Travel and living

Pros and Cons of a Vacation in Penang, Malaysia

The article is a result of analyzing numerous reviews by tourists and travelers. Hope it will help you in creating an objective representation of holiday in Penang.

While preparing to your vacation in Penang, you may have already read a lot of contradictory reviews about this island. Some of them might even give you the food for thought about the correctness of your decision to visit Penang. But don't rush to make conclusions!


First look through our article helping you to learn more about Penang, main features of holiday in it and some tips and advises guaranteeing you a pleasant and hassle-free pastime in the island.

What is Penang?
First let's find out what Penang actually is. Penang is an island in the north of Malaysia; it has length of about 25 km and a width of 15 km. Island of Penang is located in a few kilometers from the mainland of Malaysia, and is connected with it by a bridge and ferry transportation.

By the way, the bridge has a length of 13.5 km and is considered the third longest one in the world!


Today, this small island amazes its visitors with a bizzare mix of its colonial past (the capital of Penang, George Town, was founded by the British during colonial times) and diverse traditions of various ethnic groups such as Indian, Chinese and Malay. All this diversity of cultures is reflected in the historical attractions of Penang and its colorful and exciting festivals and events.


In a nutshell, Penang is an island of contrasts and vivid impressions, where ancient temples and buildings peacefully coexist with the modern skyscrapers and hotels.

Pros and cons visiting Penang



Penang is a great place, where you can enjoy cultures of China, India and Malaysia at the same time!Modern George Town is a large shopping center and resort, where you'll find ancient Chinese streets in a kind of English style, Buddhist and Hindu temples, Christian churches and along with them modern hotel and shopping centers made of glass and concrete.Penang won't suit those who are looking for golden beaches and crystal clean waters.Penang is mostly industrial island. Yes, it has a long coastal strip with the beautiful white sand, but the water isn't as clean as you would like it to be.In addition, there might be a lot of jellyfish hindering save and pleasant swimming.
Solution. You can buy a cheap cruise for a half of a day and visit one of the numerous deserted islands with pristine beaches and clear waters.
Locals are very peaceful and polite. It seems there are almost no crime and thefts.It should be mentioned that Penang as the whole Malaysia in general is nicely developed in terms of infrastructure. There is no poverty and squalor.You won't find opportunities for diving and surfing in Penang. There are almost no waves and if there are some, they begin near the coast and are too low.
Solution. But this also could be pros from another perspective. Besides, you can enjoy a lot of other no less exciting activities such as riding jet skis, water skiing, parasailing, driving beach buggies, wakeboarding, canoeing etc.
George Town itself is relatively clean. No dirt and rotting heaps of garbage especially in the expensive business areas and private sectorsSome tourists write negative reviews about traffic in Penang. They compare it with a similar situation on the streets of China, where a lot of people using motorbikes don't follow the rules of the road.
Cheap food and accommodationPenang is a great place to enjoy real Thai, Indian and Chinese cuisine! And prices in cafes and restaurants will pleasantly surprise you!It's very simple and not very expensive to rent apartments in the numerous hotels or hostels even without booking beforehand!Not all streets have pedestrian walkways
Actually, there is no much sense of walking on foot.
In order to visit most attractions of Penang, it's preferable to rent a car or take a bus.
Penang is located only in 100 km from Langkawi, so it's obvious solution to visit both resorts during one vacationPenang and Langkawi perfectly complement each other! If the first island is good for acquaintance with multinational Asian culture, then the second one is considered one of the best places for beach vacation.
Number of attractions of Penang is simply amazing! It seems there are thousands of them!Here are only a few ones from the countless list of must-see attractions:Kek Lok Si – the gorgeous temple with exactly 10 thousand statues of Buddha

National Park of Penang offers ample opportunities for recreation and ecotourism including rock climbing, hiking, swimming and wildlife watching or simply enjoying pure nature.

Temple of Snakes, where real poisonous snakes could be seen everywhere!

There is a free Wi-Fi on the whole territory of Penang. All you need to do is to register on a special website.
It's very convenient to travel through the whole island by car rental vehicleIt better to book a car in advance and collect it right at the Penang airport. The prices are relatively low and gas is very cheap. More information about car rental you can find at Penang airport

As a conclusion, it should be written that island of Penang is rather convenient and enjoyable resort both for only a weekend or even long holiday. Here you can successfully combine beach tourism and visiting cultural landmarks, finding beauty of nature of the tropics. But of course, the final decision is yours! When taking into account that the benefits of visiting Penang outweigh disadvantages the decision becomes quite obvious.


So don't hesitate! If you have such opportunity, then bravely go for discovering the secrets of Penang! Take into account that the best period for visiting the island is October-March.


If you have any questions, please ask below!