Penang is a Malaysian province located on the peninsula’s western coast. Although the state of Penang is comprised of more than one island, it is best known for its gorgeous island just off the coast, which you should visit.
Penang is a magnificent location. It is contemporary, tropical, and beautiful. It is simple to get around because so many people speak English, and its cultural mix and history are fascinating.
1. Unwind at Monkey Beach
Monkey Beach is a secluded beach tucked away within Penang National Park; it resembles the beautiful beaches of Thailand, but without the throngs.
You can’t drive here, so you’ll need to either hire a boat from the national park’s entrance or trek through the jungle for 1.5-2 hours to reach the beach.
Once there, unwind and enjoy a cocktail at one of the shack bars on Monkey Beach. There are even primitive cabins available for overnight rental!
2. Hike Penang National Park
It may be the smallest national park in Malaysia, but you shouldn’t leave it off your list of the top Penang activities. Located on the island’s northwestern point, Penang National Park offers several excellent jungle hiking trails, most of which lead to one of the park’s many secluded beaches! Pack additional water for your hike, and consider spending the night in one of the available coastal huts.
3. Take a Funicular tram up Penang Hill
Penang Hill is the best location to begin your adventure in Penang, as you can see so much of the city from here. It is also notably cooler than the rest of Penang, making it ideal for cooling off.
The journey to Penang Hill is half the enjoyment of this Penang attraction. You can walk (it’s steep!), but the two-kilometer funicular tram excursion is highly recommended.
The descent of the tram down the steep incline is actually quite thrilling. Sit at the bottom of the tram to experience the entire effect.
Once atop Penang Hill, there are numerous attractions in addition to the spectacular view on a clear day. There is a skywalk, a mosque, a Hindu temple, an owl museum, numerous animals, a playground, a canopy walk, a bungee line, and numerous nature trails.
With so many activities available on Penang Hill, it is simple to spend several hours here. Appreciate the Hindu Temple, which is particularly tranquil at this location due to the views, the cooler air, and the chanting.
There are two food courts if you are famished. This is the ideal time to try a Malaysian Ais Kacang (a dessert consisting of shaved ice with a variety of random ingredients added) as the market is brimming with juice and icy treats.
4. Fly Above Batu Ferringhi Beach
Batu Ferringhi is the most popular beach area in Penang, as well as one of the most popular tourist destinations and the location of the majority of the finest hotels. While it is a popular location, it is significantly less crowded than comparable areas in Thailand, and spending time here can be quite pleasurable. There are some lovely, clean expanses of beach and the water is relatively calm.
It is simple to find a secluded spot, but jellyfish can be a problem. However, there are affordable water activities available, and this is an excellent location for parasailing!
5. Return to the Wild at Penang National Park
Penang National Park may be the smallest national park in Malaysia, but it delivers a powerful punch and should be on your list of things to do in Penang. There are numerous jungle paths leading to some of the island’s most beautiful shores.
You can also wander on a canopy walkway that is up to 15 meters high and is just a 20-minute stroll from the park’s entrance.
Monkey Beach and the Penang Turtle Sanctuary are the most popular activities in this park in Penang, Malaysia. Monkey shoreline is a beautiful shoreline where macaques reside.
You can hike to these locations or take a canoe from the park’s entrance. Additionally, there is a campground at Monkey Beach.
6. Sightsee in the Tropical Spice Garden
The Tropical Spice Garden on Jalan Teluk Bahang is one of the highlights of Penang, particularly if you wish to leave the city’s central areas.
On the site of a former rubber plantation, the garden is a tribute to the beautiful herbs and spices that are indigenous to this part of the globe.
This is an incredible location to visit if you are interested in the flora and fauna of Malaysia, and you can even take a cooking class here to learn how these herbs and spices are used to prepare the classic dishes enjoyed throughout Malaysia.
There are also guided or audio excursions of the garden, as well as activities designed to pique the interest of younger visitors in the various aromatic plants found here.
7. Have refreshments at Suffolk House
Suffolk House provides a glimpse of traditional British colonial architecture in Penang and is located in the scenic area of the island known as Air Itam or Black Water, which is a rather unsettling name.
Sir Francis Light is remembered as the official founder of Penang, despite the fact that his former residence fell into disrepair after his death and was closed to the public.
It reopened in 2007 after a three-year restoration, and now you can take a guided tour that explains the entire history of this magnificent structure.
The on-site restaurant, where you can enjoy a traditional cream tea with a variety of delectable pastries and exquisite sandwiches, is one of the trip’s major highlights.
8. Travel to Butterworth by ferry
Many people believe that Penang consists only of Georgetown, but the name actually refers to the entire state of Penang, which encompasses neighboring Butterworth.
Butterworth is located on the Malaysian mainland, whereas Georgetown is located on an island; if you wish to explore the area, taking the ferry across the water is one of the best activities to do.
This means that you can appreciate the sea breeze and take in some of Georgetown and Butterworth’s finest views.
9. Enjoy water sports in Batu Ferringhi
One of the reasons people visit Batu Ferringhi is to participate in the available water activities. If you are seeking adventure, Batu Ferringhi is an excellent option, as you can engage in activities such as parasailing and jet-skiing.
You can also go banana boating or deep-sea fishing in a boat.
If you prefer to remain on dry land, you can rent a beach buggy and cruise the sands in luxury.
10. Participate in a culinary marathon
It would take a courageous individual to dispute the fact that Penang is consistently ranked as one of the world’s greatest food paradises. Penang has everything, from hawker food stalwarts like char koay teow to delectable broths like Assamlaksa to delectable snacks like rojak. In fact, ‘Penang’ has become a brand in Malaysia’s culinary industry. If you are a gourmet, a culinary marathon should be at the top of your list of must-do activities in Penang.
There are numerous culinary courts and hawker centers located throughout the entire island. Gurney Drive would be an excellent location to start. On certain days, it may become extremely congested, and seats will be scarce.
11. Become one with nature at The Habitat
The Habitat is a natural sanctuary situated on the outskirts of unspoiled tropical reserves. As you traverse the verdant nature trails, you will be traversing one of the world’s earliest forests. It has been nearly 130 million years! Obviously, there is a plethora of scenic areas with jaw-dropping views. You may encounter some inquisitive forest animals along the way if you’re fortunate.
However, there is nothing more remarkable than the Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk. As the name implies, you will need to ascend several flights of stairs to meander among the trees. Because the Habitat is located atop Penang Hill, the Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk is the island’s highest scenic vantage point! A circular structure provides a panoramic view of Penang. You can even participate in a flying fox excursion and zip through the trees for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Exploring The Habitat should be at the top of the list of activities for nature enthusiasts in Penang.
12. Cafe/bar wandering throughout the island
As a bustling port island city, Penang is filled with cozy concept cafés, classy bars, and clubs where you can party like there’s no tomorrow. One of the best activities to do in Penang is to hop between cafes and bars throughout the day. Visit The Mug Shot Café for its delicious yoghurt and sandwiches, and you’ll get your picture taken! Tavern in the Park comes highly recommended because it redefines the term ‘class’.
If you’re looking for a fun night out with drinks (but do so responsibly), travel to Upper Penang Road to experience Penang’s exciting nightlife. Out of Nowhere, the island’s original speakeasy pub, is one of the most popular bars in Penang. You must discover the secret entrance on your own, but here’s a hint: be cool. Alternatively, try out Manchu’s oriental designs that are worthy of Instagram!
13. Admire Penang Bridge
This bridge, constructed between 1982 and 1985, is among the region’s longest at approximately 13.5 kilometers. This bridge connects Perai and Gelugor and is a prime example of the city’s contemporary architecture.
Among the best things to do in Penang is to drive to the bridge and take in the views of the sea, mountains, and scenic surroundings as you pass by, particularly at night when the entire route is illuminated.
14. Take blessings at Dhammikarama Burmese Temple
Dhammikarama Burmese Temple is the oldest and most beautiful Burmese temple on Penang Island. Along the Burma alley, opposite the Thai temple Wat Chayamangkalaram, is the temple. Established in 1803, the sanctuary was originally known as the Nandy Moloh Burmese sanctuary.
The gilded domes and spires of the temple reflect Burmese architecture. Visiting such diverse temples is one of the activities that distinguishes the island city of Penang.
15. Pay a visit to Penang Floating Mosque
The Penang Floating Mosque was constructed in 2004 to replace a much smaller mosque that was devastated by the Tsunami in the same year. With its seven-story, sky-touching minaret, the mosque offers a magnificent view of the neighboring area.
The mosque is located on a stretch of beach in Tanjung Bungah and is readily identifiable due to its Moorish architecture and tower.
A trip to Penang, Malaysia guarantees a pleasurable and entertaining vacation. Make sure to indulge in the activities on the list while you’re there.