorong Kulit and Rope Walk flea markets for the best deals, and traditional shopping areas in Campbell Street and Little India for beautiful handicraft and provincial antiques. Shopping malls are also available in places like Gurney Plaza and Queensbay for the modern shopper.
With Penang’s efficient public transport system, getting around the state (and from city to city) is convenient. The most common form of transport is the bus; take advantage of sweet deals like the Tourist Passport for a week of unlimited travel on board Rapid Penang bus services, and their free shuttles to most-visited destinations in Georgetown city. Renting a car is also possible, as well as taking taxis. Alternatively, trishaw rides can be used to explore the cities, and you can hire them by the hour for longer hours of sightseeing. Another affordable way to experience Penang is using the motorbike. Bicycle rental shops can be found in city areas like Chulia Street. Lastly, the best mode of transport would be on foot, especially in places like Georgetown, where walking allows you to soak in the sights and capture moments in photographs.
Fly in to Penang on daily flights from regional countries like Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong via carriers like Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and more. Otherwise, it is possible to take a long drive to Penang from Singapore, stopping en route at Kuala Lumpur for a break. Visit Penang today!
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