Ahh, Penang. The land of aromatic plates of hawker food, bumper-to-bumper traffic jams, and famous Instagram-worthy street art. Whether it is your first, second, or umpteenth time in Penang, this little island continuously offers fun-filled attractions and activities to do.
If you’re planning a trip to Penang soon, we’ve collected a guide to help you plan out your itinerary!
Places to stay in
When travelling, the first thing you should secure is accommodation. Here are a few places you can rest weary head!
This charming little resort is located in Batu Feringgi, with its sandy beaches right at its doorstep. If you’re not one for sand between your toes, then lounge at the swimming pool bar while little ones play in the number of pools available. The resort also comes equipped with family-friendly activities to keep you and your family occupied. Check out the Kids’ Club, jungle trekking, gold, splash zones, and water slides.
If you prefer a more central location, Kim Haus Loft gives you accessibility and convenience with its strategic location in the heart of Georgetown. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Georgetown is the place to be if you like Colonial-style houses, vintage shop lots, and narrow roads. Kim Haus Loft provides a comfortable stay for guests with its rustic and minimalistic designed studios. This former goldsmith house also fulfils gastronomic needs with its restaurant and bar. Enjoy scheduled live performances while indulging in a variety of Western and local cuisines at Kim Haus Loft.
Decked in Balinese-themed décor and furniture, Century Bay Private Residences is a place you can retreat to after a long day of exploring Penang island. The apartment comes complete with a kitchenette that is equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, electric jug kettle, toaster, and coffee maker.
Fun attractions to explore
A trip to Penang is never complete without a visit to at least one popular site. Now that accommodation is sorted, here’s a list of recommendations of sites you can visit and spend your day at.
1. Kek Lok Si Temple
If you haven’t tried visiting Kek Lok Si temple by nightfall, here’s your chance to do so. Lit by beautiful coloured lights all around, Kek Lok Si temple is a breathtaking show of lights and ancient architecture. The main attraction of Kek Lok Si temple is its magnificent pagoda of Rama VI, completed in the year 1930. With its halls lined with alabaster and bronze Buddhas, the pagoda has earned the nickname “The Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas”. Additionally, there are beautiful gardens and a sacred pond in the Kek Lok Si temple. One of the famous ponds is called “The Liberation Pond (Sacred Turtle Pond)” and is filled with turtles as Chinese traditions believe that turtles are a symbol of longevity, strength, and endurance.
2. Pinang Peranakan Museum
Full of culture and history, the Pinang Peranakan museum is one of the must-see places in Penang. The museum replicates a typical home of a rich Baba of a hundred years ago and offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of the wealthy. Here, you can go on a guided tour and learn about the cultures and traditions of the Baba-Nyonya folk. Containing over 1,000 pieces of Peranakan antiques and collectables, the museum boasts of its traditional design and architecture. If you’re wondering why this museum might seem familiar, the Singaporean-Chinese drama “The Little Nyonya” was filmed here and aired on television in 2008!
3. Wonderfood Museum
If you love Penang food, pay a visit to the Wonderfood Museum to witness giant-sized replicas of your favourite Penang dishes. Taking your usual “assam laksa besar” and “roti canai besar” to the next level, Wonderfood Museum offers you funny photo ops that make for great optical illusions.
To add on to that, get 13% off your admission when you buy the tickets with Fave.
4. Dark Mansion 3D Glow in the Dark Museum
Enter Dark Mansion in Georgetown and marvel at the combination of 3D art painting techniques, glow-in-the-dark effects, and special light effects that create the illusion of day-to-night. “Trek” through the deep and glow-in-the-dark jungle and explore the tropical forest, walk on a seemingly endless glowing bridge, and cast your eyes upwards where glittering creatures light up the ceiling for a luminous effect. Dark Mansion makes for great pictures with optical illusions and special effects.
P.S.: Get 43% off your visit to Dark Mansion when you purchase your pass with Fave. It’s lit, fam.
5. Street art
cr: Only Penang
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve stumbled upon pictures of these famous street arts. Create a game out of these art pieces with your friends and challenge each other in tracking down the drawings that are sprinkled across the area. As the paintings are quite widespread, you can opt to rent a bike to help you get around or if you enjoy a stroll, feel free to take your time hunting down these pieces. To make it easier for you, here’s a map that could help you locate each of them.
Penang food you need to eat
After long hours of travelling and walking around, you’ll definitely need to replenish your energy with a good meal or two. And as Malaysians, we can vouch that trying out good food is always a big part of our itinerary when travelling. Listed below is a compilation of dishes and restaurants you should definitely check out when in Penang.
1. Char Kuey Teow
Probably one of the most iconic trademarks of Penang, char kuey teow is a local dish commonly loved by locals and tourists alike. Year after year, travellers from all over flock to this island just to get a taste of this aromatic plate of char kuey teow. Consisting of fried flat noodles, bean sprouts, fried egg, juicy prawns, and see ham, this plate of joy can melt even the coldest of hearts when it arrives at the table in all its steaming hot glory.
2. Penang Assam Laksa
Spicy, sour and savoury, Penang’s assam laksa is one of the most famous dishes in Malaysia. Consisting of slippery white rice noodles, fish strips, pineapples, cucumbers, onions, red chillis, lettuce, and mint leaves drenched in spicy assam soup, this steaming bowl of heartwarming laksa is loved by many.
3. Penang Cendol
cr: Sam Kam
What better way to cool off from the scorching island heat than with an icy cold bowl of Penang cendol?! Filled with smoothly shaved ice, this dessert is topped with ingredients like sweet gula Melaka, coconut milk, and red beans. Enjoy it right next to the stall and simply hand back your empty bowl once you are done.
Where? Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul, Lebuh Kweng Kee, off Penang Road.
Up and coming cafes you should check out
With a blooming cafe scene around the island, Penang is definitely one of the places where you can cafe hop. Listed below are a few options you can check out.
1. China House
cr: Sugar and Space
China House is more than just a cafe. In fact, it’s a cafe, restaurant, bar, and bakery. Smack dab in the middle of China House is a bakery table that has 30 different cakes daily. On the weekends, you can head to The Canteen, which is their bar where various genres of live music are performed, namely jazz and indie music.
If aesthetics are essential for you when it comes to food, then Easy Brew Cafe is the place for you to be. Offering up their signature flower pot barbecue whole chicken, this dish is Instagram-worthy with its vibrant hues and artistic plating. Enjoy this sharing platter for 50% off with Fave!
Within 1926 Heritage Hotel lies Monroe Cafe & Restaurant, a humble dining hub that pays tribute to the very beautiful Marilyn Monroe. With posters of the Hollywood bombshell plastered in different corners of the restaurant, Monroe Cafe & Restaurant seeks to give diners an outlet to show their love for Marilyn. Offering up scrumptious Western delights, Monroe Cafe & Restaurant should be on your list of places to visit while in Penang. Also, you can enjoy a discount of up to 24% when you purchase a 5-course option with Fave!
Of course, there’s so much more that Penang has to offer! But we hope that with this list, you’ll be able to narrow down your search and experience a little piece of the wondrous sights in Penang. And if it’s just food you’re after, check out all the other cafes and restaurants in Penang that accept FavePay!
If you’re from Penang and looking to travel elsewhere in the country, we also have plenty of offers for other travel destinations. You’ll also get an additional 5% cash back when you purchase any Travel or Activities deals by November with our Travel Sale promotion.
So, have fun and happy holidaying!