Ever wonder what to do in Penang? Then, this is the article for you! Penang, which is on Malaysia’s northwest coast, is the ideal vacation destination. The state is incredibly rich in history, culture, fine art, and delicious food. From enjoying the public street art gallery to walking on the beach, to bird watching and having some down time at Penang’s quaint town, Balik Pulau. Try tasty food as well, such Assam Laksa, Char Koay Teow, Chee Cheong Fun, and others. Some of these activities may be known to you, but Penang is the only place where you can genuinely indulge in them. Let us find out the bountiful things to do in Penang.
1) The Habitat Penang Hill
Photo: mypenang website
Enjoy Penang’s rainforest along with its fauna at The Habitat Penang Hill. The Habitat is a world-class rainforest discovery center that is situated in a protected forest reserve since 1911. It would be good for you to enjoy the flora and fauna that can be found along the trail and enjoy the scenery on top of the Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk which is the highest viewpoint in Penang.
Nestle under the stars, tourists can camp in The Habitat’s rainforest. To get there, firstly, you must ride on the Penang Hill Funicular Railway. A feast for your eyes, you will be able to see Georgetown Island with the sunset as the background. Explore the nocturnal wildlife as well in the Night Exploration as well. It surely is the best Penang tourist spot.
Apart from that, take a walk along the Langur Way Canopy Walk which is the only long walk that is situated within a rainforest. What is amazing about all this experience is that all proceeds of the park will go to The Habitat Foundation which is a Penang-based charitable trust. The charitable trust’s aim is to conserve and research initiatives in Malaysia as well as Southeast Asia.
2) Bukit Bendera
Photo: Penang Hill Facebook
One of the must-visit Penang place to visit is Penang Hill or commonly known as Bukit Bendera. It gives a breathtaking view of George Town. Visitors can even ride on their funicular train for just 15 minutes to the top of the hill. If you aren’t up to riding a train for 15 minutes, you can opt for a jungle hike instead.
Apart from the adventure, meeting the animals should be on your list of things to do in Penang which are the rainforest’s little friends. The Dusky Leaf-Eating Monkeys, squirrels, wild boars, and tree shrews are among the creatures you may encounter. Beautiful flora like the Exorhopalia Ruficeps, Penang Slipper Orchid, and even the Maingaya Malayana may be found in the 10-million-year-old jungle.
So, what are you waiting for? Return to the simplicity of nature and get your bukit bendera ticket now!
3) Tropical Spice Garden
Photo: Tropical Spice Garden Facebook
One of the finest places to visit in Penang is the Tropical Spice Garden. Discover the many different aspects of nature, such as the streams and jungle terraces, or just relax and indulge in some delicious snacks at the Flora Cafe @ Spedahub.
A healing place for tourists, The Garden offers a few spots that are beautiful to set up camp along with some activities for everyone. Camp activities include long walks in the rainforest, sitting by the natural stream, gazing at the stars at night, barbeque with your friends and family, and watching movies outdoor.
If you want activities that include your loved ones in your list of things to do in Penang. There is a cooking school for you and your loved ones to join together. The recipes are generationally-taught home cook meals that are heavy with spice within Malaysia and Southeast Asia’s cuisine. Tourists can choose between a cooking demo beneath the trees at the Red Grove Deck or a hands-on class.
4) Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm
Photo: Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm Facebook
Should be on your list of Penang things to do is meet beautiful butterflies and insects at Entopia. Recently renovated, The Butterfly Farm houses over 150 species of fauna as well as 200 species of flora.
One of the largest butterfly gardens in Malaysia is the living garden vivarium, also known as The Natureland; it is a shared ecological space for various animals to live so that they could re-create their natural habitat. Approximately 15,000 butterflies, consists up to 60 species are free to fly around the garden. Moreover, the garden features various species of plants which vary up to 200 species along with waterfalls, ponds, caves, and many more.
5) The Top Penang
Photo: The Top Penang Facebook
Ever wonder about the best place in Penang other than sightseeing? The Top Penang is the best place for you! It is Penang’s highest entertainment tower which also houses an indoor theme park that offers more than 18 themed attractions.
Attractions include the Rainbow Skywalk, Jurassic Research Center, 7D Discover Motion Theater, Tech Dome Penang, Penang State Gallery, and Penang Boutique Aquarium.
6) Kek Lok Si Temple
Photo: Kek Lok Si Temple Facebook
Where to go in Penang other than those listed above, you wonder? Well, Kek Lok Si Temple is the place to be for sightseeing. Built in the year 1891, the temple is one of the largest and finest in Southeast Asia. Other than that, the temple houses millions of images of Buddha and hundreds of sculptures, carvings, and murals throughout the temple. Hence, the temple is a heritage that possesses Mahayana Buddhism and traditional Chinese rituals blend.
7) Khoo Kongsi
Photo: Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi (Facebook)
This ornate Chinese clanhouse is one of Penang best place to visit. It is the largest clanhouse in Malaysia and served multiple purposes such as hosting a theater, rowhouses for clan members, and a temple where clan members can worship their ancestors. The clanhouse is well-known for its decoration, stunning in red and gold, adorned with sculptures of dragons and other beasts.
8) Penang Trick Art Museum
Photo: Penang Trick Art Museum Facebook
One of the best Penang tourist spot is the 3D Trick Art Museum; the art museum packs you with interactive and transformative 2D paintings. Art becomes reality and you can act in various kinds of silly poses for the camera. The museum packs you with 40 mind-blowing artworks that include optical illusions and sculptures.
9) ESCAPE Penang
Photo: ESCAPE Penang Facebook
ESCAPE Penang should be on your list of things to do in Penang. The theme park is packed with exciting rides and games that are hosted in a natural environment. The theme park’s aim is to use the environment to inject reality into their visitors so that they could escape the electronic-dominated world.
10) Penang Peranakan Mansion
Photo: Pinang Peranakan Mansion Facebook
The Peranakans or also known as Baba and Nyonya were a community of accultured Chinese. The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a must-visit place on your things to do in Penang list. The home adorned with Baba-Nyonya decoration was the home of a rich Baba over a century ago. Decorated with over 1,000 pieces of antiques and collectibles, this Baba-Nyonya museum is one of Penang’s heritage mansion proven by its architecture.
These are among the top 10 things to do in Penang. You may know some of these places but surely there are some hidden treasures that you haven’t heard of before. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go to Penang!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Regarding Trips to Penang
There are various ways to get to Penang. You can ride the plane since there is a Penang International Airport available. Apart from that, the North-South Highway is accessible as well and it connects Penang to major cities in Penisular Malaysia. The Ferry Terminal or Jetty connects Penang to the mainland. It’s a 10-minute ride from Butterworth. For further reading, you can visit http://mypenang.gov.my
If you like the place you’re visiting to be lively, then it is recommended to go there from November – January since the weather is pleasant. Apart from that, with Christmas and New Year celebrations as well as school holidays – Penang is surely lively during this time.
However, if you wish to visit when there are fewer people then, February – April is a good time to visit Penang. School holidays are over, so it is the perfect time for you to stroll leisurely along the streets of Penang and have a calm holiday.
Penang island’s capital, George Town, holds UNESCO World Heritage status due to its multicultural buildings, many temples, clan houses, and colorful shophouses which also serve as “instagrammable” spots. Apart from that, it’s where the Peranakan culture is centered which is a fusion of Malaysian and Chinese traditions.
There are various things you should not miss out on when visiting Penang. The food is the main highlight, but other than the amazing delicacies, there are also historical treats!
There are many activities you can do for free. This includes swimming in Pantai Pasir Panjang or even hiking at Penang National Park. Apart from that, take photos in George Town where there are many pretty shophouses and street art. Then, feast your eyes on the historical buildings; such as Kuan Yin Teng and Chew Jetty.