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.
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.
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 (Market Street) and turn left (southwards) to Lebuh King. At the end of Lebuh King, visit the Nagore Durgha Shrine.
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.
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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