Have a Blast Exploring Penang in 3D2N
April 29, 2017
The island of Penang has had various monikers over the years, ranging from the prosaic Pulau Pinang to the poetic “Pearl of the Orient”, and is one of Malaysia’s premier holiday destinations. The close-knit community of diverse ethnicities and cultures are reflected in many areas with a mixture of mosques, Buddhist and Hindu temples and churches located along one street. Food lovers from all over the world flock here to sample the island’s delicacies too. First time to Penang? Perhaps my 3D2N itinerary might be useful for you.
Day 1 – Penang’s Heritage Trail & The Street Art of Georgetown
Begin your day with breakfast at One Corner Café. We dropped by as we heard about the legendary Super Hokkien Mee. Unfortunately, it was closed when we visited, so we had Lor Mee and Curry Mee instead. The secret to good lor mee is in getting the consistency of the gravy right. If the gravy is too thick and gooey, it is not tasty. But, if it is too diluted, it isn’t good either. The gravy here is just right, flavourful yet light on the palate.
The curry mee is well prepared as well. Noodles are soaked in a spicy coconut-milk based broth, garnished generously with bean sprouts, cuttlefish, and bean curd puffs. You have the option of adding pigs’ blood too. We heard that the assam laksa here is also delicious, but it’s too early for our stomachs to take so much food. You should order it with a couple of fried spring rolls, as this is how local “Penangites” enjoy the dish.
One Corner Café Details
Address: 4 Jalan Bawasah, 10050 Georgetown
Opening Hours: 7.30am to 4.30pm daily, but the timing for different stalls might vary.
Having begun your day right with a scrumptious breakfast spread, it’s time to burn some calories away. You can explore temples, mosques, and churches in Georgetown on foot. The most popular temple is the Goddess of Mercy Temple, dedicated to Kuan Yin. There are different dialact groups in Penang, as well as, people from different Clans hence, you’ll come across the Teochew Temple, She Tek Tong Cheah Kongsi, Khoo Kongsi and many more. Don’t forget to visit the most impressive Kapitan Keling Mosque too!
We’re pretty sure you’ll feel tired from exploring Georgetown under the scorching hot sun. Be sure to pop by Joo Hooi café (more like a coffeeshop setting) and have a bowl of Chendol – the perfect remedy to counter the heat. You can also settle your lunch here, and we recommend the famous Assam Laksa. Rice noodles are served in a hot and sour, fish-based gravy topped with lots of aromatic herbs such as torch ginger flower, polygonum and lemongrass. The laksa gravy here is rich and deeply flavoured.
Joo Hooi Café Details
Address: 475 Jalan Penang, 10450 Georgetown
Opening Hours: 11am to 5.30pm. Closed on Thursdays. Do note that the timing for different stalls might vary.
After lunch, you can either take a leisure stroll around Georgetown to check out the interesting street art. We recommend renting a bicycle as it costs as cheap as 8RM for 5 hours, and you get to cover more within a shorter time. I’ve done a detailed article on marking the creative street art of Georgetown previously, so you can click the link for more information.
When the sun goes down, head to Chulia Street’s Night Hawker Stalls. It’s better to go with a bunch of friends so you can share different variety of local eats, ranging from char kway teow, to wanton mee, lor bak, and chee cheong fun, just to name a few.
Day 2 – Batu Ferringhi
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, so when visiting Penang, follow the customs and habits of the locals. Start the day with traditional kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs, and a cup of kopi (coffee) or teh (tea). Toh Soon Café is conveniently located. It exudes a nostalgic atmosphere. The servers still toast bread the traditional way, over charcoal. It’s crispy on the outside, yet remaining slightly fluffy within. We love their coffee bread and egg bread!
Toh Soon Café Details
Address: 184 Campbell Street, 10100 Georgetown
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 8am to 6pm. Closed on Sundays.
After breakfast, you can uber or grab, or just take a bus if you’re on a budget to Batu Ferringhi area. Located on the Northern coast of Penang, Batu Ferringhi features many natural wonders. Georgetown is an extremely popular area for tourists but in recent years, Batu Ferringhi has caught up and is now, the second most visited destination in Penang.
Be charmed by more than 500 kinds of exotic fauna and flora from all over the world, with an emphasis on spices at Tropical Spice Garden. Take a short break at Bamboo Garden and drink the herbal tea. Before leaving, drop by The Tree Monkey outdoor café for lunch. Treat your tastebuds to an array of Thai food while admiring the picturesque Teluk Bahang shoreline. Read my detailed review here.
Tropical Spice Garden Details
Address: Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang, Malaysia
Telephone Number: +604 881 1797 / +6012 590 8797
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm daily. Last admission at 5.15pm. Note that The Tree Monkey café is open from 9am to 10pm daily while the gift shop is open from 9am to 4.30pm daily.
Discover one of the largest and finest temples in Southeast Asia after lunch – Kek Lok Si Temple – situated strategically on a sprawling hill. Built in 1891, this temple houses numerous magnificent images of Buddha, meaningful carvings, sculptures, and murals. You can also get scenic views of the hills outside the temple.
Kek Lok Si Details
Address: 11500 Ayer Itam
Telephone Number: 04-8283317
Opening Hours: 7am to 5.30pm daily
Just a short drive away from Kek Lok Si is Penang Hill. This is the oldest British hill station in Southeast Asia, where the highest peak stands at 833 metres above sea level. Take the funicular train service up for a panoramic view of the island of Penang. You can stay there till sundown, just to watch the island lighting up.
Penang Hill Details
Address: Perbadanan Bukit Bendera, Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera, Ayer Itam, 11500 Pulau Pinang
Telephone Number: +604-8288880 or +604-8288839
Opening Hours: The Funicular runs from 6.30am to 11pm daily.
You must be famished after a full day of adventure hence Farlim Night Market is an ideal place for dinner. It’s the largest night market in Penang, and you can find local dishes like duck rice, rojak, carrot cake, tau huey and many more. The night market is open on Wednesdays, from 6.30pm to approximately 11pm.
Day 3 – Georgetown & The Clan Jetties
Bazaar Chowrasta is the famous wet market in Georgetown where you can get fresh fish, meat, fruit and vegetables so you’ll be rubbing shoulders with many locals who purchase their groceries here. It is a morning market so visit early if you need time to explore the interesting things sold here. There are a number of hawker stalls here for breakfast as well. Click here for more information.
After you’re done filling your tummies at Bazaar Chowrasta, have fun and snap away at the Upside Down Museum. There are friendly employees guiding you on your poses while capturing shots for you so just think of this museum as a place for your photoshoot. Both the interior and exterior of the museum are upside down, with different kinds of sloping angles. It is fun to challenge your visual and balance by turning your ordered life topsy-turvy!
Upside Down Museum Details
Address: 45 Lebuh Kimberly, 10100 Georgetown, Penang
Telephone Number: 04 264 2660
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8.45am to 6.30pm. Sat, Sun & PH 8.45am to 7.30pm.
Take a lunch break at Hong Kee Wan Thun Mee and savour some roast delights and wanton noodles. We aren’t sure why so many people have been raving about this place, as we felt the food isn’t fantastic. It’s decent, but without the “wow” factor. We prefer the wanton mee from one of Chulia Street’s night hawker stalls.
Hong Kee Wan Thun Mee Details
Address: 37 Campbell Street, 10100 Georgetown
Opening Hours: 9am to 10pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Those who are taking an afternoon flight home after lunch will have to give the following activities a miss. But, for those who still have time to spare. You might want to check out other museums in Georgetown such as The Camera Museum or Wonderfood Museum. You can also visit Urban Artisan for their colourful, unicorn-like soft-serve ice cream to escape the sweltering heat.
Before your trip ends, catch the gorgeous sunset at either Chew Jetty or Tan Jetty. You can also have a fulfilling dinner at the night hawker stalls along Lebuh Kimberley.
Hope this 3D2N itinerary helps you in planning your desired Penang trip! Have fun!
Thank you Tess!