Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia – Since it was a long weekend we had 3 days and 2 nights to enjoy Penang. Actually, just 1 whole day, the others were half days because of travel to/from Kuala Lumpur but enough to see most of the must-visit places.
Getting around Penang is easy and convenient. Easy: Penang is a small island where all interesting places are accessible and well connected. Convenient: You can roam around yourself by bus or rent a car, trishaw, motorcycle or bicycle without getting lost.
Rapid Penang is the official bus service of the city. You can take buses from their terminals located at KOMTAR complex or Weld Quay (near the Jetties). Bus fares depend on your stop but the minimum is 1 RM (~0.31 USD). Some Penang Maps have a list of bus numbers and their routes, you have to grab one or ask the drivers to drop you to the bus stop nearest to your destination. There are also free shuttle buses around town, just look for the CAT – Central Area Transit bus sign.
Besides bus, you can also take taxis but most of them doesn’t use meters so it’s a no-no if you’re on a budget unless your convincing/haggling powers are so good to make them serviced you. 🙂
Another way to experience Penang is by taking Trishaw. This gives tourists a nostalgic feel while touring the city, not good though during afternoon heat as it’s an open-fronted three-wheeled vehicle. Like taxis, there is no standard fare thus haggling skills are also needed. Usually they’ll offer you fare for 1 day service.
If you’re in a budget and know how to drive a motorcycle or pedal a bicycle, there are stores along Chulia Street where you can rent one. For 20 RM (~6.37 USD) and a deposit of 100RM (~31 USD), you can ride your own service around the city for a day.
Must Visit Places
The first thing we did when we arrived at Georgetown was to grab a ride. Since we both know how to ride a motorcycle, we rented one for a day. Then, with the use of our handy map, we started our official Penang DIY tour! 🙂 First stop, Clan Jetties along Weld Quay. These jetties are the water villages named after Chinese clans.
We visited Chew Jetty (meaning all the residence have Chew as their last name) as they’re known to be the most tourist-friendly among the jetties. This is where we also spotted the first on our street art list: Grandma & Grandson. We were amazed on the cleanliness of the area despite of the number of tourists visiting.
After visiting Chew Jetty, we started looking for a place to ‘chew’ dinner. 😀 Just across the road, we found CF Hawker Food Centre, our kind of place for good food! Check our next posts for the must-tries.
We called it a day after dinner. Riding back to the hotel, we passed by a couple of street murals and iron cast 3D-like figures along the way, the feeling of excitement awaits for the next day.
Now after a good night’s rest, with our rented motorcycle, we commenced our Day 2 of Penang experience. The agenda was to cover the must visit places surrounding the main streets of Georgetown. These were the attractions along Lebuh Light and nearby Lebuh Muntri and Lebuh Farquhar.
For us, visiting museum is a must when your traveling to new places. Hence, our first stop, Pinaon Time Tunnel, a new museum wherein you can unfold the rich history of Penang. Cameras are allowed inside, and so the pictures below. 😀
After the museum visit, we’re more excited to proceed with our itenerary as we’ve learned that most on our list were historical sites. Below are some pictures.
Beyond these acclaimed sites in and around Georgetown, there’s much more to Penang. Thus, after lunch we returned our motorcycle, took a rest at the hotel and rented hotel service to visit Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si Temple and to end the day at Gurney Drive.
To see the panoramic view of Georgetown on top of Penang Hill, you must first experience the feeling of riding a train to go up. Cool, ha?Dubbed as one of the world’s oldest funicular systems, Penang Hill Railway has a 2,007m-long track that climbs up to the hill top. Definitely a must try train ride! 🙂
After Penang Hill, we went to Kek Lok Si Temple, the star of Chinese New Year. Tourists and devotees flock to this 120 years old temple for its annual lighting ceremony, a must see during this time of the year!
We ended our day with a dinner at the infamous Gurney Drive. There’s a long stretch of hawker stalls that offer the best of Penang foods at cheap prices. More of these on our next post. 🙂
After indulging ourselves with great foods, we then headed back to our hotel by foot. Yes, by foot! It was OK at first since we’re enjoying the cool breeze coming from the sea while walking and people-watching until we noticed that after 30 minutes our hotel is still nowhere nearby! It took us an hour to reached the hotel, Gurney Drive to Jalan Burma! Good thing the roads in Penang are safe even if it’s already around midnight. 🙂
Our third day was the most awaited part of our Penang trip, the Street Art Hunt! We’ve already seen some of them on our Day 2 sightseeing along Muntri but most of these street arts can be found along Armenian Street, the heart of Georgetown. Thus, our day 3 agenda is to visit the attactions inside the town centre and photo-ops with these amazing arts. Instead by foot, we chose to add cycling on our Penang experience. We rented bicycle from also one of the stores in Chulia Street.
While hunting, we also did our temple hopping. We passed by a number of Mosques, Buddhist, Taoist and Hindu Temples. Almost every corner of the street has a place for worship built for the multi ethnic community of Penang.
We ended our trip with a relaxing Trishaw ride, enjoying the view along Penang Road. 🙂
To summarize our trip, below is a copy of our DIY itinerary.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Arrival||Pinaon Time Tunnel||Street Art Hunt around Armenian Street|
|Clan Jetties||Lebuh Light and Lebuh Muntri Sightseeing||Temple Hopping|
|Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si||Departure|
For complete list of Penang attractions and a map, visit Penang Government site or or download Visit Penang Travel Guide.