Travel Destinations

Why You Should Fall in Love with Penang

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Written by Carl Hedinger

Why You Should Fall in Love with Penang

Many months have passed since returning from Penang in Malaysia and still, I miss it. Is it the place or just the idea that I was standing somewhere completely new for several days? Doesn’t the honeymoon effect attached to exciting locations wear off over time? Sure, but it didn’t go away in one of Malaysia’s best destinations, as you’ll see. Whether you’ve ever considered visiting, this story about our trip there and exploring some of its highlights will demonstrate exactly why you should fall in love with Penang.

Getting There and Where to Stay

Walking around Penang Malaysia

We took a quick flight there from Kuala Lumpur, though a few people we’d met had gotten to Penang by bus. It’s so close to the mainland that one could easily forget that Penang is an island. We stayed in a hotel not far from hawkers by the ocean and the best-known hawker mall—Gurney Drive. There are plenty of places to stay in Penang and we used Booking to find a great deal for our trip!


Fried Oysters Ala Penang

One should visit Malaysia first for its wonderful food and Penang in particular, where the famed “hawker” food stalls dominate the scene. Everything was pretty cheap, too. Oceanside hawker malls serve up anything worth eating. Hawker food wows visitors with its wide variety of stalls serving different ethnic foods and in this case, to accompany the lineup of variety Malay, Chinese, and Indian food. It’s hard to top these moments eating beautiful, delicious food and having a view of the quiet water.

More Things to Do

Penang Malaysia Tropical Spice Garden

The Tropical Spice Garden’s Malay cooking class and its accompanying garden tour teach wannabe foodies where our most important ingredients originate. Our morning walk through the Chew Jetty and all its colorful walls and walkways left me wondering if we’d gone back in time. Penang Hill is a bit touristy but one of the few true views a person can get from above here. Many people love just walking around and checking out the gorgeous street art found all over the island. I can’t wait to go back and see more!

Can I Go Back?

Georgetown Penang Malaysia

The Colonial Period still rings throughout Penang, with the old buildings and relics from a time gone by. There are so many beautiful things to see in Penang, making it certainly worth a second visit, if not for the food, culture, and look back into its history. I feel like there’s so much to explore and out of everywhere we’ve been, it’s one of the tiniest spots one can visit. It’s definitely one place in Southeast Asia that you should visit.

See why I love Penang? Would you visit? What do you think of this awesome place? 

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About the author

Carl Hedinger

I'm a writer and recovering American expat who shares my family's travels through life. Follow our adventures here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.