Best of Penang in 2 Days
(18 February, 2012)
Best of Penang in Two Days
is the itinerary for a self-guided tour of Penang Island which you can do in two days. I create it to help people get to know Penang Island and have the opportunity to visit all the must-see sights. It is ideal for people who have only two days to see "everything" in Penang. So, if you are coming to Penang for a weekend, this self-guided tour will be useful.
You may print out any of the pages in Penang Travel Tips for your personal reference. Do bring it along when you come to explore Penang. If you find the information useful, please mention and link it to your website, blog or forum. Please do not extract or copy the content to your site or blog, just link to it please. If you wish to use the photos in this website for your site or blog, please ask for my permission first.
Guided Penang Tours
There's no comparison to engaging someone to guide you around. If you get an experience tour guide, he/she will be able to provide you fascinating details about the sights which will make your discovery of Penang all the more entertaining. There's a price to pay for someone's time, of course. If you wish to engage a tour guide, contact me (my email address is at the end of this article) and I'll arrange one for you, for both walking tour or coached tour. I myself do take small groups on walks and coach tours, whenever I am available, so if the timing is right, I can also guide you around.
Having said that, getting a tour guide is optional. That's because you can really explore Penang on your own using the notes in Penang Travel Tips.
Now let's get started ...
Okay, assuming you only have 2 days to see Penang, here's the Best of Penang in Two Days. On the first day, we will explore George Town on foot. On the second day we will explore the other places in Penang relying on public bus. Sights are mentioned with links. You should visit the links for details of each sight, accompanied by photos.
On your first day in Penang, we will go on foot (or as they say in Penang, take "Bus No. 11") to explore George Town. It is quite a compact city and can easily be covered by walking. We will start at the Esplanade, the section where the British landed in 1786 and opened it as a British trading port.
Our self-guided tour begins at the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Memorial Clock Tower
. Talk along Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah
. Enjoy the view of the sea and the George Town skyline. See Padang Kota Lama
, the British parade field. It was dense forest when Captain Francis Light
arrived. Visit Fort Cornwallis
, the biggest intact fortress in Malaysia.
Coming out of Fort Cornwallis, continue along Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah. Visit the Cenotaph
. Turn left into Jalan Padang Kota Lama
. Admire the City Hall
and Town Hall
. Visit the Municipal Fountain
Turn right, walk along Lebuh Light
. Visit Logan Memorial
and the Penang Supreme Court
. Visit Convent Light Street
, oldest Catholic girl's school in Malaysia. If you're allowed entry, go in and look for Government House
and Francis Light's Well
From Lebuh Light, continue to walk to Lebuh Farquhar
. Take the pedestrian bridge to cross Lebuh Farquhar, with St. Xavier's Institution
, oldest Catholic boys' school in Malaysia, in front of you. Walk along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah
) until junction of Lebuh Leith, cross the road to visit Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
. There are guided tours of the mansion twice a day (at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, at RM12.00 per person, call them ahead to arrange, at 262 0006).
From Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, continue along Lebuh Leith, then turn left into Lebuh Muntri
. Admire the Straits Eclectic townhouses, in varying degrees of preservation, along Lebuh Muntri. At junction of Love Lane
, turn left. Walk along Love Lane until reaching Lebuh Farquhar again, and turn right. Pass Church of the Assumption
on your right, then visit the Penang State Museum
, where you get a vivid introduction to the cultures of the peoples of Penang.
Rest & Lunch
It's time for lunch. From Penang State Museum, walk along Lebuh Farquhar, with St George's Anglican Church
on your right. Cross Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling
), then enter Lebuh Bishop. You are now in the central business district of George Town. There are many coffee shops where you can find lots of interesting Penang food to eat. Try something interesting, among the famous dishes include Char Koay Teow
, Hokkien Mee
, Curry Mee
, Wan Tan Mee
, Lor Mee
, Nasi Kandar
(get acquainted with Penang Food here.)
Take a good rest, refresh yourself. When you're ready, we'll continue our exploration.
On the afternoon part of the day, we will explore Little India and the Armenian Street Heritage Enclave. Depending on where you have your lunch, locate Lebuh Penang
and walk along it until you reach the area where there's a high concentration of Indian business. That's Little India. Walk along Lebuh Pasar
) and turn left (southwards) to Lebuh King
. At the end of Lebuh King, visit the Nagore Durgha Shrine
Walk along Lebuh Chulia
until junction with Lebuh Queen
, then visit the Teochew Ancestral Temple
, followed by the Mahamariamman Temple
, the oldest Hindu temple in Penang. Continue along Lebuh Queen, then turn left at the junction with Lebuh Cina
. Walk along Lebuh Cina until Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, and visit the Goddess of Mercy Temple
, oldest Chinese temple in Penang. Walk along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, admiring the jewellery businesses of the South Indians. Visit Masjid Kapitan Keling
, which served as a state mosque until the present Penang State Mosque was built.
Continue along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. At the junction with Lebuh Armenian, visit Hock Teik Cheng Sin
, the Hokkien God of Prosperity Temple
. Continue along Lebuh Cannon, and visit Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi
, the most ornate clan ancestral temple in Penang. Entrance fee is RM5.00. Continue along Lebuh Cannon, and visit the Acheen Street Mosque
, early Malay mosque built by the Achenese.
Walk along Lebuh Aceh
, then turn right and reenter Lebuh Armenian
. Visit Dr Sun Yat Sen's Penang Base
(if it's open). Continue along Lebuh Armenian, past the Hock Teik Cheng Sin again, and visit Cheah Kongsi
, another clan association located at the end of a narrow corridor.
Continue along Lebuh Armenian, into Gat Lebuh Armenian, until you reach Pengkalan Weld
, preferably during the early evening. Visit the Clan Jetties
, which look best as the sun is setting. Enjoy the view of the Penang Harbour.
End Day 1 with a nice dinner in one of the coffee shops along Pengkalan Weld, or at any of the fancier restaurants there.
On our Second Day in Penang, we will discover the sights outside the historic core of George Town. For this purpose, we will be required to take the bus. In Penang, Rapid Penang bus has the most extensive network of routes, so I will be using it in this self-guided itinerary. My assumption is that you are staying in one of the hotels in George Town, so the bus numbers provided refers to routes from the city. Ask the locals if you're not sure where go alight the bus.
After breakfast at your hotel, we will visit Kek Lok Si
, the biggest Chinese temple in Southeast Asia. The buses to take include Rapid Penang 201, 203 and 204. The two main terminals to catch the bus are Weld Quay Ferry & Bus Terminal
and Komtar Bus Terminal
. On your way to Kek Lok Si, enjoy the ride as you leave the heart of George Town on your journey to the suburbs. Disembark from the bus at the Ayer Itam Market, a sight in itself, and work your way to Kek Lok Si. Due to the size of the area, you should give yourself a few hours to fully explore Kek Lok Si.
After you're done with exploring Kek Lok Si, you can take a rest at Ayer Itam village, where there are several coffee shops. The specialty at Ayer Itam village is Laksa
, the most famous of which is located next to the market.
From Ayer Itam, take the bus down to Komtar
. Any bus with the sign "To Jeti" will be good to take.
At Komtar, you need to change bus, as this time we will be heading north. We are going to Pulau Tikus, to visit the beautiful Wat Chaiyamangkalam
and Dhammikarama Burmese Temple
. Take Rapid Penang bus 101 or 104, and get down in Pulau Tikus town
Your visit to Wat Chaiyamangkalaram and Dhammikarama Burmese Temple should take about one and a half hours. Thereafter, you can head back to Pulau Tikus town for lunch. Recommended here is the famous Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng at Seng Lee Cafe
After lunch, catch the bus back to Komtar Bus Terminal. Once again, look for "To Jeti" for the bus direction. We will now explore the southern side of Penang Island. Our next stop is the world-famous Snake Temple
(I hope you're not squirmish). The bus to take is Rapid Penang 401, which goes to Balik Pulau.
From the Snake Temple, take Rapid Penang U401 to Teluk Kumbar for your dinner. Tonight, you will enjoy a delightful seafood dinner at "Good Friend" at Teluk Kumbar town. It is located by the seashore, so you can sit and admire the sunset while you enjoy your meal. After the meal, take any Rapid Penang bus ("To Jeti", of course) back to George Town.
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