Penang, Malaysia is thought to be stuck in a time loop. At every corner of the street you will see traces of the colonial period. A time when traders from all over the world drop anchor in its ports, ready to sell their wares for money or in exchange for rare and exotic goods.
But while Penang preserved so much of its history and heritage in their architecture, they were able to incorporate modern styles and comforts in a way the harmonises the new with the old. Indeed, travelling here is more than just a trip to a Malaysian island, it is an experience.
Before you book that Penang accommodation though, let’s talk about what you can do during your visit. A lot of Penang lists talk about the destinations you should go to and the food you must try on your trip, but none will be as specific as this list. Here, we enumerate unique activities you can add in your itinerary.
Count all the artworks along the streets of Georgetown
There are countless art installations and murals you can find along the streets of Georgetown. You can turn this into a game with friends or family — the most art a person finds wins a cold dessert from the hawker centres!
It is going to be a day-long activity, so make sure hunting down these artworks is not going to eat up much of your time. Instead, make this game a trip-long activity so that you can still do other things during your stay.
Go on a food crawl
If there is one thing we love about Penang, it’s the food. Considered to be the food paradise in Malaysia, travellers can visit various restaurants, cafes, and hawker centres offering unique takes on international cuisine or serving the best local dishes.
Make sure you try Penang favourites like the Laksa or the Char Koay Teow. However, expect huge crowds in hawker centres on certain days, which means you might have to buy easy-to-carry food instead since seats will be limited.
Tour Georgetown on a trishaw
Find trishaw peddlers in Georgetown and take a tour of the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site while enjoying the cool morning breeze of Penang. It’s so easy to spot trishaws because they’re basically tricycles with brightly coloured umbrellas.
The price usually differs per driver, but prepare at least an hourly rate of RM 30.
Visit the Kek Lok Si Temple at night
The Kek Lok Si Temple is one of the most famous destinations in Penang. It is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia built with a seven-storey Pagoda of Rama VI. It also features 10,000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha, and a 120-foot tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the goddess of mercy.
It’s magnificent to look at in the light of day, but it’s a different experience at night. It’s like looking at a whole different side of the temple which is much more serene.
Plan your escape at Penang’s ESCAPE theme park
No, this isn’t like an escape room where you and your friends attempt to break out of a locked space. ESCAPE offers a different kind of, well, escape. If you are tired of the city, this is where you go to chill and shake off all that stress. This is a theme park surrounded by lush greenery, very near the Penang Butterfly Farm. Here you can enjoy free falling, tower climbing, and other outdoor activities.
Chill out at Batu Ferringhi beach
Cap off a tiring day exploring the city at Batu Ferringhi beach. Here, you and your companions can just lounge at the beach, getting the sun-kissed tan plus the clear waters of the sea. There are countless water activities you can do like wakeboarding or jet skiing. But nothing beats just chilling on your beach mats with a cocktail in hand, maybe watching the sun as it dips in the horizon.
To make your trip even more rewarding, you can choose to stay in a hotel that will make your commute to and from these places so easy to do. Hotels like The Northam All Suite Penang.
Right now, they’re offering 40% off your accommodation when you book the Northam Special Deal. It comes with a buffet breakfast inclusion and Jacuzzi tub in the suites.
On your visit to Penang, make sure you include these activities in your list and enjoy all that the island has to offer.