I have a confession. I really don’t understand why so many people are so crazy about Penang. With my clearest mind, I really can’t understand why there is so much tourist there. I have been there and yes, I have eight, yes, EIGHT reasons why you do not want to visit Penang.

1. There is literally nothing to do at all in Penang! 

Escape Theme Park
“Nothing” to do here
Water activities in Penang
Picture of people doing “nothing” in Penang

Can you imagine spending hours in this island holed up in your hotel room? I mean, where can I even go in Penang?

2. The beach is an eyesore. 

Batu Feringgi, Penang at noon
What an eyesore.
Sunset at Batu Feringgi Beach, Penang
I think a lot would agree that this is, of course, nothing special of a beach.

Have you ever been to Penang’s beach? If yes, you would totally agree to the above statement. What a disappointment.

3. Penang lacks greenery! It’s a concrete jungle there! 

Heading to Pantai Kerachut
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ai-gie/
Penang Botanical Garden
Penang Botanical Garden. Nope, green not detected in the picture.

Funny how some people actually think that Penang is very green. They will be in for a surprise.

4. Oh right, and they keep promoting the heritage buildings. Can you imagine how boring history can be?

Khoo Kongsi
Old historical building? Really?
Inside of the Blue Mansion, Penang
Yawn… Who is not bored of history?

We get you people! With high-tech buildings these days, why do you want to go visit these heritage buildings with their so called unique architecture and designs that you will not see elsewhere? Who likes old buildings anyway?

5. The most difficult thing to get in Penang: Food. And even if you do find them, there’s no variety!

Nasi Kandar Line Clear, Penang

Chinese Street Food

Indian Food in Penang

Be very worried when you are in Penang. Food is hard to come by and there are not much for you to choose from anyway.

6. The walls are terribly vandalised and they are not doing anything to repair them!

Wall Painting

8 Reasons Why You Do NOT Want To Visit Penang, PTT Outdoor, Wall%252520Drawing%2525201,

The above are just two of the many examples of vandalised walls in Penang and they are everywhere! I am surprised they are not doing anything to repair it, maybe paint it back or something.

7. There is no place to hang out in Penang at night. 

8 Reasons Why You Do NOT Want To Visit Penang, PTT Outdoor, Karpal Singh Drive 2,
Picture Credit: http://www.mauhorng.com/gallery/2014/10/karpal-singh-drive-penang/

Straits Quay

I’m pretty sure Gurney Drive, Karpal Singh Drive, Padang Kota, Straits Quay or even Queensbay Mall are not your cup of tea to hang out!

8. Penang is a dead city with no life.

Hot Air Baloon Festival

Dragon Boat Race

Bon Odori

They only organize dead activities like Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, Dragon Boat Festival, Floral Festival, Art and Film Festival, Marathons and the list just goes on and on! Where are all the fun activities?



Have your own reason to “not” visit Penang? Drop it in the comment section below. 

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155 thoughts on “8 Reasons Why You Do NOT Want To Visit Penang

    • Eric says:

      Too, right. Just went to the joint. Penang Hill is about it. There are much better places to spend time at than this over polluted run down dump with a serious traffic problem to boot.

  1. Marian says:

    I recently had an interview with a company in Penang, but I am from the Philippines. Can somebody help me or probably write an article on budgeting (accommodation, travel, rent, food, shopping, and financial support to send to the Phil,savings) if I’d be earning RM 8,000/month

  2. Ron says:

    I noticed you’ve done a bit of hiking. Have you ever tried the Teluk Bahang – Penang Hill trail? You start off from the Taman RImba Teluk Bahang (not the Taman Negara mind you, I got confused myself until the park ranger pointed the correct route to me). From there, Its an epic trek through 4 different hills I believe (Tiger Hill, Bukit Laksamana, Western Hill and finally Bukit Bendera herself). Total jungle time is 5-6 hours on average, with 45 mins walk on paved road at the top of Penang Hill. Its a pretty difficult trail, what with the various elevation differences, but its very well laid out and marked by the Jabatan Hutan guys. Not for beginners, but a good challenge for the fairly fit.

    There’s another good trail leading up from Taman Negara Teluk Bahang itself, up to Bukit Batu Itam. That one is a moderate trail I would say. You can probably do it in 3-4 hours up and down. And, if you go down past the Hokkien cemetery, you’ll have a glimpse of quaint kampung houses and water buffaloes wallowing in the mud.

    One thing that Penang should capitalise on is their outdoor activities (you posted up the Escape pic above, my daughter absolutely loves the place!). Its a very enjoyable way to do a bit of hiking, then at the end of the day sit down to a good meal. I’m too used to a comfy hotel bed and will avoid that night in the jungle thing if I can. But doing these treks up the Hill, then going back to your hotel for a nice bath and dinner… I can’t tink of a better way to spend your holidays.

    • Mike Chu says:

      I have never actually tried both the trail that you mentioned! Maybe I should. Sounds like a lot of fun actually! 🙂

      Yes, I agree that Penang has to capitalise on their outdoor activity but the truth is, I think they are doing a real good job. The beaches are crowded, the trails are crowded and the streets are crowded as well during the holiday. The Penang government’s effort should be applauded.

      – Mike

  3. marthacheelan says:

    Agree with you, Mike. Penang is so “boring” that my boys became “disenchanted” with the place when they went to study there, and ended up working there, marrying there. They are so “bored” by everything in Penang that they now don’t want to to return to Brunei, their land of birth and their mama has to “drag” her old feet a couple of times a year to go visit them and the boring sights and eat the “lousy” food. Thank you “boring” Penang for giving them such a “boring” life that they can’t get themselves away.

    • Mike Chu says:

      Oh Martha! You crack me up!!!!! I hope you had a good time while you are in Penang, which, what am I saying, I am very sure you did!

      – Mike

  4. eric says:

    Agree with the article but i dont think the title is relevant or suit the article.. i dont think anyone would think penang is boring… 10/10 local or foregin tourists will definitely want to visit penang if they hav the chance to come malaysia.. haha i know its suppose to be contradicting.. just my 2 cents. Great article and recommendations throughout !

  5. J s yeap says:

    As an island-born authentic Anak Pulau Pinang, I am totally, absolutely, unapologetically offended. (Also, happily so.)

  6. Sophine says:


  7. Penangite says:

    Hahahaha Everywhere can be nice or not, depending on what kind of lifestyle people wants. Anyway your writing is inspiring but I disagree your point No 5 (perhaps I love Penang food so much 😛 )

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha it’s still depend what kind of lifestyle people wants, everywhere can be nice or not. Btw your writing is inspiring but I disagree your Point 5 (perhaps I’m just love Penang food :P)

  9. jacko says:

    whats the big deal in Penang?/yes food ,how much can one eat before you bang sai and do it all over again?/Gangs,dirtyplaces ,rude people,corrupt officers and always talk about who has got more money than others etc….

  10. Anonymous says:

    i REALLY njoyed reading tis. ESPECIALLY d comments frm those who didn’t u’stand ur concept of “boring” Penang! 😉

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sarcasm at it’s finests. But do refrain on doing that as some Malaysians might take it seriously. Keep up.

  12. pg says:

    Ya..don’t come pg please. Every facking school holidays we have to put up with the horrible traffic jams. The food prices also get driven up by these so called tourists who gets their heads chopped at places like gurney, new lane, northam beach and of course the “famous” lrg selamat char koay teow… All chopped head places no self respecting penangites will go. Luckily we still knows where are hidden gems are…lol. so stay away… Kthxbye

  13. Leonard Teoh says:

    Marvellous!!! An unique way of propaganda. I think You should be Good in marketing products using this Matrix.

  14. christina karl says:

    yes dont come to Penang…lousy place to come for a holiday….stay home.
    the traffic jams are becoming longer and longer.
    btw Mike Chu….great writeup..love the twist of words…thank you
    i am a very proud Penanglang.

    • Mike Chu says:

      Thanks for the kind words Christina! You Penang people are super awesome! Thanks for being an amazing Malaysian!

      – Mike

  15. SirjeiTjamz says:

    Mike .
    I think you did a wonderful job 🙂
    and you probably discovered another reason why everyone should visit Penang

    ignorant, shallow minded people who get offended easily 🙂
    they do come across hilarious with their “being offended” remarks

    cheers .. your next ice kacang on me 🙂

  16. dellsh says:

    I got the sarcasm but tbh, it was not very clear. Maybe that s why some ppl got confused. Anyways, can be improved on the writing style. For instance, the point on heritage, it really sounded extremely superficial, when it is true that not everyone appreciates history.

  17. Jazzy says:

    Well written… I am a Penangite but I was not offended because I really wanted to know are there really reasons for not visiting Penang.. I am impressed!

  18. Ah bing says:

    In my point of view, to tell all readers sincerely, everything has its plus and minus. So, isn’t it better to appreciate it rather than complaining??

  19. Anonymous says:

    In my point of view, to tell all readers sincerely, everything has its plus and minus. So, isn’t better to appreciate it rather than complaining it??

  20. Ben Ng says:

    Hahaha!!! Nice piece. Tongue-in-cheek sarcasm to highlight the wonders of Penang by contradicting each reason with lovely scenes in Penang.

  21. ice says:

    After reading some of the comments, i am at a complete surprise on how some malaysians READ and DIGEST thing. The reason why people should start taking literature again. “Reading between lines”
    The writer is delivering the positive fact in the opposite manner. He meant no bad intention.
    Think people, read with BRAIN. unbelievable.

  22. Very True says:

    Very true, been living in penang for the past 26 years, what was then is very different from now. They only booming culture right now is all these cafe’s, boutique hotels and arts (world trend) . Penang has truly lost it’s essence. It has now adopted to a newer culture for the demand. Also career wise in technological industry is racially biased. I love penang but it’s not the same anymore just like any parts of the world. I miss the old days in penang. Things always change for a better or worst.

    • Very True says:

      To other readers that commented that people don’t get sarcasm in this article. I get it, but back to the main headline Penang is pretty boring if you happened to live there long enough. I guess most of you have either moved on or only been to Penang for a short period.

  23. Pasang Lang says:

    I’ve been ‘totally bored’ at every single one of these places multiple times plus a few of your ‘boring places’ too, like Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si. The latest visit was this past weekend and I came home half a kilo heavier, despite walking everywhere. Thanks for being boring Penang, long may you continue. 🙂

  24. Sara says:

    Who do you think you are Mike Chu….short sighted…can’t see beyond your toes! Haha…love your article and the beautiful pixs. You caught me there and I thought how dare you make such a statement about Penang! I must read…

  25. hazel says:

    Awesome tagline there and yes… Penang is BORING @ (magnefico, stupendous, marvellous, full of every excitement and +ve feeling you’ve ever had)….!!!! I’m proud to say i’m a Penangite… Hahahaha….!!!!!

    • Mike Chu says:

      Although I am not a Penangite, but I can vouch for your statement there Symone! Beautiful island, beautiful ppl as well!

      – Mike

        • Anonymous says:

          Hey Anonymous. Please. Take a deep breath. Mike loves Penang. And this is a very common type title to get people to click the link and read the blog post. And then they see the pictures and see how awesome Penang looks. And stop calling people “sick”. Sincerely, John from America

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