Things to Do in Penang

Things to Do in Penang

Penang is a city located in the northwest of Malaysia. It is rich in culture, arts, and history, a place that intertwined modern living with nostalgic traditions. If you like a vacation that has a good mix of fun, history, shopping, and great food, Penang is a place that should make it to the top of your list.

George Town (in photo)

Take a walk around George Town and you will be immediately tickled by the street arts that are peppered along the streets. Commissioned by the Penang's municipal council, these street arts meant to inject fun and humour to the traditional district which is always packed with tourists.

Besides British colonial buildings, shophouses, temples, and mosques, George Town also has a wide range of museums, street stalls, tradition restaurants, and quirky cafes. If you are tired of walking, hire a trishaw and the rider will double up as a local guide.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

This mansion was commissioned by Cheong Fatt Tze, an industrialist, and politician, in the late 19th century. With the intention to personify the essence of elegance, tradition, and extravagance, the indigo blue mansion was constructed with 38 rooms featuring priceless art pieces, lavish interiors and some of the most expensive building materials of its time. In fact, this mansion is such an iconic representation of luxury that it was featured in the movie Crazy Rich Asians in 2018!

If you wish to re-live the luxurious life of Cheong Fatt Tze, you have the option of taking a guided tour that is available daily or booking a room in the mansion to enjoy a night's stay.

The mansion guided tour lasts 45 minutes and it is available at 11.00 am, 2.00 pm and 3.30 pm from Mondays to Fridays and 11.00 am and 2.00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays (English). Mandarin guided tours are available only on Saturdays and Sundays, 12noon and 3.30 pm. It is located at 14 Lebuh Leith, Georgetown.

Wonderfood Museum Penang

Nothing is more Instagram-worthy than this museum. A quick search on the internet and you will find great reviews about this place. While Georgetown is well-known for quirky museums, this is one that has many grinning from ear to eat. Not only can you learn more about local dishes, culture, and history, posing with the gigantic plastic food replicas will have you laughing out loud.

The museum is open from 9.00am to 6.00pm daily. It is located at 49 Lebuh Pantai, Georgetown.

Penang Hill

Penang Hill is over 800 meters above sea level and one of the earliest British hill stations in Southeast Asia. To reach the peak, take the Penang Hill funicular train, a service that started in 1923. In fact, the current train system is the 4th generation of the original set up. The track stretches nearly 2 kilometre, probably one of the longest in Asia.

At the peak of Penang Hill, soak in the beautiful panoramic view of Penang city. There are even food courts, temples, mosques and 52 bungalows that are more than a century old. If you wish to spend the night, book a room at the Bellevue hotel for a relaxing stay.

Daily train operation hour is 6.30 am to 11.00pm daily and ticket counter operates between 6.30am to 9.45pm daily.

Food Hunt in Penang

Penang is a foodie's paradise where you will get the best cuisines of every Malaysian culture. From heritage restaurants to local eateries and street stalls, you can practically eat around the clock when you are visiting Penang. At very reasonable prices, you can savour the local cuisines and dishes such as Char Kway Tiao, Nasi Lemak, Hokkien Mee, Chendol, Laksa, coconut shake, oyster omelette, Tom Yum Maggi and Peranakan snacks.

Watch a movie at Red Box Cinema

If you are worn out after a long day's walk in the tropical heat, this is an option where you can chill out to enjoy a relaxing movie. The interesting part about this cinema is the sofa-like, beanie seats that literally allow you to laze around in the theatre! While it may be slightly pricier than the regular ticket, it is a reasonable trade off since you will get more space to yourself and a small audience.

The cinema is located at 182, Jalan Magazine, George Town.

Top Malaysia Cities for Travellers

Top Malaysia Cities for Travellers

Malaysia's diverse culture, tradition, and cuisine have made this country one of the best travel destinations in Southeast Asia. If you are a traveller looking for a great city to visit, here are a few cities in Malaysia that you may consider.

Kuala Lumpur

This is the capital of Malaysia and it is where everything comes to live! While any Malaysian state will always retain part of its tradition and culture, Kuala Lumpur is very much a fast-paced, modern, skyscraper-city. This is where you will get a taste of Malaysia's diverse ethnic and cultural influence in a modern package. You can sample a wide range of local food from contemporary restaurants and cafes or choose a more exotic approach by eating them from street food stalls that are peppered all around the city. There is also a wide variety of shopping options that can cater to your budget. From large shopping malls like KLCC, which carries international labels, to more indie-styled boutiques in Bangsar, there is always something for everyone.

For those who prefer to explore the cultural aspect of Kuala Lumpur, take a trip to Little India Brickfields, the official Little India of the city, or visit the Chinatown at Petaling Street. To truly experience this dynamic city, brace yourself and visit some of the local night markets like Taman Connaught Night Market and Kampung Baru Market.


Penang is situated in northwest Malaysia. It is home to the famous George Town that is rich in culture, art, and history. Take a walk around town and you will be pleasantly surprised by the delightful street art the pops up at every corner. These street arts are the works of London-trained Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic who was commissioned by the Penang's municipal council to inject fun and humour to the traditional district, and indeed they attracted not just more tourists but also media attention from all over the world.

Penang is also well known for the beaches that are well developed with many international resorts such as HardRocks, Shangri-la and Holiday Inn. If a laidback vacation is what you are looking for, this will be an ideal vacation spot.


The City of Kuching is the capital Sarawak in Malaysia. Kuching literally means cat in Malay, it is no wonder that there is a Cat Statue that sits at the entrance of the city and even a Cat Museum that features these felines!

Kuching is a relaxed city where everyone goes about their business in a quiet but warm-hearted manner. The best way to get to know this city is to take a walk around the streets or a sampan down the Sarawak River. The city has retained much of its history and culture through the conservation of its architecture. The sight of old Malay villages, majestic mosque, and traditional shophouses all transcend a beautiful and rich history that goes beyond words.

While it may seem laidback, there is a lot to do in this city too. For the adventurous one, kayak down the Sungai Sarawak Stream or even visit the Annah Rais Longhouse, which is home to the indigenous head-hunting tribal community of Sarawak.


Malacca City is in Southwestern Malaysia and it is officially a UNESCO world heritage site that is known for its rich history and multicultural heritage. Take a walk down Jonker Street and you will observe much of Malacca's history and tradition. The bustling street with red brick architecture houses is lined up with shops, street food stalls, antiques, and many local delights. Explore the significance of historical sites such as the St Paul's Hill, St Paul's church, the Stadthuys, the fortress A'Famosa, they are all important past of Malacca.

On a lighter note, you may want to catch a glimpse of the city's quirky cafes such as The Woods, a rustic second-hand bookstore-cum-café at Jonker Street or Calanthe Art Cafe along the alleys of Jonker Walk. Also, try out the Hoe Kee chicken riceball, this popular dish goes as far back as 1962. If you are looking to shop local goods, check out The Orangutan House, Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall, AEON Bandaraya Melaka Shopping Centre and Freeport A'Famosa Outlet.

Top 10 Must-try Dishes in Malaysia

Top 10 Must-try Dishes in Malaysia

Food, glorious food! If you are a foodie, Malaysia is food galore you do not want to miss. Being a multi-cultural society, Malaysia has inherited a wide range of cuisines and even created some of its own fusion blend that is uniquely Malaysia. While it is impossible to list all the mouth-watering choices here, we have shortlisted the top 10 must-try dishes.


Rendang is one of Malaysia's most popular dishes and it comes with a choice of beef, chicken or lamb. This spicy meat dish which originated from Indonesia has won the hearts of many in Southeast Asia. The Rendang dish combines many rich spices found in the region with coconut milk to create a thick sauce that is used to simmer with the meat. The result? An incredibly tender meat dish with intense flavour that is hard to forget.


There are different variations of laksa in Malaysia but they all come with thick white rice noodles and a curry-like soup base, topped with prawn, fish cake and even cockles. This is considered comfort food for many and it is easily found in many eateries in Malaysia.

Nasi Lemak (photo)

Nasi Lemak is a traditional rice meal and many have touted it as Malaysia's unofficial national dish. The main highlight is the rich and fragrant rice that is soaked in coconut cream before steaming. It is then served with a variety of local dishes such as salted peanuts with ikan-bilis, hard-boiled egg, preserved vegetables, fried chicken wings or fish and sweet sambal chili.


Murtabak is a local version of stuffed pancakes that can be eaten all day long. This pancake is stuffed with meat, onions and spicy sauces before being pan-fried to gold brown. It is often taken as a snack because it is so easy to eat.

Char Kway Tiao

Again, there are many variations of Char Kway Tiao in the region, but Malaysia's version has received accolades from near and far. This dish is made with flat rice noodles, stir fry with pork lard, soy sauce, cockles, bean sprouts, eggs and sometimes prawns. A good plate of Char Kway Tiao is usually evaluated based the chef's effective control of the heat and right mix of ingredients.


This a Chinese crepe roll that is stuffed with shredded turnip, egg, shallots, and meat, flavoured with local sauces and chili. It is an interesting snack that is sweet and savoury at the same time. This combo is flavourful yet refreshing at the same time.

Pisang Goreng

It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Pisang Goreng is a local fried banana fritter snack that has survived the test of times. This is a snack that many Malaysians grew up with, and these days, it is still one of the local favourites. Pisang Goreng is available in many local street stalls and eateries. Try it as a snack or a desert after a meal.


The authentic Malaysian satay is skewered meat, grilled over a charcoal flame to capture a smoked meat effect. The dish comes in a choice of chicken, beef or lamb, served with Malay rice dumplings wrapped with coconut leaf, also known as Ketupat, and peanut sauce. As one of Malaysia's signature dish, it is available in most places. If you spot a stall smoking with glorious barbecue flavour, it is most likely to be a satay stall.


Rojak is like a local salad and appetizer. It comprises a mixture of fresh cucumbers, pineapples, and fried dough fritters, mixed with popular shrimp paste, ground peanuts and a combo of sweet and spicy sauces.

Ramly Burger

Ramly burger is a must-try if you ever visit Malaysia. Started since 1979 by Ramly Monkin, the street vendor has expanded its business exponentially, making it a household name in Malaysia as well as in the region. The interesting characteristic of Ramly burger lies in its egg-enveloped beef patty that ensures that the juices are wrapped in the burger even while you are eating. Topped with an interesting blend of sauces, the burger not only captures the flavour of a delicious burger but also the unique flavour that is familiar to its local market.

Top 5 Malaysia Beach Islands to Visit

Top 5 Malaysia Beach Islands to Visit

If you are looking for the best beach islands in Southeast Asia, Malaysia has some of the favourite destinations that you do not want to miss. Whether you are planning to spend a few days or a few weeks, there are some well-known beach islands here that will suit your travel style.


Langkawi is situated in Kedah, the West coast of Malaysia. It is a duty-free island that is known for its well-developed beach resorts and tourism. This beautiful island combines forested hills with long stretches of white sandy beaches that lead to the clear turquoise sea. Some popular Langkawi beaches include Pantai Cenang Beach, Pantai Kok, Pantai Tengah Beach, Pasir Tengkorak Beach, Black Sand Beach, Tanjung Rhu Beach, Datai Bay, and Sandy Skulls Beach.

Besides being one of the recognised diving spots for marine enthusiasts, Langkawi also fascinates nature lovers with its thick mangrove forests, wildlife, and mountainous landscape. Interestingly, Langkawi was elected as a UNESCO Geopark in 2007, there are only 64 such Geoparks in the world.

The best time to visit Langkawi is between January to March when the weather is sunny and with little rainfall.


Pangkor Island is a beautiful beach island that is located on the West coast of Malaysia. The island offers lots of activities like snorkelling, fishing and island hopping. It is known for beaches like Emerald Bay, Pasir Bogak, Teluk Nipah and Coral Bay.

For those who prefer land activities, Pangkor also offers opportunities for hiking since it is a mountainous island. The highest point of Pangkor reaches over 1,200 meters (Pangkor Hills). There are also jungles trails at Teluk Segadas Hill and Titi Ganung for nature lovers.

Being a tropical location, Pangkor Island is sunny and warm all year round except for November to February when there may be heavy rain.


Tioman Island is located on the East coast of Malaysia. The island, which is surrounded by coral reefs and crystal-clear water, is a popular spot for travellers from neighbouring countries and long-haul vacationers because of the wide range of activities and well-developed tourism. There is also a good blend of activities ranging from scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing, trekking, and cultural tours.

Tioman is also well known for its majestic waterfalls that are situated in the deeper part of the island. Check out the Asah Waterfall, Juara Waterfall and Paya Waterfall if time permits. Take a relaxing swim in the waters too! It will be an experience not to be missed.

The best time to visit Tioman is between March and October. Periods to avoid are months between the end of October to the beginning of March because the northeast monsoon hits during that time.


Rawa Island is situated in the Mersing District, the coast area of Johor Sultanate. Like the other islands, Rawa promises beautiful beaches, clear waters and a laidback scenery that is great for beach lovers. The island offers affordable accommodation and easy access. While some of the other beach islands can see huge crowds, Rawa is often a quieter spot for those who cherish more tranquil and relaxing time.

The best time to visit Rawa Island is between March to September. Avoid monsoon season which falls October to March.


Redang Island is located on the East coast of Malaysia and it is a popular holiday spot that draws crowds from near and far. As one of the largest islands off the east coast, it is surrounded by a large bed of coral reefs, baby sharks, jellyfish, sea turtles and many amazing marine creatures that never fail to mesmerize divers, and snorkellers.

An interesting highlight of Redang falls between May and September when huge numbers of sea turtles will arrive to nest on the beach. With consistent conservation efforts by the government, there has been an exponential increase in the number of nests over the past 20 years. It is no wonder that some have regarded the chance to witness this ecological flow during the spawning period as watching a miracle happening before one's eyes.

The best time to visit Redang is between April and October. Periods to avoid are months between the end of October to the beginning of March because the northeast monsoon hits during that time. Many resorts will also be closed during those times.