Penang Things to Do Tips by SLLiew Top 5 Page for this destination
Penang Things to Do: 854 reviews and 1,582 photos
B) HISTORIC GEORGE TOWN TRAIL #2
1) Penang State Musuem, Lebuh Farquhar
2) Cathedral of the Assumption, Lebuh Farquhar
3) Saint Xavier's Institution, Lebuh Farquhar
4) Hainanese Mariners Lodge & Penang Heritage Trust Office, 26-A Stewart Lane
5) Carpenters Guild, 70 Love Lane
6) Goldsmith Guild, 41 Lebuh Muntri
7) Home of Batu Gantung, 75 Lebuh Muntri
8) King Wan Association, 86, Lebuh Muntri
9) Hainan Temple, Lebuh Muntri
10) Benggali Mosque, Lebuh Leith
11) Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, 14 Lebuh Leith
12) Leong Fee's Mansion, 7 Lebuh Leith
13) Residence of Ku Din Ku Meh, 20 Jalan Penang (Penang Road)
14) Christian Cemetry, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah
15) Saint Francis Xavier Church, Jalan Penang
C) TRADITIONAL TRADES TRAIL
1) Coffe Maker, 53 Lorong Stewart (8am-2pm)
2) Joss Stick Maker, 1 Lorong Muda (8am-10am)
3) Indian Goldsmith, 38 Lebuh Queen (9am-5pm)
4) Signboard Engraver, 41 Lebuh Queen (11am-5pm)
5) Ottu Kedai, opposite 75 Lebuh Market (8am-7pm)
6) "Songkok" Maker, 157 Lebuh King (10am-5pm)
7) Fortune Teller, 156 Lebuh Chulia (12noon - 6pm)
8) Rattan Weaver, 102 Lebuh Armenian (9am-5pm)
9) "Nyonya"Beaded Shoes, 4 Lebuh Armenian (9am-5pm)
10) Tombstone Engraver, 11 Lebuh Acheh (10am-12pm)
Have fun. Some of the above locations are near each other and so you can combine some of the trails.
The temple used to be surrounded by natural bush forest that had plenty of snakes. According to legend, these snakes would crawl into the temple especially on the birthday of the temple goddess.
Today, the Snake Temple is surrounded by factories of multinational corporations like Siemens, B. Braun and Renesas Semiconductor.
Snakes now have to be brought into the temple. These green diamond headed pit vipers lie curled on twigs inside vases on the altars and are fed with chicken eggs.
At a tourist corner inside the temple, for a fee, you can hold a live pit viper in your hands or put one on your head or shoulder for souvenir photo. The photos will be sent to your hotel later.
The Snake Temple is said to be unique - the only one of its kind in the world.
It is an easy stop on the way to the airport.
Address: Bayan Lepas
Directions: Near Penang International airport
One of the most visited clanhouses in Penang is Khoo Kongsi. A clanhouse under the family surname of Khoo.
Traditionally, Chinese practises ancestor worship. Here, you will see wood tablets with engraved Chinese characters of famous sons of the Khoo clan members on the altar in one of the side rooms.
There is an traditional theatre stage located opposite the clan temple.
The main room of the temple is a living room with a private back room as well as two side rooms. The temple roof has intricate designs of mythical animals. The temple columns has impressive stone carvings.
During the Chinese New Year period, this courtyard is often open for festivities and outdoor performances.
On other days, there is now an admission charge of RM5 for adult and free for children under 12 years. This has reduced the number of local visitors.
Worth visiting for any first timers.
Address: 18 Lebuh Cannon, 10200 Penang.
Directions: nestled amongst the little streets in town.. the entrance is just off lebuh cannon.. near the malay mosque..
Phone: +60 4 2614609
You cannot miss the blue painted walls of this imposing heritage building. It is located at Leith Street and triangulated by Chulia Street, Penang Road and Light Street.
The private owners have bought this mansion and restored to building to its original splendour - winning a UNESCO restoration award. It was the 19th century residence of Cheong Fatt Tze, a Hakka immigrant "rags to riches" millionaire who was deputized by the Qing Emperor.
There is a tour twice a day which covers the "fengshui" or geomancy aspects of the building. Upstairs, the glass windows are beautifully restored.
There is also an interesting small souvenir shop. Also refurnished heritage rooms for tourist accommodation with a nice courtyard.
Worthy of a visit for any first timers.
Address: 14 Leith Street, George Town
Phone: 604 2625289
Penang Hill is one of the most popular tourist destinations. I have been there umpteen times and still always find it a great get-away.
There are no cars up there. The entire George Town is 800 meters below your feet.
The most popular and recommended way for tourists is to take the funicular train. There is a waiting time and so plan ahead.
The second way which used by local hikers is the trail of "Moon Gate" or "84" from Botanical Gardens or the steeper route from Heng Teik Estate of Air Itam or even the most adventurous route from Air Itam Dam.
The third way is by jeep from the Botanical Gardens but this is reserved for hill top residents and for emergency situations.
During school holidays and weekends, the funicular train can be very crowded with long queues. Often tickets are sold out.
Now same day ticket can be bought in advance and you can just come back at your assigned time. You can come down at any time but factor 30 minutes to an hour wait.
Round trip ticket at RM4 for an adult is a steal.
Up at the top, you have excellent views of George Town, Penang Bridge and the mainland across the channel. Worth having coffee or tea at the Bellevue Hotel for an outstanding panaromic view. It is cool and can be chilly and windy at night especially after a rain. Night view when the lights are out is spectacular. So if you want to see that, plan to stay up until 8pm.
The funicular train is a two levels system. Each level has two tram coaches linked by a cable and pulley. The tram coaches will pass each other at a junction. This is a great time to take a photo. There is a "Middle Station" where passengers alight and transfer to the other level system. Usually, passengers will rush to the next coach to get a seat. Safety comes first especially with younger children and seniors. So be prepared to stand all the way up.
Train arrives every 15 minutes. Total of 30 minutes to get to the top of the Penang Hill. The waiting time can be up 2 hours on crowded days. Visit to Penang Hill a must if you have time.
Address: Air Itam, Penang Island
This is a very popular tourist temple.
According to legend, the "footprint" on the rock is that of the famous Admiral Cheng Ho (Zheng He) who sailed all over Asia and around the Indian Ocean to Africa during the Ming Dynasty.
What is admirable about Admiral Cheng Ho is that he is a Muslim eunuch from a minority tribe who has risen up in his career to the highest maritime position in the Ming Imperial Empire.
Several famous Chinese generals and admirals has been deitified. It is like sainthood. And Admiral Cheng Ho is one of them.
At this temple, coins are being thrown into the footprint for good luck.
Address: At the end of Batu Maung, near the jetty
Known as "Mi Fu" or "Beautiful Fu" by the local ethnic Hakka Chinese, it was a very popular white sandy beach to swim in previously crystal clear sea, dig a few centimeters into the sand for small tasty edible bivalves called "siput", pick corals and shells or have a family picnic undere the coastal trees.
Today, however due to development of pig farming, much of the pristine beauty is no longer there. Yet, it is a breath of fresh air away from housing estates, shopping malls and factories of Penang island.
See the additional close up photos of the "Pagoda" trees along the beach.
The water in the cove is still calm and shimmering in the sun. Boats leaving and arriving at the jetty with plenty of memories of good old days if you are revisiting.
Balik Pulau is a quiet "cowboy town" with a main street in the south west of Penang Island. It is separated by verdant hills from the more developed north east part of Penang.
Traditionally, it is a winding road trip from the north from Teluk Bahang or from the south via Teluk Kumbar and Batu Maung. Today, there is a steep hilly shortcut with outstanding vistas from Paya Terubong and Bayan Baru. This has shorten the trip to Balik Pulau from 3-4 hours to less than an hour from George Town.
Balik Pulau is flowing with tourists during the durian season around May-July. There is a shorter season in November-December. There are many different grades and special sought after high quality durian "brands" in Balik Pulau. Prices vary with the supply depending on weather.
On non-durian season, there is the famous Balik Pulau hawker food, including laksa, hokkien mee and koay teow thng.
Parking in the middle of town is limited but several car parks have sprung up.
This unique mosque of Acehness architecture is under restoration.
It was built in the 19th century as there were many Acehness who came to Penang of civil wars over in Aceh.
As Penang was a thriving Southeast Asia port, it was easy for Acehnese families to travel between Aceh and Penang even back then.
Today it has become a must take photo in Penang Heritage trail.
This two storey building with internal air well of the Straits Chinese design belonged to a Chinese business Cheah Joo Seang.
It became the base of Dr. Sun Yat Sen during 1909-1911 when he was raising funds and fighting against the Imperial Manchu Dynasty resulting in the formation of the Republic of China in 1911 with Dr. Sun as the provisional President.
The interior of this beautiful building with intricate woodwork and Peranakan furniture was restored by a Penangite heritage book writer and conservationist Salma Khoo Nasution and open to public viewing.
Address: 120 Armenian Street, George Town
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