Penang, Malaysia – Travel Tips by Corinne Chow

Mural along the streets of Penang
Mural along the streets of Penang

What type(s) of travellers would your recommendations for Penang, Malaysia suit?

My recommendations for Penang, Malaysia would suit solo travellers and those who love the nightlife.

How many days would you recommend for one to spend in Penang, Malaysia?

3 days 2 nights.

The following food and sight recommendations for Penang, Malaysia are saved in a list here to help you plan your trip.

What are the top things to do in Penang, Malaysia that you would recommend?

  1. Hin Bus Depot
Hin Bus Depot, Penang, Malaysia
Hin Bus Depot

– Once a bus interchange (spot its old signage!), the area has been transformed into a small arts enclave with a regular flea market on Sundays.
– Pop by in the morning to view the murals and art installations.
– Grab a coffee at two joints under the row.
– By night, Hin Bus Depot is bustling with youngsters hitting the watering holes. Let the bright lights of the neon pink signs guide your way!

Address: 31A, Jalan Gurdwara, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia (View on Google Maps)

  1. Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm
Entopia Butterfly Farm, Penang, Malaysia
Entopia Butterfly Farm

– A 45-minute drive from the city centre, this is a great getaway for nature and butterfly lovers.
– Step into a giant glasshouse where butterflies roam free.
– Learn more about butterflies and insects in the exhibits within.

Address: 830, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050 Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia (View on Google Maps)

  1. Malacca Strait
Malacca Strait, Penang, Malaysia
Malacca Strait

– George Town is an island so make sure to enjoy the beautiful views of the Malacca Strait
– Some places to enjoy the view include:
1. Gurney Drive: Home to Gurney Plaza, G Hotel and Gurney Paragon
2. Straits Quay: A shopping centre / residential area for locals who own private boats and yachts
3. Batu Ferringhi: A rather touristy area jam-packed with pubs (still fun with a bunch of friends though!). If you can, stop a little off Batu Ferringhi and watch locals catch fish

Address: Gurney Drive (View on Google Maps), Straits Quay (View on Google Maps) Batu Ferringhi (View on Google Maps)

What are the top things to eat in Penang, Malaysia that you would recommend?

  1. Chin Chin
Chin Chin Japanese Restaurant, Penang, Malaysia
Chin Chin

– Come here for Sake and Japanese bar bites
– A favourite haunt of the locals, perfect for first dates or if you’re looking for chichi dining
– Also, check out GoldenShower by ChinChin – one of the newest speakeasy clubs in town.

Address: 25-G, Lintang Burma, George Town, 10250 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia (View on Google Maps)

  1. Macalister Mansion: Dining Room
Macalister Mansion Dining Room, Penang, Malaysia
Macalister Mansion Dining Room

– The best fine dining experience in Penang
– Recommended to opt for wine pairing as the establishment has an excellent sommelier!
– The average cost for the dégustation menu with wine pairing is RM500
– Visit here to request for the menu
– Closed on Mondays

Address: Macalister Mansion, No. 228, Jalan Macalister, 10400, George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia (View on Google Maps)

  1. Coffee Lane
Coffee Lane, Penang, Malaysia
Coffee Lane

– BEST coffee in Penang. I do not even know where to begin!
– This is a no-frills, no fake Instagram fads, just real and unadulterated, AMAZING coffee
– Ask if they have special blends for the week, not everything is on the menu!

Address: 435, Lebuh Chulia, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia (View on Google Maps)

The above food and sight recommendations for Penang, Malaysia are saved in a list here to help you plan your trip.

Any recommendations on where to stay in Penang, Malaysia?

Mei Hotel at Lorong Abu Siti for RM160 per night or Eastern & Oriental Hotel at Lebuh Farquhar
for RM600 per night.

When is a good time of the year to visit Penang, Malaysia?

All year round.

How should one get around in Penang, Malaysia?

Instead of walking, try Uber/Grab. Most rides cost under RM10, a steal and a great way to beat the heat!

What are the acceptable payment currencies and modes in Penang, Malaysia?

Cash (Malaysia Ringgit) and credit cards are accepted at most establishments.

Any other tips/things to be aware of in Penang, Malaysia?

Penangnites are truly the most friendly and welcoming bunch of folks. As this is a predominantly Chinese state, most of the locals can communicate in Chinese or Hokkien, and of course Malay and English.

The heat is sweltering – bring your sunblock, shades and a hat!

How should one stay connected to the internet in Penang, Malaysia?

You can easily purchase a local SIM card for RM30 on arrival at the airport, before the immigration desks.

Cost of Trip

Airfare – There are more than 15 flights a day from Singapore to Penang so you are really spoilt for choice! Budget airlines like AirAsia, Scoot, Tiger and Malindo have several flights daily. On average, if you don’t buy during the promotions and go from Friday to Sunday, expect to pay about SGD150 return.

Accommodation – Penang offers unbelievably cheap accommodation from RM10 for a bed in a hostel to RM500 for an all-meals-included boutique hotel stay.

Food – The average cost of a bowl of noodles at the hawker costs about RM7. Delicious and won’t break the bank.

Transport – An Uber from the airport to the main city should cost around RM20. If you decide to take a Taxi, it would be around RM50.

Tell us a bit about yourself

If I’m not travelling, you can find me desktop travelling. I love going off the beaten track and getting a slice of locals’ lives.