Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Where to shop in Penang?

Antiques are popular must-buy items on most trips to the Penang island but with shopping podiums scattered all over and an abundance of street markets, Penang’s retail landscape is almost as comprehensive as Kuala Lumpur’s. Be sure to wander through the nooks and crannies along the narrow alleyways off Penang Road, Jalan Burmah and Lebuh Campbell – you’ll be surprised at the amazing finds you’ll encounter.

Here is a list of places to go for shopping in Penang. If you are planning to head to Penang, you may also want to check our where to stay in Penang post.

100 Cintra Street
A lovingly-restored late-1800s Chinese mansion that houses a tiny Peranakan museum with furniture and costumes depicting the Baba Nyonya heritage, 100 Cintra Street is a unique venture that doubles as a backpacker hostel. There’s an antiques bazaar on the ground floor – a collection of stalls retailing a variety of merchandise ranging from porcelain pieces and novelty drinking glasses to funky, assorted bric-a-brac.

Chowrasta Bazaar

In operation since the late 1800s, Chowrasta Bazaar is one of Penang’s most popular markets. It’s divided into a number of sections: the wet portion of the market (selling fresh meats including fish and vegetables) is the most popular amongst locals. Additionally, Penang food products such as traditional sweets and pickles can be bought at bargain prices here. On the second floor you’ll find second-hand books, wooden furniture and inexpensive sarees (traditional Indian costumes). You don’t have to shop to enjoy this strip: take a walk to soak in the lively ambiance.

Gurney Plaza

Gurney Plaza may not be the largest shopping mall in Georgetown, but it’s certainly the most flamboyant. There are a number of high end designer stores and shops selling the latest gadgets and gizmos but it’s the vast stretch of alfresco cafés and eateries in the courtyard between the mall and G Hotel that are so wildly popular. Entertainment offerings include the 12-screen Golden Screen Cinemas on the top floor – the north’s largest multiplex.

Gurney Plaza

Him Heang Biscuit

Penang’s known for its local food products – and its most popular one happens to be the tau sar peah (ground green bean) biscuits. Located along Jalan Burmah, locals will tell you that Him Heang Biscuits makes the best ones and you should trust them; a large number of these famous Penang bakery-desserts are made to cater to the large droves of tourists who flock to the store. Besides tau sar peah (also known as tambun biscuits), there’s pnong pneah (pastry filled with caramel or molasses) and brown sugar tau sar peah (a Penang-only specialty).

Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) and Prangin Mall JMB

The view from the observation deck at the top of Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) makes a trip here worthwhile. Penang’s tallest building has two department stores, hundreds of boutiques and some fast food restaurants; KOMTAR Walk (on the ground floor) recently experienced a facelift and now houses a collection of upmarket F&B outlets, a performance stage. It links Upper Penang Road with Prangin Mall – the only place in Georgetown with an ice rink.

Little Penang Street Market

Taking place every last Sunday of the month, the Little Penang Street Market is a small community project that was started in 2006. Clean and well-organized, it’s become an indispensable part of every local’s itinerary and a popular tourist must-visit. Stalls sell crafts and food but it’s the live music performances, cultural shows, visual art displays and book readings that really draws in the crowd. Vendors are all smiles, the atmosphere is vibrant and the street buzzes with activity throughout the day.

Penang Batik Factory

The place to head to if you’re looking for batik prints, beach sarongs as well as Indian fabrics and costumes, the Penang Batik Factory displays a vast collection of batik paintings and creations. Entrance is free and the batik works definitely merit a visit to the factory; demonstrations on how batik is made can be seen to the rear of the showroom.

Queensbay Mall

Featuring the same assortment of brands as Gurney Plaza (though there are more of them and they boast a wider selection) Queensbay Mall is Penang’s latest and largest shopping podium. Located on Persiaran Bayan Baru, it’s conveniently located near the airport (from Georgetown it’s roughly a short drive down the island’s eastern side) and there’s also a good selection of eateries and electronics stores plus Golden Screen Cinemas has an outlet within the mall.

No comments:

Post a Comment