If you’re looking to explore Penang before or after the epic V-Malaysia 2017, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve curated a list of things to do on the island of Penang that will give you a complete experience of what makes it rank so high on every traveller’s bucket list. From palm-fringed beaches and fishing villages, mountainous jungles and farms, to beautifully preserved colonial remnants and ancient Chinese shophouses, Penang has it all.
THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN PENANG
1) George Town
George Town is the eclectic capital of Penang, and has a rightful spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
For a real taste of the culture of the place try Armenian Street. A beautiful street full of stunning architecture and street art as well as quaint restaurants and quirky shops, this is a great place to really get a feel of what Penang is about.
You can get even deeper into the local culture and traditions at the Peranakan Mansion Museum, where you can get a guided tour of a beautiful house, preserved as it would have been a century ago.
For a glimpse at a different side to Penang’s history visit Fort Cornwallis, which was constructed by the East India Company when the British laid claim to the Island in the 18th century.
One of the best ways to explore George Town is to get a map of the stunning street art that has made the tiny George Town streets one of the most photographed in the world. For the more adventurous, you can just walk where the streets lead you. Every corner has an Instagram-worthy surprise.
2) Penang National Park
Penang National Park offers access to some of the most beautiful scenery, and the quietest beaches on the island. The most famous of these being Monkey Beach. The Park is located at Teluk Bahang at the Northern Western tip of the island. The Jungle Treks here offer breath-taking scenery but can be quite challenging so you may want to take a boat trip around the coast. There is also a tree top canopy walk located 1km from the entrance.
3) Batu Ferrenghi
Being an Island, Penang offers up some luscious beaches, the picture post card sort. The most famous of these is Batu Ferrenghi beach which is situated on a coastal road that stretches along the Northern coast of Penang, and is backed by a number of resorts and great eateries. It is also home to a very famous night market which is renowned for its carnivalesque atmosphere and a dizzying selection of local craft items.
4) Penang Hill
For an amazing view of George Town, Penang Bridge and the mainland Penang Hill is a must. The best way to scale the 833 meters to the summit is by the one of a kind Penang Hill Railway. Once at the top you can sample the glorious view or visit one of many restaurants. For the more adventurous there are many trails to follow through the lush scenery including an awe-inspiring walk through the flora and fauna of the rainforest at the newly opened attraction The Habitat.
5) Hawker Stalls
Penang is famous for its street food and you’ll find hawker stalls selling an endless array of inexpensive and delicious local delicacies. One of the most famous hawker centres area is found in George Town on New Lane where you can find such speciality noodle dishes such as char koay teow and chee cheong fun alongside hearty Chinese dishes such as dim sum, and congee. For a refreshing hot drink, you can’t go wrong with a shot of steaming Teh Tarik. Great hawker centres can also be found at Gurney Drive in George Town and at Long Beach food court on Batu Ferrenghi.
Taking in the atmosphere of the streets and marvelling at the wonderful street art really is a must, and there’s no better way to do it than to rent a bicycle. You can rent good bikes for a few hours, or even the whole day. There are even special cycles for groups of four.
Hop on Hop Off Bus
If you happen to grow tired of walking George Town also has a very useful hop on hop off bus service, for which you can purchase day tickets. This open top bus tour gives a nice wider tour of the city and is a great way to reach shopping hotspots such a Gurney Plaza and Komtar Mall which may be too difficult to reach by foot.
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