Penang is an island off the Northwest Coast of Malaysia. It’s made up of two islands, one of which seems to be more developed and the other being for residential.
I absolutely loved this place. It’s above both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore for me because it has a bigger town feel but not as busy as a full city. Sure, there’s a few shopping malls but they’re not on every other block. The architecture still has an old town feel and as the title reads, the food is amazing!! I also met some great people in my hostel which made my experience even better.
Okay. I’m not randomly throwing the “A Foodie’s Dream” shit on my posts just because I can’t think of any clever title. Almost every meal I had 3-4 dishes because that’s how much variety Penang has. There’s Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, and a fusion of everything in between. There’s so many dishes I tried here I haven’t really seen anywhere else in Malaysia or back home.
Again, streets filled with food carts is the way to go if you want authentic Penang grub. There are plenty of random streets with a few stalls here and there but these are the 4 main ones and I hit them all!
Opens for dinner time. This stop is a must! It’s the most authentic street for hawker food. I spent two of my nights here for dinner and still didn’t try everything. My favourites were the Koay Chap, Lobak, and Chee cheong fun. Get here early for the Koay Chap or else be ready to wait in a line of 15+ people.
Penang Road Famous Cendul
Opens for lunch time. The Cendul line is long but they work so fast that it’s less than 10 minutes. My gawwdd that’s one of the best desserts I’ve had. It’s a mix of milk, ice, beans, and some other goodies I have no idea. There’s a coffee like flavour in it that I’m not sure if it’s actually coffee. Also, I enjoyed the Char Kway Teow here more than the one on Gurney drive.
Opens for dinner time. One of the newer hawker lanes that seems to have more tourists than the other ones. The noodles in the Wan Tah Mee had the perfect al dente texture and along with the sauce… I miss it already :(. The curry mee was really good but a bit too spicy for me.
Gurney Drive Hawker Centre
Open for dinner time. This is probably the biggest amount of food stalls out of the 4. It’s broken up into Chinese/Malaysian and Indian on the other side. The Char Kway Teow and Assam Laksa here were good but not the best I had in Penang. If you’re short on time this one could be skipped.
I also hit some random places on my way to attractions. One of them being an Assam Laksa which was so good I had two bowls. Instead of using coconut milk and curry like the ones we’re used to, the base broth uses fish, tamarind, ginger, and a shrimp paste for more flavouring.
Sightseeing & Attractions
If food isn’t your thing, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. But there’s a bit of everything for everyone. There’s plenty of attractions like temples, street art, museums, and mansions. Beaches are about 30 minutes away from Georgetown. Head towards the Georgetown dock areas to see Clan Jetties and how they live on the docks. Enjoy a cafe sprawled throughout the town with a large amount of them on Love Lane. Or cool off at the top of Penang Hill and enjoy the spectacular view. I really couldn’t get enough of this place.
I spent the day with Joe, Hanna, and Bethan who are university students studying in Singapore. They took a 15 hour bus ride up to Penang for the long weekend and be blessed by my company.
One could easily spend the whole day here enjoying the quietness and spectacular views. The easiest way to get to the top is to take the cable car from the bottom with many stop points along the way. In between are easy trails (paved roads) that cut through the forest of the hill. We rode all the way to the top though.
I spent half a day hitting 3 different Buddhist Temples. For me, Chinese Buddhist temples are not only for Sightseeing but a chance to pray and burn incense. I always feel at peace after visiting a temple and completing the ritual.
Well, if you’re here reading this you can probably tell I’m a fatass for food. But the second thing I love most about traveling is learning about photography. This place has cameras from the beginning all the way through to modern times. It’s really cool to see how this machine has developed throughout the years.
Pinang Peranakan Mansion
This Mansion belonged to the richest man in Penang in the 19th century. It’s interesting to see the different rooms and their purposes. I enjoyed coming here to look around and escape the heat as well.
There are six remaining jetties that are home to Chinese Clans that still inhabit them today. The homes sit on the harbourfront on stilts! Cool to see and they sell souvenirs and food that’s worth having a look. Walk a bit past the homes and stalls and you’ll see a beautiful view towards Butterworth.
Just like Ipoh, there’s alot of street art sprinkled throughout the city. Just have to slow down and find them.
I definitely want to come back to this place. Maybe not on this trip but in the future when I feel a need to relax and enjoy a shit load of food.
Looping my way back to Malacca for a short stopover.