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The afterglow of colonialism lingers in Penang alongside ancient temples, as bicycle rickshaws ply the twisting streets of George Town, the capital.

This island is often only thought of as a beach resort but with its long British history and arguably the best food in Asia, it has a lot more to offer.

A pleasant circuit around the island takes in butterfly farms and the fascinating villages with thriving local markets as well as the funicular railway up Penang Hill with its fabulous views and gardens.

Penang National Park

Penang National Park in the northwest corner of the island makes a great day trip from George Town or the beach resorts of the north coast. With both wetlands and dipterocarp forest it is best explored on foot or by boat. Though one of the world’s smallest national parks, it plays host to an impressive range of wildlife. Soaring in the skies above you may see brahminy kites, sea eagles and crested serpent eagles whilst the diverse flora includes pitcher plants, ferns and orchids.

Turtle conservation

The main focus is on turtle conservation: four species are known to nest here including the world’s largest, the leatherback.

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who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Jack

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Penang by contacting one of our Malaysia specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Penang

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Penang, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Penang

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Penang

    Our expert guides to exploring Penang

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Penang, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Penang at its best.

    • A fusion of cultures: our highlights of Malaysia guide
      Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

      A fusion of cultures: our highlights of Malaysia guide

      A fusion of cultures: our highlights of Malaysia guide

      A street-food tour in George Town, or a cooking lesson in Malacca? Specialist Shannon highlights her key experiences in Malaysia, from major sights like the capital Kuala Lumpur to remote private-island beaches.

      8 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for Penang

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Penang. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Penang

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Penang, and which use the best local guides.

    • Penang National Park
      Batu Ferringhi, Malaysia

      Penang National Park

      Penang National Park

      This day-long excursion will take you through the mangrove forest of Penang's north-western tip before trekking through the dipterocarp forest of the national park.

      View details
    • Penang City Tour
      Pinang Peranakan Mansion, George Town, Penang

      Penang City Tour

      Penang City Tour

      Among the highlights of the tour is Fort Cornwallis, built on the site of Francis Light's historic landing in 1786, it today houses the Dutch Canon presented to the Sultan of Johore by the Dutch East India Company.

      View details