ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Pulau Pinang Tourism Highlights

Updated on January 8, 2018
Dave_B_ via photopin cc
Dave_B_ via photopin cc | Source

My Top Ten Hotspots

Situated off the north west coast of peninsular Malaysia, Penang is only a short distance from the border with Thailand, and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and Pulau Pinang tourism has a lot to offer the discerning traveller.

Penang is a tropical island, that built its wealth on passing trade, many years ago during the days of the British Empire. The Peranakans, also known as the Babas and Nyonyas, played a significant part in Penang trade. They were native Chinese, often educated in English, who moved to Penang, Malacca and Singapore to make money. Many of these Chinese went on to marry Malays, and as they assimilated into the ways of the local people, and later the colonial British, they created a unique lifestyle and set of customs that are still visible in Penang today.

After being relegated from being an important port, when Singapore began to dominate Southeast Asian trade, Penang became run down and the buildings were left to decay. An unintentional plus side of this was that many original buildings remained from the colonial period, and part of George Town was fortunate enough to be granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2008.

Many areas of George Town are now being gradually restored and a limit has been placed upon the kind of new buildings that are allowed to be constructed.

It is not possible to talk about my Penang without mentioning food. Penang became a melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indians and Europeans and the island's food represents the ethnic diversity of its population, including such well known dishes as Satay, Penang Laksa and Nasi Kandar.

From Hawker stalls to 5* restaurants, coffee shops to top hotels, Penang has it all, and I have reviewed several eating and drinking venues as part of my top eleven places to visit.

For two happy years I lived on the island of Penang, and I want to share with you some of my favourite places.

Please come with me as we take a peek at my Pulau Pinang tourism favorites as we take an island tour of Penang.

Selamat datang ke Pulau Pinang saya

— Welcome to my Penang Island!

Useful Bahasa Malaysian Phrases to use during your Penang island tour

  1. Goodbye - Selamat tinggal
  2. Please - Sila
  3. Thank you! - Terimah kasih!
  4. The same to you (in reply to Thank you) - Sama Sama!
  5. Good morning - Selamat pagi
  6. Good afternoon - Selamat petang
  7. Good night - Selamat malam
  8. Bon voyage - Selamat jalan!
  9. Where is the toilet? - Di mana tandas?
  10. I don't understand - Saya tidak faham

Follow the Marvellous Malaysia board on Pinterest for more Malaysian magic.

— Marvellous Malaysia

Top tourist attractions in Penang

If you research the top places to visit in Penang, most of the websites and guide books will lead you to the same places.....The E+O Hotel, Fort Cornwallis, Komtar, Little India, the Spice Gardens, Penang Hill, the Snake Temple, Batu Ferringhi, etc.

All of these places are well worth a visit, but I want to use my inside knowledge of Penang to give you some alternatives, gems that you might not discover from the guide books.

Listed to the right are some popular websites that list places to visit in Penang.

Expat Mamasita's Favorite Penang Places

Bali Hai and Loke Mansion, Gurney Drive:
Gurney Drive, Georgetown, 10250 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

get directions

Teluk Bahang:
Teluk Bahang, 11050 Batu Feringghi, Penang, Malaysia

get directions

Butterfly Farm:
Penang Butterfly Farm, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang, Penang, Malaysia

get directions

Penang Fruit Farm:
Tropical Fruit Farm, Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11000 Pulau Pinang, Pulau Pinang

get directions

Tigun Cafe, Jalan Nagor:
Jalan Nagor, Georgetown, 10050 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

get directions

Penang road Street Market, Jalan Penang:
Jalan Penang, Georgetown, 10450 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

get directions

Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) Temple:
Dewi Kuan Yin Temple, Lintang P Ramlee, Taman Han Chiang, 10460 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

get directions

Edelweiss Cafe, Lebuh Armenian:
Lebuh Armenian, Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

get directions

Penang Ferry Terminal:
Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal, Georgetown, 10300 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

get directions

A: Bali Hai Seafood Restaurant


1: Dim Sum Breakfast

We are starting our Penang island tour on the cosmopolitan Gurney Drive, at the seafood restaurant of Bali Hai. Here, one wall is completely taken over with floor to ceiling fish tanks where you can choose your dinner.

I have never been there for an evening meal, but what I would recommend is paying Bali Hai a visit for a leisurely Dim Sum breakfast.

You can drink Jasmine tea and choose from an array of delicacies, including pork dumplings, braised chicken feet and prawn rolls.

At the weekend there is a trolley service to your table. What you choose is marked down on an order sheet that you take to the counter to pay. During the week, when it is quieter, you order your choice of food at the counter.

This was always my favourite place to go for a dim sum breakfast, and an amazing place to take visitors.

Great Places To Eat

I have my own well thumbed copy of this book from when I lived in Penang.

It gives you lots of ideas for restaurants and a price guide.

If this was to list every food outlet in Penang it would run to many many volumes, but even in this manageable slim size its an invaluable guide to Penang eating.

A.Loke Mansion


2:Colonial Mansion

As you stroll along Gurney Drive, towards Gurney Plaza, you might have reason to glance to your left and peek through the wrought iron railings, and stare in wonder at the colonial opulence that is Loke Manson.

Built in the 1920s by Alan Loke, the son of tycoon Loke Yew, Loke Mansion is an impressive example of Arts and Crafts design.

After being empty for forty years, it is currently let to Rebecca Duckett-Wilkison, who also owns 29 The Gallery, in Lebuh China, and the Tiger Rock Hotel on nearby Pangkor Island.

I was lucky enough to visit Loke Mansion, but it is not usually open to the public, and even though it is such a prominent position it remains unknown to many.

If you would like to visit Loke Mansion try contacting Penang Heritage for more information.

B.Teluk Bahang


3: Fishing Village

A half hour drive from Gurney Drive takes you through the popular resort of Batu Ferringhi to our third stop, the small fishing village of Teluk Bahang.

The village has an air of being deserted. The five star Mutiara hotel has been closed for some years and at a first glance there does not seem to be much to offer to tourists.

There are however several good reasons to visit Teluk Bahang:

1.It is the entrance for the Penang National Park, and after you have registered you can go into the jungle to visit beautiful beaches, like Monkey Beach.

2. The Butterfly Farm is here

3. There are boat trips available from the jetty area, which is in itself very picturesque.

C. Penang Butterfly Farm


4: Tropical Insects

While we are in Teluk Bahang, the Butterfly farm is definitely worth a visit.

It is home to a huge variety of butterflies and tropical insects, enabling you to see close up many of the insects that are native to Malaysia,

You will be able to see the butterflies close up (or in the case of my husband, one literally landed on his head) and explore the delights of insects that look like warrior masks and huge cockroaches that appear to be gold plated!

D.Penang Fruit Farm


Toilet with a view.....


5: Time For A Drink

Turn left as you leave the fruit farm and the road will take you past the forest park and the dam and becoming increasingly winding, until you will chance upon a left turn onto a steep driveway.

Drive to the top of this precipitous entrance and you will be delighted to find a 25 acre fruit farm that has gorgeous views, a wide choice of fruits, exquisite drinks and the most amazing tandas (toilets).

Malaysian tandas (toilets) often differ significantly from western toilets, but the toilets here are different for an entirely different reason - they have an open unglazed window that gives you an amazing view of the surrounding countryside!

It is possible to take a tour of the farm, or you can just relax with a glass of freshly prepared juice, before we make the picturesque 45 minute drive to George Town.

On a hot and humid day at sea level in Penang, climbing the few extra feet up to the fruit farm, and sitting on the shaded seats, whilst gazing out at the sea view and feeling the cooler breeze on your cheeks really does help to cool you down.

E.Si Tigun Cafe


6: Historical Enclave

After the drive through the scenic Penang countryside our tour takes us straight to the historical enclave of Jalan Nagore.

This is an oasis in the middle of a bustling city, where you are guaranteed a friendly welcome and a relaxing ambience.

Tigun Wibisana and his wife Judith have created an absolute gem of a cafe where you can park your bicycle right alongside your table if you wish.

They brew delicious coffee and serve yummy food, either for breakfast, lunch or simply a snack.

I recommend the croissant with scrambled egg and bacon for breakfast, accompanied by either a jasmine tea or freshly ground coffee.

F. Penang Rd Market


Crafts and Entertainment

Just a few minutes drive from Jalan Nagore, situated across the road from the opulent colonial splendour of the Eastern and Oriental (E & O) Hotel is Upper Penang Road, that is home to a street market on the last Sunday of each month.

Since it began in 2006, the market has become an excellent showcase for the varied artistic and creative talent in Penang.

There are lots of craft stalls, stalls serving food and drink, live performances, creative demonstrations and other activities.

If you happen to be in Penang on the right Sunday, this is well worth a visit, and you will find gifts to take home that cannot be bought elsewhere.

Expat Mamasita's Shopping Hotspots

I could give you a list of the malls in Penang and advise you to visit, but truth be told they are not much different to malls in Kuala Lumpur or anywhere else in SE Asia. Yes, they have a few local gift shops, but most of the shops are national and international chains.

Instead, I would like to share with you my own personal favorite shopping places, places I used all the time and know that you will love too.

Come with me on a shopping tour of Penang.

  • Mydin Wholesale Emporium

    As you walk up Penang road towards Komtar you might become aware of Indian music becoming louder and louder. You haven't wandered left towards Little India by mistake - you're approaching Mydin's, the Indian store that sells most of what you want and

  • Penang Bazaar

    On the opposite side of the road to Mydin's is the Penang Bazaar, nestled in-between Lebuh Cambell and Jalan Chowrasra. If you look closely at the open fronted shops hanging their wares up high for all to see, you will notice narrow corridors leading

  • Chowrasta Market

    On the junction of Penang Road and Jalan Chowrasta is the Chowrasta market. This large building sells any local food item that you could possibly wish to purchase. The dry market, selling dry goods, spices etc is at the front and the wet market, sell

  • Little India

    Nestled in-between Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Queen and Jalan Pasar is an area known as Little India, an Indian enclave in an otherwise Chinese area. The first time I visited here I likened it to turning down a Penang side street and finding myself in a Mum

  • Batu Ferringi Night Market

    If you can bear to leave historic George Town behind then take a trip to the nearby beach resort of Batu Ferringhi for their famous night market. Open daily from 7pm, but livelier at the weekend, the market is a hive of bartering and banter.

G. Kuan Yin Temple


8: Chinese Temple

We continue our tour through colonial George Town with a visit to the Goddess of Mercy Temple.

The smell the burning of incense nostrils and will fill your nostrils and you will see the majestic red candles being burned outside the temple. I love the tranquility and ambience of this temple, and am always in awe of the sheer elegance of it.

Penang has many hundreds, if not thousands of Chinese and Indian temples and Muslim mosques. your trip to Penang would not be complete without visiting a good selection of them.

H.Edelweiss Cafe


9: Eclectic Cafe

Walk for a couple of minutes and you will find our penultimate stop, the Edelweiss Cafe, in Lebuh Armenian in the heart of historical George Town. It was once a dilapidated shop house that was lovingly restored by Malaysian Teresa Capol and her Swiss husband Urs.

The menu is an eclectic mix of East meets Swiss and there are some yummy Swiss influenced food and beer available.

If you are fortunate enough to meet Teresa while you are there she is very knowledgeable on the history of Penang. She also does guided walking tours which are full of anecdotes and are extremely interesting.

I: Penang Car Ferry


10: Colorful Transport

A five minute walk from the Edelweiss will bring you to the Penang Ferry terminal, that signals the end of our tour of the island of Penang.

As you board one of the colourful ferries that still ply their trade between George Town and Butterworth, despite the presence of one and soon two be two bridges that link Penang to the mainland, take a look behind you and admire the spectacular view of the island's skyline and the historical clan jetties that just out into the water.

If you are leaving Penang to drive northwards towards the border with Thailand then leaving the island by the ferry will cut some miles from your journey, and as a foot passenger, the ferry makes the perfect way to access the island as the ferry port in Penang is only minutes walk away from the historical centre.

I hope that you have enjoyed your tour of the island of Penang!

Travel and Accomodation

— in Penang

Terima kasih kerana melawat "Saya Pulau Pinang"

— Thank you for visiting "My Penang"

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)