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Things to Do in Penang

A Penang, Malaysia, Travel Guide to Sights, Food, and Activities


You'll find enough interesting things to do in Penang to keep you busy for weeks, assuming you can pull yourself away from the excellent food for long enough!

From historic clan houses and mansions to the national park that houses a turtle sanctuary, Malaysia's big island has plenty to offer a new visitor.

1. Food in Penang

Penang is the place to sample all those Chinese, Indian, and Malay foods that you've been wondering about. Noodles can be bought on the street for less than US $1; delicious Indian Muslim food is served on banana leaves while Bollywood music fills the air.

2. Things to Do in Georgetown

Penang's sprawling settlement of Georgetown is dotted with small-yet-pleasant attractions. Two full days could be spent simply visiting the historic houses, Fort Cornwallis, and various shrines.

3. Things to Do in Penang

While most people spend their time wandering the historic and colonial sites in Georgetown, escaping the city for some fresh, island air is a great way to spend a day or two.

4. Shopping in Georgetown

Georgetown is home to a handful of shopping malls -- both small and sprawling, however, Little India and Chinatown provide plenty of opportunities to find souvenirs at half the price.

5. Penang National Park

Home to nesting sea turtles and pristine beaches, Penang National Park is small enough to explore in one exhausting day. Two main trails give access to undeveloped, fine-sand beaches as well as a turtle sanctuary. A canopy walkway allows lucky hikers a glimpse of life above the jungle canopy.

6. Transportation in Penang, Malaysia

Most of Georgetown is easily walkable, but if the heat becomes too much jump on one of the free buses circulating through town. Georgetown's bus system is modern and efficient; getting to other parts of the island is relatively straightforward.

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