7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia [with Suggested Tours]

By Lyza Paloma January 17th, 2020 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Destination, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 28 Comments

Are you planning to travel to Penang, Malaysia, soon? Read our tips below on the things to do in Penang, with suggested tours.

7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia
Photo by Yaopey Yong on Unsplash

Penang is a state of Malaysia composing of a part of the mainland, Seberang Perai, and an island, the Penang Island. Its capital, George Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you come to Malaysia, don’t forget to stop in this charming state. Read more for fun adventures that await you.

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List of Things to do in Penang, Malaysia

1. Walk Around George Town

7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia
Photo by moto moto sc on Unsplash

Getting there: From Butterworth Bus Terminal, go to the port and ride a ferry to George Town

One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia is “Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca.”George Town, named after King George III, has heritages from Asia, and British Influence is making it unique. As you walk in the historic part of the capital, you will discover many landmarks. See the City Hall, Fort Cornwallis, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, KapitanKeling Mosque, and many more. It is something you should do when in Penang, Malaysia.

Suggested Tour: Georgetown Heritage Tour

2. Enjoy Batu Ferringhi

7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia
Photo by Vincent Chow CC BY 2.0

Getting there: You can catch bus 101 or 102 on the main road and stop at Batu Ferringhi

As waters surround Penang Island, don’t forget to go to a beach. Batu Ferringhi is a suburb un North Penang with white sand and many beach resorts. Besides swimming and relaxing on the beach, you could try fun activities like Parasailing and Jet Skiing!

Suggested Tour: Jet Ski and Parasailing Experience at Batu Feringghi Beach

3. Witness the view from Penang Hill

7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia
Photo by Marufish CC BY-SA 2.0

Getting there: Ride Bus 204 to Penang Hill Lower Station and ride a train up to Penang Hill

Known as Bukit Bendera, Penang Hill will give you a breathtaking view of George Town and Penang Island. If you are lucky, you can see a sea of clouds at the top. Riding a train uphill is also very memorable. You will surely enjoy your time with nature and gorgeous spots here.

Suggested Tour: Penang Hill and Temple Sightseeing

4. Feast on Penang Cuisine

7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia
Photo by Jeff Gunn CC BY 2.0

Penang Cuisine consists of various cuisine from Malay to Chinese to Indian. They are usually sold near the road and are known as muckan carts. It’s something you should not miss in Penang, Malaysia. It’s also very affordable and open from day to night. It was awarded as one of the top ten street food cities in Asia by CNN Travel.

Try snacks like Apom, Eu char kuih, Popiah, or Otak-otak. There’s also Biryani, Curry, Hainanese chicken rice, Oyster Omelette, or Penang Laksa. Cendol, Tau Foo Fah, Rojak, or Ice Kacangare what you should eat for desserts.

Suggested Tour: Penang Walking Food Tour

5. Check out Kek Lok Si Temple

7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia
Photo by [email protected] CC BY 2.0

Getting there: Ride buses 203 or 204, and you can stop at the base of the temple

The largest temple in Malaysia is located in Penang, and it’s the Kek Lok Si Temple. It is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists from South East Asia. It’s gorgeous and filled with beautiful temples and statues. You will not regret visiting this place if you go to this part of the country.

Suggested Tour: Penang Hill and Temple Sightseeing

6. See the houses at Clan Jetties

7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia
Photo by Marufish CC BY-SA 2.0

Getting there: Ride bus 307 and 401E to get to clan Jetties

If you want to see something interesting, see the Clann Jetties of Penang. They are Chinese water villages or “Floating Villages.” The houses are on stilts above the water, where many Chinese have lived since the 19th century. Take a stroll here, especially during sunset, as the view is breathtaking.

Suggested Tour: Penang Experience Day Tour

7. Relax at Penang Botanic Garden

7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia
Photo by eythian CC BY-SA 2.0

Getting there: You can catch bus 10 or 304

If you want to enjoy nature and see a waterfall you can go to Penang Botanic Gardens. Take a stroll here or a short hike, or just relax and enjoy the scenery. This is also called “Waterfall Garden” as there is one nearby, so you can check it out. It’s something you should not miss on your trip to Penang.

Where to stay in Penang, Malaysia

Budget Hotel

Museum Hotel

7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia

Set in a restored historical building, Museum Hotel offers traditionally-decorated accommodations in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site George Town. It features an outdoor swimming pool, and guests can enjoy meals at the in-house restaurant. Decorated with colonial-era furnishings, air-conditioned rooms at the Museum Hotel are fitted with ironing facilities, a flat-screen TV, and a minibar.

Price: Starts at USD 24 for a Standard Double Room for two

Luxury Hotel

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang

7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia

Overlooking BatuFeringgi Beach, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang offers spacious rooms surrounded by 30 acres of tropical gardens. It features two outdoor swimming pools in the Garden Wing and one adult pool in the Rasa Wing. Rooms are spacious and decorated with wooden carvings and colorful fabrics. Private bathtubs and free internet are provided for guest’s comfort.

Price: Starts at USD 112 for a Deluxe Room for two

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How to go to Penang, Malaysia

By Air: The nearest airport is Penang International Airport. Besides domestic flights, there are also flights from South East Asian Countries, China, Qatar, and Taiwan.

From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: You can take a train from KL Sentral to Butterworth. In case you want to go to George Town, then ride a ferry.

From Thailand: You can cross borders from Thailand via Padang Besar. You can then catch a train ride to Butterworth via KTM Commuter. In case you want to go to George Town, then ride a ferry.

Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

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About the Writer

Lyza Paloma

Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I aim to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.

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28 thoughts on “7 Awesome Things To Do In Penang, Malaysia [with Suggested Tours]

  1. I think the plastic bag is a no … others are good – we gotta stop promoting single use plastics for the good of the planet

  2. Where should I stay? Hostel/affordable. I will be there 2 days one night. I need to get to airport by noon. How much is taxi from Georgetown?

  3. How come you drank the coffee but you don’t even remember the price of it ? I really wanted to know the price now 😀 , Anyway I have seen all the pictures and its incredible. Penang hill is really a cool place so if i ever plan to visit i would definitely go there , and all the credit goes to you 😀 because it is you who told us about it , by sharing review information and pictures, and these pictures of motor bike and swing are really cool !!

    1. Hi Pinky, coffee in the bag is cheap… less than RM5.00 (PhP60.00). I was there last Feb 2017. And, of course, it would be cheaper if you do not buy at the tourist sites… go to hawker sites, or the kopi tiam downtown… They also sell fresh soya milk, sugar cane, milo in this take-away form… BTW, Penang is known for their coffee. Coffee is taken at EVERY meal (which is like, 5 meals a day – breakfast, lunch, high tea, dinner, supper). My mom’s a Penangite and you can’t fool a Penangite when it comes to food and drinks… They are very particular!

  4. WOOOOOOW! #TrulyMalaysia I would definitely start saving now for my future jetset and Malaysia will definitely be on my bucket list! What a great experience you got right there!

  5. Malaysia has always been close to our culture. Going there must be quite an adventure that will excite the senses. The interactive art is such a nice touch in the city. How I wish our country would appreciate art more

  6. Thanks for this article, this is one plave that I would love to visit in Malaysia. Most of my friends love Penang 🙂 I love how artistic its wall. I’m also looking forward to do some foodtrip!

  7. I would love to return to Malaysia and visit Penang too, I didn’t have enough time when I first visited. It looks like there are a lot of things to do there and also to eat. I loved Malaysian food. I’ll have to try that bagged coffee also, how cute is that!

  8. I would love to visit Malaysia. I’ve heard the food is delicious. And who can resist coffee in a bag? But I also like shabu shabu so I’m sure I would enjoy the lok lok. Thanks for sharing!

  9. That coffee is awesome! I want that haha. Never seen it before. I’m impressed. Penang Hill definetely looks great as well. Would love to visit that. The thing I love the most is the interactive street art. That looks like so much fun! Great pictures. I wish that would be in more places. Malaysia is quite far away for me (I live in the Netherlands), but I would love to visit one day.. Even if it’s just for this awesome coffee!

  10. This is fascinating! What a great place to explore. The food looks delicious… Malaysia is on my MUST VISIT List, I’m very excited to one day adventure into Penang!

  11. My friends and I are planning an out of town trip on summer and thinking of going somewhere in Asia. I actually wanted to explore Malaysia while the others have a different place in mind. I hope I can visit the place even if I’m travelling solo or with my friends. Though it might take a while because I’ll give birth soon and I still need to look out on the baby for the first few months. Hopefully soon.

  12. I have never seen an iced coffee in a plastic bag before, though I grew up drinking soft drinks in plastic bags. Being a coffee-addict myself, it’s now my goal to experience drinking coffee from a plastic bag once I visit Malaysia 🙂

  13. I know nothing about Penang, but after reading your post I want to visit! It looks amazing – and Penang Hill just incredible. Kaz x

  14. What an amazing place. I have to confess that until reading this the only thing I really knew about Penang was the famous curries. Loved the photos too.

  15. This sounds fantastic. I love reading about your adventures and seeing the beautiful pictures.

  16. Malaysia is on my travel list! Great tips, I’ll bear them in mind when planning my trip. Thanks x

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Written by Lyza Paloma

Lyza is a native of Leyte who spent 10 years studying and working in Cebu before working for Two Monkeys Travel. She decided to stop daydreaming and started to pursue her dreams of traveling to the Philippines and the world. She has already been to 4 countries in Asia and 18 provinces in the Philippines. She’s flexible and can travel solo, with friends, or family. Besides traveling, she loves organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends.

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