Penang has great beaches, fantastic food and a rich diverse cultural background that offers so many things to do in Penang on a family holiday with kids.
The island of Penang is located 13.5 km off the mainland of Malaysia. It is so close you can actually drive across on the Penang Bridge and up into the islands capital of Georgetown.
Penang is a thriving metropolis and unlike many other popular South East Asian holiday island destinations its main source of income is not from tourism but from manufacturing. Because of this (I think) Penang offers so much more to see and do than the average holiday island destination.
So what types of things to do in Penang on a family holiday with kids can you experience?
Penang offers a rich history. It was a port along the spice trade route, it has been colonised by Sumatra, then the British East India Company, before it became a major player in the Chinese opium trade, in WWII it was attacked by Japan, and finally in 1948 became a state of Malaysia. In 1696 Penang lost its tax-free threshold and struggled financially for the next 20 years until it established itself in electronics manufacturing. As a result of this diverse history there is plenty to discover and much of it is within the UNUSCO World heritage buffer zone.
- Penang State Museum
- Fort Cornwallis
- Penang Hill
- We took a day trip to Penang Hill and discovered a whole array of things to see showcasing the diverse cultural faiths in Penang
- Khoo Kongsi
- a clan house.
- Cheong Fatt Te Mansion
- It is now a hotel but you can take a tour.
- Chew Clan Jetties
- Take a trishaw ride around the colonial district
If you want a quick look around the temples start at Penangs Chinatown. Then you could travel up Penang Hill where there are also many temples, plus there are more dotted about the island.
- Wat Chayamangkalaram
- Where inside you will find the Reclining Buddha
- Dharmikarama Burmese Temple
- Hainan Temple
- Kek Lok Si
- Kuan Yin Teng
- Loo Pun Hong
Just as Penang offers a rich history and diverse culture so too does it offer variety in its shopping. From up market exclusive shopping malls, to bargain basements, and touristy flea markets.
In Lonely Planet’s Kuala Lumpur, Malaka & Penang book it states:
People come to Penang to eat. Even if you thought you came to Penang for another reason…days revolve around where and what to eat.
- Food Courts
- To me the places to eat are the food courts. The food is delicious and cheap.
- Generally all the restaurants we ate at were lovely whether they were within a shopping mall or along the tourist strip. My advise the more authentic and family run the restaurant looks, the better the food.
- Tourist Attractions
As with many tropical islands the natural landscape, flora and fauna is stunning. Don’t miss these key places to visit on your family holiday to Penang with kids.
- Penang Botanical Gardens
- Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm
- Tropical Spice Garden
- There’s nothing quite like showing kids how plants, food and spices are grown it make so much more impact than just telling them. Our son loved exploring the Tropical Spice Garden.
- Penang National Park
- The beaches
- So many things to do on the white sandy beaches like: horseback riding, jet skiing, banana boat rides, parasailing, and fishing trips.
There are a couple of places we have yet to explore during a family holiday to Penang. Which is one of the many reason why I wish to return to Penang with kids.
Which of these things to do in Penang appeals to you and your family?
Please tell me about it in the comments.
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