Undoubtedly, the best thing about Penang was street art for us! We had so much fun going on discovery tour for the famous paintings of Ernest Zacharevic in Georgetown, even though we were risking a heat stroke in Penang’s extremely hot weather.
Best street food you will taste in whole Malaysia
Besides the art, don’t miss to stop for an afternoon coffee or tea at Chinahouse, where you will have to make hard decisions about which cake to choose. They all look soooo incredibly good! We went for the best-selling caramel cheesecake, which was a feast!
Penang has a very vivid street food scene, even dedicating an own website www.penangfoodie.com to inform visitors as well as locals about the countless food and restaurant options. Our favorite: the seafood rice porridge at Kafe Kheng Pin. Unfortunately the food stalls at Kafe Kheng Pin are open only until 2 PM, but it was ideal for lunch time.
For dinner, we followed the advice of Lonely Planet and ventured out to the New Lane Street Foodstalls. However, we found the offering not as large and diverse as expected. Therefore, we preferred the Chulia Street Foodstalls most of the evenings, where we discovered a delicious laksa soup (Malaysian noodle soup with seafood). For drinks, you can try one of the many bars in Love Lane or, for a more authentic experience and significantly cheaper beer, a simple plastic chair bar around the corner of Muda Street.
Exploring the nature side of Penang – Penang National Park
We left Georgetown once to explore the National Park and take a look at the beaches. It was a 1 hour bus ride and it was a fairly interesting ride as you travel along the entire upper coast line. Honestly, if you are looking for some beach time, Penang won’t be your first address. Sadly, the beaches at the National Park are polluted (at the entrance) or prohibited to swim in due to jelly fish (at Turtle Beach). One beach – Monkey Beach – is said to be suitable for swimming, however at the time we were there the foot path was closed off due to a land slide and we decided it was not worth it for us to pay 20€ for a boat ride. We decided to jungle hike to Turtle beach instead to see the turtles sanctuary. It is quite a sweaty 1.5 hours (3.4 km) up-and-down hike, so make sure to bring enough water and some food as you won’t find any over there.
Why Penang is better than Hawaii – from a local’s eyes
While stopping to buy water in one of the local shops, we got into a conversation with the shop owner. He was telling us about Penang and was so proud to call it his home. So proud, that he listed five facts why, in his eyes, Penang is better than Hawaii.
- It’s good weather all year long, there are no seasons in Penang
- The food is healthy and tasty
- There is no eminent risk of natural disasters (no volcanos, earthquakes, hurricanes)
- People are friendly
- There is no threat of terrorism, Penang is peaceful
So cute, isn’t it?