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6 Things You Never Knew You Could Do in Penang

The food's great but there's more!

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There’s a reason why Penang is known as “The Pearl of the Orient”. Repeatedly ranked as a world top travel destination, Penang has an old town charm that evokes nostalgia at every sidewalk. The island is laced with old buildings steeped in history and heritage, trishaws line the streets and amongst all of it, modern culture appears in the form of art paying homage to the island’s history and many cultures.

The great thing about a place like Penang is that because it is constantly bustling, there will always be new and exciting things that you wouldn’t have checked out before. In fact, our bets are that by the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll just might want to plan a trip to the island yourself. So get ready to dig in, here are six things that you never knew you could do in Penang!

Penang War Museum

Opening Hours : 9.00am to 6.00pm daily (night tours available)
Entrance Fee :
Foreigners - Adult RM 30.00 / Child (5 - 12 years) RM 15.00
Malaysians - Adult RM 15.00 / Child (5 - 12 years) RM 7.50
Address: Jalan Batu Maung, 11960 Batu Maung, Pulau Pinang
Telephone Number: +60 16-421 3606 / (604)-626-5142

Described as one of the top 10 most haunted places in Asia according to National Geographic, the Penang War Museum in Bukit Hantu (Ghost Hill) stands on the grounds of a former British command center. After the invasion of the Japanese, the fort was abandoned by the British and afterwards used as a camp for prisoners of war.

Today, visitors will get to visit bunkers and barracks that were previously used by the British. Exhibits from collections overseas have also been imported in to be placed on display. While visitors might find that information listed may not always be historically accurate, the Penang War Museum is the largest war museum in Southeast Asia, and that itself warrants a visit.

Penang Avatar Secret Garden

Opening Hours : 7.30pm to 11.45pm
Entrance Fee : Free
Address: 336, Jalan Tokong Thai Pak Koong, Tanjung Tokong, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang

Step into Pandora at Penang’s Avatar Secret Garden. Colourful LED lights are draped over the trees for a stunning view. Visit the site at night for the best experience. However, bear in mind that the place can get quite crowded during peak season. Hence, it is advisable to arrive early at 6.30pm to avoid parking issues. You can even catch a great seafood dinner at the nearby restaurant or take a walk around the fishing village before immersing yourself in a neon fantasy.

Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm

Opening Hours : 9.00am to 6.00pm daily
Entrance Fee :
Foreigners - Adult RM 60.00 / Child (5 - 12 years) RM 40.00
Malaysians - Adult RM 45.00 / Child (5 - 12 years) RM 25.00
Address: 830 Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang, Malaysia
Telephone Number: (604)-888-8111

Although a small town, Penang is home to Malaysia’s largest butterfly farm: Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm. The farm is home to 120 species with an approximate of 13,000 butterflies fluttering around the area.

Visitors can take a walk through the maze-like environment, visit the outdoor (Natureland) and indoor (Cocoon) area and learn lots of new knowledge about all sorts of insects and invertebrates. A great experience to have with the entire family!

Tropical Spice Garden

Opening Hours : 9.00am to 6.00pm daily (last admission at 5.15pm) [night tours available upon reservation]
Entrance Fee :
Audio Tours - Adult RM 26.10 / Child (5 - 12 years) RM 15.30 / Student & Senior Citizen RM 20.70
Guided Tours - Adult RM 40.50 / Child (5 - 12 years) RM 18.00 / Student & Senior Citizen RM 31.50
Address: Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang,11050 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Telephone Number: (604)-881-1797

A haven of tranquility, Penang’s Tropical Spice Garden is a great place to visit for a respite from city life. The lush landscape is filled with lessons and stories about spices and plants that visitors can listen to through the audio or guided tour.

For a more riveting experience, visitors can even make reservations for night tours to experience the rainforest garden in its undisturbed state while being led by their sense of sound and sight. Cooking classes are also available!

Penang Ghost Museum

Opening Hours : Weekdays - 10.00am to 7.00pm  / Weekends & Public Holidays - 10.00am to 9.00pm
Entrance Fee :
Foreigners - Adult RM 36.00 / Child (5 - 12 years) RM 16.00
Malaysians - Adult RM 18.00 / Child (5 - 12 years) & Senior Citizens RM 8.00 / Students RM 10.00
Address: 57, Lebuh Melayu, Georgetown, 10100 Penang, Malaysia
Telephone Number: +60 16-421 3606 / (604)-261-2352

Pop into Penang’s Ghost Museum for a quick paranormal fix! The museum displays ghosts found in local legends and stories as well as those internationally known. Thrill seekers might not be impressed by the lack of horror, but the museum serves as a good “educational” purpose. Furthermore, it’s a fun place to capture some out-of-the-ordinary shots with your friends.

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Opening Hours : 9.30am to 5.00pm daily
Entrance Fee : Adult RM 20.00 / Child (below 6 years) Free
Address: 29, Church Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia
Telephone Number: (604)-264-2929

Built at the end of the 19th century, the ‘Hai Kee Chan’ (Sea Remembrance Store) once served as the residence and office of Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee. After years of neglect, the mansion has now been restored to reflect its former glory, acting as a Baba-Nyonya museum.   

The unmistakable East meets West character to the museum offers visitors a glimpse of the culture and lifestyle belonging to the Peranakans of the Straits Settlements. Presently, Peranakan culture is still highly evident in Penang. Hence, with over 1,000 pieces of antiques and collectibles on display, visiting the museum is a great way to get educated about the history that has played a major role to the island.

Where to Stay

Convinced that you have to check out these attractions by yourself? Penang has loads more to offer! However, in a place so popular among tourist, it might be difficult to decide on accommodation. But worry not, here are our top hotel recommendations!

Vouk Hotel Suites: Perfect city center location


Located in the heart of Georgetown, Vouk Hotel Suites is the perfect place to stay if you want to be in close proximity to Penang’s most popular tourist attractions and all of the city’s hot spots. Travellers seeking charm, comfort and convenience will find it the ideal place to stay at.

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang: Great for families


A beachside resort, DoubleTree is the perfect place to get all the sun and relax that you want. Complimentary shuttle is offered to tourist hotspots such as Batu Ferringhi and George Town and guests will even get direct access to the public beach. A great family resort too!

Vouk Suites @ Mansion One: Equal parts work and play


The most iconic serviced apartment in Penang, Vouk Suites @ Mansion One is a place for business and leisure. Its convenient location offers guests easy access to popular spots in the city and comfort is a priority, making it feel like a home away from home.

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