Malaysia’s Penang is known for its art and hawker food, but there are many other places one should visit while visiting this amazing city. Penang Hill, Penang National Park, Kek Lok Si Temple, the Clan Jetties, and the Occupy Beach Street Sunday Market are must-sees while on vacation in Penang. They not only showcase the history but also, you will get to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Take a tram to the top of Penang Hill
There are stunning views no matter what time of day you go to Penang Hill. A popular tourist attraction, you can take a tram up the hill for 30.00 MYR (7.00 USD) or get some exercise and walk up the hill. The tram runs from 6:30 AM to 11:00 PM every day. At the top of the hill, there’s a large viewing deck with binoculars for you to check out the city below. There are plenty of street vendors to buy food and souvenirs from and also locks of love, where you can buy a plastic lock at the top and lock your love on the fence provided. The top offers 360-degree views of the city.
Spend an afternoon hiking in Penang National Park
Penang National Park (Taman Negara Pulau Pinang) offers two trails, one leading to the lighthouse and the other to Kerachut Beach. Both trails take 75 - 90 minutes and admission is free of charge, but you do need to register your name and passport number to enter the park. There is an option to hire a boat for 50 MYR (11.43 USD) each way to drop you off and take you back. The trails have a good amount of hills so bring plenty of water and appropriate closed-toe shoes. If you take the Kerachut Beach trail, you will find a Turtle Conservation Center at the end where they help hatch both Olive Ridley Turtles and Green Turtles and release them back into the ocean.
Visit Kek Lok Si temple
This temple was built in 1891. To get to the top, you walk through a market that lines the stairs to the top. At the entrance is a turtle pond filled with hundreds of turtles waiting for you to feed them produce you can purchase from one of the vendors. At the top, you’ll find Buddha statues and many paintings. Although this is a temple, the dress code is not enforced. You may wear shorts and tank tops. The entrance to Kek Lok Si temple is free but there is a 2.00 RM (0.50 USD) cost to see the pagoda and if you take the incline lift to the top it costs 4.00 RM (1.00 USD) for a round trip.
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Visit the six Clan Jetties on the waterfront
The Clan Jetties were created by Chinese immigrants who migrated to Penang to have a better life and future. They lived in large family groups, known as clans, and the jetties were named after the different clans’ last names.There are six clan jetties located on Weld Quay. The Lim, Chew, Tan, Yeoh, Koay and Lee Clan Jetties are over a century old. These clans have houses that are built on stilts and sit over the water. The Chew and Tan jetties have shops and ice cream vendors and are great to walk around. The Lim, Yeoh, Koay and Lee jetties, although they don’t have any shops to go in, are great to walk around and look at the colorful doors to the homes.
Head to Occupy Beach Street, Penang's Sunday Market
Every Sunday, from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM, the street of Lebuh Pantai is closed off to cars and turns into a street market. The vendors sell food, gifts, and souvenirs. You’ll also find games and crafts to keep the kids occupied, as well as face painting and henna tattoos. There are people dressed up in costumes walking around and, if you’re lucky, you might catch a snake show. This weekly market started to help promote Penang as a tourist destination and also to help promote local artisans. If you’re visiting Penang during the weekend, this is a great place to take the kids and explore what the locals have to offer.
Explore the other side of Penang
After stuffing yourself with hawker food and seeing all the art, you’ll love exploring these other places that showcase the local nature, heritage, and culture. After seeing the history and immersing yourself in the local culture, you’ll understand why Penang is such an incredible place.
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