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The island of Penang is located off the western coastline of the Malaysian Peninsula. This former British colony is home to an array of fascinating historical, cultural and natural attractions, from the lovely Penang beaches along its northwest coast to the World Heritage listed zones of Georgetown. It has a long history of trade and settlement, which has led to the fascinating multiculturalism that exists across the island today. Penang is a popular weekend getaway spot for Singaporeans and offers something for everyone.
Give yourself at least four days to explore Penang. It has a good range of interesting landmarks.
Though not as renowned as those found on the Malaysian mainland, beaches in Penang are still ideal spots to relax. Penang National Park has several secluded gems, including Teluk Kempi and Teluk Duyung.
Georgetown is a great tourist attraction with plenty of colonial, post-colonial and pre-colonial architecture to explore. The UNESCO World Heritage Zone in the core of Georgetown is highly recommended. Walking the historic lanes and streets, including Armenian Street, is a must.
Penang is also home to some major spiritual sites which are among the most renowned in Southeast Asia. The Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple and the Kapitan Keling Mosque are well worth exploring for a few hours.
Food and Drinks in Penang
Most visitors tend to flock towards Gurney Drive for a dining and nightlife experience in Penang. There is a good variety of food to eat in Penang within this area. Penang Laksa is a must try when it comes to food in Penang. Check out our beginner's guide on food in penang to help you explore the culinary best of Penang.
The Penang Road-Chulia Street area is another popular place for great dining. Expect to find plenty of delicious Indian-Malay restaurants in Little India, one of Penang’s most famous cultural highlights. If visitors are looking for the cheaper side of Penang’s dining life, uncovering Kimberly Street’s bustling street vendor culture each evening is highly recommended.
Shopping in Penang
The Penang Markets are a popular part of local culture. There are dozens of markets across the island, and these are held throughout the week. Items are usually cheap, but be ready to bargain with the merchants. Little India and Little Penang Street Market are two of the most famous markets in Penang. Of course, there are many larger shopping centres available too. Queensbay Mall is the largest shopping complex in Penang.