Take a break from conventional partying and bar hopping as the nightlife in Penang is a combination of fun adventures. With streetside shopping, tidbit binge, sunset watching, fun cruises, food hawking, nature park expeditions, or temple tour, Penang nightlife is very vibrant. This makes the city a strong contender as a nocturnal destination.
Spending one night in Penang is never enough as the more you dig deeper, the more you will learn. The beaches, natural charms, and historical edifices are ever so beautiful, that the night brings out the best in them too. If anything you should be doing at night in Penang is exploring or planning an itinerary. Below is our pick of the best ways to spend nights in Penang.
Sunset For Starters
The start of Nightlife in Penang can be marked by sunset when the horizon gets painted in a spectrum of colors, ranging from purple to burnt orange. You can choose to traverse through the locales of the island and find a secret spot where the last ray of the setting sun can reach you. Alternatively, go for a sunset cruise, where music, diving, eating, boating, and carousing, can all be done!
Sunset cruises are famous in Asian destinations and Penang is part of them. Making way for the sun to leave and approaching starlit evening to take over, cruises are a great way to get acquainted with the local traditions and entertainment rituals of Penang. One of the best sunset cruises in Penang is the one inclusive of Penang National Park tour, where you get to explore this natural ecosystem, once the sun dives down.
At decent prices, cruises offer BBQ dinner, buffet dinner, a bar, and hotel transfers. Set sail on a ride of adventure and entertainment including dancing, singing, swimming, carousing, and a whole lot of binging. Just a small reminder don’t forget to pack extra pair of clothing and swimwear.
Shopping At Night
If there is one reason why you should be stepping out at night in Penang, it has to be shopping. Why one might ask? You get amazing bargains, much better than the daytime counterpart. It is known that Jalan Batu Ferringhi is the ultimate stop for a retail therapy session. However, that doesn’t mean that shopping at night in Penang is limited to only this street. Several nighttime vendors and shops are offering great souvenirs at great prices.
If you’re a hoarder of DVDs, clothing, jewelry, watches, and bags, consider Batu Ferringhi 1km long lane your pilgrimage spot the entire vacation. This is also a market that will refine your bargaining skills for many more such shopping endeavors.
The MacCallum Street Night Market is yet another place where you will find the cheapest bargains ever. For a food and cultural encounter, a trip to Jelutong Night Market is mandatory. Here you can get your hands on fried dumplings, Chinese herbal teas (less than RM5 during summers), durians, chocolate cake, and a lot more.
Apart from the above mentioned, Chinatown Petaling Street Market, Paya Terubong Night Market, Farlim Night Market, Tanjung Bungah Night Market, Nibong Tebal Sunday Night Market, and Kimberly Street Food Night Market, are great in other Malaysian specialties too.
Beach Bar Versus Rooftop Bar
Choosing between a rooftop view of the gorgeous island of Penang or stunning perspectives of the sea is one big challenge. Be it Beach Bar or Rooftop Bar, good music, gorgeous views, and flavoursome meals are guaranteed, but a tough choice indeed.
Beach bars set your eyes on the glorious sunset views and offer a melody of softly crashing waves of the sea. Ranging from simple and casual to swanky and upbeat, beach bars are a dream come true for individuals who have always imagined a scintillating sundowner. A seaside hut with a Caribbean vibe, in other words, Sand Bar at Hard Rock Hotel, is a favorite amongst holidaymakers. Another beach baby is the Beach Blanket Babylon in Georgetown. The place serves a decent menu of drinks and western specialties.
Rooftop bars have recently come on the night scene of Penang. It has left a lasting impression on the rooftop industry, so much so, that Penang is now being counted in the list of destinations with the best rooftop bars.
Presented with peppy electro music, dramatic views of the island, and amazing appetizers and meals, rooftop bars are as special and quintessential to Penang as any other attraction. Some great rooftop bars that must be visited while exploring the nightlife in Penang are Three Sixty Revolving Restaurant & Sky Bar and Loke Thye Kee Bar.
Tune In To Penang’s Live Music
Socializing with the local music of Penang is possible in a snap but only if you sign up for a night in Penang. Penang’s live music is a window into its culture. Every year the island hosts a great number of festivals to entertain both locals and holidaymakers. For holidaymakers, the music feasts are enough reason to visit the place. Places like Hard Rock Cafe at Jalan Batu Ferringhi and Reggae Mansion on Lebuh Chulia offer a year-round delight to the ears.
To experience music festivals on a grander scale, just spending a night in Penang, wouldn’t be enough. A pre-planned itinerary concerning the timeline of the fests is a necessary preparation. The famous Penang Island Jazz Festival is hosted in August while Penang World Music Festival is celebrated during March and April. So, while tough decisions are underway as far as high-scale festivals are concerned, be assured of melodious rhythms throughout a Penang trip with nights out.
Get Groovy At The Dance Club
Dance clubs are an involuntary response of every party animal, but it has to be essential if you want a full-blown experience of nightlife in Penang.
Dance clubs have truly upped the game of Penang’s nightlife and given people a reason to get out of their homes and dive into the throbbing party scene.
The groovy beats, frolic vibes, and endless opportunities to make the most of the night, on the other hand, have inspired travelers to be on a nighttime hunt. A myriad of options ranging from upbeat beach bars and cocktail lounges to extravagant rooftop bars and pubs, together make Penang an incredible landscape at night.
Carouse at QEII while stargazing and enjoying the gleaming seascape. The peppy electro music is just perfect to have a blast. The upper Penang has some of the most iconic nightclubs in the whole of Penang. One such club is the Slippery Senoritas, serving guests with interesting drinks and a blend of distinct music. Quite often, both bartenders and live music put up a great show for the audience.
Soju Music is that one place that will pull you to the floor, so go crazy and go with the flow of the energetic electro music. If you’re a K-pop fan then M2 Penang is the place to be. A twist of Asian-style music welcomes you here. How can one forget the classic Jammin for some European beats! Make sure to visit the place on Thursdays for a hip Tango performance.
Hop around Food Hawkers
For those late-night cravings while exploring the nightlife in Penang, visiting the food hawkers is the one thing that you would enjoy doing.
The food hawker scene of Penang makes for an ideal sundown spree. That is why the thriving nightlife of Penang combined with the open-air food hawker scene has to be on the list of every nocturnal traveler. Have a Pasar Duck Rice at Air Itam or have a Hokkien Mee with a topping of your choice at GreenHouse.
Another great place to gorge on a toothsome bowl of Hokkien Mee is 888 Hokkien Me. Goreng Ala Mamak’s stir-fried Nasi Lamak is a classic evening snack while venturing out at night in Penang.
If you wish to avoid moving around too much, head straight for Chulia Street. Some of the classic hawker streets of Penang are Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Gurney Drive, and Georgetown’s New Lane. Topping the list with its char koay kak’s specialty is the New Lane Hawker Center. If a pocket-friendly menu is what you’re looking for, then Long Beach Food Court has to be on your bucket list.
Visiting the Kek Lok Si is one of the best things to do at Night in Penang. The biggest Buddhist temple of Malaysia perched atop the Air Itam hill in Penang wears its most beautiful ensemble at night.
Decorated with dazzling lights, Kek Lok Si temple is an important pilgrim spot especially during nighttime. Consisting of a Pagoda of 1000 Buddhas holding Chinese, Burmese, and Thai deities and an exclusive Buddha collection, the Kek Lok Si ten-acre complex has a wealth of splendors. Moreover, monasteries, prayer halls, and sprawling gardens are all exquisitely illuminated at night, garnering for it the title of a national icon.
Constructed by Beow Lean in 1890, a Chinese devotee, the temple was further expanded in the following 20 years by funding from the Penang Straits Chinese community. Called the “Temple of Supreme Bliss”, the Kek Lok Si temple is rightly recognized as the center of Malaysian, Chinese, and Buddhist culture.
Note that visiting Kek Lok Si at night is only possible during the Chinese New Year. The beginning of Chinese New Year marks elaborate decorations lasting for the whole month and closing time being relaxed till 10 pm, which is usually 5:30. On important occasions, the time gets extended till even 12!
Under-rated pleasures are as important as the more prominent ones above. Amongst these under-rated experiences is witnessing the street art at Love Lane and Nagore Square. Surprisingly, both these places will also guide you in the same direction of fun and exploration as the above options.
The Love Lane is speckled with lovely attractions like the Church of the Assumption, St. Xavier’s Institution, and the Chinese Carpenter’s Guild, while the Nagore Square is a foodie’s heaven.