Top 10 Places to Visit in Penang

Penang has plenty of must-see attractions that you should cover in your itinerary if you wish to experience Penang in a short space of time. In our list of Top 10 Places to Visit in Penang, we skip the unimportant sights, and instead focus on places that can be considered the essence of the island – so much so that to miss them would be as good as not having been to Penang in the first place. When handpicking selections for our list, we decided upon an interesting and eclectic mix of modern and quirky offerings, family-friendly amusement parks, and natural and cultural attractions, all of which are suitable for visitors of all ages.

1. Cheah Kongsi

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Looks exquisite after a recent major restoration of some parts of the building , Cheah Kongsi is home to the oldest Straits Chinese clan association in Penang. The embellished front part of the clan house can be seen clearly across a grassy lawn from Lebuh Pantai, but the official entrance where you need to buy a ticket is on Lebuh Armenian.

2. Khoo Kongsi

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This glorious clan house is one of the most impressive building in George Town. Guided tours begin at the stone carvings that dance across the entrance hall and pavilions, which most of the building’s architecture are meant to symbolize and attract good luck and wealth. The building’s interior is designed and dominated with incredible murals depicting birthdays, weddings and, most impressively, the 36 celestial guardians.

3. Blue Mansion

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Know to be one of Penang’s most authentic heritage hotels, with a stunning 38-room, 220-window , ‘Blue Mansion’ was built in the 1880s and rescued from ruin in the 1990s. It fuses Eastern and Western designs with louvered windows, art stained glass and beautiful ceramic floor tiles, and is a rare surviving example of the comprehensive architectural style preferred by wealthy Straits Chinese.

4. Pinang Peranakan Mansion & Straits Chinese Jewelry Museum

This conspicuous , mint-green structure is among the most stunning restored and preserved residences in Georgetown. A self-guided tour clarifies that every door, wall and hallway is carved and often painted in gold leaf; the grand rooms are furnished with astonishing wood furniture with complex mother-of-pearl inlay; there are displays of charming antiques such as old bright-colored and black and white photos of the family in regal Chinese dress grace the walls.

5. Penang National Park

With just over 2300 hectares, Penang National Park is the smallest newly established parks in Malaysia; having attained national park status in 2003. It offers some fascinating and challenging jungle trails, as well as some of the island’s finest and peaceful beaches. Private guides and several boat operators can be found near the park entrance. One way trip from Teluk Duyung (Monkey Beach) will cost you RM50,  if you’re from Pantai Kerachut ,  it would cost you around RM90 and from Teluk Kampi is RM100.

6. Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple

The Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple, the same with many Hindu temples in Malaysia, had its humble origin over a hundred years ago as an estate temple to accommodate the needs of the estate workers living in the Paduma Estate in Seberang Perai. The area where the estate was located later turned into the new township of Seberang Jaya in the 1970s, resulting in the removal of two temples located in the area. Nevertheless, the Penang State Government granted a piece of land for the building of a new Hindu temple in response to the urging residents.

7. Batu Ferringhi

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One of Penang’s most favored destinations (in fact, it’s the second most popular destination after Georgetown), Batu Ferringhi is basically a long stretch of soft, white sandy beach along a winding road named Jalan Batu Ferringhi , filled with a wide number of accommodations and dining options. Its night market can be considered legendary, while its waters are popular spots for a wide range of water sports activities such as jet-skiing, parasailing and windsurfing.

8. Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest

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Located 457m above sea level, Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest stretches over 37 hectares of luxuriant , hilly terrain. This forest reserve is provided with camping sites and numerous streams pouring into shallow ponds. The four-kilometer hiking trail that leads all the way to the mountain’s summit is extremely popular among hikers and joggers alike. A small waterfall also passes through this area, providing visitors with a refreshing cool dip.

9. Clan Jetties

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Clan Jetties form a big part of the Penang Heritage Trail. There used to be seven jetties until one was destroyed by fire and now six still standing. Advertised as one of the last bastions of old Chinese settlements on the island, this waterfront community is home to houses on stilts of various Chinese clans. Located further down from Lebuh Chulia at Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay), these water villages are over a century old.

10. Dharmikarama Burmese Temple

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Dharmikarama Burmese Temple is the only Burmese Buddhist temple outside of Myanmar. Located in Georgetown Penang, it stands opposite Wat Chayamangkalaram Temple, with a pair of large stone elephants flanking the front gates. Inside the pagoda grounds is a Boddhi tree, a wishing pond and apartments for monks. Devotees have contributed many statues of Buddha, so his serene-faced image can be found at almost every corner in different meditation poses. The walkways have a series of panels with beautiful murals depicting scenes of the journey of Prince Siddharta (dressed in typical Burmese fashion) achieving Nirvana and becoming Buddha.

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