The best things to do in Penang are considered the essence of the island. In this guide, we focus on prominent landmarks in and around Batu Ferringhi, where you can enjoy a fun time in the water and immerse yourself in the local culture. 

    Penang has plenty of go-to spots to accommodate all travelers. Learning how to batik-paint, strolling through a one-of-a-kind spice garden, or enjoying watery thrills in an amusement park are just some of the many things to do on the island. 

    What are the best things to do in Penang?

    1

    Batu Ferringhi Beach

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    Batu Ferringhi Beach is one of Penang Island’s most stunning shorelines – think powder white sands spilling out onto turquoise blue waters that stretch all the way up the northern peninsula. Just a 15-minute drive from the center of George Town, the best way to enjoy this beautiful strip of sand is to bring a beach blanket and soak in the sun’s rays. 

    If you're not the type to sunbathe, we recommend hitting up one of the watersports operators that are set up along the beach to rent a kayak, personal watercraft or banana boat to have some splashing good fun. Most of Batu Ferringhi Beach is taken up by luxury hotels, but there are quite a few public beaches – simply drive along the strip to find the best ones.

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    2

    Penang Batik Factory

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    The Penang Batik Factory is one of the pioneers of batik manufacturing on the island. Established in 1973 by Craft Batik Sdn Bhd, it is set in Teluk Bahang, a short walk away from the Penang Botanic Gardens. The complex provides free guided tours every day.

    The complex is divided into an art gallery, boutique and workshop. Surrounded by lots of tropical greenery, it is one of Penang’s most well-known sightseeing spots and offers a wide variety of quality batik, from block-print batiks to hand-drawn pieces. Each piece features patterns and colors on both sides of the fabric.

    Location: 651 Mk 2 S.W.D, Teluk Bahang, 11050, Penang, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +60 (0)4885 1284

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    3

    Batu Ferringhi Night Market

    The Batu Ferringhi Night Market takes place on Jalan Batu Feringghi every evening. Vendors set up stalls along this stretch, offering everything from handmade local souvenirs and local artworks to delicious street food and beverages. 

    As one of Penang's most noteworthy attractions, many come to this night market for its cool, electrifying atmosphere. Best of all, you can still bargain for the best prices. A word of advice: if you like something, do not buy it right away. Walk along the strip, check out other stalls to see if there might be the same item offered at a better deal. If not, head back to the original stall and bargain for the best rate (which is usually half the originally quoted price).

    Location: Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Kawasan Perumahan Sungai Emas, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 7 pm to late

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    photo by Nurul Balqis (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    Tropical Spice Garden

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    The Tropical Spice Garden is a 3.2-hectare jungle with some 500 species of flora and fauna. As Southeast Asia’s only tropical spice garden, it's a great place to spend an afternoon with your kids. The conservation area has 3 garden trails that take you on 20-45-minute journeys past stream crossings, waterfalls and structures made of recycled organic materials. Its award-winning farm uses predominantly natural and recycled building materials salvaged from pre-war shophouses or sourced from local antique stores.

    The Tropical Spice Garden also has a culinary school where you can learn how to prepare Malaysian dishes from scratch. It occupies an airy building surrounded by spice gardens, overlooking Teluk Bahang bay. 

    Location: Lot 595 Mukim, 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

    Open: Monday and Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm, Friday–Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm (closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

    Phone: +60 (0)12-423 6797

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    photo by Chongkian (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    5

    Yahong Art Gallery

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    Yahong Art Gallery is one of the largest centres for arts and crafts in Penang. It has 4 sections, namely the Art Gallery, Handicrafts, Batik and Jewelry & Antiques. You can see world-class works by Malaysian and Asian artists, especially Chuah Thean Teng (known as the father of modern batik printing). The upper levels prominently display his original works and those of his sons, Chuah Siew Kek, Chuah Seow Keng, and Chuah Siew Teng.

    Displays at Yahong Art Gallery include Chinese jewelry, antiques, pewter works and watercolors, Chinese ink and oil paintings. You can also see a Malaysian medicine horn, a Sarawak tribal chief's staff, an exquisite Chinese cloisonné, Chinese tile pictures and more. 

    Location: 58-D, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Kampung Batu Feringgi, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +60 (0)4-881 1251

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    photo by Chongkian (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    Penang National Park

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    The Penang National Park is one of the world’s smallest national parks. Within the park are well-marked trails that lead into the jungle and surrounding bays. It contains about 410 plant species and 143 animal species. Snakes, macaques and leaf monkeys to otters, hawksbill turtles and dolphins call this wildlife sanctuary home. 

    The Penang National Park is on the west side of the island, past a twisting, forested section of road. It comprises 1,181 hectares of forest and 1,381 hectares of wetlands. Camping facilities are available – just call the Wildlife Office at Teluk Bahang for reservations. You will have to register at the office before you can enter the park. 

    Location: Jalan Hassan Abbas, 11050 Teluk Bahang, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

    Phone: +60 (0)4-881 3530

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    7

    Penang Botanic Gardens

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    The Penang Botanical Gardens are located in a valley along Jalan Kebun Bunga in George Town. It's a well-landscaped place containing a huge variety of indigenous and exotic plant species. It was set up by the British in 1884, specifically by Charles Curtis of the Gardens & Forests Departments Straits Settlements. 

    The Penang Botanical Gardens are about 8 km from George Town. Prominent plants at the gardens include the cannonball tree, Pacific Walnut tree, pinang palm, black lily, slipper orchids and more. Some of the more interesting plants at the gardens are only open to visitors for limited hours. There is a special trek at the Penang Botanical Gardens’ Moon Gate that takes you to Penang Hill within 1 hour. 

    Location: Kompleks Pentadbiran, Bangunan Pavilion, Jalan Kebun Bunga, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (closed on weekends)

    Phone: +60 (0)4-226 4401

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    8

    Tropical Fruit Farm

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    The Tropical Fruit Farm is a 10-hectare organic orchard in Penang. It has over 250 types of fruit trees, including durians and West Indian cherries. The garden was developed in 1993 to conserve rare and exotic fruit trees in Malaysia.

    The Tropical Fruit Farm’s collection of trees include species from far-flung corners of the world, including Central and South America, Central Africa, India, the Middle East, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands. This ecotourism venture only utilizes organic fertilizers. The Tropical Fruit Farm conducts daily guided tours where you get to sample local produce. On weekends, the orchard offers a spread of light snacks, juices and a barbecue for visitors.

    Location: 18th Mile Stone, Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Teluk Bahang, Penang, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +60 (0)12-497 1931

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    photo by rasmuscleve (CC BY 2.0) modified

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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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