Spending 24 Hours in Penang | Things To Do, Places To Visit, Food To Eat When In Penang, Malaysia

What would you do if you had 24 Hours in Penang?  Penang is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, and since then, many tourists flock to the Island for cultural sights, natural scenery and glorious food. Over the years, Penang slowly embraced foreign influence to keep up with the booming tourism industry, yet retaining its historical and cultural roots. Well, to cramp all the must-visits places into a day isn’t an easy task, so keep reading to know what to include in your own Penang Itinerary!

 

8.30pm: Morning Hike at Penang Hill

Start the morning by visiting the home of nature.  Take a 7-minutes ride on the Penang Hill Funicular Train to head up Penang Hill and The Habitat, an ecotourism site that consists of The Habitat Canopy Walk and the Treetop Walk. Besides the nature trails, you get a glimpse of the Flora and Fauna, at the Red Garden, Butterfly Bank, Yellow Garden, Purple Garden, Ginger Grove and Fragrance Garden.

Here’s a map of The Habitat :

Penang Hill 

Opening Hours: 6.30am – 11pm

Address: Penang Hill, Bukit Bendera, Penang

Admission Fee: RM30 or RM80 (fast lane)

Frequency of train: Every 20-25 minutes

 

The Habitat @ Penang Hill

Opening Hours: 9am – 7pm 

Address: Bukit Bendera, 11300 Penang

Admission Fee: RM20 (Adult), RM10 (Children aged 3-13 years old, Students, Senior Citizen)

 

11.30am: Cafehopping for Brunch

For foodies and avid cafe-hoppers like me, what is Penang without Georgetown and its millions of cafes scattered all around the town. Save street food like Char Kway Teoh and Penang Laksa for supper. Cafe-hop in the daytime because that’s when you get beautiful and instagrammable photos for the grid. I’ll probably cover another post with a whole list of Penang Cafes to go to. For now, here are my favourites:

Lunabar

  • Located in a quaint corner along a row of private houses; good for a quiet book-reading session.
  • Address: 10d, Jalan Clove Hall, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours: 1-7pm (Closed on Wednesdays)

Rollney

  • Walking distance from Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
  • Famous for chimney cakes with soft serve
  • Address: 67, Jalan Austin Heights 3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours: 1-11pm

China House

  • Warning: This is a popular and well-know place among expats and tourists so do expect it to be really crowded
  • Known for being the longest cafe in Penang
  • Address: 153, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours: 9am-1am

Macallum Connoisseurs Coffee Company

  • Warehouse / Industrial cafe setting with good pastas and specialty coffee
  • Address: 153, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours: 9am-12am

 

1pm: PHOTO-TAKING with Penang Mural Street Arts

You have to include this into your itinerary list because we simply live in a #picsoritdidnthappen society and you just have to be that typical tourist to take hipster shots with these street arts to prove that you have been-there-done-that. Though there are many street arts scattered all over Penang town, the good news is that you can actually find the location of the street arts on the Google Map. Most of the popular ones, like “Boy on the bike” are along Lebuh Armenian Street. Be prepared to queue up for your photo-taking turn though!

 

3.30pm: Tour at Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion

Coined as “one of the 10 Greatest Mansions in the World” by Lonely Planet, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion along Leith Street is a tourist attraction, as well as a Heritage Hotel of 18 suites, categorised into four collections, each with unique features and furnishings.

Daily guided tours in English (and sometimes Mandarin upon availability) showcase the unique history and outstanding craftsmanship of the Mansion, and a sneak peek into the lifestyle of Cheong Fatt Tze and his era. However, since The Blue Mansion is also operating as a hotel with staying guests, the area for the guided tours is only limited to the reception, the courtyard, a mini-museum showcase on the 2nd floor, as well as the shop where you can purchase souvenirs, books and gifts. Unlike some Peranakan Museums, photo-taking is allowed and encouraged.

Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion

Address: 14, Leith St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang,

Tour Timings: 11am, 2pm, 3.30pm (1 Hour per session)

Admission Fee: RM 17 

 

 5pm: Exploring Chew Jetty (姓周桥) 

The Chew Jetty is one of the 6 Heritage Clan Jetties in Penang, built in late 1800s. The Clan Jetties form part of the Penang Heritage Trail and are the last of old Chinese settlements on the island. Each clan sits on wooden stilts above the waters and has its own temple right at the end of each jetty.

Till today, the Chew Jetty is well-known as a tourist attraction and residents make a living out of this booming opportunity by selling food, products, and services like henna-painting and speed-boating activities in the day. I would discourage you to buy any souvenirs from the Chew Jetty though as they are priced double (unless you intend to help the residents economically), as compared to the same souvenirs that you would find along Lebuh Armenian Street.

Chew Jetty

Address: Chew Jetty, Weld Quay, George Town, 10300 George Tow, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 9am-9pm

 

6.30pm: Penang Rainbow Skywalk from Level 68 at the top @komtar

The best place to catch a sunset and have a bird’s eye view of Penang at the same time, would be The Rainbow Skywalk and Observatory Deck  at George Town’s highest point at KOMTAR. Level 65 consists of an air-conditioned Observatory Deck with a glass walkway that lets you have a 360 degrees view of Penang, whereas at Level 68, you get an open-air Rainbow Skywalk experience of walking on air 249m above ground!

Do keep a lookout for the weather before heading down though. I arrived at the tickets counter to realise that they have closed the Skywalk in advance due to lightning alert.

For families with kids visiting KOMTAR, you can also visit the activities at Avenue of Adventures.

Photo by Rokakdaily  

Penang Rainbow Skywalk 

Address: THETOP@KOMTAR. 1, Jalan Penang, 10000 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 10am-8pm (Observatory and Rainbow Skywalk)

Admission Fee: RM68

 

8.30pm: Be dazzled at the Penang Avatar Secret Garden (阿凡达神秘花园)

*Cues drumrolls* This is probably the highlight of my short trip to Penang. Any Avatar fan would agree with me that this is the most enchanting experience, and also the closest you could ever get to Avatar paradise. Even if you don’t watch Avatar, it’s a perfect Instagram-worthy frame anyway.

This Avatar Secret Garden is located behind Thai Pak Koong temple in Tanjung Tokong and the creative folks have transformed it into a neon fantasy, with colourful neon rope lightings draping down from tree branches and around tree trunks. Continue the journey and you will find yourself walking into a field of colourfully-lit LED tulip flowers at the back of the hill.

The best time to visit is probably 6.30pm in the evening as you could catch sunset at the beach beside the garden. The Avatar lights turn on around 7.30pmnso that gives you sufficient time to grab dinner at the Sea Pearl Lagoon Café  there that is known for its seafood.

Address: 336, Jalan Tokong Thai Pak Koong, Tanjung Tokong, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang

Opening Hours: 8am – 12am

Admission Fee: RM 1 

 

Penang is a place that I will definitely head back again to explore the corners in greater detail; the food, culture, history and lifestyle. If you want a quick summary of the places that I’ve visited in Penang, watch the Follow me to Penang video on The Sky Passport’s youtube channel. Share with me your Penang stories as well, would love to hear them!

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