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5 things to do in Penang that aren’t the usual tourist highlights

We all know and love Penang for its unique local cuisine, but this island has much more to offer than gastronomical delights. Apart from the street food delights on Gurney Drive and the fantastic street art along Georgetown's lanes, Skyscanner scopes out 5 things to do in Penang that aren't on the typical tourist trail.

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1. Enjoy a day amongst nature at Muka Head

For a rejuvenating getaway from the city, head down to the National Park in Penang and spend a day amongst nature. Despite being small in size, you can still find plenty to do. We recommend seeking out a boat operator to take you to the gorgeous island of Muka Head for a private barbecue seafood lunch or a romantic picnic. While you’re there, request your friendly boat operator to make a detour to Pantai Kerachut to explore the Turtle Sanctuary.

Penang National Park Address: Jalan Hassan Abas, Teluk Bahang, Penang Island, Malaysia How to get there: Take bus 101 from the jetty in Georgetown, runs every 10 to 15 minutes. Alight at the last stop. Phone Number: +60 4-881 3530 Opening Hours: 7:30AM – 6PM daily Prices: Admission is free

2. Have a royal feast on the king of fruits

All hail the king! For lovers of durian, you definitely should check out Penang’s morning wet markets for a royal feast. We especially love the durian truck along Love Lane for its good quality durians at good value. While you’re there, do try the Little Red, a richer pink version of the Red Prawn.

Love Lane Address: 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

3. Travel in style with a rickshaw ride

We find that the best way to unlock Penang’s secrets is to make friendly with the locals. For your very own guide to Penang, hop on a rickshaw and have a local tell you all about the significance of the beautiful heritage buildings in the city. Take his or her recommendations on local favourite food haunts to visit and uniquely-Penang things to experience, as they would know best!

Traditional rickshaw against heritage building Uncover Penang’s secrets with a quaint rickshaw ride! Photo credit: Thinkstock

4. Try a glass of Toddy

A trip to Penang would not be complete without trying their local alcoholic drink concocted from coconut flower and palm sugar: Toddy. If you’re skeptical about this beverage, then head down to Ong Cheng Huat Seafood to pair it with a nice seafood lunch. Or if you’re out spending a day in Market Lane in Georgetown, take a break to quench your thirst.

Ong Cheng Huat Seafood Address: 2004, Jalan Bagan Lallang, 13400 Butterworth, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia How to get there: Take the PPSB ferry from Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal to Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal, and then take bus 604 or 605 from Butterworth Bus terminal and stop at Jalan Bagan Lallang. Phone: +60 4-331 4782 Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11AM – 5:30PM Prices: Mains start from RM5 Visit their website here

5. Scare yourself silly in Penang

Go on a walk (or a guided tour) through some of the creepiest places in Penang. If you’re feeling a little bit ballsy, go for an overnight camp at Batu Maung, the Penang War Museum, which used to be a WWII site during the Japanese occupation. Or else, check out the Hundred Years Mansion in Relau which is believed to house evil spirits thanks to the temple nearby.

Penang War Museum Address: Jalan Batu Maung, 11960 Batu Maung, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia How to get there: Take bus 307 from Bus Terminal Komtar in Georgetown. Runs every 30 minutes. Phone: +60 4-626 5142 Opening Hours: 9AM – 6PM daily Prices: Foreigners/Tourists: Adult RM30, Child (5-12 years) RM15. Malaysians: Adult RM15, Child (5-12 years) RM7.50. Visit their website here

Cheap flights to Penang

Ready to go off the beaten trail in Penang? Remember to book your flights, hotels and car rental with Skyscanner to always get the best deals available! Download the free mobile app to book on-the-go as well.

*Adapted from an article originally written by Mark Chua for Skyscanner

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