Penang Holidays

Linked to mainland Malaysia’s west coast by a four mile long bridge Penang is Malaysia’s best-known beach destination and an ideal choice if looking for entertainment as well as relaxation.

Of the island’s many sun-drenched beaches, Batu Ferringhi is the best and where most hotels are found. Sweeping along a stretch of the northern coast, Batu Ferringhi is popular for watersports, although jellyfish do occasionally wash in on some tides, which affects swimming. However, all our hotels have fantastic pool areas and are right on the beachfront.

Do also take the time to explore the island’s lively capital, George Town, whose colonial quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and delivers old-world Asia in spades. Tthe historic centre is easily walkable, although brightly-coloured trishaws offer an alternative way to tour. It’s not all about history though, as the burgeoning street-art scene brings an air of playfulness to the city and makes wandering a joy as you stumble across vibrant murals and fantastic artistic ironworks. Wherever your sightseeing takes you in George Town, you’ll also be sure to stumble across some fabulous coffee shops, many of which wouldn’t look out of place in hip areas of London and New York. Additionally, you can’t escape George Town’s delicious street food. Chinatown and Little India come alive after dark with carts and hawker stalls, while Gurney Drive is perhaps the most famous scene for street food in Southeast Asia.

Further island sights include Penang Hill, where a trip up the 2,270ft funicular railway rewards with breathtaking views; see the slithery residents of the unique Snake Temple; admire the magnificent Buddhist temple Kek Lok Si or go jungle trekking at Penang National Park.

When it comes to shopping Penang has a good mix of modern malls, quaint antique stalls and bustling markets. Don’t miss Little India or Chinatown in the heart of George Town for a slice of local culture, while at Batu Ferringhi, the night market tempts with souvenirs, clothes and handicrafts.

After dark, rooftop cocktail lounges, beach bars and live music venues vie for your attention along with top notch restaurants, charming cafes and sizzling hawker stalls.

Why visit Penang?
  • Fantastic beachfront hotels
  • Lovely beaches
  • Culture and heritage in Georgetown
  • Delicious food
Essential facts about Penang
Local Time

GMT + 8 hours

Currency

Malaysian Ringgit

Travel information

There are no direct flights from the UK to Penang. Kuala Lumpur is approximately 13 hours (non-stop flights) from the UK and the onward flight to Penang is approximately 1 hour.

Best time to go

Penang enjoys a tropical climate and can be visited throughout the year. The island does experience a relatively mild monsoon period between April and May and again from October to November during which visitors can expect sunshine throughout most days, with rainfall in the evening.

Malaysia Tourist Tax

A tourism charge is payable locally at all hotels throughout Malaysia. Details will be advised at the time of booking.

Visit/Heritage Charge

A “visit” or “heritage” charge is payable locally towards the upkeep of the UNESCO World Heritage sights. Details will be advised at the time of booking.

Unmissable Experiences in Penang
Round the Island excursion
Round the Island

Discover the enchanting beauty of Penang on this five hour circular island tour. Begin at the Penang Batik Handicraft centre to see how Malaysian Batik is made. Then, discover the many varieties of fruits and spices produced locally at nearby street stalls. Drive on to a quiet valley area and see clusters of traditional Malay villages and paddy fields. Finally, visit the famous Snake Temple and see the pit vipers coiled up on the altars and in the temple grounds. On the return journey catch a passing glimpse of Penang Bridge – one of the longest in Southeast Asia.

From £29

Historical George Town excursion
Historical George Town

This tour starts at Wat Chayamangkalaram before proceeding to the elaborate Dhammikarama Temple. Drive on past Saint George’s Anglican Church and also pass Kuan Yin – Goddess of Mercy Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple and Masjid Kapitan Keling. Stop to explore the highly ornate clan house of Khoo Kongsi, before visiting a coffee shop. Finally, a brief photo stop at Fort Cornwallis.

From £35

Penang by Night with dinner excursion
Penang by Night with dinner

Take a trip to the "Pasar Malam" night market to experience the Asian evening vibe! Walk around the stalls and the local stores and maybe pick up a souvenir or gift. After shopping, head to Gurney Drive for a hawker food dinner. These stalls are the all-time local favourites, and the food is the best! Following dinner, jump aboard a trishaw for an hours ride through the streets of old Penang.

From £65

Little India, A Heritage Walking Tour excursion
Little India, A Heritage Walking Tour

This half day tour starts with at the 19th century Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion before you head to Muntri Street, which houses a few bygone era trade guilds. Next, walk past the Goddess of Mercy Temple and after visiting the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, walk back to Market Street. At the Spice Market take in the hustle and bustle of the many traders. The tour finishes with lunch at a traditional Banana Leaf Restaurant. Return to the hotel on foot or by local public transport.

From £69

Eating Asia - Heritage Walk excursion
Eating Asia - Heritage Walk

Begin at lively Chowrasta Market to watch locals trading before enjoying some scrumptious toast bread. Continue to the shopping haven of Campbell Street where you can try dim sum, or 'har gao'. Next up, visit Khoo Kongsi Clan House, stop at Kapitan Kling Mosque before a brunch of roti canai (a traditional Indian Muslim pancake). Walk to Sri Mahamariamman Temple and the Goddess of Mercy Temple before lunch at the Banana Leaf Restaurant to feast on rice with curry on a banana leaf.

From £89