Penang, Malaysia – The Ultimate Guide

Penang Malaysia

I have to be totally honest. The city that I looked forward most during my 2018 road trip was Penang. I heard so much about the fascinating sights to see, and the superb tasting food and desserts. I tried as many as possible, and share about all that and more in this article – Penang, Malaysia – The Ultimate Guide.

Before I continue, let me share this beautiful video about Penang, Malaysia. It is from a local’s perspective. And is a great watch.

Wasn’t that lovely? Now, let’s continue this journey of Penang. You will be learning about where this city is located? Also, about the people, culture, religion, and more.

More importantly, you will find out which hotel to stay at? What good food to enjoy? What are the things to see and do? And many more useful and helpful information.


Where is Penang, Malaysia?

After our adventure in Ipoh, we drove up the western coast to the northern part of Malaysia. Then we crossed a bridge that brought us to the island that is called Penang.

I really liked crossing the bridge. It reminded me of the time when I crossed the bridge from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island.

The capital of Penang called George Town is located on the island. Therer is also a part of Penang that is on the mainland. That is where the popular place called Butterworth is situated.

Butterworth. Isn’t that a delicous name? When I was a child, I loved sayiing this name – Butterworth. For some reason, it reminded me of butter, and its lovely salted and milky taste.

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Who are the People in Penang, Malaysia?

During my time at Penang, I found the people to be quite cordial. I mean, they are not unfriendly. At the same time, they are not warm.

It could be they are shy? To be fair, I did not have that much time or close engagement with them. Still, I find this video a charming representation of the people in Penang.


What is the Culture in Penang, Malaysia?

Like many other cities in Malaysia, Penang is a hot mix of various cultures. There are the Chinese, the Malay, Indians and many other races that add to a vibrant culture there.

One point I did note is that there is a heavy influence of Chinese culture here. The arts, culture, and even architecture exhibited some Chinese style.

Travel Tip: Please respect their culture.


What are the Religions in Penang, Malaysia?

As with any city in Malaysia, the major religion is Islam. And yet, because of the strong Chinese influence, the religions like Buddhism and Taoism are more apparent here.

Below is a cute video by three lovely ladies who share with us about the religions and cultures in Penang.


What is the Common Language Spoken  in Penang, Malaysia?

While Malay is still the dominant and national language in Malaysia, I did notice that most Chinese in Penang speak a Chinese dialect called Hokkien.

English is still a popular language, and commonly spoken here. As a tourist, I found it easy to communicate as most Penang people speak English.


What are the Festivals and Public Holidays in Penang, Malaysia?

Here are the public holidays and festivals that are celebrated in Penang. They are basically the same as the national holidays celebrated throughout Malaysia.

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • Chinese New Year
  • Thaipusam
  • May 1 – Labour Day
  • Vesak Day
  • Nuzul Al-Quran Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Hari Raya Adilfitri
  • Agong’s Birthday
  • George Town World Heritage Day
  • Birthday of the Governor of Penang
  • Father’s Day
  • Hari Raya Haji
  • Awal Muharram
  • August 31 – National Day
  • September 9 – Birthday of SPB Yang di Pertuan Agong
  • September 16 – Malaysia Day
  • Maulidur Rasul
  • Deepavali
  • December 25 – Christmas Day

To learn more about the above public holidays and festivals, please do visit my article about Malaysia. I cover it in more depth there.

Below are some of the festivals unique to Penang. They look like so much fun! Next time when I plan to visit Penang, I will make sure to plan and visit during one of the festivals. I recommend you do the same, too!


George Town Festival

I was so impressed when I found out that George Town has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kudos to Penang!

And of course there must be a festival to celebrate this. The month long festival has a wide variety of arts, dance and theatre performances, exhibitions, food, drinks, arts, crafts and more.

This is a very popular festival. Tourists from all over the world come to experience this heritage site. Book your hotel room and flight early to avoid disappointment.

Bon Odori Festival

Love Japanese food, arts, dance and culture? So do the people in Penang!

Join them for an enchanting time where they celebrate all things Japanese. Don’t forget to stay for the fireworks in the evening. I heard it is breath taking!

Nine Emperor God Festival

Near my home, there is a temple that celebrates the Nine Emperor God Festival. While I do not follow this event, I am always awed by the parade and the practice of mediums in a trance, being possessed by the spirits of the Nine Emperor God.

The festival lasts for nine days, during the first nine days of the ninth lunar month. It is believed that the spirit of the Nine Emperor God returns to Earth during this period.

Penang International Dragon Boat Race

I find dragon boat races exciting and exhilarating. And it is awesome they have it in many Asian cities. At Penang, the annual event is held at Teluk Bahang dam near George Town.

Competitors from different parts of Malaysia and all over the world come to race for the coveted first prize. Colorful traditional boats. Sounds of drums pounding to get your heart pounding. All this makes this one of the most exciting festivals in this city.

St Anne’s Festival

This is surely an experience that will be beautiful and uplifting. It is a homage to the patron saint, Saint Anne.

Every year, on July 29, the pilgrims flock to Bukit Mertajam. One of the highlights is the beautiful procession of devotees with each holding a lit candle.

Can you imagine the sight of this from above? So pretty, I am sure.

Penang International Food Festival

And of course, what is Penang without experiencing all the delicious food. This is a much looked forward annual 16-day event. Rows and rows of delectable choices. You will be in food paradise.

* Note – sadly this festival is canceled in 2020 due to Covid-19


What is the Dress Code in Penang, Malaysia?

When my friend and I visited Penang, the weather was hot! And I mean really hot!!!

So, it was a blessing to be able to walk all around town in casual wear. We were in shorts and t-shirt. And we noticed most tourists were in the same gear.

So, pack light. Have a great time in Penang!


What is the National Dress in Penang, Malaysia?

The National Dress is the same as for the entire country. You can see what it looks like in my Malaysia article.


What is the Popular Sport in Penang, Malaysia?

I am not much into sports. I did swim in the past but have not done that in a while. Nowadays, I prefer to do yoga.

Penang is much like the rest of Malaysia. The favored sports is football. The other sports that are popular are badminton, tennis, squash, golf, horse riding, sailing and martial arts.


What Currency Can I Use in Penang, Malaysia?

Holidays in Malaysia - Ringgit

All throughout Malaysia, the currency used is the Malaysian Ringgit.


How is the Weather in Penang, Malaysia?

I have found out that the weather in Penang is much like the weather in the rest of Malaysia. To find out more about the weather, please refer to my Malaysia article.


How is the Haze Situation in Penang, Malaysia?

I was very fortunate to visit Penang when there was no haze at all. I did find out that when there was haze, the situation was quite bad. Here is a video from a news channel about it.

The haze has been known to occur during the hot season. This is from May to October.

Travel Tip: Check the haze situation for Penang before traveling to this city.


Which are the Hotels to Stay in Penang, Malaysia?

We figured that we would be out most of the days, to see the sights and enjoy the great tasting food in Penang. Many Penang Hotels to choose from. So, we chose a budget hotel to suit the main purpose of simply a place to rest after a tired day of tourist duties.

Click the image below to read more about the Cititel Express Penang. There is also a short video in the review, for you to see what the room looks like.

Penang Hotels - Cititel Express
Penang Hotels – Cititel Express. Click image above to Read More

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What are the Things to Do in Penang, Malaysia?

Besides yummy food, there are many Things To Do in Penang. Here are a few of them.

Entopia Butterfly Farm

When I first heard of Entopia Butterfly Farm, my first thought was – what is the big deal? Just a place with many butterflies flitting everywhere, right? Boy, was I wrong!

This is one of the things you must do when you visit Penang. Click on the image below to find out why?

Yellow Glassy Tiger Butterfly
Yellow Glassy Tiger Butterfly at Entopia. Click image above to Read More

Kek Lok Si Temple

I love visiting religious sites. But what is there to see at Kek Lok Si Temple that can capture hours of attention? Click the image below to find out.

View of Circular Pavilion garden and Middle Prayer Hall
Kek Lok Si Temple – Click image above to read about this awesome attraction.

Penang Street Art

What is the fascination with street art? Who was the famous artist? Where are the street murals? All this, and more information when you click on the image below.

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Children on Bicycle
Penang Street Art – Click image above to read about this awesome attraction.

What Food to Eat in Penang, Malaysia?

When you visit this island, you must try the Penang Food! A whole vacation can be planned around this theme. In fact, this was the part I looked forward most to for this adventure.

Assam Laksa at Air Itam

Assam Laksa has gained popularity in Penang. The locals enjoy it. The tourists flock to this island to get a taste of this piquant dish. Click the image below to find out what the fuss is all about?

The Delicious Bowl of Assam Laksa - really good!
Assam Laksa at Air Itam. Click image above to read my review.

Cendol at Penang Road

Some people say this is still the best cendol in Malaysia. Some people say the one in Malacca is better. Click the image below to get more details from my review before you head to this popular place to try it.

The Famous Chendul aka Cendol, Chendol or Cendul
Cendol at Penang Road. Click image above to read my review.

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

When I was a young boy, I remember my parents brought me to this famous eating place. It was charming and exciting for a lad like me back then. There was a wide variety of cuisine, and they were all delectable.

Is it all the same since then? Click the image below to find out.

Famous Indian Rojak stall at Gurney Drive
Gurney Drive Hawker Centre. Click image above to read my review.

Tiger Char Koay Teow

There are many food stalls that serve char koay teow in Penang. Many claim to be the best. What about Tiger Char Koay Teow? Is it as great as they purported? Click the image below to find out.

The famous Tiger Char Koay Teow from George Town, Penang
The famous Tiger Char Koay Teow from George Town, Penang. Click image above to read my review

Where To Go Shopping in Penang, Malaysia?

We only had time to visit one mall. And that was only because we were at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre.

It was Gurney Plaza, which was near the hawker centre. My friend parked our car there. It was convenient.

After dinner, we shopped around the mall. It was all right. Just like any shopping centre. Almost all the same brands and stores.

If markets are more your style, here are a few suggestions in this video.


Best Time to Visit Penang, Malaysia?

There are high season and low season to visit Malaysia. The same goes for visiting Penang. Each season has its pros and cons. For me, I prefer the low season so that I do not jostle with large crowds. Also, the hotel room rates are lower during this season.

To find out more about the two seasons, please go to my Malaysia article.


How To Get To Penang, Malaysia?

By Airplane

You can arrive at the Penang International Airport located in Bayan Lepas. Many airlines fly direct there.

Some of the airlines that can take you to Penang are the Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia, JetStar, Firefly and more.

I prefer JetStar. It is one of the safest budget airlines, according to airlineratings .com

By Train

There are no trains to the island side of Penang. But you can take the KTMB from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth. Then catch a cab to ride across the bridge to the island.

By Bus

There are buses from Singapore, and other cities in Malaysia such as Kuala Lumpur to Penang. Do check for various transport providers for individual pricing and schedule.

By Road

I look back fondly at the road trip with my friend in 2018. We drove along the west coast of West Malaysia. And visited Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang.

From Ipoh to Penang, it took us about 2 hours, including a rest stop. We took the Lebuhraya Utara – Selatan/E1 highway.

Do You Need a Visa to Go to Penang?

Visitors from some countries can visit Malaysia, and all her cities without a visa. Some will need a visa. It is best to check the immigration websites to find out if you need a visa to enter.


How To Get Around Penang, Malaysia?

By Bus

This is a convenient and one of the cheapest way to explore Penang. The buses go to most main attractions, too. Check out the bus time table and routes.

There is also the Rapid Penang (RapidPG) bus that offers travel throughout Penang. It includes free onboard WIFI.

By Taxi

There are plenty of taxis in Penang. But, just like everywhere in Malaysia, please do negotiate the price, and agree on it before you board the cab.

By law, the taxis are supposed to go by meter. But many will claim otherwise and negotiate for a fixed rate.

By Grab

Private Hire Vehicles like Grab is available in Penang, Malaysia. I recommend using this service because it is so convenient. Also, prices are fixed before you confirm the ride. So, there is no problem with haggling or sudden increase in fare.

By Car

You have the choice to rent a car. Rental of cars is quite affordable. Just make sure the rental service is legit, and get insurance.

Alternatively, if you own a car, and drive to Penang, you can get around quite easily. My friend owned a car. And I found it very convenient.

We could choose where we would like to go, how long to stay at each attraction, cafe or restaurant. Some hotels even provide free parking. I highly recommend this choice of transport if you can have it.

By Motorcycle

It is cheap to rent a motocycle. And very convenient, too. Plus, you can enjoy a better view of the scenery as you ride around the island.

But, please be careful. There are many deaths due to riding on a motorcycle without a helmet. So, please do wear a helmet. Be safe.

By Trishaw

A trishaw is a tricycle with a front seat. The passenger sits on the front seat. The driver pedals the tricycle to transport the passenger around.

This is a charming way to explore Penang. But really slow. Do it only for the fun of it.


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If you have ANY questions about Penang, Malaysia – The Ultimate Guide, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Penang Food

Penang Food

Everyone says the same thing – When you visit Malaysia, you must visit Penang, and you must experience the wonderful and delicious Penang Food! And this is true. I have a few reviews of the food for now. But trust me, I will be back for more. I may even go for an entire tour just enjoying the food. What do you think of that?


Assam Laksa at Air Itam

The Delicious Bowl of Assam Laksa - really good!

Look at that photo above. That is the quality Assam Laksa served at this stall in Penang. Where is it? How does it taste? Is it really that yummy? Read my food review to find out.


Tiger Char Koay Teow

The famous Tiger Char Koay Teow from George Town, Penang
The famous Tiger Char Koay Teow from George Town, Penang

There were many Char Koay Teow stalls that claimed to be the best tasting. We tried the one at Penang Road. Then we tried this one. Is it really delicious? Read my food review to find out.


Cendol at Penang Road

The Famous Chendul aka Cendol, Chendol or Cendul

There is only one cendol stall in Penang that is truly the best. And along that same street, there are many copycats. Read my review of this delicious dessert to find out which is the authentic stall that serves the best cendol in Penang.


Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

Famous Indian Rojak stall at Gurney Drive

I recall eating at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre when I was a young boy. My Mom and Dad brought my brother and I to enjoy the tasty dishes here. How has this eating place changed? Is it still as good? Is it worth going there? Read my review to find out.


If you have ANY questions about Penang Food, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Things To Do In Penang

Things To Do In Penang

Penang is awesome! George Town is awesome! There are so many Things To Do In Penang that one trip to this awesome Malaysia city was not enough. Yes, you can tell by now that I have plans to visit this awesome city again. And soon.

But in the meantime, here are some of the places I visited during my last trip in January 2018.


Entopia Butterfly Farm

A Lovely Tiger Butterfly
Entopia Butterfly Farm. Click above image to find out more.

I understand what you may think. Unless you are a super fan of butterflies, you may be wondering what is the big deal about Entopia Butterfly Farm? I have been to this place, and I can tell show you why this may be worth a visit. Go to my review to read more about Entopia as well as see a video showing you the entire place.

Kek Lok Si Temple

View of Circular Pavilion garden and Middle Prayer Hall

When you visit Penang, this is the temple to see. Why is that so? Read my blog post and watch the video to see what to expect.

Penang Street Art

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Children on Bicycle

Where are the famous mural art in Penang? Which walls on which streets are they painted on? Read my blog post where I show you most of the popular street art, and where they are located.


If you have ANY questions about the Things To Do In Penang, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Penang Hotels

Penang Hotels

Penang Hotels are many, and any visitor to this charming city in Malaysia is spoilt for choice. I would like to help you by reviewing as many as we can. It may take a while, but I will do my best. Meantime, here is the hotel I last stayed at in Penang.


Cititel Express Penang

Penang Hotels - Cititel Express - Click on Image to Read More
Penang Hotels – Cititel Express – Click on Image to Read More

Need a place to just have a good night sleep? That is because most of the day you will be going about Penang and sight seeing – like Kek Lok Si Temple, Street Art at the World Heritage Area in Georgetown, Entopia, etc. Also, you will be enjoying all the delicious food at Gurney Drive, Chendul at Penang Road, and many local delights. Then Cititel Express Penang is ideal for you. The location is perfect too.


If you have ANY questions about the Penang Hotels, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Penang Food – Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)

Penang Food - Tiger Char Koay Teow - header

For the past few days, we enjoyed lots of delicious Penang FoodChendul, Assam Laksa, and more. And there was one more dish we have yet to try – the Penang Char Koay Teow. It is a mix of white flat noodles (hor fun) with egg, prawn,  bean sprouts, cockles and chives fried with sweet sauce and black soya sauce.

We explored the popular food street – Carnavon Street – and found the well known Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条). It is located at the junction of Lebuh Carnavon and Lebuh Melayu.

Join us today as I share with you this culinary delight, including what it is, where to find it, how to get there and why this is one of the Penang dishes that you must try when you visit this enchanting city?


Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)
Cuisine: Asian, Local, Penang Food
Meals Served: Tiger Char Koay Teow
Dining Choices: Dine In, Takeout, Outdoor seating
Family Friendly: Yes
Prices: $ out of $$$$$

Penang Food – Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

The famous Tiger Char Koay Teow from George Town, Penang
Food Quality
Service Quality
Dining Ambiance
Value for Money

Summary

Tiger Char Koay Teow is one of the best Penang Food. When you visit George Town, Penang, Malaysia, this is one of the dishes You Must Try! Simply Delicious!

4

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Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) – The Video

What does Carnavon Street look like? Where is Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) located along this street? How is the dish cooked? What does it look like? What else is available at the same coffee shop? Answers to all this, and more in the video below. Enjoy watching!

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About Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)

Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) is a food stall inside a coffee shop named Kafe Ping Hooi. This coffee shop is located at the junction of Carnavon Street and Malay Street.

Location of Tiger Char Koay Teow - at junction of Carnavon and Malay Street
Location of Tiger Char Koay Teow – at junction of Carnavon and Malay Street, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

There are many famous and popular Char Koay Teow stalls in Penang. Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) is often listed as one of the top few. The stall received its name from the owner and also founder of this brand. His name has the Chinese word ‘虎’, which means ‘Tiger’.

Tiger Char Koay Teow Stall
Tiger Char Koay Teow Stall, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Grandson of Tiger who took over from his grandfather and now runs the stall successfully
Grandson of Tiger who took over from his grandfather and now runs the stall successfully, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)

It was a crowded morning. Business as usual for them, I am sure. We were fortunate to be able to secure an empty table. After we seated, we ordered the food.

Tip: When you see an empty table. Quickly get it!

There was a bit of wait time for the food to arrive. Yet, it was not that long a wait. When it landed on our table, we could smell the fragrance. Mmmmm.

The famous Tiger Char Koay Teow from George Town, Penang
The famous Tiger Char Koay Teow from George Town, Penang, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

A first taste and we were awed! There was that fragrant taste that Chinese call ‘Wok Hei’. It is not easy to describe this taste. But most Chinese recognize it. And it is something not easily found with most cooked foods nowadays.

Then the heavenly mix of flat noodles with bean sprouts, cockles, prawns, eggs and chives. Flavors that were so full and glorious!

The servings were small. So tempting to order another plate. But, we held back because there was so much more Penang Food to try.


How to Order the Food?

Simply look for the servers dressed in orange polo t-shirts. Give them the order. Tell them where you are seated. Then wait for the food to arrive.

Server at Tiger Char Koay Teow
Server at Tiger Char Koay Teow, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tip: Payment is immediate upon delivery of the order. Cash only.


Lobak King (五香卤肉)

There were other foods available at Ping Hooi Coffee Shop. Another popular food stall was the Lobak King. They sold the popular five-spiced pork rolls (also known as Ngoh Hiang), and many other items such as bean curd, battered fish, prawn fritters, tofu skin (bean curd skin), and more.

Lobak King food
Lobak King food, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The food was served with two types of sauces. They were the sweet dark sauce and spicy chili sauce. If you are not able to take spicy sauce, just dip the food in the sweet dark sauce.

Everything we ordered was fried to a crunchy crispness. The taste was flavorful. Together with the sauce, it was pure delight!


Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Your Penang trip will not be complete without a taste of the popular Penang Char Koay Teow.

And my recommendation for this delectable dish? Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条).

It is simply unforgettable. Even today, as I write this post, I am thinking of returning to George Town, Penang to enjoy the taste of it.

Every ingredient contributed to the full flavor and taste. The prawns were juicy and fresh. The bean sprouts were crunchy. The other ingredients created a mix that pleased the palate.

If only the dining conditions were better. Then again, it is a coffee shop, and it does make it more enchanting.

As I mentioned, the serving was small. While it may be just enough for some, I wanted another plate. I have to fly to George Town for that. And I will do it.

Tip: Take your time. Enjoy each bite. Or you will be like me, yearning for it again.


How To Get to Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)?

Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) is located at the junction of Carnavon Street and Malay Street. You can’t miss it. The signs are big enough to be seen from afar. See the map below for actual location.

What is the Address of Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)?

179, Carnavon Street, 10300, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

What are the Operating Hours of Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)?

8.00 am to 2.30 pm, Daily

How to Contact Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条)?

Phone: +60 16-458-0926

How to Get to Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) By Foot?

We did walk to this place by foot. But that was only because it was near the hotel where we stayed – Cititel Express Penang. Check with your hotel concierge if it is within walking distance. If not, then consider catching a cab or take Grab.

How to Get to Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) By Train?

There are no train services.

How to Get to Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) By Bus?

There is a Free bus service operated by Rapid Penang. It can bring you to major attractions, shops and city events. It is called the Central Area Transit (CAT). Get a map from their website, and simply board their buses at any specially marked stops on specified routes. The only concern here is that you will have to travel within their bus schedules.

How to Get to Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) By Car?

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app. There is ample parking spaces on the streets. But may be full on peak periods.

How to Get to Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) By Taxi?

They rarely go by meter.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

Better Tip: Do not take the cab, go by Grab (see below).

How to Get to Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) By Grab?

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


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We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

If you have ANY questions about this Penang Food – Tiger Char Koay Teow (老虎炒粿条) Restaurant, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

Things To Do In Penang – Entopia Butterfly Farm

Things To Do In Penang - Entopia Butterfly Farm - header

After the morning at the awesome Kek Lok Si Temple, we headed for Entopia, the Penang Butterfly Farm. It was a nice drive. On the way there, some parts of the journey was by the sea. We even passed an area that reminded me of the seaside areas of Phuket.

To be honest, I was not very keen on Entopia. I wondered just how interesting can a place filled with butterflies be? Boy, was I wrong! Entopia offered so much more than just tropical butterflies. It was definitely one of the Things You Must Do In Penang!

So now, I will share with you about this awesome place that you must visit. I will provide a video walk-through below, plus my experience at Entopia with lots of photos. Also, useful information such as visiting hours, ticket prices are all in this blog post.

* Tip: You will spend at least two hours here. More if you take a breather at their lovely cafe.

Come join me on this wondrous journey!

The Entopia Butterfly Farm in Penang, Malaysia

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

Another Gorgeous Tiger Butterfly
Entertainment
Historical Significance
Natural or Cultural Value
Beauty – Natural or Built

Summary

The Entopia Butterfly Farm is a must visit when you are in Penang, Malaysia! More than 15,000 butterflies, 100s of species. Also frogs, spiders, snakes, lizards, dragonflies, and many more animals

3.8

Things To Do in Penang – Entopia Butterfly Farm – The Video

I took a lot of videos. There were a lot of stuff to capture on film. There was a wide variety of butterflies. And more than that.

There were other creatures like frogs, snakes, insects, ducks, lizards, dragonflies, ants, and many more. There was also the very cool and scientific exploration of the world of butterflies in the Cocoon zone. Don’t miss all this in the video below.

I have compiled and edited all the videos into one. Here it is. Watch it now!

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What is Entopia All About?

How did Entopia get started? All of us have to thank a gentleman named David Goh, the founder. In 1986, his passion for butterflies inspired him to build a butterfly farm that would be a top tourist attraction in Penang.

Bunch of Red Hibiscus became a Feeding Area for Butterflies
Bunch of Red Hibiscus became a Feeding Area for Butterflies, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Since, then the Penang Butterfly Farm had millions of visitors. Yours truly and my friends are now part of that impressive number. In addition, Entopia won many awards and is voted as one of the best destinations in Penang on TripAdvisor. Definitely one of the Things To Do in Penang – Entopia Butterfly Farm. Wouldn’t you agree?

The large attraction has two main zones – Natureland and Cocoon (more information about these are below). In addition to all the interesting creatures, butterflies and animals, the site offers Learning Activities that educate the public all about the exhibits and nature.

Entopia Map
Entopia Map, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved. >>> Click on above image for Larger version <<<

What is Natureland?

Immediately upon entry, we were at Natureland. This first zone has been described as a living garden vivarium. The first area was the Mystery Cave. There were frogs, spiders, snakes and many other creatures.

What is the Mystery Cave?

There Were Other Creatures Too
There Were Other Creatures Too, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The Mystery Cave was dimly lit. As we exit, we entered Tiger Falls, and it was breathtaking! The scenery was beautiful with a waterfall as well as plant and flowers everywhere.

How Many Butterflies Are There at Entopia?

More than 15,000 butterflies from hundreds of species were flying freely, drinking sweet nectar from the flowers, and fluttering up into the air all around. We wandered into this peaceful space, awe struck, and immersed in an idyllic and almost paradise-like environment.

A Charming Copper Butterfly
A Charming Copper Butterfly, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Info about Tiger Butterflies
Info about Tiger Butterflies, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved. >>> Click above image for Larger version <<<
Common Tiger Butterfly sitting and sipping on a flower
Common Tiger Butterfly sitting and sipping on a flower, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Beautiful Blue and Black Butterfly sat on the floor
Beautiful Blue and Black Butterfly sat on the floor. © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Yellow Glassy Tiger Butterfly
Yellow Glassy Tiger Butterfly, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
A Lovely Tiger Butterfly
A Lovely Tiger Butterfly, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Another Gorgeous Tiger Butterfly
Another Gorgeous Tiger Butterfly, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Cluster of White Butterflies
Cluster of White Butterflies, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
One of the Many Feeding Areas for Butterflies
One of the Many Feeding Areas for Butterflies, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
A Pretty Purple Butterfly landed on a friend's hand
A Pretty Purple Butterfly landed on a friend’s hand, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

What Other Creatures Are There at Entopia?

There Were Dragons Too
There Were Dragons Too, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
There Were Dragonflies Too
There Were Dragonflies Too, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

What is the Cocoon?

After hours exploring Natureland, we arrived at the entrance of the Cocoon. I wondered what secrets this mysterious looking entrance will lead us to?

Entrance to Cocoon Zone
Entrance to Cocoon Zone, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The entire Cocoon is indoors. It has two floors of learning exhibition and indoor activities. There were various installations, videos, multimedia shows, interactive stations and even a mini theater inside.

All these provided a walk-through experience that educated us about the world of the invertebrates. They named the different parts of the Cocoon as the Pandora Forest, Metamorphosis, Lumino City, Downtown Entopia, Breeding Ground, Underground Mysteries and Understory Tales.

Watch the above video for more visuals of Natureland and Cocoon!

Cocoons
Cocoons, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Things To Do in Penang – Entopia Butterfly Farm – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 3.8 out of 5.0

Entopia is definitely One of the Places You Must Visit when you are in Penang! As mentioned at the start of this article, I had low expectations of this attraction. Mainly because in the past I had been disappointed with many such places that had lots of hype.

But Entopia proved me wrong. As I explored this awesome place, my mind changed its perception of it. Entopia truly over delivered. For the price, it is more than worth it.

One of the things I would advise is to dedicate at least half a day here. This place deserves a slow and deliberate exploration. Enjoy the scenery. Be one with the nature that if offers.

Lastly, do purchase the tickets online and at least 3 days earlier to enjoy the 10% discount. My friends and I did not know of this offer, and we lost out on the 10% discount. But we do not see why you should not enjoy it.


Where is Entopia?

From the map shown below, if you think that Entopia is far from George Town or any city area in Penang, you are not wrong. It is quite a distance away.

As I wrote at the start of this article, my friends and I traveled to Entopia by car. One of my friends drove, and that made getting around Penang quite easy.

It took us about 20 to 30 minutes to travel from George Town to Entopia. We took the route along the coast, and enjoyed views of the beautiful sea. We even passed Batu Feringghi but did not have time to explore it. Maybe next time?

What are the Operating Hours at Entopia?

Opens Daily, 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (including weekends and public holidays)

What is the Entrance Fee at Entopia?

Here is the ticket prices as at January 2018. For current ticket prices, please visit the Entopia website.

Entopia Entry Ticket Prices
Entopia Entry Ticket Prices, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

* Tip: Last ticket sale and entry is at 5.00 pm (but what are you doing visiting at such a late hour? There is too much to see and not enough time if you arrive at 5.00 pm!)

* Tip: Buy your tickets online 3 days in advance and Save 10%!

What is the Address of Entopia?

830 Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang, Malaysia

How do I Contact Entopia?

Email: info@entopia.com
Phone: +604-8888 111

How To Get to Entopia?

Getting to Entopia By Foot

No way. Travel by bus, cab or Grab. Best choice is Grab.

Getting to Entopia By Train

This is a small town. There are no train services. Travel by bus, cab or Grab. Again, best choice is Grab.

Getting to Entopia By Bus

You can take buses 101 from Weld Quay to Teluk Bahang, 102 from Penang Airport or 501 from Balik Pulau Town. But honestly, the buses have fixed timings, and are not so frequent. Better if you have a car or commute by cab or better still, use Grab.

Getting to Entopia By Car

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app. There is ample car park lots at Entopia.

Getting to Entopia By Taxi

They rarely go by meter. If you choose to go by taxi, sometimes it may be better to book them for the afternoon or day. This way, you can be assured of getting a ride back to the city, as and when you like it.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

Getting to Entopia By Grab

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


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We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

If you have ANY questions about this Things To Do In Penang – Entopia Butterfly Farm, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

Assam Laksa at Air Itam

Penang Food - Assam Laksa at Air Itam

The visit to Kek Lok Si Temple was very awesome. We enjoyed the prayer halls, huge statues, peaceful gardens, and the breathtaking view of George Town. After burning lots of calories walking the grounds, we were ravenous.

We made our way down the hill, and found the famous Assam Laksa at Air Itam, Penang, Malaysia. It was quite by chance that we found this gem. We had heard about a famous Assam Laksa but we did not know it was the one near Kek Lok Si Temple.

Join us today for this delightful and delicious adventure where I will share with you about this famous Penang Food, what it is, where to find it, and why this is one of the Penang dishes that you must try when you visit this enchanting city.


Assam Laksa at Air Itam – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa
Cuisine: Asian, Local, Penang Food
Meals Served: Assam Laksa
Dining Choices: Dine In, Takeout, Outdoor seating
Family Friendly: Yes
Prices: $ out of $$$$$

Assam Laksa at Air Itam, Penang, Malaysia

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

The Delicious Bowl of Assam Laksa - really good!
Food Quality
Service Quality
Dining Ambiance
Value for Money

Summary

Yummy Penang Food – Pasar Air Itam Assam Laksa. Read this article to find out why it is so delicious, where it is, how to get there, & what else you can find here?

4

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Assam Laksa at Air Itam – The Video

What does the Air Itam Assam Laksa food stall look like? How is the seating arrangement? How is the food prepared? What does the laksa look like? What drinks can you get there? And what dessert is sold nearby? Answers to all these questions in the video below. Enjoy watching.

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What is Air Itam Assam Laksa Food Stall?

The official name of this food stall is Pasar Air Itam Laksa. It was started in 1955 by Ms Lee Lay Hua, and now run by her son, Mr Ang Kak Seong.

The road where the famous Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa is located
The road where the famous Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa is located, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

It is a small and unassuming food stall along Jalan Pasar, next to the Air Itam market. Look out for their signage, and the crowds seated at the tables waiting hungrily for this yummy bowl of pleasure. You can’t miss it.

Penang Food - Assam Laksa at Air Itam Signage
Penang Food – Assam Laksa at Air Itam Signage, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

What is Air Itam Assam Laksa All About?

Assam Laksa is also known as Penang Laksa. It is a dish born from two cultures – the Chinese and Malay.

The Delicious Bowl of Assam Laksa - really good!
The Delicious Bowl of Assam Laksa – really good!, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The unique feature of this delicacy is its thick and sour minced fish soup that is a little spicy. The spiciness is due to a mix of assam (tamarind), lemongrass, galangal (lenkuas) and chili. It helps to reduce the fishy smell of the minced mackerel generously topped on the white noodles (also known as vermicelli).

The noodles are boiled then immersed with the aromatic soup. The chef (also the owner) drains and pours the soup into the noodles a few times. This is done quickly so that the noodles are thoroughly covered in the gravy and the dish stays piping hot.

The chef (and owner) serving a delicious bowl of Assam Laksa
The chef (and owner) serving a delicious bowl of Assam Laksa, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Slices of cucumber, onions, red chili, pineapple, lettuce as well as mint, ginger flower bud and shrimp paste are added with the assistance of a few kitchen staff. The shrimp paste adds some sweet taste to the soup. The bowl is served brimming with the soup and minced mackerel.


How to Order the Food at Air Itam Assam Laksa?

There is a long stretch of tables with chairs just next to the food stall. Simply find a table and seats for your party. Look out for one of the staff, and place your orders.

Long row of tables and chairs for customers to enjoy the Assam Laksa
Long row of tables and chairs for customers to enjoy the Assam Laksa, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tip: Find an empty table quickly. A server will be along shortly to take your order. If you can’t find an empty table, just stand around and wait till the customers have finished their meal, and leave. Be polite. Do not stare at them eating or look impatient.

Tip: Payment is immediate upon delivery of the order. Cash only. For prices – read our Final Word below.


How is the Fresh Sugar Cane Juice?

There was a drink stall nearby that served fresh sugar cane juice. It was perfect because after hours of walking at Kek Lok Si Temple, it was refreshing to drink this cooling juice.

Fresh Sugar Cane Juice to go with your bowl of Assam Laksa
Fresh Sugar Cane Juice to go with your bowl of Assam Laksa, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The sugar cane was crushed by this juice making machine. Truly fresh! Watch the video for more.

Making Fresh Sugar Cane Juice
Making Fresh Sugar Cane Juice, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

How is the Muah Chee at Air Itam Assam Laksa?

The bowl of laksa was small. And that was all right. Because we wanted room for more snacks. And just a short walk away, there was a push cart selling Muah Chee.

Stall selling really delicious Muah Chee, near the Assam Laksa shop
Stall selling really delicious Muah Chee, near the Assam Laksa shop, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

He told us he had been selling Muah Chee for many years. And guaranteed quality and taste. He even gave us samples! We were convinced and bought a packet to go.

Muah Chee Takeaway
Muah Chee Takeaway, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

It was very tasty! How come we can’t have this quality and taste of Muah Chee in Singapore?

I remembered I captured a video of a hotel chef making Muah Chee. Here is a shot from the video.

Hotel Chef making Muah Chee
Hotel Chef making Muah Chee, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Check out the video above to see how he prepared this dessert.


Penang Air Itam Assam Laksa – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Each bowl of this super delicious laksa only costs 5 Malaysian Ringgit! (price at this point of time, January 2018)

That is so affordable, right? It can even be said that it is really cheap because of the value of the dish.

The soup is thick, and has a mix of sweet, sour and spicy taste. Together with the noodles and ingredients, it was a heavenly combination.

It only lost an entire point because of the dining conditions. If it was cleaner, more comfortable, maybe even air conditioned, it might win an extra 0.5 points. Then again, would it cost only 5 Malaysian Ringgit?

The bowl served was small. We wanted seconds. You might want it, too.

Tip: Take your time to savor each bite. We gulped ours too fast. Now I long for it again.


How To Get to Air Itam Assam Laksa?

Pasar Air Itam Laksa is located at the junction of Jalan Pasar and Jalan Paya Terubong near Kek Lok Si Temple. See the map below.

What is the Address of Air Itam Assam Laksa?

Jalan Pasar, 11500 Air Itam, Penang, Malaysia

What are the Operating Hours at Air Itam Assam Laksa?

10.30 am to 7.00 pm, Daily

How to Contact Air Itam Assam Laksa?

Phone: +60 12-500 7063

Email: info@penanglaksa.com

Website: penanglaksa.com

How to Get to Air Itam Assam Laksa By Foot?

I do not recommend going there by Foot. Catch a cab, or better still, go by Grab.

How to Get to Air Itam Assam Laksa By Train?

There are no train services.

How to Get to Air Itam Assam Laksa By Bus?

There is a Free bus service operated by Rapid Penang. It can bring you to major attractions, shops and city events. It is called the Central Area Transit (CAT). Get a map from their website, and simply board their buses at any specially marked stops on specified routes. The only concern here is that you will have to travel within their bus schedules.

How to Get to Air Itam Assam Laksa By Car?

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app. There is ample parking spaces on the streets. But may be full on peak periods.

How to Get to Air Itam Assam Laksa By Taxi?

They rarely go by meter.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

Better Tip: Do not take the cab, go by Grab (see below).

How to Get to Air Itam Assam Laksa By Grab?

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!
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We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

If you have ANY questions about this review, about Penang Food – Assam Laksa at Air Itam, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

Things To Do In Penang – Kek Lok Si Temple

Things To Do In Penang - Kek Lok Si Temple

When you visit Penang, one of the Things To Do in Penang that you must do is visit Kek Lok Si Temple. We did, and we are very glad. It was awesome!

After a good breakfast of Penang Fried Kway Teow, we headed for the famous temple. It was a short and pleasant drive.

In this post, you will get to see a video of the amazing place, learn the history of this famous Buddhist temple, see the halls filled with Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Divine Beings, and enjoy the breaktaking view from the top of Penang Hill where this temple resides.

Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang, Malaysia

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

View of Circular Pavilion garden and Middle Prayer Hall
Historical Significance
Natural or Cultural Value
Beauty – Natural or Built

Summary

Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. Must see – Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas & Giant Kuan Yin Statue.

5

Kek Lok Si Temple – The Video

We enjoyed filming the many sights seen at this wondrous temple. We started on the lower levels, on to the many halls on various levels, to the peak of the hill where the Giant Kuan Yin statue is, and also climbed up the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas to capture the magnificent view of Penang from above.

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What is Kek Lok Si Temple All About?

This is one of the best known temples on the island. It can be said to be the largest  Buddhist temple in Malaysia. Actually, it is made up of a complex of temples and prayer halls that were built over a period from 1890 to 1930.

View of Circular Pavilion garden and Middle Prayer Hall
View of Circular Pavilion garden and Middle Prayer Hall, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

There are two main attractions here. One is the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas. And the other is the giant statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. There is more information about both below.

One of the unique features of this famous place is that it showcases architecture and artwork from Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. In doing so, they have displayed harmony in diversity.

Tip: There is a lot of ground to cover. Visit first thing in the morning.


What is the Giant Bronze Statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy?

This is the newer attraction at Kek Lok Si. It was completed in 2002. It is located high up on the hillside.

We were very excited to see this huge tribute to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. When we were driving towards Kek Lok Si, we could already see it from afar.

To get to the location, we took the inclined lift to get there. You need to buy a ticket to ride the inclined lift. Watch the video to see how.

Giant statue of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy
Giant statue of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy is made of bronze, and is 36.57 meters tall. That is about 120 feet.  Wow! This makes it the tallest Kuan Yin statue in the world!

side view of Giant statue of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy
Side view of Giant statue of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

When we were there, we could not resist the breathtaking, magnificent view of Penang. We just had to stop for a while, take a breath, and enjoy the scene before us.

Awesome view of Penang
Awesome view of Penang, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

What is the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas?

The other attraction, the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas was no lightweight either. Completed in 1930, this towering structure has continued to capture much attention from visitors since then.

Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas
Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Within, there were ten thousand alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha. The pagoda itself is 30 meters (98 feet) tall.

The architecture is a harmonious mix of Chinese, Thai and Burmese. The octagonal base is a Chinese design. The middle tier has Thai influence. And the crown at the top is surely Burmese in origin.

View of Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas from afar
View of Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas from afar, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The mix represents harmony in religious diversity. It also reflects both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.

On the ground level, there is a huge statue of Buddha donated by King Bhumibol of Thailand. That is why it is also known as Rama VI Pagoda. You can see an image of this statue in the video above.

Lotus Flower in the garden of the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas
Lotus Flower in the garden of the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Before we explored the pagoda, we noticed a very beautiful garden next to it. There were lovely flowers such as the lotus shown above. Plus, the landscaping was a sight for sore eyes. Do watch the video above to see the garden.

From the top level of the pagoda, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking and magnificent view of Penang Hill, and George Town.

Panorama view of George Town from top of Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas
Panorama view of George Town from top of Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved
Panorama view of Penang hill and huge Kuan Yin statue
Panorama view of Penang hill and huge Kuan Yin statue, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

What are the Prayer Halls at Kek Lok Si?

There were many prayer halls at Kek Lok Si. All filled with statues of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Divine Beings.

Here are photos of some of them. To see them all, do watch the video above.

When we first arrived, we found this prayer hall. There were 3 large statues of Bodhisattvas, all beautifully decorated.

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

We also found a pretty garden that had this serene Circular Pavilion with a Buddha image.

Buddha in Circular Pavilion
Buddha in Circular Pavilion, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

We roamed around. The place was like a maze. Then we found this small entrance with the sign that said in Chinese – Kek Lok Si.

I love the deep blue colors!

Small entrance to Kek Lok Si
Small entrance to Kek Lok Si, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

This was the entrance to one of the many prayer halls. I love how the many lanterns gave that extra touch, and made for such a nice photo.

One of the many Prayer Halls
One of the many Prayer Halls, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

This next altar was actually on the same location as the Giant Kuan Yin Statue. So beautiful!

Kuan Yin with many arms
Kuan Yin with many arms, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The perimeter of one of the prayer halls featured statues of Buddha all along it. Simply astonishing!

Many statues of Buddhas adorn the perimeter of one of the prayer halls
Many statues of Buddhas adorn the perimeter of one of the prayer halls, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

As mentioned, there were prayer halls that were Theravada Buddhism.

Three Buddhas in Theravada Buddhism Prayer Hall
Three Buddhas in Theravada Buddhism Prayer Hall, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

* Tip: Look up! The ceilings are also filled with colorful and delicate artwork!

Beautiful Artwork on the ceilings of prayer halls
Beautiful Artwork on the ceilings of prayer halls, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

* Tip: Look around! The walls have intricate art that tells stories!

Beautiful Artwork on the walls of prayer halls
Beautiful Artwork on the walls of prayer halls, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Kek Lok Si Temple – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

As mentioned in other blog posts, we visited during the off peak season. We heard that Kek Lok Si is a magical wonderland of lights and colors during Chinese New Year. During this period, the temple stays open until late at night.

If you can time your visit, best to do so during Chinese New Year. For me, it is a little difficult to plan because Chinese New Year is a big festival where I am from. And I am obligated to stay at home with my family during this time.

Still, Chinese New Year or not, Kek Lok Si Temple is indeed a place you must visit when you are in Penang.

* Tip: Visit during Chinese New Year


Where is Kek Lok Si Temple?

Kek Lok Si Temple is located at Air Itam mountain in George Town on Penang island. It is near and faces the sea. As such, the heights at the temple can offer impressive views of Penang.

Operating Hours

9 am to 6 pm, Daily.

Entrance Fee

Free to enter temple grounds. You have to pay to visit the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and use the inclined lift to the Giant Kuan Yin Statue. Prices change over time. Best to find out when you are there.

Address

Kek Lok Si Temple, 11500 Ayer Itam, Penang

Contact

Email: email@kekloksitemple.com
Phone: +604-828 3317

How To Get There?

By Foot

Best to travel there by bus, car, taxi or Grab. See below.

By Train

This is a small town. There are no train services. And there are no trains to this place.

By Bus

There are local buses, but information on their routes and stops are not well provided. Also, the journey by bus is quite a convoluted one and takes up a lot of time. Better to go by car, taxi or Grab.

By Car

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app. There is ample car park lots in the temple.

By Taxi

They rarely go by meter. If you choose to go by taxi, sometimes it may be better to book them for the afternoon or day. This way, you can be assured of getting a ride back to the city, as and when you like it.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

By Grab

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

If you have ANY questions about this article, about Things To Do In Penang – Kek Lok Si Temple, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

Penang Food - Gurney Drive

We spent the day visiting the beautiful and breathtaking Kek Lok Si Temple. After a brief rest at Cititel Express Penang Hotel, we headed for the famous Gurney Drive Hawker Centre for what we heard would be really good Penang Food.

There was a lot of expectations because Gurney Drive Hawker Centre is famous. There was supposed to be a wide variety of delicious local food. Many people have written and praised the food there. Was it really great? Continue reading this review to find out.


Gurney Drive Hawker Centre – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Gurney Drive Hawker Centre
Cuisine: Asian, Local, Penang Food
Meals Served: Wide variety such as Assam Laksa, Chao Kway Teow, Satay, Indian Rojak, and more
Dining Choices: Dine In, Takeout
Family Friendly: Yes
Prices: $ out of $$$$$

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, Penang, Malaysia

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

Famous Indian Rojak stall at Gurney Drive
Food Quality
Service Quality
Dining Ambiance
Value for Money

Summary

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre in Penang, Malaysia receives a lot of hype. So why 1 star rating? Read my review to find out before you spend time to visit this eating place.

1
One Star Rating

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Gurney Drive Hawker Centre – The Video

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre was one of those places that you must see to know what it was all about. And after watching the video, go there to experience the place, the food and the vibrant energy. Watch the video now to get an idea of what to expect.

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What is Gurney Drive Hawker Centre All About? 

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre is also known as Pusat Penjaja Anjung Gurney. It is one of the biggest and most famous places to eat in Penang. There were plenty of food stalls along both sides of the market. And the center is filled with tables and seats for dining.

How the Gurney Drive Hawker Centre looks like
How the Gurney Drive Hawker Centre looks like, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The concept of the Gurney Drive Hawker Centre began in the 70s. I recalled hearing about it back then, too. Over the years, the moved many times to various locations. Today, it is now next to Gurney Plaza.

It is located by the sea, so you will get to enjoy some sea breeze as you have a delicious meal of local delights.


How to Order the Food a Gurney Drive Hawker Centre?

This is pretty much a self service place. What you need to do is to browse the stalls. There is a lot. So take your time to see what each stall offers, and what you like to eat.

When you decide, you make an order at the stall. They will prepare the food. When it is ready, you pay, and collect it then.

Do note that if you see a queue of people waiting, this means you must queue to order and get your food, too. Do not jump queue. It is frowned upon, and you may be embarrassed when you are asked to join the queue.

Below is a photo of one of the popular stalls selling Assam Laksa, also known as Penang Laksa. Notice the queue?

Penang Laksa also known as Assam Laksa,. Notice the queue?
Penang Laksa also known as Assam Laksa,. Notice the queue? © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Tip: The stalls with long queues are usually the ones that are popular because the food served is really good. Join the queue to buy the delicious food.


How is the Food at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre?

As mentioned, there was a wide variety of food at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre. Question was – which ones were the stalls selling really yummy food? The answer seemed to be the stalls with long queues, like the Assam Laksa stall in the photo above.

There was another stall with a long queue. The stall that sold the Famous Char Koay Teow.

Famous Char Koay Teow stall at Gurney Drive
Famous Char Koay Teow stall at Gurney Drive, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Char Koay Teow is Fried Flat Noodles with fish cakes, cockles, vegetables and egg. It was quite a wait as each order is freshly made. I heard the queue would usually be quite long. But because it was raining on the day we came here, the queue was a little shorter, about ten people in line.

There was another stall that was popular, but the queue was not long. Again, maybe because of the rain. It was the Famous Indian Rojak Stall.

Famous Indian Rojak stall at Gurney Drive
Famous Indian Rojak stall at Gurney Drive, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

My Malaysian friend told me the food was not that great. The stall was more famous for the person who prepared the food. See the photo below, guy circled in red. He would sing and dance as he did that. He was very entertaining. Watch the video to see him in action!

Famous Stall with Guy Who Sings and Dance (in red circle) as he prepares the food
Famous Stall with Guy Who Sings and Dance (in red circle) as he prepares the food, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Here are a few snap shots of other stalls at the hawker centre. Photo below was a stall that sold Penang Rojak, which is like a local salad of fruits and vegetables flavored with prawn paste and chili (optional).

Penang Rojak Stall at Gurney Drive
Penang Rojak Stall at Gurney Drive, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The photo below is a stall that sold meat and vegetables on sticks. After selecting the ones you would like to have, you would be given a pot of soup or sauce to cook the food on the spot.

Food on Sticks
Food on Sticks, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Thirsty? There were plenty of drinks stalls to choose from. The one shown below was apparently quite famous. The drink was nice.

Famous Soya Bean Drink Stall
Famous Soya Bean Drink Stall, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

After the photo and video taking, we browsed the stalls to choose what we would like to eat. Below is a photo of our haul.

Our haul at Gurney Drive
Our haul at Gurney Drive, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

The food was very disappointing.

After hearing so much about the famous Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, I expected so much more.

Everything we tasted was so ordinary.

Nothing to rave about.

For example, the Barbecued Sting Ray we had was so dry. The sauce and chili was close to tasteless. The Penang Rojak was all right but we heard so much about Penang Rojak, we expected better. After all, this is one of the dishes Penang boasts of.

The Wan Ton Noodle? Urgh. How dare they serve such garbage?

We should have gone somewhere else to enjoy great food. And I recommend that you do that. Stay away from Gurney Drive Hawker Centre.

Tip: Dine elsewhere.


How to Get to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre?

Really? After my bad review, you still wanna try the food here?

Sure, I understand. This is like an icon. So, ok. Here is a map of how to find Gurney Drive Hawker Centre.

It is actually just next to Gurney Plaza. So, go to Gurney Plaza, and you will be able to locate Gurney Drive Hawker Centre.

What is the Address of Gurney Drive Hawker Centre?

Next to Gurney Plaza
Address of Gurney Plaza:  170, Gurney Dr, Pulau Tikus, 10250 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

What are the Operating Hours at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre?

Daily, from 6.00 pm till late (not sure of closing hours as different stalls have different operating hours)

What is the Contact for Gurney Drive Hawker Centre?

This is a hawker centre. So, there is no contact number or contact person.

How to Get to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre By Foot?

I do not recommend going there by Foot. Catch a cab, or better still, go by Grab.

How to Get to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre By Train?

There are no train services.

How to Get to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre By Bus?

There is a Free bus service operated by Rapid Penang. It can bring you to major attractions, shops and city events. It is called the Central Area Transit (CAT). Get a map from their website, and simply board their buses at any specially marked stops on specified routes. The only concern here is that you will have to travel within their bus schedules.

How to Get to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre By Car?

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app.

Plus, parking is usually not a problem because there is ample space almost everywhere. What we did was park at Gurney Plaza, and walk over to the hawker centre.

How to Get to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre By Taxi?

They rarely go by meter.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

Better Tip: Do not take the cab, go by Grab (see below).

How to Get to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre By Grab?

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


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We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

If you have ANY questions about this review, about Penang Food – Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

Street Art In Penang

Things To Do In Penang - Street Art In Penang

One of the Things To Do in Penang was wander around George Town, and find the famous Street Art in Penang. It was great fun because it was going on a treasure hunt. When in Penang, it is something we simply must do. And so must you!

After enjoying the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul, we felt refreshed and re-energized from the long drive. We had heard so much about the famous Street Art in Penang. And our goal was to find as many of the famous illustrations as possible.

In this article, I will share with you a little bit of how the mural art came about? Who are the artists? Where is the street art located? And most importantly, did we manage to find them all? Continue reading to find out.

Street Art In Penang, Malaysia

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Boy On Motorcycle
Entertainment
Historical Significance
Natural or Cultural Value
Beauty – Natural or Built

Summary

Don’t miss this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dozens of awesome mural art fill the exteriors of buildings creating a living museum in this city.

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Street Art in Penang – The Video

As usual, we shot as many videos as we can of this phenomenon. There is a street view to show you where this place is, and to help you identify the location. And, of course, we captured as many of the street art as we could. Watch the video to see how many we managed to find.

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What is the Street Art in Penang All About?

After Kuala Lumpur, Penang is the next top destination in Malaysia. She is famous for her white sandy beaches, rich heritage and culture, and the wide range of delicious food.

In 2008, George Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is due to the her being like a living museum. The streets are filled with buildings that are in it original state, and rich with culture. Since this award, George Town has attracted thousands of tourists.

George Town - World Heritage Site
George Town – World Heritage Site, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

To enhance the status of being a World Heritage Site, the City of Penang held a competition to add signages to this living museum. This resulted in Iron Wrought Structures placed strategically around the town. Read The Beautiful Wrought Iron Works section below for more information.

The next level of creating this living museum was the addition of beautiful street art. Read the next section – The Beautiful Illustrations for more information and photos of some of these awesome murals.

Tip: There are walking tours – check with your hotel


What are the Beautiful Street Art To See in Penang?

In fulfilling the concept of George Town as a living museum, Illustrations by Ernest Zacharevic from Lithuania were painted on walls of the many charming old buildings. The famous artist created large and fabulous murals that transformed the old town into an open air gallery. Tourists from all over the world travel here to see these amazing works of art and to take photos and selfies of them.

And we were one of those tourists! Well, short of selfies. We captured these beautiful works of art in photos and video. If you have not yet, do Watch the Video above.

Tip: If you are visiting during the hot season, make sure you have a bottle of water with you at all times. It can get very hot during the day. Alternatively, stop once in a while to catch a break and enjoy the local coffee, tea and snacks at the local coffee shops.

Ready for the Street Art in Penang tour? Let’s go!

It was not easy to take the photo below. There were so many people queuing to pose with it. This was because this was one of the more famous and popular street art titled Children on Bicycle.

Don’t they look so happy and carefree?

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Children on Bicycle
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Children on Bicycle, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Here was another street art that is very popular. Again, lots of people queuing to pose with it. I had to quickly capture between the posers. It was the Boy on Motorcycle.

The emotion on the faces of this mural art and the one above. The words unspoken but revealed from the body language and body postures. Of this, the above, and all the street art. I find they speak volumes. Don’t you agree?

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Boy On Motorcycle
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Boy On Motorcycle, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

I really liked this when I first saw it. It was full of energy and color! So apt for Lion Dance. It was located at a shop selling ice balls (a local dessert that was like snow cones).

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Lion Dance
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Lion Dance, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

It took a while for us to find this famous mural. It was Boy On Chair. It was not located near the other street art. You have to do a bit of exploring to find this one.

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Boy On Chair
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Boy On Chair, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

This next one was intriguing. I wonder what all the blue color was about? Anyone knows? If you do, please enlighten me and leave me a comment?

Also, my friends told me this was a famous street art. But it was not featured on any list of famous street art in hotel literature. So, not sure if it was famous. Again, if anyone knows, please leave a comment?

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Shouting Boy
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Shouting Boy, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The Three Chinese Dolls were really pretty! And the size of this mural is really small. So, you have to really keep your eyes peeled to find it. Watch the video to see where to find it.

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Three Chinese Dolls
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Three Chinese Dolls, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The above street art were mostly in one block area. To see more street art, you have to move to other blocks just next to it. The Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat was found in one of the blocks nearby.

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

In the same block as the one where Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat was found, we discovered the famous Skippy street art. Sadly, the elements had not been kind to this awesome artwork. What used to be a giant homage to a famous cat, painted with brilliant orange, is now a faded ghost like image.

Skippy is famous. He was a rescue by LASSie, an animal shelter. Due to a detached left paw, he walked on three legs with a skip. That was how he got the name Skippy.

One of the famous Street Art in Penang - Skippy
One of the famous Street Art in Penang – Skippy, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

The people of Penang seemed to love cats. There so many street art featuring cats of all sizes, colors and breeds. There was even a shop filled with everything that has a cat image on it; cups, t-shirts, souvenirs, etc.

There were even a few cute paintings of cats on the walls. Here is a photos of one of them. Watch the video to see more.

Cats on Scooter mural in a shop
Cats on Scooter mural in a shop, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

What are the Beautiful Wrought Iron Sculptures To See in Penang?

A competition in 2009 titled “Marking of George Town” was won by Sculpture at Work. It proposed 52 steel rod caricatures called “Voices From The People”. These art installations would mark places that are significant and provide stories of the people and important events.

There were many Wrought Iron Sculptures. We captured quite a few, and featured them in the video above. Here was one of them.

It told the story of the old days when hawkers sold food using a carrier like that shown in the sculpture. This particular hawker was selling a popular local fare called Nasi Kandar.

One of the Wrought Iron Artworks - Nasi Kandar Hawker
One of the Wrought Iron Artworks – Nasi Kandar Hawker, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

This sculpture caught my eye, and illicit quite a few giggles from others who spotted it. It told the story of a tourist taking a trishaw ride. The trishaw is moved by a man pulling it at the front.

Here, the humor is that trishaw puller did not notice the street manhole and fell into it. The tourist reaction is hilarious!

One of the Wrought Iron Artworks - the humorous Trishaw
One of the Wrought Iron Artworks – the humorous Trishaw, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

I noticed many of the street art, particularly the Wrought Iron Sculptures, injected a bit of local humor. Plus, the characters were ‘drawn’ with exaggerated expressions and body language.


What Other Art Forms To See in Penang?

As the entire town became a living museum, and the streets evolved into an open air museum, I could see others, artists or not, inspired to create their own works of art on the walls. Here is a wall filled with old posters.

The posters were advertisements from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I could spot a few famous people such as Teresa Teng, Marilyn Monroe and Bruce Lee.  Perhaps you can find more? Watch the video for the full length of the wall and all the posters to find who you can identify?

Not mural art but just as creative - a wall of old posters
Not mural art but just as creative – a wall of old posters, © 2018 Asia Travel Gems All Rights Reserved

Street Art in Penang, Malaysia – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

It was a very enriching and entertaining experience to search and find as many of the street art masterpieces as we can. I highly recommend you doing this.

Travel Tip: Spend at least an entire day for this. It will be too rushed to do it all in a short time like a few hours or half a day.

We had so much fun searching for as many street art as we could. I am sure we did not find them all. Perhaps you can find more than us?

Do take a look at the video for the full number of murals we spotted. Then come back and let us know which we missed out that you were able to find by adding a comment.


Where is Street Art in Penang?

Now where is the fun if I told you where to find each street art?

The best part about this attraction is the hunting. So I decided to just give you a clue. Just like any treasure hunt, you get to know where one of the most famous street art is – the Children on Bicycle.

This particular illustration is sort of in the middle of all the other famous street art. If you can find this one, you can find the rest. With that in mind, you can use the map below to navigate to the area where the street art is.

What are the Operating Hours of the Street Art in Penang, Malaysia?

There is no real operating hours here. These are paintings on the walls of buildings in public spaces. So, in a sense, it is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

It is just that it is better to look for these masterpieces during the day.

What is the Address of the Street Art in Penang, Malaysia?

Practically the whole of George Town, Penang, Malaysia

What is the Contact of the Street Art in Penang, Malaysia?

There is no one contact number to call. For more information, you can check with your hotel or talk to someone at the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Penang.

How To Get to the Street Art in Penang, Malaysia?

How to Get to the Street Art By Foot?

This is the best option. The street art are spread over a few blocks. So, it would be better to explore and find them on foot.

How to Get to the Street Art By Train?

This is a small town. There are no train services. And there are no trains to this place.

How to Get to the Street Art By Bus?

There are local buses, but information on their routes and stops are not well provided. Better to go by car, taxi or Grab.

How to Get to the Street Art By Car?

If you drove to Penang, you are at an advantage. Traffic is not as heavy as cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Navigating around is easy, especially if you have Waze app. Also, there are some street art that are a little far off from the others. This can help speed up the search.

How to Get to the Street Art By Taxi?

They rarely go by meter. If you choose to go by taxi, sometimes it may be better to book them for the afternoon or day. This way, you can be assured of getting a ride back to the city, as and when you like it.

Tip: Negotiate and agree on a price before you take the taxi.

How to Get to the Street Art By Grab?

This is my preferred option. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!
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We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

If you have ANY questions about this article, about Things To Do In Penang – Street Art In Penang, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus