Penang is one of the favourite places for people to travel to. It is considered as the food heaven of Malaysia and there are a lot of good places to fill up the tummy. One can never get hungry in Penang, except if, well, you don’t have enough money to buy food ;p
Apart from the food, there are other things worth trying or seeing or doing while in Penang. Here are some of the ‘must’ based on my personal experience:
1. Penang Street Art
Right at the World Heritage City of Georgetown, there are several mural paintings, painted by Ernest Zacharevic. So, rent a bicycle, grab a map from your hostels, cycle the city and find the murals. They are really nice!
2. Bookshop at the Chowrasta Market
Don’t be fooled by the rats that you may found zigzagging at the market. It is normal for an old wet market in an old city. If you are a book lover, head upstairs, where you can find a bookshop selling old and new books, with rows and rows of them. You can even sell your used books here. Reasonable price and good quality.
3. Penang Road Teochew Cendol
Situated at Penang Road, to be exact at a small alley called Lebuh Keng Kwee off the Penang Road, you will find two stalls facing each other, one with lesser people and another one with a long queue. The famous one? You make the guess! A cendol, or chendul as spelled on their signboard, is a type of dessert in Malaysia, but this one has the authenticity feel. Though the taste is nothing spectacular, try ordering one and eat/drink it while standing on the alley. The experience: priceless.
4. Roti Benggali Maliia Bakery
Situated at Transfer Road, one cannot miss this outlet while passing by the road. Eating Roti Benggali or Benggali Bread is a favourite pastimes of Malaysians especially during morning time. However, thanks to the names like Gardenia and High 5, eating Roti Benggali is a rare nowadays. Try it, buy a loaf, 2 loafs or even 5 loafs, and eat it with chicken curry. The smell of the bread will make you want to buy more!
5. Toast with Half Boiled Egg
Typical Malaysians will eat a toast and a half boiled egg separately. But go to this stall right opposite the Maliia Bakery and order roti bakar dengan telur separuh masak [a toast with a half boiled egg]. They will serve it together and indeed, it is a unique and healthy combination. :)
6. Teluk Bahang Dam
To be honest, there is nothing here. Except for a dam and a myth [or should I say urban legend?] surrounding the story of the dam. However, if you are stressful and want to have a calm feeling, try give this dam a try. It is very quiet, tranquil…. A wonderful feeling.
7. The Snake Temple
On the way to Bayan Lepas area, there will be a temple on the right hand side. Warn you: This is not your typical temple. It is named as the Snake Temple for a reason, and the reason is obvious. Give this temple a visit, at least it is something that one wouldn’t find in a temple in Bangkok, I think.
8. Bukit Bendera / Penang Hill
There is a saying: You have not visited Penang until you have visited the Penang Hill. Well, it is true. Apart from being the major tourist attraction here, you can see the whole of Georgetown from the peak of the hill. Hike it or ride on the train, have a cup of tea while being at the top. It makes you feel a little bit like in England, minus the cold and dry weather.
9. Nasi Kandar
Penang and Nasi Kandar is like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Inseparable. Be it Nasi Kandar Beratur, Nasi Kandar Line Clear or other Nasi Kandar outlets, you will never get bored with it unless you have it everyday. Haha. Choose your meals and have it with mixed gravy [kuah campur] and mixed the rice and the gravy, then eat it with your right hand. Yummy!
10. Old buildings at Town area
Being listed as a World Heritage City is a bless to the city of Georgetown. The old buildings are being repaired and repainted and now, it looks so beautiful. If you are a fan of architecture, history, or just love wandering around, rent a bicycle or walk around the town area, and enjoy all the old buildings Georgetown has to offer.
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