Penang, how Singaporeans love you so. After all, it’s hard not to do when you’re a place with glorious shiok food (and god knows Singaporeans love our nom!), traditional heritage and modern street art, and amazing scenery combined into one. If you’ve only got one single day in Penang, check out our itinerary of only the must-dos to get the most out of your short getaway!
1. Georgetown Walking Tour (half a day)
Much of Penang’s charm can be found around its street corners, which make for a delightful walk with its eclectic mix of traditional shophouses and contemporary street art. You can easily spend half a day wandering around Georgetown — we suggest that you start in the neighbourhood of Armenian Street, where Penang’s most iconic street murals, “Little Children on a Bicycle” and “Skippy Comes to Penang” (aka the Giant Cat mural), can be found. Just so you know, these amazing art were done by Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic, as part of the annual Georgetown Festival.
As you take in the art, feel free to wander into the many interesting shophouses along the way. Expect to find stores where you can get your hands on exquisite handmade beaded slippers or some fashionable local togs. In fact, if you’re lucky, you may even catch sight of the artisan working on their products right in the store! Apart from these, we also loved the stores selling retro toys that made us feel like a kid all over again! And the best part is, with every few steps along the way, it’s easy to find vendors selling cooling remedies and ice sticks (we recommend the sour plum flavour) to drive away the scorching summer heat.
2. Peranakan Museum (2 hours)
Take a short visit to the stunning Pinang Peranakan Museum, which was built at the end of the 19th century by Chinese businessman and community leader Chung Keng Kwee. In case you might be having a moment of deja vu, this beautifully restored traditional house has in fact served as the set for various drama productions in Asia, including our very own The Little Nonya! We felt as though we were spying on a Peranakan family’s lives, as we transversed between the many rooms in the building, taking in the awesome collections in each. Despite the fair number of tourists present, the building somehow managed to retain its calm and graceful disposition, making it a totally pleasant way to while away the afternoon.
3. Gurney Drive
And what better way to end off a rewarding day than to indulge in Penang’s finest street food at this seaside promenade? Take your pick from fresh seafood zichar, char kway teow, Assam laksa, barbequed cuttlefish, satay, oyster omelette and many more! With so much goodness in one place, we bet you’ll be torn over which stall to pick! But then again, there’s no need to worry too much — there’s always room for a second round.
Acess Getting to Penang is a breeze as it is only a 90 minutes’ flight away, and is served by many budget airlines including AirAsia and Jetstar Airways.