Image via Hock Chai/The Next Somewhere
Penang is a wonderful place to explore. From breath-taking temples to mouth-watering dishes, there’s so much to do but we find ourselves with so little time sometimes. Fret not because we have a super cool three-day-two-night planned out for you to cover all the best sightseeing spots and delicious foods.
Image via Penang Global Tourism
Understanding that you’ll need to line up for some time in each of these places, there’s ample time allocated for every stop, including time to drive there.
With this itinerary, you won’t miss out on anything:
The first day is all about covering the further places by car starting with Butterworth in the morning. Make sure you top up your petrol to full tank because you’ll be making multiple pit stops!
Noor Mee Kuah
Image via Hock Chai’s Flavour Talk/YouTube
The first stop in your long weekend of eating should start with a hearty plate the Northern Peninsular’s version of mee goreng called mee kuah. It’s typically topped with a type of cuttlefish sambal which has a hint of sweetness adding a layer complexity to the dish’s flavour profile.
Besides that, you must order pasembur as well! This dish made up of shredded cucumbers, potatoes, beancurd, sengkuang, bean sprouts, prawn fritters, the aforementioned cuttlefish sambal and kuah kacang.
Address: P7, Bagan Luar, 12200 Butterworth, Penang.
Hours: 8am – 10pm
Temple Of Nine Emperor Gods
Image via Penang
This temple is dedicated to the Nine Emperor Gods of Taoist mores. Predominantly prayed to by the Hokkiens and Peranakans, you get to witness a jaw-dropping 9-day celebration starting on the 9th day of Chinese New Year.
This place has gone through several makeovers since 1971. In the beginning, it was a simple little shrine which has grown into one of the largest temples in Butterworth in 2000. It cost RM7 million at that time but it’s so worth it seeing as the outcome is an impressive architecture.
Address: 894 & 896, MK14, Jalan Raja Uda, 12300 Butterworth, Penang.
Hours: 7am—10pm; 24 hours during Nine Emperor Gods Festival
Contact: 04-331 8717
Penang Ayer Itam Laksa*
Once you’re on the island, you can’t miss out on the famous Ayer Itam laksa. Sat on the corner of the Ayer Itam morning market, this place can be quite crowded from morning up until noon. However, the turnover rate is very high and the fragrant bowl of noodle and soup is so worth waiting for.
The stall was first opened in 1995 by Madam Lee Lay Hua. Since then, she’s passed on her secret recipe to her son Ang Kak Seong, and soon her grandchildren. Despite it being run by a different generation, Penangites recall it’s still as good as Madam Lee’s.
Address: Jalan Pasar, Paya Terubong, 11500 George Town, Penang
Hours: 10.30am – 7pm (closed on Wednesday)
Contact: 012-500 7063
Kek Lok Si Temple
Now that you’re full, take a short walk or drive up to Kek Lok Si Temple. Feel yourself transported to another century as you step into this magnificent Buddhist temple which is also the largest one in our country.
Explore the various temples, gardens, pagodas, the four heavenly kings pavilion and the giant statue of Kuan Yin Ma, the Goddess of Mercy as though you’re in 500 BCE.
Don’t worry though, you’re still in modern times when you’re in one of the sections which contain stalls selling souvenirs, food and drinks.
Address: Air Itam, 11500 George Town, Penang
Hours: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Contact: 04-828 3317
Take another short drive to the foot of Penang Hill and enjoy a splendid evening hiking up Penang Hill via the Heritage trail which is a mere 1.4km distance from the Penang Hill Lower Station.
However, if you prefer not to climb, then you can always take the Penang Hill Funicular Train which has the steepest tunnel track in the world! At the top, you can enjoy some lovely tea while watching the sun set and take photos with the many fun displays.
Address: Jalan Stesen, Bukit Bendera, Air Itam, 11500 Penang
Hours: 9am – 7pm
Contact: 04-827 2677
The TOP Penang Theme Park
Image via The TOP
A recent famous landmark in Penang, The TOP is the perfect place to enjoy with your family members. From a stroll on the Rainbow Skywalk to the Avenue of Adventures, there’s something for everyone to do.
In the Avenue of Adventures, there’s the 7D Discovery Motion Theater, Jurassic Research Center, Penang Boutique Aquarium, and Tech Dome which the thrill-seekers can check out.
Meanwhile, if you prefer a more relaxing activity, you can visit the Window which is an open deck on the 68th floor for a gorgeous view of George Town’s twinkling lights.
Address: 1, Jalan Penang, 10000 George Town, Penang
Hours: 12pm – 10pm (closed on Tuesday)
Contact: 04-375 9800
Today is the day where you put on your good walking shoes because there will be a LOT of footwork involved. From exploring George Town to the jungles, make sure you pack light, wear airy clothes and lather yourself in sunblock.
Toh Soon Café*
Rise and shine! Because it’s another day of exploring Penang. To kick-start your day well, grab some charcoal toasted bread and half boiled eggs at Toh Soon Café. The location of this kopitiam is pretty hidden but you won’t miss it thanks to the line snaking out of the alley.
Make sure you arrive early and be patient as the staff work hard to prepare everything as quickly as they can. Besides their specialty toast and eggs, you can also get RM1 packets of nasi lemak and wash everything down with either kopi, teh, or MILO.
Address: 184 Lebuh Campbell, 10450 George Town, Penang
Hours: 8am – 4.30pm (closed on Sunday)
Contact: 04-261 3754
Penang Street Art
After breakfast, take a stroll around George Town and spot the many famous murals. When the renowned Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic, painted the six wall murals in 2012, the once ‘dated’ city instantly came to life.
It’s not a visit to Penang without sharing some of these iconic shots on your social media. The biggest challenge is getting creative with your shots! Since the murals are so viral even up ‘til today, you should to make your poses as interesting as possible.
Address: George Town, Penang
After all that walking, head over to the oldest nasi kandar outlet in Malaysia. Hameediyah Restaurant first started operations in 1907 which means it’s been in business for more than 100 years now!
Since its inception, they’ve never changed their recipe which means you’ll be feasting on a truly traditional meal. If you’re not a fan of nasi kandar, you can always get their murtabak which is really good too. Don’t worry about the calories because you deserve it after all that walking 😉
Address: 164, Lebuh Campbell, 10100 George Town, Penang
Hours: 10am – 10pm; 10am – 12.30pm & 3pm – 10pm (Fridays only)
Contact: 04-261 1095
Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm
Now it’s time to hop into your car and drive over to the Penang Butterfly farm. This giant glass dome houses a variety of butterfly species which flies around freely inside. Get up close and personal with the colourful insects while you walk through the landscaped garden.
You can learn about other insects and reptiles too such as spiders, snakes, monitor lizards, iguanas and more. Besides that, there are waterfalls, artificial caves, fun trails and more gardens outside. It’s a perfect place to learn and take great photos.
Address: No. 830, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang
Hours: 9am – 5pm (closed on Wednesday)
Contact: 04-888 8111
Penang National Park
Explore more of nature at the next stop which is the Penang National Park, also known as the smallest forest reserve. A trek in this lush, green, jungle will help rejuvenate your body (and soul!).
You can drop by the Turtle Sanctuary as well to meet live turtles near the Kerachut Beach. If you visit between April and August, you could even witness baby turtles hatching!
Next, head on over to Monkey Beach for a gorgeous view of the sunset.
Address: Pejabat Taman Negara P. Pinang, Jalan Hassan Abbas, 11050 George Town, Penang
Gurney Drive Hawker Centre
Now it’s time for dinner and what better place to get a variety of Penang’s best dishes under one ‘roof’. Yes, Gurney Drive hawker centre doesn’t actually have a roof, but you get the point.
Grab some char koay teow, muah chee, ikan bakar, lok-lok, ohchien and more! You’ll be spoilt for choice but take your time to enjoy everything, ok.
Address: 172, Solok Gurney 1, Pulau Tikus, 10250 George Town, Penang
Hours: 4.30pm—11pm; Closed on Tuesdays
Gurney Plaza & Gurney Paragon Mall
Image via Hunza
You’ve filled your tummy on all those yummy foods so now it’s time to walk it all off again! Take a very short walk over to Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon Mall for a simple evening of shopping.
Both these malls are quite large and contain hundreds of retail outlets, so you can explore all of your favourite brands and more. After walking the whole night, grab some popcorn in either cinemas and watch one of the latest movies to end your night with a bang.
Gurney Plaza— 170, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 George Town, Penang
Gurney Paragon Mall— 163-D, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 George Town, Penang
It’s the last day and it’s time to head home but that doesn’t mean you ought to drive back straight. Here are a few more things you can do around the island and mainland before driving back to reality.
Transfer Road Roti Canai
Image via Taufulou
On your last day on the island, don’t miss out on the famous Transfer Road roti canai. Its location is along Jalan Transfer, hence the name, but like Toh Soon Café, it’s also a simple stall with metal awning along the alleyway.
If you manage to sit near the pan-grill, you get to watch the Ah Neh cook the rotis in top-speed. Despite how fast they produce these crispy-on-the-outside-yet-soft-on-the-inside breads, they’re always delicious.
Don’t be surprised though if you can’t find your roti when it’s served because it’s just hiding underneath the red curry, a huge piece of chicken and fried egg.
Address: 114, 110, Jalan Transfer, 10050 George Town, Penang
Hours: 7am – 12pm
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
Image via Klook
This boutique hotel, also known as The Blue Mansion, went viral after it was featured in the critically-acclaimed Hollywood film, Crazy Rich Asians. The architecture encapsulates traditional Teochew and Hakka homes which brings about a charming feel of the Chinese culture.
Though it’s a hotel, visitors can take daily tours to learn about the mansion’s history. In this tour, you get to see the reception hall, museum exhibition and courtyard where the scene was filmed.
Address: Lot 22, 14, Lebuh Leith, 10200 George Town, Penang
Tour Hours: 11am & 2pm
Phone: 04-262 0006
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul*
Take this hot afternoon as an opportunity to indulge in the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul and quench your thirst. This stall has existed for more than 80 years now but is as famous as ever.
Despite having multiple outlets across the nation, everyone still prefers to visit the original pushcart stationed in an alleyway in George Town. Make sure you have an umbrella with you to cover yourself from the scorching sun while you wait in line.
Address: 4 2, Lebuh Keng Kwee, 10100 George Town, Penang
Hours: 10.30am – 7pm (weekday); 10am – 7.30pm (weekend)
Contact: 04-262 6002
Bee Hwa Café*
A visit to Penang isn’t complete until you’ve had char koay teow, so drop by Bee Hwa Café for a hearty plate. Like any other famous establishments in Penang, you’ll need to practice patience while waiting for your plate of CKT to be served.
This kopitiam has been serving pork-free noodles since 1992 making it a Muslim-friendly café. Besides their famed CKT, you can try out their curry mee, hokkien mee, hailam mee and more.
Address: 10, Lebuh Dickens, 10050 George Town, Penang
Hours: 7am – 5pm (closed on Sunday)
Contact: 04-263 6092
Guar Petai, Tasik Gelugor
Now that it’s time to head back home, why not make one last stop in Butterworth. This picturesque abandoned quarry, also known as Frog Hill, is a great place to hike and to take photos. You might spot some couples decked out in a suit and wedding dress for their wedding photoshoot.
Despite its nickname, there aren’t any frogs hopping around, so you don’t have to worry. The little hike up to the top can be tiring for some, but once you get to see sparking blue pools from above, it’ll be so worth it!
Address: Kampung Guar Petai, 14400 Tasek Gelugor, Penang
This itinerary is absolutely jam-packed with lots of food and things to do. You can definitely switch things out here and there for other things you’d like to do or eat but with this “perfect” itinerary, you’ll be able to cover both the island and mainland with no issues.
Now, before you hop into your car and start driving towards the island, check out penangtraveldeals.com for the best deals on hotels, attractions and tours!
This is part of the JOM! Experience Penang campaign that aims to attract more domestic travellers to Penang with the best prices and deals on offer.
For more information about the promotions under the JOM! Experience Penang campaign, visit the official website!
* Please note that these establishments are not certified halal but are pork-free and alcohol-free