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88 – Malaysia Travel Guide – Penang

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Penang Penang

Pearl of the Orient Pearl of the Orient

Witness the delightful fusion of the East and West as well as the old and new in the Pearl of the Orient, Penang. This 1,048 sq km sun-kissed state comprises the island of Penang and Seberang Perai on the mainland. They are linked by the longest bridges in Asia, the iconic Penang Bridge, as well as the oldest cross-channel ferry service in the country. Elegant colonial buildings rise among modern skyscrapers in its capital, George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while unique flora and fauna flourish in the Penang National Park. Festivals are celebrated with much colour and exuberance at this state. One of the main attractions of Penang is its bewildering array of mouth-watering food, ranging from Malay, Chinese, Nyonya to Western and fusion fare. Explore and discover the beauty of Penang!

Map of Penang

Places of Interest


A UNESCO World Heritage City

Penang’s vibrant capital city, George Town, was awarded UNESCO World Heritage City status in 2008. Full of character and vibrance, this city is filled with heritage buildings, historical landmarks and a colourful medley of cultures. Many attractions are situated within walking distance of each other – in fact, walking the streets of George Town is a visual feast in itself. Alternatively, take a tour of the city on one of the cheerfully-decorated trishaws available at every corner.


George Town

A short walk along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, otherwise known as the Street of Harmony, demonstrates how the island’s four main communities can coexist peacefully. At the northern end of the street is St. George’s Church, the first Anglican church in Southeast Asia. Just minutes away is the Goddess of Mercy Temple, one of Penang’s oldest surviving buildings dating back to 1800s. Visitors will also find the Sri Maha Mariamman Kovil, the oldest Hindu temple on the island. Further along the street, the minaret and dome of the imposing Kapitan Keling Mosque rise above the rooftops.


George Town

Touted as the highest iconic entertainment tower, this is the state’s largest theme park which brings more than 18 themed attractions. Explore the Rainbow Skywalk, Jurassic Research Centre, Penang Boutique Aquarium and Zombie Outbreak. There is also a Penang State Gallery that features everything you have ever wanted to know about Penang and Durian The King of Fruits, which is dedicated to the infamous, thorny fruit! Enjoy your tour and dine at the restaurants while you enjoy the view.


Teluk Bahang

Home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna, Penang National Park offers a wondrous journey into the heart of nature. Also within the park are a 19th- century lighthouse, a natural meromictic lake, nature trails, a turtle conservation centre and a canopy walkway.


Teluk Bahang

Savour a variety of fruits at the Tropical Fruit Farm. The farm covers an area of 25 acres and is located in the hilly terrain of Teluk Bahang. Over 200 tropical and subtropical fruits are grown in this orchard. They include durians, lychees, mangoes, guavas, avocados and dragon fruits. After touring the farm, you can sample freshly cut fruits or great-tasting fruit juices.


George Town

Operating since the late 1800s, Chowrasta Bazaar is divided into several sections. In the front are stalls setting local products including pickled nutmeg, durian cake, medicinal oils and balms. The wet market is at the back with stalls selling fresh produce. The upper level is a treasure trove of shoe and clothes stalls, coffee shops and even second hand bookstores.


One of Penang’s oldest icons, Penang Hill is a popular retreat for those who wish to escape the city’s blistering heat. Also known as Bukit Bendera, Penang Hill soars 833m (2,723 feet) above sea level. A brand-new funicular train service takes visitors to the summit in less than half an hour, where a spectacular panoramic view of George Town and its surroundings – all the way up to the mainland – awaits at the Viewing Deck. Penang Hill also has many nature trails.


Teluk Bahang

Located near the Penang Butterfly Farm (Entopia), Penang Batik Factory is the place for tourists seeking local craft and souvenirs. Take the opportunity to do some batik shopping in the large showroom featuring a range of menswear, ladieswear, scarves, tablecloths and more. Daily tours are also available at the factory and soon you will discover why this place is the largest traditional batik manufacturer in the northern region of Malaysia.


Teluk Bahang

Previously known as Penang Butterfly Farm, ENTOPIA sits on 9,290 sq metres of exhibition space in Teluk Bahang. Branded as an Entomological Utopia, this is a sanctuary for 15,000 species of live butterflies, dragonflies and fireflies from around the world. This nature learning destination will reconnect visitors to the true spirit of human nature to live harmoniously with Mother Nature.


Teluk Bahang

Set out over eight acres of secondary jungle in Teluk Bahang overlooking the Straits of Malacca, the garden has more than 500 species of tropical flora and fauna. Different trails introduce more than 100 varieties of spices, herbs, ferns and orchids. Throughout the garden are themed Garden Rooms with special plant collections complete with informational signages.


Teluk Bahang

ESCAPE is a fun destination with exciting rides and games hosted in a natural environment. Its main attraction is the World’s Longest Water Slide, stretching up to 1,111 m. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records. Visitors can enjoy a variety of other activities such as Aerobat, Airbag, AK Academy, AK Discovery, AK Splash, Family Trail, Family Twister and many more.


Batu Feringghi is the most popular beach destination in Penang. With its stretch of golden sand, this beach is the focal point of resorts, water sports, leisure activities and shopping. The scenic backdrop of large granite boulders, fine sand and calm waters makes this an idyllic relaxation spot. The beach front beckons with watersports, scores of restaurants, watering holes and recreational spots, coupled with a lively night bazaar.


Teluk Bahang

Glamping is a new trend where holidaymakers can infuse a touch of glamour and style into camping. It is the perfect way to experience nature without forsaking creature comforts. Boulder Valley Glamping offers an exceptional glamping experience amidst a backdrop of scenic boulders and tropical greens. Amenities include comfortable beds and en suite bathrooms.


Places of interest abound in George Town as well as along the north coast of Penang island. For more attractions, make a trip to the mainland and enjoy the scenic journey across the channel

George Town

  • Acheen Street Malay Mosque
  • Chinatown
  • City Hall & Town Hall
  • Dhammikarama Burmese Temple
  • Goddess of Mercy Temple
  • Penang Islamic Museum
  • Kapitan Keling Mosque
  • Little India
  • P. Ramlee’s House
  • Penang Museum
  • Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
  • St. George’s Church
  • State Mosque
  • My Crystal Museum
  • Penang Street Art
  • Penang 3D Trick Art Museum
  • PG Gold Museum
  • Ghost Museum
  • Asia Camera Museum
  • Batik Painting Museum
  • Sun Yat Sen Museum
  • Rozana’s Batik
  • Cheah Kongsi Interperative Museum
  • Queen Victoria Clock Tower
  • Wat Chayamangkalaram
  • Penang Hajj Gallery
  • Magic World & Ice Cafe
  • Colonial Museum
  • Galeri Melayu Penang
  • Dark Mansion
  • Upside Down Museum
  • Wonder Food Museum
  • Glass Museum Penang
  • Esplanade & Fort Cornwallis
  • Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion ( The Blue Mansion)
  • The Gravityz, KOMTAR
  • Tech Dome, KOMTAR
  • Penang House of Music
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Penang State Art Gallery
  • Hin Bus Depot
  • Clan Jetties
  • Pinang Peranakan Mansion
  • Suffolk House


  • Tuanku Fauziah Museum and Gallery

Jalan Kebun Bunga

  • Bee Gallery
  • Penang Botanic Gardens
  • Waterfall Hilltop Temple

Air Itam

  • Penang Hill
  • The Habitat Penang Hill
  • Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff
  • Kek Lok Si Temple

Bayan Lepas

  • Pulau Jerejak
  • Penang War Museum
  • Snake Temple
  • Fisheries Research Institute (FRI Aquarium Batu Maung)

Bayan Lepas

  • Pulau Jerejak
  • Penang War Museum
  • Snake Temple
  • Fisheries Research Institute (FRI Aquarium Batu Maung)

Balik Pulau

  • Countryside Stable (Horse Riding)
  • Audi Dream Farm
  • Penang ATV Eco Tour
  • Matahari Cycle
  • Saanen Dairy Goat Farm


Tanjung Bungah

  •  Floating Mosque

Batu Feringghi

  • Batu Feringghi Night Market
  • TeddyVille Museum
  • Tropical Spice Garden
  • Batu Feringgi Beach

Teluk Bahang

  • Penang Forestry Museum
  • Toy Museum
  • Entopia
  • Tropical Fruit Farm
  • Escape
  • Penang National Park


Seberang Perai Utara

  • Rope walk Taman Selat Butterworth
  • Kampung Agong
  • Rekreasi Air Hitam Dalam
  • Frog Hills
  • Masjid Abdullah Fahim Kepala Batas
  • Masjid Tuan Samad Permatang Dua
  • Masjid Jamek Haji Abdul Rashid

Sungai Dua

  • Nine Emperor Gods Temple (Tow Boo Kong Temple)
  • Pasar Bisik Kuala Muda
  • Tukang Besi Permatang Benuan
  • Butterworth Art Walk
  • Capal Jago Kepala Batas

Seberang Perai Tengah

  • Juru Auto City
  • Taman Negeri Bukit Panchor
  • Penang Bird Park
  • Taman Rimba Bukit Mertajam
  • Sri Muniswarar Temple
  • Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple of Devotion & Understanding
  • Ku Zheng Tse Temple
  • Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple
  • Makam Kerabat Diraja Kedah
  • Rumah Tuan Guru Haji Othman
  • St. Anne’ s Church
  • Cherok Tokun Nature Park
  • Mengkuang Dam

Seberang Perai Selatan

  • Design Village
  • IKEA
  • Nibong Tebal Firefly Jetty
  • Pulau Aman
  • Central Island Park, Batu Kawan
  • Church of St. Anthony

ESSENTIAL Information


Shopping in Penang is convenient as one-stop shopping malls, retail outlets, handicraft stores, flea markets, night markets and sidewalk bazaars are available in the state. Whether you are looking for mementos, branded apparel, electronic items, books, local food products, antiques and curios, or just browsing around, you will find it a pleasant experience. Popular shopping spots include:

  • Precinct 10
  • Island Plaza
  • Prangin Mall
  • Gurney Plaza
  • Jalan Penang
  • Design Village Outlet Mall
  • Juru Auto-City
  • 1st Avenue Mall
  • Queensbay Mall
  • Gurney Paragon
  • The Summit Bukit Mertajam
  • Batu Feringghi Night Market
  • Lebuh Kapitan Keling (Gold Bazaar)
  • Sunway Carnival Mall, Seberang Jaya
  • Lotus’s Store Alma & Seberang Jaya
  • Lotus’s Store Jelutong, Sungai Dua & Seri Tanjung Pinang
  • Rope Walk Bagan, Taman Selat, Butterworth
  • Lebuh Campbell
  • Straits Quay Mall
  • Sunshine Square
  • Chowrasta Bazaar
  • Megamall Penang
  • Giant Hypermarket
  • Midlands Park Centre
  • Penang Times Square
  • Kompleks Bukit Jambul
  • Lorong Kulit Flea Market


One of the main highlights of a trip to Penang is the food. You will be amazed at the sheer variety of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Nyonya cuisine vying for your attention. Don’t miss delicious street food like asam laksa, hokkien mee, chee cheong fun, char koay teow, pasembor and mee goreng. You can also try delicious Peranakan or Nyonya food such as mee siam, otak-otak, kerabu, enche kabin and curry kapitan. Equally delicious is nasi kandar, an Indian Muslim dish. Seafood restaurants offering a wide variety of scrumptious dishes are found in abundance along the coastal areas on the island as well as the mainland. Main foodie zones include Gurney Drive. Enjoy Penang’s authentic local favourites.

Char Kuay Teow

The aromatic char kuay teow is one of the most popular street food in Penang. It is made from flat rice noodles stir fried with dark and light soy sauce as well as prawns, cockles, chilli, bean sprouts and Chinese chives. Duck egg and crab meat are usually added for that extra flavour.

Assam Laksa

A soupy dish, Assam Laksa tickles the tastebuds with a combination of sweet, sour and spicy flavours. A bowl of Assam Laksa comes with smooth rice noodles, shredded fish (typically mackerel), sliced pineapples, cucumber and lettuce, topped with onions, red chillis and mint leaves. The condiments are immersed in a tangy tamarind-flavoured soup.

Nasi Kandar

Nasi kandar is a speciality of the Indian Muslim community that originates from Penang. Enjoy rice with a tantalising choice of beef, chicken, mutton, fish, prawn or squid curry, accompanied by side dishes and papadom crackers. It is said that a visit to Penang is incomplete without savouring a good plate of Nasi Kandar.

Hokkien Mee

Unlike its namesake in Kuala Lumpur, the Penang hokkien mee comprises flavoursome prawn soup and noodles garnished with prawns, fish cake, vegetable and fried shallots.


Similar to dressed salads, the pasembor is a mix of shredded turnip and cucumber, dough fritters, fried bean curd as well as boiled potatoes topped with a sweet and spicy sauce. The crunch of the fritters, the taste of the sauces and the freshness of the vegetables make Pasembor a delightful snack.


Rojak comprises a wide variety of refreshing local fruits, cuttlefish slices and fritters that are stirred into a bowl of pungent prawn paste dressing and sprinkled with ground peanuts before it is served. This healthy snack can be enjoyed at any time of the day.


Getting to Penang is easy as it boasts a comprehensive network of air, sea, road and rail transportation.

Getting There

By Air

Penang has air links with Kuala Lumpur and major capitals of the region such as Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, Medan, Banda Acheh, Macau, Hong Kong, Xiamen and Taipei. Its airport, the Penang International Airport, is about 16 km from George Town. You can purchase taxi coupons at the airport before leaving for various destinations in the state or hire limousines, which cost slightly higher.

By Road

Visitors can enjoy a drive to Penang via the Penang Bridge and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. The mainland is accessible via the North-South Expressway (Plus Highway).

By Sea

You can get to Penang Island from Butterworth by ferry. Fares for passengers are collected at the Butterworth terminal and no payment is required for the return journey.

By Rail

For rail travel, the destination to look out for is Butterworth, which is the main transit point for travellers to Penang Island. The fastest option is via the sophisticated Electric Train Service (ETS) which connects Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth in just about 4 ½hours. Bookings can be made online or at the counters. For a slower pace, visitors can travel via the regular KTMB Intercity train and enjoy picturesque views of the small towns and tropical greenery. Select from comfortable air-conditioned coaches as well as sleeping berths that are available at reasonable rates. Visitors from Alor Setar, Padang Besar, Hadyai and Bangkok can also arrive by train to Butterworth.

Getting Around

Getting around Penang is easy. You can hop on public transport and explore the state by taxis, buses or trishaws.


Taxis are easily available to get around Penang. Please ensure that the meter is switched on or agree on the price before you begin your ride.


The Hop On Free Central Area Transit (CAT) takes visitors around George Town for free. This bus service is available every 20 – 30 minutes from 6.00am – 11.00pm. It plies between the Weld Quay Jetty and KOMTAR, taking you to 19 stops within this UNESCO World Heritage City. The main bus terminals are at Weld Quay Jetty (ferry terminal) and KOMTAR (ground floor). Tips: Buy Rapid Penang Bus Pass RM 30 for unlimited ride (Valid for 1 week).


Travel the old fashion way. Get on a trishaw, a unique three-wheeled vehicle, and take in the sights at your own pace. You can stop at any point to snap pictures or buy souvenirs. As there is no standard fare, it would be wise to agree on the price before getting on the trishaw. For extended sightseeing, it is advisable to hire them by the hour.

For more information, contact:
Tourism Malaysia Northern Region Office +604-263 4941 / 604-264 3494 / 604-261 0058
Tourism Malaysia Tourist Information Centre:
  • Penang International Airport
  • George Town

+604-642 6981
+604-262 2093

Tourist Map of Malaysia

There is so much to do and so many places to see in Malaysia. To make sure that you don’t miss anything, use this handy map to navigate your way across the country and find great places to visit.


Perlis is the northern gateway to Malaysia. Despite its small size, Perlis has an abundance of attractions that make it a great destination.


Kedah is Malaysia’s largest paddy producing state. Delve into history in Lembah Bujang, the site of an ancient civilisation or relax in Langkawi, a world-famous resort island.


The site of a UNESCO World Heritage City, Penang is a holiday paradise with fabulous beach resorts and eclectic cultures. It is also the undisputable haven for foodies.


A tin-rich state in its heyday, Perak beckons with a range of sights and experiences. The state’s top attractions include Pangkor, an island getaway and Pangkor Laut, an internationally-acclaimed private island.


Hailed as the Cradle of Malay culture, Kelantan is a destination teeming with age-old arts, crafts and pastimes.


Beautiful islands, culture and nature give Terengganu its magical appeal. Dive, snorkel, sunbathe at the islands or journey to its hinterland to experience the best of nature.


The largest state in the peninsula beckons nature-enthusiasts with exciting eco-adventures. From Taman Negara, the oldest national park in the country, to the idyllic Tioman Island, Pahang is simply mesmerising.

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s dynamic capital city is bustling with attractions and activities. Explore the city by day and night.


Selangor is home to the country’s main airport KLIA, and the main gateway by sea, Port Klang. It is also the country’s most developed state with a long list of shopping malls and themed attractions.


Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia, is a well-planned township with impressive buildings, verdant parks, scenic lakes and beautiful bridges.


From the majestic height of Mount Kinabalu, Southeast Asia’s tallest peak, to the stunning depths of the world-famous Sipadan Island, Sabah is a magnificent nature destination.


Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, has a vast wilderness that contains numerous national parks including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mulu National Park.


Located off the northwestern coast of Borneo, this island thrills visitors with its wreck diving sites, historical relics and duty-free shopping.


The birth place of the nation, Melaka is a treasure trove of history and heritage. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage City for vestiges of the past.

Negeri Sembilan

Known for its fascinating Minangkabau culture and a unique social system, Negeri Sembilan is the place to learn age-old customs and traditions.


Visit Malaysia’s southern gateway, for a family vacation at the theme parks or escape to its islands for an unforgettable holiday.

Birdwatching Paradise

Enjoy birdwatching at 55 Important Bird Areas (IBA) throughout the country, tucked away at various habitats such as islands, coasts or lush lowland and montane rainforests.

Cool Highland Resorts

Love the cool highlands? Find refreshing destinations to unwind in Malaysia. From French-themed settings, energetic amusement parks to forest-clad hills, there is something for everyone.

Fun and Fantasy

Find the fun and thrill that you are looking for in Malaysia. Meet your favourite characters, plunge down the world’s longest water slide or enjoy the rides and games!