Red lanterns hanging from the buddha Guanyin statue in a Chinese temple in Penang, Malaysia
PEDAL, PRAY AND POTLUCK IN PENANG

Cruise to Penang, Malaysia

An island state just off the coast of northwest Malaysia, Penang is rich in diverse cultural influences thanks to its history as a trading center between India, China, Britain and the Middle East. Head to historic George Town, the island's capital city, where bicycles and trishaws (three-wheeled, pedal-powered vehicles) dart along narrow streets lined with mural-adorned buildings and varied architecture. Cruise to Penang to step into the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia at St. George's, or check out the Kapitan Keling Mosque. Then, take the tram up to the cooler, minty-fresh air of Penang Hill — walk through the bird sanctuary or one of the nature trails, and take in views of the city below and the mountains in the distance.
National Language Malay
Currency Accepted Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)

Things To Do in Penang

Cheong Fatt Tze Blue Mansion in Penang, Malaysia

Penang, Malaysia Cheong Fatt Tze Blue Mansion

Malaysian Mansions

Malaysian Mansions

Make your way to the Blue Mansion, dating back to the 1880s, and snap a photo from outside or take a tour of its 38 rooms. Or check out the Pinang Peranakan Museum, housed in a 19th-century mansion, where you'll see intricate Peranakan clothing, jewelry and the history of the island and people.

Street art of a boy riding a motorcycle in Penang, Malaysia

Penang, Malaysia Street Art

Neighborhood Flavor

Neighborhood Flavor

Walk through George Town to experience Penang's historic architecture — be sure to make frequent stops to sample the famous street food, with dishes like char koay teow, fried strips of rice cake with soy sauce, sausage and shrimp. Stroll around the UNESCO zone and check out the unique street art, often with historical or political undertones.

The statue of Guanyin or Goddess of Mercy at Chinese buddhist temple, Penang, Malaysia

Penang, Malaysia Guanyin Goddess Buddha

Rich in Religions

Penang is rich in distinctive architecture from many of the world's religions. See the fresco-covered Dharmikarama Burmese Temple, the only Burmese temple outside of Myanmar with your cruise to Penang. Check out Taoist Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) Temple — built in 1728, it's Penang's oldest religious site. Or head to Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple, covered with colorful soldiers and goddesses.

A close up of fresh oyster mixed into an omelette

Penang, Malaysia Oyster Omelette

Local Cuisine

Penang is world-renowned for its street food. Snack on an oyster omelette, in which oysters are fried with eggs and scallions and made crispy with rice flour. Experience the region's Indian influence with tandoori chicken and naan bread. Try Penang's signature dessert, cendol — shaved ice with coconut milk topped with palm sugar, sweet beans and green gummies made from pandan leaf jelly.

Souvenir shops in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Penang, Malaysia Souvenir Shops

Shopping

The Penang Perankan Mansion houses historic beaded shoes of Nonya design — look for replicas in the shops and street vendors throughout George Town. Check out the Chowrasta Bazaar for handmade clothing, antique watches, traditional fans and other unique finds.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Walk carefully: Sidewalks are often used for motorcycle parking so it can be easier to walk on the road.
2 If you have time and are looking to stretch your legs, hike up Penang Hill instead of taking the tram — the trek takes about 90 minutes.

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