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Credit: The Travel Intern
May 2022

There are many reasons to hop on a bike and go cycling in Penang. Perhaps you’re set on seeing all the street art this city has to offer, or perhaps you’d like to explore the nooks and crannies of Georgetown’s colourful (but narrow) lanes. Maybe you want to work off the extra bowl of cendol you inhaled for dessert, or maybe you just want to escape the city’s notorious traffic snarls.

 

Whatever your motivation, the heart of historic Georgetown is chock full of attractions, and we say the best way to see them is on two wheels. At just RM10 per day for a mountain bike, cycling on Penang’s flat roads is easy on both your wallet and legs.

 

So slap on some sunscreen and get ready to discover our top picks of what to see around Georgetown, from iconic street art to Instagrammable heritage landmarks.

 

Bicycle rental

Photo credit: @kianhow81 via Instagram

 

There are several bicycle rental shops that operate around Georgetown, with prices ranging from RM10 to RM20 for a full day. One of such is Eko Baiku Enterprise, which loans out well-maintained solo and tandem bicycles at very reasonable prices.

 

Cost: RM10 per day for mountain bike rental

Opening Hours: 8AM – 8PM (Mon – Sat), 7AM – 8PM (Sun)

Address: No.11 Jalan Pengkalan Weld, 10300 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang

 

1) Clan Jetties

Photo credit: The Travel Intern

 

Cycle along Pengkalan Weld to see the Clan Jetties, which hark back to Penang’s heyday as a trading port in the 17 and 1800s. At the time, a flood of Chinese immigrants built wooden stilt homes, as well as a thriving community, around the quay. Of the seven jetties that remain, Chew Jetty is the largest and most well-preserved. Souvenir shops and drink stalls flank a narrow wooden passage that is punctuated by Chinese shrines and about 75 homes, inhabited mostly by older folks.

 

Photo credit: The Travel Intern

 

Chew Jetty is worth a quick jaunt, though we prefer the more rustic (although far more rickety) surrounding jetties. Peep into Tan Jetty’s “open-concept” toilets or get trigger-happy with the vibrant hues of Lee Jetty’s wrought iron windows – if there is a place to escape from Penang’s maddening traffic, this is it.

 

2) Blue Mansion

Photo credit: Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion via Facebook

 

About 2.2km from the clan jetties is the iconic Blue Mansion, which was once the home and business of trader Cheong Fatt Tze. It has since been refurbished into a luxury boutique hotel that garners rave reviews on hotel booking sites. Fun fact: The building’s courtyard is the location where Michelle Yeoh and Constance Wu’s characters have a mahjong showdown in the movie Crazy Rich Asians.

But if you’re on a not-so-crazy budget, you can join a guided tour to explore the historical building, which features a mix of Eastern and Western architecture such as art nouveau stained glass and Peranakan floor tiles.

 

Cost: S$7.95 per adult

Tour timings: 11AM and, 2PM

Address: 14 Leith Street, 10200 Georgetown

 

3) Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Photo credit: Adam Lai via Flickr

 

In contrast to the Blue Mansion, the Pinang Peranakan Mansion is as green as the former is blue, with twee mint walls that open up into an ornate courtyard interior. The glittering chandeliers and towering wooden mirrors are impressive, but so are the museum’s little touches – look out for carved archways painted in gold leaf, and mother-of-pearl inlays within the majestic wooden furniture.

 

Cost: RM20 per adult (free for children below 6 years old)

Opening hours: 9:30AM – 5PM

Address: 29, Church Street, 10200 Georgetown

 

*Pro-tip: If you’re visiting in a group of five or larger, contact the museum to arrange a complimentary guided tour.

 

4) Penang’s best street art

Photo credit: The Travel Intern

 

You can’t visit Penang without checking out at least one piece of street art. With a multitude of murals and sculptures by various artists all around Georgetown, you could spend the entire day trying to spot as many as you can.  As a good starting point, make your way down Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street), a 400m stretch that leads to what is arguably Penang’s most famous piece of street art – Children on a Bicycle, which attracts snaking queues during weekends.

 

Photo credit: The Travel Intern

 

Other notable pieces can be found along neighbouring lanes such as Gat Lembuh Armenian (Armenian Street) and Lebuh Cannon. There’s also a whopping 52 wire sculptures by SCULPTUREATWORK that illustrate anecdotes of Georgetown’s history and culture.

 

 

5) Gallery hopping

Photo credit: The Travel Intern

 

Penang’s independent artists are among its best-kept secrets, and you’ll find many of them in and around Armenian Street. The Fuan Wong Gallery specialises in glass art pieces inspired by nature, such as glass trees and wall art. Meanwhile, photography enthusiasts will enjoy Studio Howard, which sells prints and upcycled souvenirs such as bags and cushion covers.

 

Photo credit: The Travel Intern

 

The nearby Camera Museum along Jalan Mutri will delight both shutterbugs and iphone-snappers alike. The museum showcases a history of the digital camera, a vintage collection, and interactive exhibits such as a camera obscura and a dark room.

 

See more on your Penang adventure

Of course, there’s more to experience beyond Georgetown’s charming city centre. Venture out to Batu Ferringhi for water sports or to simply chill at the beach. And for nature lovers, The Habitat Penang Hill is the perfect place to learn about the biodiversity of ancient rainforests.

 

You’ll also save more with these exclusive deals to UOB Cardmembers:

 

For up to 15% off accommodation bookings, check out deals from Agoda, Booking.com and Expedia. For up to S$50 savings on travel bookings, there are deals with Klook or Trip.com. Last but not least, don’t forget the Travel Insurance

 

Don’t have a UOB Card? Find the right credit card for all your needs here.


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