A weekend in Penang

Penang isn’t the immediate destination that comes to mind when Singaporeans think of a trip to Malaysia, probably because of the distance. It’s at least eight hours from Singapore by car, and probably longer if you take into account real-world traffic conditions and border control processes. In fact, the Malaysian island state is closer to the country’s border with Thailand up north than it is to Kuala Lumpur, which is located more than twice the distance away to the south.

Despite this, Penang is Malaysia’s top destination after Kuala Lumpur. Ever since George Town became a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008, cultural tourism in the city has boomed.

That is why when I was invited to attend a colleague’s wedding in Penang, I jumped at the opportunity to spend an extra day there with Grace so we could explore its famous streets. As much as we wanted to sample Penang’s famous street food, many of the well-known stalls are situated a considerable distance from the bustling ‘capital’ of the state, George Town. Our interest in checking out Penang’s street art meant we spent more time visiting cafes and dilapidated alleys than sparsely situated mobile food carts. Should we return there again, we’ll be sure to switch things around. With all the gentrification going on in George Town, one has to wonder how long it will be before it loses its authenticity and becomes expensive to visit.

The food

The Book Sandwich Cafe
205 Lebuh Pantai


Awesome Canteen
164A-B Lebuh Victoria

Mish Mash
24 Jalan Muntri

Aik Hoe Restaurant
6 & 8 Lebuh Carnarvon

The Safe Room
42 Lebuh Campbell

Mugshot Cafe
302 Lebuh Chulia

Kafe Ping Hooi
179 Lebuh Carnarvon

The sights

Street art

Tan Jetty Boardwalk
Pengkalan Weld

Other random snaps


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