Penang, an island off the northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, defines itself as “The pearl of the Orient” for the very amazing multicultural historical sights together with its fantastic culinary delights and pristine sandy beaches. Penang will prove to be one of the unique experiences in your traveling life and also a must-go summer vacation destination that is too awesome to be missed. Let’s exploring Penang – Things to do & what to see in The Pearl of the Orient of Malaysia through Penang travel guide with Living Nomads below.
Discover gorgeous street wall art in George Town
The old colonial city George Town, the capital of Penang, considered one of 10 most attractive cities on the planet, owns some very unique and charismatic elements that you can find nowhere. You’ll never get bored walking around the old streets to admire numerous incredibly impressive colored artistic walls.
These enticing murals are not only for artistic display, what makes them extraordinary in the eyes of tourists is that they enhance the local culture and lifestyle in very special surroundings. Walking around trying to find the street art in George Town at your own pace will an amazing activity that will show you a very unique-styled kind of street art and connect you with the soul of this city.
This one represents two children riding an actual bike, and the look on their face with smiles you can actually see their happiness.
Trishaw is also a very popular choice for tourists to discover the city and here is a mural that shows an elderly man lying on his trishaw.
Two children playing volleyball show their happiness and playfulness on their faces.
There are plenty of murals you can discover around the old city (particularly most displayed in the West of the city) so you can easily find accidentally. It’s advisable for you to wander around the small alleys of the old town or in the Chinese town to discover much more. If you are fortunate, you’ll enjoy more of these impressive murals because they are fading due to weathering conditions.
Enjoy scenic views in Penang Hill
After taking a stroll around George Town, just get a train ride up Penang hill to enjoy the fresh air of greenery and renew your spirit with a panoramic view of Penang. At a height of more than 800m above sea level, Penang Hill is the ideal place to open your heart to nature. Much more amazingly, from the observatory, the most beautiful image of mesmerizing Penang Island will be a treasured experience if you get here at sunset, dawn, or when the city is lightning.
Tranquil and green, Penang Hill offers you very comfortable atmosphere and fresh air to relax your bones and get far away from busy life in the very hot summer.
On the way up to the top of Penang Hill, don’t miss to check out Malaysia’s very first hill station to have some fantastic shots or get a walk on the love lock bridge with your partner to get your beautiful moments of love memorized for a lifetime.
Dig into mouth-watering street food
Your Penang travel would be incomplete without enjoying how wonderful the hawker food is in this “food paradise”. Well-known as one of 10 most attractive cuisine cities in Asia, Penang offers you plenty of unique delicious and cheap Malaysian food in various hawker stalls throughout the city.
You can choose to eat at elegant restaurants, sidewalk cafes, or at many hawker stalls on streets till the wee hours so you will never need to be hungry when exploring the city at any time. Plus, Malaysian, Chinese, Continental, and tasty Indian food are all served to please your desire for food.
It’ll be great to have a stroll through such food markets as Lorong Baru George Town, Gurney Drive, Long Beach Food Court, Presgrave street to enjoy some popular specialties such as Asam Laksa noodle, Char kway teow, or Bak Tuk The (Hokkien pork bone tea).
Laze on the beaches of Batu Ferringhi
If you are a beach addict, Batu Ferringhi will probably burn your delight for playing with water. Even though beaches of Batu Ferringhi are not very far from the center of Penang, it appears to be an enticing wild peaceful world away with white sandy shorelines lined with swaying palm trees and crystal blue water.
Unlimitedly indulge yourself in the so cool water, loudly scream trying your hand at some adventure water sports like surfing, speed canoe riding, banana boat, jet ski, or flying up high to see the spectacular scene of wild nature by parasailing. Or if you find these sports too taxing, just lie down restfully or dig into the cool white sand and soak your body up the beautiful sunshine. Then, too exhausted playing for long, just rest your bones wandering on the shoreline road Jalan Batu Ferringhi, watch the slight glowing sun going down. Or pull over some garden bars of Rasa Sayang resort chilling a little cocktail, watch some tiny birds singing and playing around your table.
To reach Batu’s beaches, you should take a bus or taxi to get your mind blown in strongly thrilling feelings on the very winding roads, one side of spectacular mountains and the other side of poetical blue sea. Don’t worry! The drivers here are very skillful, so feel free to enjoy the fresh sea breeze and wonderful mesmerizing scenery on the way to beautiful Batu Ferringhi.
Admire unique architectural buildings in blend of local and exotic elements
Apart from pristine beaches offering wild scenic delights of a tropical island paradise and numerous hawker stalls as a food paradise, Penang is also the home of many gorgeous Colonial and Oriental buildings. Impressively, these buildings all have their own dramatic stories about the history, architecture, and people of this island from the past.
One of the most attractive buildings in Penang is the old Cheong Fatt Tze mansion on Leith street in the blue color that exemplifies early Chinese courtyard houses.
In spite of being a part of Malaysia, Penang retains a unique blend of British, Indian, Malaysian, and Chinese culture. The architectural buildings are visibly compact with many exotic sights. Around the city, you can find grand colonial buildings which are reminders of a past period when Penang was one of the oldest British settlements in Asia. Moreover, you also can find many temples and pagodas in a mixture of Chinese, Thai, and Burmese styles.
Some experiences on Penang travel
- From Kuala Lumpur, you can take buses or fly to Penang. Buy bus tickets to Penang (around RM39 – $9.8) at Pudu Raya Bus Terminal. Buses depart at 7am, 8am, 9am and 4pm, 8pm, 0am and each takes 4+ hours depending on traffic.
- You should choose hotels in George Town and pre-book at some webs such as agoda.com or booking.com (price: $18 – $27/night).
- For easier traveling around Penang, you should purchase a Rapid Passport for only RM30 ($7.5) to enjoy a week of unlimited travel onboard all rapid Penang buses.
- Note: Remember to haggle with the taxi driver and agree on the price beforehand. As taxis in Penang have meters but most drivers are reluctant to use them or even do not use the meters.
Sure, the charm of this Pearl of the Orient which beckons tourists all year round with its unique delights of beautiful sights and delicious tastes will hold your steps and entice your soul so much that you will not want to leave. So just come to check it out this paradise!
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Penang you can refer to
- Private Penang Airport Transfers (PEN) for Penang
- Private City Transfers for Penang and Surrounding Cities
- Shared Penang International Airport (PEN) Transfers for Georgetown or Batu Ferringhi
- Explore Georgetown
- The Habitat Penang Hill Ticket
- Klook Pass Penang
- The TOP Penang Ticket
- ESCAPE Penang Ticket
- Explore Georgetown Half Day City Tour
- Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm Ticket
- Dark Mansion Museum Ticket
- Penang Hill and Temple Sightseeing
- Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Tour in Penang
- Georgetown Penang Private Car Charter
- Boutique Aquarium Ticket at The TOP Penang
- Heritage Tour and Trishaw Ride in Penang
- Penang Hill and Temple Sightseeing
- Penang Heritage & Street Food Tour
- Georgetown Scenic Night Tour
- KL TravelPass (Metro Card) in Kuala Lumpur
- [SALE] 4G Prepaid SIM Card (MY Airports Pick Up) for Malaysia
- 4G WiFi (MY Airport Pick Up) for Malaysia
Are you looking for more top things to do in Penang: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Penang travel blog — The fullest guide for a budget trip to Penang of Malaysia. And Penang in 1 day: Let’s check it out here.