What draws me to revisit Penang? In fact, writing this post creates that urge in me to go to Penang again. Penang is located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. I have been to Penang 5 times within my 2 years of stay in Kuala Lumpur and it feels like … home somehow. Trivia: My hometown is Kuching (another city in Malaysia).
Anyway, these are the reasons why you should give Penang a go:
- Penang gives a very good vibe for tourists or expats alike. It makes you want to stay there 🙂
- Penang has this penchant for arts – street, contemporary, you name it!
- Penang offers a variety of mouth-watering dishes, be it Malay food, Chinese food or Indian, they all have a distinctive taste to them i.e assam laksa, char kuey tiaw, pasembur, nasi kandar, OMG, the list goes on!
- Well, Penang is just…. CHARMING. I’m charmed.
Just to be fair, I have only visited the island part of Penang. This is because the tourist spots and major attractions are focused here instead of the mainland. Throughout my visits in Penang, I have stayed in Georgetown, Tanjung Bungah and Batu Feringgi.
Known for its street arts and also a common ground for art lovers to gather and spread their creativity in myriad forms.
From old hostels to chic boutique hotels, you are never short of options to choose a place to stay based on your preference. I love contemporary designs and I personally have stayed at Kim Haus and The Frame Guesthouse at around USD 25 per night (of course, the cost is split between me and my friend) so that’s USD 13 per night per pax.
Above: The Frame Guesthouse
P/S: I got my own bathroom at Kim Haus, so you can probably do it cheaper if you get a shared bathroom.
The street arts is popular among locals and outsiders. My advice to you is to visit these streets early in the morning because it gets hot around 10 am and there will be people flocking these areas for photo opportunities.
Above: A collage of Georgetown (and there’s more definitely!)
Penang Hill showcases a marvelous view of the island. Entrance fee is RM 10 for MyKad holders (Malaysians) and RM 30 for non-MyKad holders but if you go from 7pm above, it’s so much cheaper.
Above: The view from Penang Hill
2. Tanjung Bungah
In between Georgetown and Batu Feringgi.
I stayed at Copthorne Orchid Hotel in Tanjung Bungah, and got a lovely, lovely view from the room. Something I don’t mind waking up to every morning.
Cons? Beach is pretty short, and unless you have your own transport, it’s not actually convenient to walk to malls, night market and restaurants. There are a few restaurants around but not much of a variety.
3. Batu Feringgi
A 45 mins ride from the airport, depending on traffic, and the furthest. If beach is what you’re looking for, Batu Feringgi is the place.
The view on the way to Batu Feringgi is beautiful! Going there, you will have to go through a drive up and down a winding road.
Plenty of places to stay at, and most major hotel chains are in Feringgi. The beach is pretty long, and there are many activities to do here. Parasailing, jetskiing, banana boat-ing, also there’s the night market every weekend 🙂 The waters at Feringgi are more of a turquoise colour.
Above: At Hard Rock Hotel Penang
And do try this place called Andrew’s Kampung! The food is reasonably priced and yummy!
If you asked me, my favourite part of the town would have to be Georgetown. I love the refurbished old buildings, the street arts and the abundance of food in this area.