What to do in Georgetown in Penang

Georgetown, Penang is widely known for having the best food in Malaysia, and perhaps even the best food in all of South East Asia. For more on the various delicious foods to be found in Malaysia check out this article: (link to ‘Malaysian Food’). But there’s a lot more to Penang than just the food. It’s a charming city with lovely weather and many things to do and see. Here’s how to make the most of a few days in Penang.


-Obviously, eat food. Most of your day should be taken up by walking the streets and stopping at as many street food stands as possible. The walking will counterbalance the immense calorie intake. The food is cheap, delicious, and unique so eat as much as you can.

-Check out little India: It’s a cute and very traditional neighborhood full of everything Indian. Window shop in the many clothing stores full of brightly coloured saris and bedazzled silk, feast your eyes on the shops stacked with fake gold jewellery and bindis galore, and walk up a steep narrow staircase to an Indian bridal salon to get henna tattoos. Once you’re thoroughly exhausted by the overwhelming visual stimulus, you guessed it, eat some Indian food.

-Go to Chinatown for the best street eats you’ve ever had.


-Spend an afternoon street art hunting. Many of them are modern and conceptual yet somehow classic looking and very pleasing to the eye. The most popular one includes a real bicycle protruding from a wall. Go to penang travel tips for more info on where to find various street art installations.


-Take a city bus for one hour to Penang National Park to hike through rich jungle and lay on deserted beaches. You’ll find yourself feeling like you’re in the middle of nowhere, when in reality you’re surrounded by a big city. Penang National Park is complete with plaques along each hiking path with information and pictures of different wildlife species in the area.

-Walk along the beach front on the north shore of Georgetown and see strikingly modern high rise buildings that will make you feel a bit like you’re in Miami. The surrounding ocean views and sea breeze are lovely. If you’re into malls, check out the plethora of fancy shopping complexes in the area.

-Go to the historic centre (or colonial district) to visit fancy historic British colonial buildings. This is also a good neighborhood to fulfil all of your touristic needs, like booking boat tickets or asking questions at information centres.

-Check out the various Mosques and Temples to be seen. They are plentiful and a crucial part of understanding Malaysian culture.


-Go to Love Lane to party at backpacker bars, and try various street eats. The reggae bar is a good place to chill out (especially if you’re a lady, due to their nightly ladies happy hour with free drinks). Go to ‘Behind  50 Love Lane’ for the real party. Love Lane and the surrounding blocks contain many hostels and budget hotels, if you’re into meeting other travellers and partying, this is the neighborhood for you.

-Eat more food. Eat more food. Eat more food. Along with the many street stands and super cheap traditional restaurants, there are a good number of classy French bakeries and cafes in the Love Lane area that will satisfy your desire for western food.

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