This waterfront attraction is situated towards the east of the island and represents an intrinsic part of the Chinese culture. Each jetty represents a Chinese clan, named after the surname of each clan with the Chew jetty being the most tourist-friendly one. In the past these jetties were places for loading and unloading of goods as well as for the mooring of sampans. A good place to take photos especially during the sunset and enjoy a glimpse into the past.
Penang botanical gardens is a tranquil garden nestled in the heart of Penang that contains a huge variety of indigenous and exotic plants. There’s a hiking trail that actually leads to the top of Penang Hill. Home to many macaques, tourists have been advised to not feed them as they turn agitated at the prospect of food. Nevertheless it is a beloved place by locals and tourists alike as a beautiful place to exercise and enjoy nature.
Penang National Park (With turtle sanctuary!)
Malaysia’s smallest national park is nothing to scoff at! It offers jungle walks and a turtle sanctuary for those willing to brave the hike to Pantai Kerachut. Those who aren’t might prefer the shorter trail to Monkey Beach, which has as the name implies plenty of monkeys. This is the more touristy of the two destinations, with Monkey beach having stalls and even cellphone access. Plenty of boat operators offer their services ferrying passengers from the National park entrance to both Monkey beach and Pantai Kerachut, offering weary visitors a rest for their sore legs. More adventurous people can go onwards from Monkey beach to the Muka head lighthouse where you can actually see the straits of Melaka.
Georgetown area (UNESCO Heritage Site)
Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on the 7th of July 2008, Georgetown area is a pleasant mix of old and new, featuring old houses converted into cafes featuring an Instagram-worthy hipster feel. Murals have popped up all over town for the inquisitive traveller, and plenty of amazing food from all corners of the world await the eager tourist. Hotels come in all shapes and sizes from the Penang Time Capsule hotel to a multitude of backpacker hostels.
One of Penang’s best known attractions, it is the highest point of Penang island and was favourite place for expatriats to live in after it was commissioned to be developed by Sir Francis Light. It can be reached via hiking up up the numerous trails from Botanical Garden or Penang Youth Park, or via the Penang Hill Roadway. Once you’re up there, you can visit the Hindu temple, drop by the food court for a well-deserved bowl of ice kacang or even visit The Habitat, featuring an authentic, diverse and educational Malaysian rainforest experience that involves a canopy walk!