According to wikipedia Penang island is 293 km2 (113 sq mi), slightly ⅓ the size of Singapore . For such a small island we feel we have too many malls, too many cars, and too little parking space, hence the terrible traffic on holidays. Penangites hide out on the weekends by the way , so you city folks can sit in traffic and enjoy the view from your car window. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR VEHICLES AT HOME! We have Uber , we have GrabCar and we have wonderfully cooled Rapid Penang busses to take you around.
There are a few main malls we frequent, they are quite active and foot traffic can be up to 1 million visitors a month, everyone knows Gurney Plaza , on Gurney Drive. Its one of our old favourites, most active with promotions and chockablock with shops, a supermarket, restaurants, furniture, a cinema etc. , with The G Hotel attached. Gurney Paragon mall is a few meters away, launched a decade later, in 2013, it burdens us with similar products and promotions. Most of the international brands can be found in these 2 malls, they cater to folks living on Gurney Drive, Pulau Tikus area and those further up till Batu Ferringhi. In George Town we have , 1st Ave Mall , Prangin Mall , and Penang Times Square , among the better known ones. We always plan to stay away from malls during the weekends and public holidays but will always find ourselves there if Plan A fails. Queensbay Mall is another gigantus shopping complex south of the island.
We have a growing list of must-haves and must-experience, endorsed-by-PenangLocal, compiled below. Locally produced, or specially sourced. Some items can be bought online and some products you must experience at the stores or markets. We , The Penang Local, want to encourage and support the local communities and businesses, without them we may lose our heritage, and maybe soon our identity. Scroll further down for street markets and bazaars.
So what DO you buy from Penang worth bringing back?
Josh Lee Fragrances Men, Women, Unisex perfumes inspired by Penang’s Heritage . Born and bred in Penang, Josh Lee studied perfumery in Versailles, France. His first perfume is called George Town.
Bulan Eco Bags art, eco bags by local artist Tiffany Choong, Penang Local’s soul mate and partner in crime and all things nice
Sam’s Batik House Kurti, Sarong, Jewellery, for women, men and kids, always a blast when you visit with friends.
Little India , George Town, Penang spice, toiletries, bangles, sari, clothes, jewellery, food, snacks, incense,
Bran et Daguet Brandon Tan is Bran et Daguet, Penang born fashion designer, he is a sweetheart to all of us. He is the life of every party, because he just wants you to shine, thats the way he designs his creations too. Visit his show room at Straits Quay
Gerak Budaya Bookshop travel guides, history books, story books, if you’re lucky you’ll bump into Gareth, owner, boss, genius behind this little nook of books.
Kebaya and all things Nyonya at Kim Fashion traditional Malaysian Kebayas
Chop Kongsi ParisPenang “CHOP KONGSI is a small & gentle atelier/workspace where art jewellery may be bought.Sometimes,only sometimes, a creature or two get sold..” Foo May Lyn, Artist, Founder Chop Kongsi
Jonathan Yun Jewellery necklaces, bracelets, earrings
Him Heang Traditional Biscuits pastries , biscuits
Studio Howard photography, art, interior
Lokal Fine Foods is a local Penang food company producing jam, marmalade and savoury sauces and relishes from scratch. Most of their great effort is invested around collaboration with farmers, and local resources. You can find their products at Gusto & Yin’s Sourdough Pizza
Tropical Spice Garden – IN THE CITY spices, tropical seeds, tea, herbs, oils, scents, art, bags, old school trinkets, postcards
Ghee Hiang Tau Sar Pneah , Penang’s famous ground green bean biscuits
Rantai Artisinal Jewellery by Karina Yong bracelets, earrings, necklaces, wine jewellery , all lovingly assembled in the late PMs into the early AMs , when the babes are asleep …
Batek-Lah was established in the 1980’s and specializes in 100% genuine Malaysian Batik. Coasters, sarongs, wine holders, pareo , cute aprons sets, batek paintings, scarves and wraps etc.
Street Stalls, Markets & Bazaars
- Batu Ferringhi Night Market
- Chowrasta Market
- Pulau Tikus Market
- Little Penang Street Market
- Cecil Street Market
- Air Itam Market
- Hin Sunday Pop-up Market
- Jalan Kuala Kangsar