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Malaysia

Penang Holidays

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Easy peasy Penang

Lying just two kilometres west of mainland Malaysia, the island of Penang is an idyllic retreat. Covering just over 100 square miles, the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ is a melting pot of international influences, home to rich cuisines, diverse architecture and historical landmarks. Combine all this with the island’s golden sands, and you’ve got a winning combination. Whether you’re looking for a cultural getaway or a chilled-out beach break, a holiday to Penang has something for everyone.

Once a petite trading post, Penang now boasts picture-perfect beach resorts, a dynamic capital city, and Malaysia’s smallest national park. You can explore the capital, George Town, and wander through its maze of temples, mosques and colonial buildings. Marvel at the impressive Kek Lok Si temple, or while away an afternoon among the Botanical Gardens’ flora and fauna. To discover Malaysia’s wild side, head northwest and hike through Penang National Park’s tropical rainforest. Or make tracks for Batu Ferringhi and relax on the powder-soft sands.  

However you want to spend your time, our team of experts will help you plan every detail of your Penang holiday. We can create a tailor-made itinerary just for you, and advise you on our selection of adults-only retreats, family-friendly resorts and five-star hotels. If you fancy seeing more of Malaysia, why not add on a few days in Kuala Lumpur? A short break in this modern metropolis offers the perfect contrast to your island getaway, and travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang couldn’t be easier. Whatever you’re dreaming of, we’ll make sure your holiday is simple and hassle-free.

Best beaches

George Town

Things to do

Best time to go

Best beaches in Penang

You’ll find that most of Penang’s top beaches are on the island’s north coast. Popular Batu Ferringhi is a hive of activity, as the white sands are lined with seafood restaurants and sleek resorts. You can unwind on the sugary beach, try your hand at a variety of watersports, and feast on the catch of the day. If you’re still there in the evening, don’t miss the night market – you’ll be able to pick up all kinds of souvenirs and snack on tasty street food.

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Further along the coast, towards George Town, there’s Tanjung Bungah. Quieter than its famous neighbour, this sleepy spot offers calm waters perfect for swimming or snorkelling. And, after dark, the stargazing opportunities are second to none.

Alternatively, head to the southwest corner of Penang and spend a day on the sands of Pantai Pasir Panjang. You can hike along the jungle-clad hills then relax on the beach, and watch the sun sink below the horizon. 

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George Town

Diverse and vibrant, the capital of Penang is a fantastic place to spend a day or two. George Town is a fascinating fusion of different cultures, cuisines and architecture. You can expect to see grand mosques, intricate temples and Asia’s oldest Anglican Church, as well as mural-covered laneways and the ornate colonial-style City Hall.

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Kek Lok Si is undoubtedly one of the top attractions in George Town. Made up of a series of shrines, prayer halls, monasteries and gardens, it’s the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia – and it’s right on top of a hill, so you’ll have sweeping vistas in every direction. Or, for a different view over George Town, catch the funicular railway up to the top of Penang Hill.

Fort Cornwallis is a must-see for history buffs, while nature-lovers should visit the city’s Botanical Gardens. Split into 12 sections, this luscious space includes a lily garden, a tropical rainforest and countless species of flowers. You’re also likely to see butterflies and cheeky macaques.

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Day Trips

When you want to see more of the island, there are a couple of great day trips on offer. Spanning less than five square miles, Penang National Park is the smallest national park in Malaysia, but you can easily spend a day here. Walk through the rich forest and stroll along the canopy walkway, keeping your eyes peeled for macaques, deer and a variety of birds. Or visit the park’s Turtle Conservation Centre, and then catch some rays on Monkey Beach.

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The idyllic island of Pulau Jerejak is another must-visit on your Penang holiday. Anchored off the southeast coast, this place is just a short ferry-ride away, and there are regular sailings throughout the day. With a colourful past – the island has served as both a quarantine centre and a prison – Pulau Jerejak is now an eco-tourism hub, with a rainforest resort, restaurant and tranquil spa. You can hire bikes and cycle around the island, and go on a guided trek through the jungle. Or you could simply take it easy on the beach, cocktail in hand. This place is famous for its sunsets, so it’s worth sticking around to watch the sky turn pink.

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Show Less

Best time to visit Penang

Like the rest of Malaysia, Penang has a tropical climate and remains hot throughout the year, with humidity rarely dropping below 70 per cent. Daytime temperatures in Penang are usually somewhere between 27°C and 31°C but, thanks to the coastal breeze, the island feels slightly cooler than the mainland.

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Show Less

September and October are the wettest months, with April and May not far behind – so it’s best to avoid booking your Penang holiday for this time of year. Instead, plan to go between December and March, when you can look forward to toasty temperatures in the high-twenties. You’ll still get the odd shower – it is a tropical island, after all – but you’ll generally have great weather for exploring, swimming and sunbathing. June, July and August are also great options, but humidity is higher at this time of year.

Show More
Show Less

Best beaches

Best beaches in Penang

You’ll find that most of Penang’s top beaches are on the island’s north coast. Popular Batu Ferringhi is a hive of activity, as the white sands are lined with seafood restaurants and sleek resorts. You can unwind on the sugary beach, try your hand at a variety of watersports, and feast on the catch of the day. If you’re still there in the evening, don’t miss the night market – you’ll be able to pick up all kinds of souvenirs and snack on tasty street food.

Show More
Show Less

Further along the coast, towards George Town, there’s Tanjung Bungah. Quieter than its famous neighbour, this sleepy spot offers calm waters perfect for swimming or snorkelling. And, after dark, the stargazing opportunities are second to none.

Alternatively, head to the southwest corner of Penang and spend a day on the sands of Pantai Pasir Panjang. You can hike along the jungle-clad hills then relax on the beach, and watch the sun sink below the horizon. 

Show More
Show Less

George Town

George Town

Diverse and vibrant, the capital of Penang is a fantastic place to spend a day or two. George Town is a fascinating fusion of different cultures, cuisines and architecture. You can expect to see grand mosques, intricate temples and Asia’s oldest Anglican Church, as well as mural-covered laneways and the ornate colonial-style City Hall.

Show More
Show Less

Kek Lok Si is undoubtedly one of the top attractions in George Town. Made up of a series of shrines, prayer halls, monasteries and gardens, it’s the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia – and it’s right on top of a hill, so you’ll have sweeping vistas in every direction. Or, for a different view over George Town, catch the funicular railway up to the top of Penang Hill.

Fort Cornwallis is a must-see for history buffs, while nature-lovers should visit the city’s Botanical Gardens. Split into 12 sections, this luscious space includes a lily garden, a tropical rainforest and countless species of flowers. You’re also likely to see butterflies and cheeky macaques.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Day Trips

When you want to see more of the island, there are a couple of great day trips on offer. Spanning less than five square miles, Penang National Park is the smallest national park in Malaysia, but you can easily spend a day here. Walk through the rich forest and stroll along the canopy walkway, keeping your eyes peeled for macaques, deer and a variety of birds. Or visit the park’s Turtle Conservation Centre, and then catch some rays on Monkey Beach.

Show More
Show Less

The idyllic island of Pulau Jerejak is another must-visit on your Penang holiday. Anchored off the southeast coast, this place is just a short ferry-ride away, and there are regular sailings throughout the day. With a colourful past – the island has served as both a quarantine centre and a prison – Pulau Jerejak is now an eco-tourism hub, with a rainforest resort, restaurant and tranquil spa. You can hire bikes and cycle around the island, and go on a guided trek through the jungle. Or you could simply take it easy on the beach, cocktail in hand. This place is famous for its sunsets, so it’s worth sticking around to watch the sky turn pink.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Penang

Like the rest of Malaysia, Penang has a tropical climate and remains hot throughout the year, with humidity rarely dropping below 70 per cent. Daytime temperatures in Penang are usually somewhere between 27°C and 31°C but, thanks to the coastal breeze, the island feels slightly cooler than the mainland.

Show More
Show Less

September and October are the wettest months, with April and May not far behind – so it’s best to avoid booking your Penang holiday for this time of year. Instead, plan to go between December and March, when you can look forward to toasty temperatures in the high-twenties. You’ll still get the odd shower – it is a tropical island, after all – but you’ll generally have great weather for exploring, swimming and sunbathing. June, July and August are also great options, but humidity is higher at this time of year.

Show More
Show Less

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Our tailor-made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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