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7 things to do with kids in Penang

Due to visa run necessities, we’ve gone twice to Penang, Malaysia in the last six months. Visa runs are always a good excuse for a little getaway and Penang was a new place the first time so there was much to experience and explore. The second time things were different but there were still things to explore of course. Our favorite area is Georgetown, and the hotel Renitang, where we stayed at is in Little India. On our second visit we saw a crazy krishna procession with sacred cows and fireworks and babies being blessed under neon lights and loud hare krishna chanting. Unforgettable.

7 things to do with kids in Penang, if you are ever there.

1. Go for Breakfast to the Mugshot Cafe, which has its own bakery next door. Our kiddos loved the chocolate eclairs and we the coffee. There’s all kinds of seating spaces, outside, inside and kind of hidden ones towards the back. We went back quite a few times for the baguettes and the poppy seed bagels with bacon and fried
egg. The kiddos called it ¨The Mushroom¨.

It is actually quite a sight. The bakery next door is called Rainforest Bakery, just in case you miss it when you walk down the street looking for the mugshot. Hey it happened to me….

2. Get some Malay inspired Childrens’ books at the Gerakbudaya Bookshop. We loved Natu the Chickak by Rebecca Docket Wilkinson and Tiptoe Tapir by Han-min Kim

3. Walkabout on the Clan Jetties. There are six of them along the shore, really close to Georgetown. Old wooden piers full of little houses and businesses beyond your imagination. And the kiddos love the little house on the end of one of the jetties.

4. Go to Penang Hill. What kid doesn’t love a train ride! Specially an uphill one with the train in diagonal. From the top you can see most of Penang and have some tea at David Brown´s Restaurant on Strawberry Hill. The weather is fresher up here so the kiddos ran around nicely on the well kept lawns.

5. Find the Komtar Building. This is the tallest building pretty much in all of Penang. Its definitely the tallest in all of Georgetown. Big Kiddo really enjoyed looking for it in every part of town we were in. It also helped him understand the map better. It was his guiding point and compass.


It’s also the place where the shopping mall is and where Big Kiddo got a couple Hot Wheels cars. Looking for extra Komtar images, Big Kiddo picked out this one with a fighter jet flying by. Quite the curator!

6. Eat Banana Leaf Curry. Ok they didn’t really eat much of it apart from the rice but they enjoyed the whole affair of eating curry off a banana leaf. So did we! Finger licking good. The best one we had was right across the street from the hotel.

But wait, don´t get me started on the naan. They had plain naan, and garlic naan and some other magic naan ¨for kids¨ they said with dried fruits. It was like pannetonne naan (a bit strange). The other classic naans were divine. Here´s an article about making naan if you are a naan fan. Did I write naan enough times?

7.  Check out the Street Art and find the dinosaurs. Georgetown is world famous for its street art all aorund the town. There are many artists that have done series of pictures in the most varied kinds of walls. And they have all been preserved like works of art, an awesome sightseeing plus for visitors. There are even street art tours, walking or by bicycle. Our kiddos really loved the dinosaur ones. You can also get postcards and notebooks printed with these unique artworks.

The one with the boy and the pet dinosaur is quite famous and you´ll find it pretty quick, but the dinosaur alone eating his leash is not such an easy catch. Have fun looking for it! Oh and in the meantime you can also look for Marge Simpson.