I was looking for a budget and short escape trip before finally ended up in Penang, Malaysia. I've been to Malaysia for several times before but never thought to visit this island. Pulau Pinang, or it's more common to be called as Penang, is one of Malaysian states which located in Northwest of Malaysia. I often heard that Penang has a very good and budget medical center, but never heard it as one of the most visited tourist destination in Malaysia before. So I didn't expect too much as I just wondering to get a short escape with my family anyway.

| Flight & Accommodation |
I went there with Air Asia. The flight just took around 2,5 hours from Jakart, Indonesia to Penang. I luckily got quite low fare for this trip. It was just about ID 1,700,000 for roundtrip AirAsia Flights (Jakarta-Penang-Jakarta) and 2 Nights stay in Tune Hotel. Well, don't expect too much with this Hotel because it is really a very budget hotel. I got no windows in my room nor television. The room is literally set just for sleeping and showering. But if it's your first time to go to Penang and you'd like to explore about the city more than getting leisure at hotel, and you are seeking for a very budget hotel yet in the middle of George Town city, it's worth the price. But if you'd like to enjoy the hotel or city view, or sea and hills view, there are a lot of other more expensive hotels that provide you those entertainments. You pick.

| Transportation |
I walk down the street most of my time in Penang, especially when I just about got around George Town city. When I felt a little bit tired, I just easily booked Grab Car. Grab Car / Taxi Drivers are fluent in English. If you get Chinese Uncles/Aunties as driver, they even can speak Mandarin as well. I suggest you to do the same thing with me if you'd like to enjoy the city. However, if you'd like to go to Penang Hill and Ke Lok Si Temple, I suggest you to take a bus / Grab Car. Bus driver also can speak English as well so you don't need to worry.

| Weather |
Don't ask me. Just enjoy the hot weather and direct light of the sun in this tropical country.

| What to Do in Penang |
Of course you have a lot of things to do in here. Penang serves you old city, mountain view and beaches at the same time. However, due to the time constraint, I picked enjoying the vibe of old city and mountain view only. Some said that George Town city and Penang Hills are the most visited destination here in Penang anyway so I picked them both as my destination.

1. Old City
For some people especially Asian, Penang is really famour with the medical center. And yes, it's true. I have some friends and families who are treated in Penang for some medical cases. However, besides the medical center, Penang is also known as the "Old Land" of Malaysia. George town, which is the capital city of Penang is also famous with the beauty of the old city. The uniqueness and history become its own charm to attract many tourist to visit this city. The historical places in George Town have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. So, if you are about to go to Penang, you have to stroll around the neighborhood to see how the old vibe lives in the modern era.

2. Penang Street Art
When I heard about Penang, besides medical center, street art is also on top of my mind. Penang Street Art has been listed to UNESCO World Heritage Site as graphic street art which depicting the life of the people of Penang. The mural feels so real and close to the daily life of local people here in Penang. Thank God I got a Penang Street Art map from my Hotel because there are a lot of spot that I couldn't miss.

Penang Peranakan Mansion is a Chinese Peranakan museum with over 1,000 pieces of antiques. This unique mansion used to be a house for rich Babas and Nyonyas in 19th century era. This mansion amazed everyone who’s coming to the site with over thousand pieces of antiques and collectibles of the era. The building was very simple from the outside which dominated with green color on the wall and you would realize it’s a Chinese house as some red lanterns hung. The mansion contains of several rooms in 2 floors. Entrance fee for Penang Peranakan Mansion is MYR RM 20 / IDR 68,000 (Adults) and Children below 6 years old is Free. Read also my post about this place at >> PENANG PERANAKAN MANSION : YOUR GREAT GREAT GREAT ANCESTOR HOUSE.

4. Penang Hill
Penang Hill is located 821 meters above the city. It's around 30-45 minutes from George Town city by car. However, I tried to take a bus from Catholic Church of Assumption in George Town to here. It took around 1 hour to get there. Not bad actually since the bus costed only MYR 2 / IDR 7,000 per person. If you take a bus or taxi to the here, you will be dropped of in Penang Hill Lower Station. You have to buy ticket here before you get to the train up to the hill. Yes, there is only one way to go up to the hill. By train (Unless you wanna hike to the hill). It costed for MYR 30 / IDR 100,000 (Adults) and MYR 15 / IDR 50,000 (Kids 4-12 yo).

Penang Hill Lower Station was the first station that built during the colonial era. So, the architecture of the train and some of the buildings here are really dominated with European style as well. When you are passing the railway, you can spot a lot of greens around you. You might able to see the city from above as well if you are lucky enough, because sometimes it is really foggy here.

Nothing much that I did here since it was just a hill. There are some restaurants/cafes inside, even there is a food court. So you can enjoy your lunch here. However, since it's not an amusement park, there were no specific kids or adult attraction. So what I did there was just relaxing myself and breathing some fresh air in the middle of the crowd (yes it was really crowded in Penal Hill since I came here on Sunday).

Since I got nothing to do here, my family and I decided to get a hand paint of our family portrait here.  There a lot of painters who are ready to paint portrait of you, whether it's with black and white or colors paint. It costed only around MYR 50 / IDR 170,000 for the black and white. It will cost more expensive if you get the colors one.
The karikatur blackand white painting is now hung perfectly on my living room wall.

5. Clan Jetties of Penang
The Clan Jetties in Penang live in traditional floating house which are located in Pengakalan Weld. The floating rustic houses soon became part of Penang historical attraction. Many tourists visit The Clan Jetties as they finished exploring Penang Street Arts. Well, I actually didn't enjoy myself much in here since the sun shone really really bright on that day. Moreover, this area is located in the sea shore, so the smell of the sea and the sun is really unfriendly since I went there at noon.

| What to Eat in Penang |
Foods in Penang are dominated with Chinese, Melayu and Indian cuisine. I honestly didn't take many pictures of foods in Penang since almost all of the restaurants I visited were so busy and small, I even barely gave up of some of the queues there. But I was still really enjoying almost all of the foods there since it is really cheap and tasty. Well, if you are a budget traveler or foods explorer, this city would be one of your best destination. Don't expect that you will visit the fancy restaurants and cafes here because in fact for some of my recommendation foods, you have to queue and eat them on the road side.

1. Kapitan Restaurant
As I landed here in Penang, it was lunch time. I really remembered how hungry I was that I'd like to eat everything around me (lol just kidding) since I got no foods from Airasia. So, as I checked in for hotel, I directly went to one of the legendary restaurants here, Kapitan Restaurant.

I came here for Tandoori Chicken. The chicken is so tender and it tastes a lot of spices. If you like Indian food, you must be like this too. Some people mention this restaurant served the customer badly. Well, I experienced it too actually but I think it's still acceptable.

Tandoori Chicken with Nasi Briyani - RM 10 / IDR 35,000
I forget the name. My bad. But it's a plate of Nasi Briyani with Mutton above it. Costed not more than RM 13 / IDR 44,000.

Kapitan Restaurant
Address : 93, Chulia St, Georgetown, 10200
Penang, Malaysia
Opening Hours : 24 Hours

2. Transfer Road Roti Canai
I was recommended by Uncle Grab Car Driver to have breakfast here as I passed the road. It's not a restaurant. It serves the customer on the roadside in front of some closed-stores in the morning (I passed the road at the evening and there were no stalls at all). I reached that place at 07.30 and I have to queue of course since it's not only tourist destination but also local people's place to have breakfast as well.

Roti Canai in Transfer Road serves fusion Indian foods with curry as its based. I ordered Roti Canai Telur + 1 Set Ayam (Roti Canai with Egg + 1 Chicken Curry Set). If you are a fan of curry, I bet you like this food. I personally don't really into the curry because it tastes so so strong. I like Chicken Tandoori taste more than this one.

Roti Canai Transfer Road
Address : 93, Chulia St, Georgetown, 10200
Penang, Malaysia
Opening Hours : 7 am - 12 pm

3. Toh Soon Cafe
Another place to have your breakfast is Toh Soon Cafe. This legend cafe is located in a very narrow alley in Lebuh Campbell. However, due to very small place, I have to wait for around 15-20 minutes to grab my table there (I honestly didn't know where the official queue was because it was a little bit messy there). The uncle and aunties there are super busy that almost can't manage the queue. But, if you get the table already, they will serve you quite fast.

I got 2 of the most recommended foods here : Crisp toast with boiled egg on top of it and Kaya toast. People said that this cafe is really famous as they maintain using the charcoal grill for the toasts. They also have packs of nasi lemak (In Indonesia we call it Nasi Bungkus/Nasi Kucing) worth for RM 1 / IDR 3,500 only. It's a small pack by the way, you might eat 3-4 packs if you want to get enough. And don't forget to get your Kopi O / Kopi Kosong here. Legend!

Toh Soon Cafe
Lebuh Campbell, George Town, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Opening Hours : 8.30 am - 4.30 pm

4. China House
Don't be fooled with the name, because this place is actually a cafe. China House which is located in Lebuh Pantai Street, serves you a lot of sweets and desserts. The place is not too big yet it's so crowded. You might be able to have dine in or just take away. But, if you just have a long walk of exploring Penang Street Art, this place will be one of a treasure.

China House
Address : 153, Beach St, Georgetown, 10300
Penang, Malaysia
Opening Hours : 9 am - 10 pm
Telp. +60 4-263 7299

5. Tai Tong Restaurant (大東酒楼)
If you are a Chinese Foods lover, I recommend you to come here for sure. Tai Tong Restaurant is located in Lebuh Cintra. The opening hour is just during the breakfast to lunch time (6 am - 2.30 pm) and dinner time (6 pm - 10.30 pm). So if you come here around 3-5 pm, you might not be able to eat here because it's closed.

I honestly can't recommend you what to eat since I love everything here. But I suggest you to have some dimsums here. So as you eat there, aunties or nainai (grandma) will go around you with a big of dimsum stroller. You'll be given a card and she will thick the things that you pick from the dimsum stroller. You later can pay to the cashier by bringing the card. But you don't have to worry because the dimsums here are affordable yet quite big in portion and taste so good as well. The shrimp wonton fried was my favorite. It costed around MYR 100 / IDR 340,000 for 4 people.

Tai Tong Restaurant
Address : 45, Lebuh Cintra, George Town, 10100
Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Opening Hours : Everyday (6 am - 2.30 pm) / (6 pm - 10.30 pm)

6. New Lane Hawker Centre
When I arrived at New Lane Hawker Centre, I expected it would be like Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur. In fact, this Hawker Street is not that big since it just takes one lane which is Jalan Baru (New Lane). So people called it New Lane Hawker Street. Unfortunately, I didn't take much photos here because the lighting was so bad and my camera didn't support bad lighting like this. But I recommend you to get some Char Kwe Tiaow and Chong Fan here since they both are the authentic cuisine in Penang. I also tried some Laksa and it turned not that bad as well. Foods here costed for around MYR 10 - 30 / IDR 35,000 - 100,000.

New Lane Hawker Centre
Address : Lorong Baru, George Town, 10450
Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Opening Hours : 4 pm - 11 pm

7. Teochew Chendul
One of the best chendul, like ever. I always hear that Teochew Chendul is one of the most wanted and must try foods in Penang. Unlike the other chendul in Indonesia, the coconut milk inside Teochew Chendul is not that strong yet it's still so tasty. It is mixed with red beans and shaved ice. I even gulped as I wrote this review, reminiscing the taste of a bowl of Teochew Chendul.

Although they had opened several branches in malls, people still enjoy having a bowl of Teochew Chendul under the sunlight. Or if you are avoiding the sunlight, you might eat it during twilight just like what I did. But don't come here after 6 pm unless you are okay if you ran out the chendul.

I couldn't get enough of Teochew Chendul.

Teochew Chendul
Address : 4 2, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10100
Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Opening Hours : Morning till it runs out of the chendul

8. Tek Sen Retaurant
Hands down for Tek Sen Restaurant. Established in 1965, this restaurant still loved by many local people and tourists. This restaurant serves a lot variation of delicious Chinese cuisine, perfectly mixed with a little bit Teo Chew and Cantonese taste. Roasted Pork Chili Padi and Herbal Pork Soup (The black soup - which I forgot the name) were the winner of this trip by the way. You guys have to try when you are in Penang. The long queue is worth to wait.

Tek Sen Restaurant
Address : 18, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10100
Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Opening Hours : Lunch at 12 - 2.30 pm and Dinner at 6 - 8.30 pm (Closed on Tuesday)
Telp. +60 12-981 5117

Day 1.
06.40 - 10.05 Flight from Jakarta to Penang
10.05 - 10.30 Arrival - Immigration & Airport Stuff
10.30 - 11.00 Otw from Penang International Airport to Tune Hotel (I took Grab Car costed for around MYR 25 / IDR 85,000. Or else you can also take a bus costed for MYR 5. But if you go there for 3 people, I suggest you just to take a Grab Car. Easy and Cheap anyway)
11.00 - 11.30 Check in at Tune Hotel
11.30 - 11.45 Otw to Kapitan Restaurant (Grab Taxi for about MYR 5 / IDR 17,000)
11.45 - 13.00 Lunch at Kapitan Restaurant
13.00 - 14.15 Walking around the city, take pictures on Penang Street Art
14.15 - 14.45 Otw to Penang Peranakan Mansion (I walked down the street since it's a walking-distance anyway)
14.45 - 16.00 Exploring Penang Pernakan Mansion
16.00 - 16.15 Otw to China House
16.15 -17.15 Tea time at China House
17.15 - 17.30 Otw back to Tune Hotel
17.30 - 19.00 Taking shower & rest for a while
19.00 - 19.15 Otw to New Lane Hawker Centre (Grab Taxi for about MYR 5 / IDR 17,000)
19.15 - 21.00 Dinner at New Lane Hawker Centre

Day 2
06.00 - 07.15 Getting ready
07.15 - 07.30 Otw to Transfer Road
07.30 - 07.45 Queuing for table
07.45 - 08.30 Breakfast at Transfer Road Roti Canai
08.30 - 09.00 Stroll around St. George's Anglican Church
09.00 - 10.30 Sunday Mass at Catholic Church of The Assumption
10.30 - 11.45 Otw to Penang Hill Lower Station (Took 204 Bus from in front of St. George's Anglican Church, costed around MYR 2 / IDR 7,000)
10.45 - 14.00 Exploring Penang Hill
14.00 - 14.30 Otw to Ke Lok Si Temple (Took 204 Bus again to go down from Penang Hill Lower Station, costed around MYR 2 / IDR 7,000 as well)
14.30 - 15.00 Exploring Ke Lok Si Temple
15.00 - 15.30 Otw back to George Town (Took Grab Car costed around MYR 20 / IDR 67,000)
15.30 - 16.30 Arrive at Gurney Paragon Mall (Strolling around & enjoying almost sunset moment with a cup of Starbucks Coffee)
16.30 - 17.00 Otw to Tai Tong Restaurant (Took Grab Car costed around MYR 5 / IDR 17,000)
17.00 - 18.00 Early dinner at Tai Tong Restaurant
18.00 - 18.15 Otw to Teochew Chendul
18.15 - 18.30 Enjoying last cup of Teochew Chendul
18.30 - 19.00 Strolling around the neighbor before arriving at hotel
19.00 - end Lying on bed because I walked too much on that day

Day 3
06.00 - 07.15 Getting ready
07.15 - 07.30 Check out and put baggage on the reception
07.30 - 07.45 Otw to Toh Soon Cafe
07.45 - 08.00 Queuing for breakfast
08.00 - 08.45 Breakfast at Toh Soon Cafe
08.45 - 10.00 Strolling around Penang Street Art area
10.00 - 10.30 Otw to Clan Jetties
10.30 - 11.30 Strolling around Clan Jetties
11.30 - 12.00 Otw to Mall
12.00 - 13.00 Strolling around the mall
13.00 - 13.30 Otw to Teksen Restaurant
13.30 - 14.30 Late lunch at Teksen Retaurant
14.30 - 14.50 Otw to Tune Hotel
14.50 - 15.15 Taking my baggage out and getting ready to the airport
15.15 - 16.00 Otw to Penang International Airport
16.00 - 18.00 Check in & waiting
18.00 Supposed to be flights but it was delayed. I finally departed around 20.00.

So that's it for my review today. As I got home and calculated all of the budget, in fact it just costed around IDR 4,000,000 / MYR 1188 / USD 275 per person. It was a beautiful yet affordable short escape and I would really love to go back there again for sure.

I hope my simple itinerary can inspire you when you are about to go to Penang. The only thing that I can remind you before going to Penang is : Don't forget to bring your umbrella or caps or hats, sun glasses and of course Sunblock. Trust me, if you forget to bring it, you might buy another one there like what my sister did. Because the sun shine game is so strong, you can't handle. I was completely tanned as I got back home but this whole trip is worth it.

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