What are the best things to see and do in Penang?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Sophie Friedman

Eating is a national past time in Malaysia, so you’ll certainly be doing plenty of that. Here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ recommendations for the best things to see and do in Penang:
1. Visit the Penang Botanical Gardens. These gardens are a lovely reprieve from the heat. The lush greenery and unique flora and fauna make for a pleasant stroll and kids will be tickled by the monkeys running around (just be aware that they’ll snatch at any food you’re carrying).
2. Ride the cable car. Take a cable car up to the top of Penang Hill. The 2,750-foot hill offers sweeping views of Penang, including Georgetown’s colonial architecture and the tranquil sea out to the north.
3. Cycle around Georgetown. This is Penang’s richest collection of colonial architecture; its streets are plenty wide for bicycles and the downtown area is compact. You can rent bikes from several shops around town.
4. Sample hawker food. Penang is known for its incredible street food. Gurney Drive Hawker Center is a nighttime-only seaside food center where you can sample a bevy of Malaysian and Chinese food, sided with a cool breeze from the water.
5. Hit the beach. Penang’s beaches are not as lovely as those in Thailand but Teluk Kampi is an exception. It can be a bit difficult to get to, so ask your hotel to help you arrange transport. Jellyfish are common so do watch out.

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