Top must-do things in Penang, Malaysia for tourists



Penang is one of Malaysia’s most populous state and the most visited by tourists from all over the world.  Penang is well known in the tourism world for being a state with some of the best tourist attractions and receives millions of tourists annually.

As a state touted to be a leader in the tourism world, many people around the world may be wondering what exactly they could do in Penang or what attractions the state boasts of.

This article explores some of the amazing attractions in Penang and things tourists could do should they travel to Penang. (It must also be noted that most of the attractions in the state of Penang are in George Town, the state capital).

Kek Lok Si

Asia is a continent well known for its exquisite and unique temples and the famous Kek Lo Si is one such temple. The Kek Lok Si is the largest temple in the whole of Malaysia and not just Penang. Construction of the temple started in the very late part of the 1800s and was completed before 1905 through the inspiration and leadership of Beow Lean. The main temple is a seven-storey building with a huge bronze statue of Buddha and another 120ft bronze statue of Kuan Yin, a mini goddess in Buddha known as the Goddess of Mercy. The temple is in the Northeast Penang Island District and is opened to the public for visiting and touring.

Penang State Museum and Art Gallery

Museums and galleries are among the finest places to visit in any city, and the state of Penang offers one of the finest Museums. The Museum located in George Town, the capital city of Penang state was opened in 1965 by then governor of Penang, Raja Uda Raja. The Museum receives over a million visitors annually, with some coming from other parts of Malaysia and some from other countries. The facility is most frequented by schools in Penang, who travel to the facility as part of educational tours. Within the museum are portraits of former leaders of Thailand, monuments of Thailand’s colonial past, important national artefacts and so on. It is opened every day of the week except on Fridays, and visiting time ranges between 8 am to 5 pm.

Penang Hill

The Penang Hill is a small resort hill which is some 6km from the main George Town city. The Hill is made up of a couple of peaks on the Penang Island, notable among them being the Western Hill which is approximately 830m above sea level. Tourists at Penang Hill can see the entire landscape and view of the lowland, George Town. Unlike most tourist sites, the only means of transportation to the hill is a train taken at the Hill Railway Station Train in lowland Penang. The hill has over the decades become a getaway place for people who want to be cut off from the everyday life routine for a while, with the cool climate, quiet and natural atmosphere making the hill the perfect destination for that break. Averagely it is estimated that Penang Hill receives one million visitors each year.


Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi

The Khoo Kongsi is a Chinese Clan temple in Goerge Town, Penang, opened in 1906. The temple is owned by the Chinese clan Khoo Kongsi and is recognized as one of the city’s most historic and visited attractions. The clan house is designed in Chinese architectural style and has every aspect of the building being modelled on Chinese architecture and design. The temple tells a fundamental part of the history of Malaysia as it shows the dominant presence of the Chinese in Malaysia in the 1900s. During the early 1900s, the temple was used as a meeting place for Chinese clan (Khoo Kongsi) members.  The temple also has a traditional theatre which was used by clan members during special gatherings. Khoo Kongsi temple is now a major tourist destination in Penang opened to the public.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

Cheong Fatt Tze mansion further reveals the Chinese influence on Malaysia and the close relationship that existed between the two countries. The mansion, built by Cheong Fatt Tze,  is one of the finest architectural buildings owned by a Chinese industrialist of the 19th century. The mansion which was built in Chinese architectural style has a grand number total of 38 rooms, 5 granite courtyards and 220 timber louvre windows. During the days of Fattz Tze Cheong, he used the building as his official family residence as well as seat of his business. The mansion was renovated in 1995 but its unique Chinese architectural design was maintained. It now serves as a major tourist destination in George Town and is regularly rented and used in movies.

Penang War Museum

Historically, the Penang Museum is one of the most significant monuments in the history of Malaysia. The facility was built by the British army as a military base in their fight against the Japanese for Penang. The Japanese successfully defeated the British army IN 194and the base became a Japanese military base and prison where war captives and prisoners were tortured for information during the WWII. After the war, the facility was abandoned and locals referred to it as Ghost Hill because of the many atrocities and inhumane activities such as beheading that had taken place at the base. However, in 2002, the base was converted into a memorial park and a museum with its original state maintained to remind the people of the effect and result of war. It is now the biggest military base in Asia and one of the most patronized museums on the continent.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum

The Museum Interactive Museum is one of the few 3D Museums in the world where tourists and visitors get to see unique and clever 3D Artwork of famous media and movie characters. Most common in the museum are 3D Imagery artworks of horror movie characters. The images look creepy and almost real giving visitors a chill feeling. For instance, the Museum has a large portrait of the famous Penang Snake Temple with a carefully drawn 3D snake seen crawling out of the temple. The state of Penang can also be viewed in a 3D imagery format in the Museum, giving visitors a clear and almost real overview picture of Penang.

Tourists can also visit the Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram, a Thai temple built in 1845, the Adventure Zone Theme Park, the Fort Cornwallis (an ammunition base) and several other attractions in the state of Penang.

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Akesse Sanza

Akesse Sanza is a Ghanaian Travel Blogger, Travel and Tourism Consultant, and Anti-human Trafficking And Safe Migration advocate. Akesse loves everything Travel & Tourism and aims to see every single country in the world.


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