Follow our latest updates on the COVID-19 HERE
8 Eco-Friendly Gems In Penang You Need To Know About

1) Balik Pulau

 Cycling tour in Balik Pulau. Photo credit: mataharicycletours       

Slow the clock down with a trip to Balik Pulau! The charming countryside packs an assortment of treasures for nature lovers, from remote beaches to traditional kampung houses, plantations, fishing villages, animal farms, and paddy fields— all of which are best explored on two wheels! Enjoy a scenic ride through Balik Pulau’s tranquil rural landscape at your own pace. Take your time to discover the village’s folk industries like bedak sejuk (cooling rice powder) making and to sample fresh fruits direct from the source at its many plantations. Look out for animal farms where you'll find furry friends to pat, snuggle, and feed before heading to Pantai Pasir Panjang or Pantai Malindo for a dash of fun in the sun.

 A mural in Balik Pulau. Credit: @ailiyeap (Instagram)

Adding some colours to your green itinerary is possible in Balik Pulau — the charming countryside is also home to various art forms ranging from traditional handicrafts to street murals. For a glimpse into some of the best handicrafts in town, visit Stepping Stone Work Centre, where you can shop for scarves, batik, candles, soaps, and pottery. If you enjoy snapping murals for your Instagram feed, then the timeless murals around the town centre and the unique Penang International Container Art Festival’s (PICAF) installation in Kampung Terang would be right up your alley.

 Penang International Container Art Festival’s (PICAF) installation in Balik Pulau. Credit: @engclau (Instagram)

Getting there by Rapid Penang:

The Rapid Penang 401E and 502 buses ply the Jetty - Terminal Balik Pulau route. Upon reaching Terminal Balik Pulau, it is recommended to get around by foot at the town centre or ride a bicycle around the countryside. Plan ahead by visiting the following link:

Matahari Cycle Tours operator
Contact: +6019 4480 440 (SJ)

Audi Dream Farm
Address: 145, MK B, Sungai Rusa
Contact: +6012 406 9099 / +6012 499 9099
GPS: 5.38527, 100.20998

Bao Sheng Durian Farm
Address: 150, MK2 Sungai Pinang
Contact: +6012 411 0600
GPS: 5.40277, 100.21964

Stepping Stone Work Centre
Address: 53 Jalan Baru, MK 1 Pulau Betong
Contact: +604 866 5349
GPS: 5.30806, 100.20344

(Mural) Wrinkled Old Silversmith by Ernest Zacherevic
GPS: 5.35268, 100.23628

(Mural) Fisherman by Julia Volchkova
GPS: 5.35159, 100.2355

(Mural) Hakka Girl Dancing by Julia Volchkova
GPS: 5.349820, 100.234219

(Mural) The Silat Master by Julia Volchkova
GPS: 5.34942, 100.23378

(Mural) Rubber Tapping by Julia Volchkova
GPS: 5.35101, 100.23289

(PICAF) Balik Pulau Container Art Installation
GPS: 5.31565, 100.20785

2) Teluk Bahang

Aerial view of ESCAPE Theme Park in Teluk Bahang.

Near the northwestern tip of Penang Island, Teluk Bahang stands out as a unique playground for naturalists and adventure junkies — its ancient rainforest is home to a string of modern ecotourism attractions! Those looking to go off the grid without sacrificing modern comforts can do so at Boulder Valley Glamping & Event Place, a luxurious paradise nestled within the Teluk Bahang rainforest. The glamping spot offers luxurious accommodations with ensuite bathrooms and priceless opportunity to wake up to the sounds of chirping birds or to snuggle up under the stars by the campfire at night. Spice up a nature-filled itinerary at Tropical Spice Garden, where you can stroll under towering nutmeg trees and relax by scenic ponds with floating water lilies and swimming koi fishes. If you're on a mission to check two man-made marvels off your “7 World Wonders of Penang” bucket list, then head over to ESCAPE Theme Park and Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm. The World's Longest Water Slide with a Guinness World Record title at ESCAPE Theme Park promises a thrilling four-minute joyride that zigzags through natural forest and tree canopies and stretches a whopping 1,111 meters long! Meanwhile, The World's First Tropical Butterfly & Insect Sanctuary — Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm — is where some 15,000 free-flying butterflies flutter and fly! It also has an indoor discovery centre featuring two floors of learning exhibits and activities, allowing visitors to self-explore the world of invertebrates through various interactive edu-stations.

 Penang Batik Factory.

Other than flora and fauna, Teluk Bahang also offers art and craft-based attractions, allowing visitors to get more done in one leisurely visit. Be sure to check out creative works such as outdoor murals, ceramics, mosaics, and a koi fish pond at the Art & Garden — it is a beautiful venue filled with a large collection of plants, sculptures, and installations. Interested in learning more about batik culture? Head over to Penang Batik Factory and join the free guided daily tour around the art gallery, boutique and factory and learn to make your own batik.

Getting there by Rapid Penang:

The Rapid Penang 101 bus plies the Jetty to Teluk Bahang route. Plan ahead by visiting the following link:

Boulder Valley Glamping & Event Place
Address: 8, Jalan Teluk Bahang 
Contact: +6012 490 6882
GPS: 5.414882, 100.214960

Tropical Spice Garden
Address: Lot 595 Mukim, 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang 
Contact: +604 881 1797
GPS: 5.46336, 100.22912

Address: 828 Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Teluk Bahang, Penang
Contact: +604 881 1106
GPS: 5.449441, 100.215173

Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm 
Address: Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Teluk Bahang, Penang
Contact: +604 888 8111
GPS: 5.44745, 100.21563

Art & Garden 
Address: Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Teluk Bahang, Penang
Contact: +6012 485 5074
GPS: 5.41475, 100.21484

Penang Batik Factory
Address: 651, MK 2, Teluk Bahang
Contact: +604 885 1284
GPS: 5.45692, 100.21548

3) Gertak Sanggul

Gertak Sanggul. 

Away from the popular Batu Ferringhi coastline, Gertak Sanggul boasts some scenic hidden beaches waiting to be explored! With rocky promontory meeting the emerald sea and glimpses of green provided by swaying casuarina and coconut trees, Pantai Ombak Damai and Pantai Tanjung Asam are especially famous with photographers from eager Instagrammers to serious shutterbugs. There are numerous seaside restaurants in these parts, so it's common to see locals taking a stroll after a meal. If you're up for more adventure or simply looking for a hidden place to fish, get on a boat ride to Pulau Kendi off the coast of Gertak Sanggul. The uninhabited islet's untouched forest and shorelines have been drawing seasoned anglers and intrepid visitors for a while now.

Penang War Museum.

There are other nearby attractions for visitors to maximise their outing, too. Located just a short drive away from Gertak Sanggul, the Penang War Museum in Batu Maung is reputed to be the largest war museum in Southeast Asia. Visitors can explore tunnels, war exhibits and related artifacts such as a cannon-firing bay, anti-aircraft firing pits, sleeping quarters, a cookhouse, and a lockup within this former fort with a dark past. Another attraction worth checking out is the Penang Snake Temple. Also known as the Temple of the Azure Cloud, this one-of-a-kind temple allows visitors to get close to a bunch of snakes and live to tell the tale!

Getting there by Rapid Penang:

From Jetty, take the Rapid Penang 303 bus and disembark at Terminal Sungai Nibong. Then, take the Rapid Penang 308 bus which plies the Sungai Nibong - Gertak Sanggul route. Upon reaching Gertak Sanggul, it is recommended to get around on foot or by car via e-hailing services. Plan ahead by visiting the following link:

Pantai Ombak Damai
Address: Jalan Gertak Sanggul 
GPS: 5.282723, 100.216668

Pantai Tanjung Asam
Address: Jalan Gertak Sanggul 
GPS: 5.281825, 100.211631

Isnoor Boat Tour 
Contact: +6016 442 1855

Penang War Museum
Address: Jalan Batu Maung, Batu Maung
Contact: +604 626 5142
GPS: 5.28142, 100.28872

Penang Snake Temple
Address: Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Bayan Lepas Industrial Park 
Contact: +604 643 7273
GPS: 5.31419, 100.28549

4) Pulau Aman

Pulau Aman

Colourful fishing boats, historical sites, beautiful beaches, and vast offerings of seafood dishes — these are what you can look forward to on Pulau Aman, an outlying islet off the coast of Batu Kawan, Seberang Perai. This quaint fishing islet lures seafood-craving foodies with fresh-off-the-boat seafood dishes, but beyond its charming floating restaurants, there are various heritage sites to explore. Visitors can visit the island’s Telaga Emas (Well of Gold), which was first discovered by a local villager back in 1789. Although it is located close to the seashore, it provides fresh water to the villagers! Other than that, there are also interesting activities for the adventurous such as kayaking, fishing, jungle trekking, camping, and more — they all promise serenity and splendid vistas.

Design Village Outlet Mall.

For a change of pace, head to the neighbouring Batu Kawan, where modern-day shopping awaits! Billed as the greenest mall in Malaysia and the only outlet mall in the Northern region, Design Village Outlet Mall boasts an impressive outdoor shopping concept featuring a large variety of sportswear, iconic fashion and accessory brands plus food and beverage outlets. Another must-visit spot is none other than IKEA Batu Kawan. This world-famous Swedish founded furniture brand is Malaysia's first store to be opened in the northern region. Drop by to scout for some furniture, interior design inspiration, or simply try their famous Swedish meatballs.

Penang International Container Art Festival’s (PICAF) installation in Aspen Vision City, Batu Kawan.

Don’t forget to head over to the nearby Aspen Vision City, where one of PICAF’s container art installations awaits! This mural by Caryn Koh titled “Connection” was voted one of the ‘Best Of January 2020’ murals on Street Art Cities, a global community that shares murals around the world.

Getting there by Rapid Penang:

Pulau Aman can be reached by taking a 10-minute boat ride from the Batu Musang jetty in Batu Kawan. To get to the Batu Musang jetty, take the Rapid Penang 801 bus from Penang Sentral. Disembark at SMK Simpang Ampat stop and then continue your journey to the Batu Musang Jetty by car via e-hailing services. 

Design Village Outlet Mall
Address: 733, Jalan Cassia Barat 2, Bandar Cassia
Hours: Monday to Friday 11am - 8pm, Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday 11am - 10pm

IKEA Batu Kawan
Address:  752, Persiaran Cassia Selatan 8, Bandar Cassia
Hours: 10am-10pm (daily)

(PICAF) Container Art Installation in Aspen Vision City, Batu Kawan
GPS: 5.23596, 100.43866

5) Kampung Agong

Kampung Agong. Credit: desy_hotniar_sihombing (Instagram)

Sitting on a 10ha former coconut plantation, Kampung Agong has a wealth of photogenic settings to offer Instagram addicts, with Kedah's Gunung Jerai in its backyard! Located in Bakar Kapur in Penaga, the countryside theme park's coconut trees, paddy fields, traditional wooden houses and Instagram-ready piano, swings, and giant nests have been setting social media ablaze since 2018, making it worth the hour's drive from Penang Island.

Jambatan Keretapi Pinang Tunggal. Credit: @dt__105 and @fourfeetnine_constance (Instagram).

While you’re here, don’t miss the chance to check out Galeri Arkeologi Guar Kepah. The gallery — sited just a 10-minute drive away from Kampung Agong — is an archeological site where visitors can marvel at ancient shell middens and a replica of the 5,000-year-old skeleton named “Penang Woman''. Then, make your way to the Jambatan Keretapi Pinang Tunggal to secure a shot of the century-old wrought iron bridge. Although no longer in use, the bridge is a favourite subject for photographers looking to capture an engineering masterpiece of a bygone era.

Getting there by Rapid Penang:

The Rapid Penang bus 603 plies the Penang Sentral - Kampung Kuala Muda route. Disembark at SMK Sri Muda. Then, get to Kampung Agong, Galeri Arkeologi Guar Kepah, and Jambatan Keretapi Pinang Tunggal by car via e-hailing services.

Kampung Agong
Address: Lot 20, Mukim 05, Bakar Kapur, Penaga, Seberang Perai Utara
Contact: +6012 481 7795 
GPS: 5.54023, 100.37974

Galeri Arkeologi Guar Kepah
Address: PT 23, Mukim 2, Kepala Batas
GPS: 5.55834, 100.42457

Jambatan Keretapi Pinang Tunggal
GPS: 5.56635, 100.50427

6) Frog Hill

Frog Hill. Credit: Buletin Mutiara.

Dubbed as Penang’s answer to China’s well-known Jiuzhaigou, Frog Hill (also known as Bukit Katak) is a favourite spot for naturalists and avid shutterbugs. Located just a short drive away from Kampung Agong, the hike requires going through rough and patchy terrains, but the sweeping vistas atop the abandoned tin mining site are worth the workout. Visitors will be rewarded with dramatic views of turquoise-coloured pools and the occasional sightings of wild water buffaloes wallowing in the water. Prepare yourself for a chilly surprise when hiking up by daybreak — the hilltop can get quite misty early in the morning so pack a thermos of hot coffee for some quality “me” time in nature’s lap! Travel reminder: Frog Hill is a remote area so visitors are advised to exercise extra precautions.

Masjid Abdullah Fahim.

How about checking out nearby attractions after your “green” escape? The stunning Persian blue minaret and domes of Masjid Abdullah Fahim is a sight to behold and can be reached in under 30 minutes by car. Then, make your way to Capal Jago to get your hands on a pair of handmade capal, a traditional Malay footwear. Capal Jago is a homegrown capal brand founded by the late Haji Hashim Hassan, a famous Kepala Batas capal maker, in 1958. He is reputed to have made the first genuine handmade leather sandals.

Getting there by Rapid Penang:

The Rapid Penang bus 701 and 702 ply the Penang Sentral - Terminal Bus Bukit Mertajam route. Upon reaching Terminal Bus Bukit Mertajam, continue your journey to Frog Hill and Masjid Abdullah Fahim by car via e-hailing services.

Frog Hill
Address: No road signs point to this abandoned stone and clay quarry. To get there, enter these into your GPS navigator: 5.436643, 100.485111.

Capal Jago Gemilang
Address: 708, Jalan Perak, Kepala Batas
Contact:+6011-1962 6530
GPS: 5.51851, 100.42592

Masjid Abdullah Fahim
Address: Jalan Tun Hamdan Syeikh Tahir, Kepala Batas
Contact Number:+604-569 0013
GPS:5.52073, 100.46398


7) Taman Rimba Bukit Mertajam

Bukit Mertajam hilltop. Credit: Ai Man (Facebook)

Known to the locals as Trek 800, this 7km long trail in Taman Rimba Bukit Mertajam (also known as Cherok Tokun Nature Park) is a hike worth undertaking. It promises a thrilling climb as you clamber over rocky mounds, maneuver through tangled tree roots, crawl under fallen logs, and crab-walking down steep slopes. Among the highlights of this three-hour hike are discovering 'Gram-worthy spots such as the renowned giant Mengkundur (Tetrameles) tree dubbed "the largest tree in Penang", a waterfall, a giant ship-shaped boulder known to the locals as "Batu Kapal," and panoramic views of the Mengkuang Dam. If you’re looking for a less strenuous day out, a gentle stroll around the forest’s well-paved trails and paths will rejuvenate you just as well.

The renowned giant Mengkundur (Tetrameles) tree dubbed "the largest tree in Penang".

After getting your nature fix, walk around Bukit Mertajam's charming old town! With its vine-covered walls and rickety wooden windows, the heritage shophouses are in stark contrast to the restored heritage shophouses in George Town. History buffs should head over to the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Pagar Tras. Built by French Catholic missionaries in 1882, the derelict edifice is a testament to the little known presence of the French in Penang.

Getting to Bukit Mertajam:

Rapid Penang bus 701 and 702 ply the Penang Sentral - Bukit Mertajam route. Upon reaching Bukit Mertajam, it is recommended to get around via e-hailing services. Plan ahead by visiting the following link:

Taman Rimba Bukit Mertajam
Address: Jalan Kolam, Kampung Teluk Bukit, 14000 Bukit Mertajam
Nearest carpark to the trail: 5.356377 100.492696

Bukit Mertajam Town
Address: Jalan Pasar, Bukit Mertajam
GPS: 5.36354, 100.45996

Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Pagar Tras
Address: Jalan Sungai Lembu
GPS: 5.35914, 100.52024

8) Air Hitam Dalam Educational Forest

Air Hitam Dalam Educational Forest.

There is no better way to spend a day outside than meeting some feathered friends, from eagles to owls and kingfishers to broadbills! Located in Seberang Perai Utara, the Air Hitam Dalam Educational Forest is a hit with birding enthusiasts. This freshwater mangrove forest is sited at a confluence of three natural waterways – the Sungai Air Hitam, Sungai Jarak, and Sungai Perai – so it's no wonder that it abounds with birds – some 150 species in total! The birding sites are canopied and connected by a 1,163m boardwalk, which is especially scenic and wonderful for birding. Not a keen bird watcher? Then walking on the site's 210m long suspension bridge to two observation towers overlooking mangrove land is quite an experience on its own! 

Butterworth Art Walk. credit: @alifzamre

Before heading back to the island, make sure to stop at Butterworth. Take your time walking down the small alley in Jalan Bagan Luar known as Butterworth Art Walk. The eye-catching murals and installations serve as colourful backdrops for photo ops while educating visitors about the mainland’s agricultural economy and history. Nearby, another PICAF’s container art installation awaits at Dataran Pemuda Merdeka. The mural entitled “The Art of Batik” by muralists Abdulrashade and Andharas was also voted one of the ‘Best of February 2020’ murals on Street Art Cities. End your day with a bit of retail therapy by exploring Taman Selat’s Rope Walk flea market, where you can find antique goods such as old coins, watches and even irons.

Penang International Container Art Festival’s (PICAF) installation in Dataran Pemuda Merdeka, Butterworth. Credit: @engclau (Instagram)

Getting there by Rapid Penang:

Rapid Penang bus 701 and 702 ply the Penang Sentral - Terminal Bas Bukit Mertajam route. Upon reaching Terminal Bas Bukit Mertajam, it is recommended to get to the Air Hitam Dalam Educational Forest, Butterworth Art Walk, and Rope Walk Taman Selat via e-hailing services. Plan ahead by visiting the following link:

Air Hitam Dalam Educational Forest
Address: P206 Jalan Kampung Guar Petai, 13310 Tasek Gelugor
Contact: +604 539 1743
GPS: 5.4521127273116345, 100.45217656747059

Butterworth Art Walk
Address: Jalan Bagan Luar, Butterworth
GPS: 5.40948, 100.37033

Rope Walk Taman Selat
Address: 11a, Jalan Selat, Taman Selat, Butterworth
Contact: +604 323 3788
GPS: 5.40224, 100.36754

(PICAF) Container Art Installation in Dataran Pemuda Merdeka
GPS: 5.40885, 100.37021