By Clay Gilliland from Chandler, U.S.A. (George Town Penang, Malaysia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Asia,  Malaysia

Planning a trip to Penang, Malaysia

Next month I’m heading off for a two week jaunt to Penang, Malaysia and Singapore. My first stop is Malaysia, so I’ve been planning out a few things to see and do during my time on the island of Penang. Here are some of my ideas so far…

Explore George Town

Whenever I arrive somewhere new I do like to do a short ‘city’ tour to get my bearings and a taste of the area, so I’ve booked a George Town tour for the first morning in Penang.

Penang’s capital, this Unesco World Heritage Site looks to have a lot of colonial heritage and I’m looking to visiting historical sites like Fort Cornwallis and the Queen Victoria Clock Tower (which has a twin in the UK city of Brighton, no less!). Penang also has a hugely mixed community, so I’m excited to explore areas like Little India and also try some traditional Chinese dim sum for breakfast.

Take the funicular up Penang Hill

I’ve heard horror stories about being packed in trams like sardines, but I’m still looking forward to taking the funicular railway up the steep Penang Hill, and checking out the amazing view across the island. Hopefully the refurb means it’s a much nicer travelling experience these days…

Visit the Snake Temple

I’m considering visiting Penang’s Snake Temple, however I’ve heard some real mixed reviews about it, so I’m not quite sure what to expect. I’ve been told however,  the snake handler there is very friendly and happy to talk to you about his work as a regional expert in poisons – he regularly goes on trips to source anti-venom for hospitals. If I do make it there, I’ll be sure to write up my experiences…


So, from what I’m told, Penang is a foodie’s heaven! One of my favourite things to do on a trip is try out the local cuisine so I cannot wait to get down to some of the hawker stalls and get tasting some local delicacies!

I’m hoping to try some nasi kandar (rice and curries), roti jala (bread and curry) and sweet ice balls amongst other things, so expect lots of food related images on our Instagram account!

Fellow blogger Mark Walsh, from Nomadic Blue, has recommended visiting George Town’s Red Garden Food Paradise & Night Market and also the ChinaHouse bistro, so I’ll definitely be checking them out!

I’ve also been look out for a suitable afternoon tea venue in Penang for my latest Global Afternoon Tea Challenge, and so far it’s looking likely to be the Eastern and Oriental Hotel, which I’ve been told by blogging friend Matt Preston, from Travel with a Mate, has great old world colonial charm.

As if that wasn’t enough food-focused travelling, I’m also squeezing in a half-day cooking class at the Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School, where local cook Pearly Kee will be teaching us some Nyonya dishes. Noms!

Been to Penang Island before? If so I’d love to hear your recommendations on what to check out and where to eat etc. Please share your thoughts in the comments below – your ideas could end up on my Penang itinerary!


Featured image of George Town Penang by Clay Gilliland from Chandler, via Wikimedia Commons.


By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)

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