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Trip List by Marilynn76

While in Penang...

Dec 31, 2006  My husband and I just spent five fantastic days in Penang.
3.5 of 5 bubbles based on 8 votes

Here are my suggestions for what to see and do in Penang, Malaysia.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Air Itam, George Town, Penang Island, Penang
  • Category: Recent trip
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Never been before, Repeat visitors
  • Appeals to: Business travelers, Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Students, Budget travelers, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Kek Lok Si Temple
    Kek Lok Si Temple, Air Itam, Penang Island

    This is a huge, beautiful temple. Plan to spend a couple of hours just looking. Climb to the top of the tower and be rewarded with a cooling breeze. Drop a coin in the box and ring the huge bell. Walk through the halls and smell the incense. Admire the architecture and intricate carvings throughout.

  • 2. Fort Cornwallis
    Fort Cornwallis, George Town, Penang Island

    Great for history buffs, this is a nice little park situated on the seafront. If you get too warm, go into the air-conditioned "cells" to look at archaeological findings and read about Penang's colonial history. Just watch out for the free-roaming horses--they are unfriendly and they will kick you. Don't ask me how I know this.

  • 3. Eastern & Oriental Hotel
    Eastern & Oriental Hotel, George Town, Penang Island

    Try taking an afternoon tea at the E&O. You get an individual pot of tea (your choice) with free refills, assorted finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off, scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, and assorted tiny cakes to finish. You will be treated like royalty. Be sure to ask for a glass of ice water before you head back out into the heat.

    When we were there, the hours for afternoon tea were 2:30 - 4:30. It also seemed surprisingly child-friendly. You might want to make a reservation if you have a large party.

  • 4. Penang Museum and Art Gallery
    Penang State Museum and Art Gallery, Penang Island, Penang

    For a very small fee, you can escape the heat and will get to browse a very well-laid out museum of Penang's rich cultural history.

  • 5. Tropical Fruit Farm

    The tropical fruit farm has an entertaining and informative tour, and at the end of the tour you can sample various fruits and choose a juice to be made just for you. You get to wear a cool Asian straw sun hat, and there is a large, breezy fruit stand at the entrance for shopping.

  • 6. Tropical Spice Garden

    The spice garden is close to Batu Ferrenghi (although not quite within walking distance) and offers three different walks--jungle, ornamental, and spice. I saw the biggest leaves I've ever seen here and swung on a swing in the jungle. Definitely use the mosquito repellent they provide at the entrance. The visitor center is a short walk uphill from the entrance.

  • 7. Gurney Drive
    Gurney Drive, Penang, Malaysia

    This is the walk for people-watching and strolling along the seafront. Beware, however, when the tide goes out it can get smelly. The hawker stands just north of the mall provide an interesting cultural experience and really cheap, really tasty food. If you're a bit xenophobic and have no idea what the food is, order nasi goreng (fried rice, usually with shrimp) or simply "fried noodle" (char koay teow is an option with wide, flat noodles). The vendor will ask you where you are sitting and will bring the food to you; that is when you pay. A meal here can cost you as little as the equivalent of $1 U.S.! For dessert, try the banana pancakes.

  • 8. Penang Botanical Gardens
    Penang Botanical Gardens, George Town, Penang Island

    This park is free and is the ultimate spot for monkey-watching. Take a stroll away from the crowds and you might have your own personal monkey encounter, without the peanut-throwing people yelling around. Beware--it might cost you a 20-piece coin to get into the restroom. A packet of tissues is sold for 40 cents more. At the stands just outside the park, you can buy a coconut; they hack off the top and stick a straw in it and hand it to you--it doesn't get any more tropical than that!