10 Must-Dos in Penang during Chinese New Year - You'll Never Wander Alone


Friday, 5 February 2016

10 Must-Dos in Penang during Chinese New Year

Finally, a post about traveling!! Mad happy!!

When I first heard that I’m the selected blogger to feature Penang, I was thrilled and accepted it right away, without realizing that I’ve an upcoming Bangkok trip!

My feelings for Penang has grown stronger after I visited them last year. It is amazing how this little island had transformed from an island where I used to think there isn’t much to do 15 years ago, to one of the best budget place to travel in the world! Penangites!! You must be very proud of your place huh?

It’s hard not to love this little island. I mean, who doesn’t love Penang? Well, at least I do love Penang, after my last visit to Penang, for one very particular reason:

(Image from gopenang.my)

How could I say NO to all these?!? Even if you’re not a foodie, you’ll dwell yourselves in all these yummilicious foods! And let me remind you, Penang was named as Top Food Destination in the World by lonely planet!

Of course, there are other things to do besides eating in Penang. With the upcoming Chinese New Year, you’re sure to be chasing time, trying to catch all the activities and events happening in Penang!

So why Penang is the choice as a holiday destination this upcoming Chinese New Year? You might think there’s nothing up there as most of the shops will be closed. That thought is wrong. There’ll be so much happening in Penang this Chinese New Year, especially the chance to experience their local culture during this festive season, which only happens once in a year.

Here are 10 things you must do in Penang this Chinese New Year:

Affectionately known as “Temple of Supreme Bliss”, Kek Lok Si temple is the most famous Buddhist temple in Penang. What’s so special about this temple is not only its striking seven-storey Pagoda of Rama VI (Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas) with 10,000 alabaster and bronze status of Buddha, and the 30.2 metres (99 ft) tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. When the night comes, you will have the chance to witness the beautiful display of light scene! My suggestion is to come to Kek Lok Si around 630pm, to witness the process of lighting up the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia!

Date: 7 - 22 Feb 2016
Venue: Kek Lok Si Temple
Contact Number: +604-828 3317
Address: Kek Lok Si Temple 1000-L, Tingkat Lembah Ria 1, Ayer Itam, 1500, Penang
GPS Coordinates: 5.401245,100.274872

Do visit Penang at the beginning of February to experience the Chinese New Year Celebration! Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar until the 15th. Throughout the 2 weeks, you’ll see streets, buildings, and houses decorated with red ornaments. As a tradition, those celebrating Chinese New Year will indulge in a big family reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year. On the first day of Chinese New Year, family members of the younger generation will pay visits to relative and friends who are seniors to them. Ang Pows (red packets) will be given out to all unmarried singles. Fireworks and lion dance are also one of the highlights during Chinese New Year. Lion dances can be heard along the streets as majority of Chinese households will invite a lion dance performance as a blessing to the house and family. Other than the unique Chinese New Year traditions, one other thing you must not miss would be the delicious Chinese New Year delights!

Date: 8 - 9 Feb 2016
Venue: Penang Malaysia

Each year, the Penang Chief Minister will organise a Chinese New Year open house, inviting the public to join in the celebration. More like a house warming in my opinion, but you can experience how CNY open house is like in Penang.

Date: 8 Feb 2016
Time: 10am - 12.30pm
Venue: SPICE, Jalan Tun Dr Awang
Contact Number: +604-650 5696
Entrance Fee: Free
Address: SPICE, Jalan Tun Dr Awang, Bayan Lepas, 11900, Penang
GPS Coordinates: 5.328269,100.280483

Fancy viewing the Penang City from the top? Wanting to have a different kind of CNY? The Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is here to fulfill your wish! It’s a two-day event loaded with family-friendly activities! This fiesta is a great place for family bonding. Hence, to add excitement to your CNY, why not ride on a hot air balloon right in Penang with your family and friends?

Date: 9 & 10 Feb 2016
Time: 7am - 9.30pm
Venue: Padang Polo
Website: www.penanghotairballoonfiesta.com
Email: info@penanghotairballoonfiesta.com
Address: Padang Polo, Jalan Residensi, 10450 Penang
GPS Coordinates: 5.417969,100.307345

The Hokkien Kongsi will be celebrating the birthday of Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong Deity on the 6th day of Chinese New Year. On this day, thousands of devotees will make a trip to the temple to worship the deity Cheng Chooi Chor Soo, also widely known as Chor Soo Kong, a 11th century Buddhist monk who was looked up by the Chinese due to his spiritual enlightenment, great virtue, medical knowledge and good deeds during his lifetime. Festival programme to include snake dance performance, lion dance, cultural acrobatic performance, flame watching ceremony and much much more!

Date: Celebration is on 12 Feb 2016
Time: 6pm - 12am on 12 Feb 2016
Venue: Penang Snake Temple
Contact Number: +604-262 0202, +6012-433 1918
Address: Snake Temple, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Bayan Lepas, 11900, Penang
GPS Coordinates: 5.314198,100.285246

The 9th day of Chinese New Year, also known as Hokkien New Year is a special day for the Hokkiens in Penang. It is believed that this day is the birthday of the Jade Emperor (Thien Kong) who protected the ancestors of Hokkiens from ruthless army in ancient China. Hence, the Pai Ti Kong Festival, which means “praying to the Heaven God”, is held on this day. Prayers will start at 11pm on the 8th day of Chinese New Year, where myriads of foods will be served to the Jade Emperor. In Penang, this festival is celebrated on a grandiose scale along Pengkalan Weld and at the Chew Jetty.

Date: 15 Feb 2016
Time: 8pm onwards
Venue: Chew Jetty
Contact Number: +6012-412 6809
Address: Chew Jetty, Pengkalan Weld, 10300 George Town
GPS Coordinates: 5.412152,100.340356

The very first international Chinese Kung Fu Festival in Penang!! This is your chance to understand the Chinese Kung Fu culture as well as to experience the Penang’s martial arts that has been forgotten among the young generation. Definitely a not-to-miss this Chinese New Year!

Date: 19 - 20 Feb 2016
Venue: Han Chiang High School Hall & The Banquet @ Komtar
Contact Number: +604-650 5136, +604-261 9012
Website: www.facebook.com/penangkungfu
Address: Han Chiang High School Hall, 11600, Penang
GPS Coordinates: 5.406791,100.304449

You can’t say that you’ve been to Penang if you have not tasted their delectable foods! Being famous for the land of food in Southeast Asia, Penang has its reputation to offer delicious food that won’t break your bank! Street food ranging from Char Koay Teow, Asam Laksa, Curry Mee, Nasi Lemak, Oh Chien, Lok-Lok, Cendol and much much more are available everywhere and anywhere in Penang! The unique taste of each dish is sure to please your taste buds.

A big Chinese New Year Celebration will be held right in George Town on 13 February 2016. Several roads in George Town will be closed to vehicles. It is one of the biggest Chinese New Year celebration in Penang featuring cultural elements, street performances, Penang’s heritage, flash mobs, and many more! Its definitely a must-visit, and its also one of the rare occasions where you can walk about right on the streets of George Town freely!

Date: 13 Feb 2016
Time: 4pm – 12am
Esplanade Penang
Lebuh Light
Lebuh King
Lebuh Penang
Lebuh Gereja
Lebuh Bishop
Lebuh Pantai
Lebuh Armenian
Contact Number: +6012-430 2251
Email: jack.jacheritage@outlook.com
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pgcnycelebration/
Address: Penang, Malaysia.

The last day of Chinese New Year (Chap Goh Meh), also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, falls on the 15th day of the Lunar Calendar. On this day, you can see young unmarried ladies throwing mandarin orange into the sea with their names and telephone numbers on it, in search of a boyfriend or husband. As a kind of response, the single guys will fish these mandarin oranges thrown by the ladies, and make a move! If you think chocolate and roses are such a norm, perhaps tying knots with mandarin orange may excite you?

Date: 22 Feb 2016
Time: 7pm - 11pm
Venue: Penang Esplanade
Contact Number: +604-650 5136, +604-261 9012
Email: info@visitpenang.gov.my
Address: Penang Esplanade Jalan Padang Kota Lama, George Town, 10200, Penang, Malaysia. (5.421017,100.342043)

As pointed out, here are the 10 MUST-DOs in Penang during Chinese New Year. There are much more things to do while in Penang such as visiting the Penang Hill, going on a nature hike or tour, visiting clan houses, taking a stroll down the clan jetties and the list goes on, BUT these are the CNY activities you should not miss!

The Penang Hot Air Balloon fiesta is a specialty!! It’s not a common fiesta in Penang yo! Sadly, I won’t be able to participate as I’ll be in my father’s hometown during those days. *BIG SOBS* But if you’re going, do share with me, I’d love to hear from you!!

Penang Global Tourism offers a wide range of suggestion in places to go, food, transport, accommodation, events happening in Penang in their website! Plan your Penang trip with them at http://mypenang.gov.my/.


  1. all these places must be very packed with people during this festive season >< dont dare to go penang during such period haha

  2. Penang looks like a must-visit place. So many things to do! Happy CNY.

  3. I have been to the Pai Tin Kong celebration! It's so happening with lots of ppl crowded on the street.

  4. What a great list this is. It will be handy for those who are venturing to Penang during this CNY holidays!

  5. Beautiful photos! I loved reading about the events and traditions during Chinese New Year. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Huhuhu... this makes me ashamed to call myself a Penangite... I did not even know all this!!!!

  7. Great but surely the fun is with family eating at home and usually all places are super packed.

  8. I'm here in Penang but I have no time to do all these la! oh wait...i have time to bai ti gong at my own house. hahaha! going to miss the hot air balloon festival too because going back to KL d. *big sobs together with you*

  9. Its been a while since I visit Penang! Wanted to plan a trip there with my love there =D

  10. I love Penang and its beaches and food. Missing it now!

  11. The foods are what tempted us the most to go visit penang. Hehehe

  12. I still adore your comic art, all spice food always tempting :D

  13. Haha..so cute la your doodle. I love penang food. but didn't wanna go there during festive :p

  14. Penang is my favourite place in the world! I love writing on it. See my guide Sin Yee! 恭喜發財!新年快樂!

  15. There are so many food to eat and happening in Penang. I am going back this weekend.

  16. Penang is my mom kampung! But this year I didn't balik kampung, so sad I missed all the activities~

  17. ha...ha...penang is another state in Msia with strong CNY feels & moods :) Love your sharing here and of course your nice comic :)
    cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  18. wow i couldn't know chine it have nice places like that

  19. Penang fooooooddddd I wish I was there... Sigh

  20. i miss my neighbor town so muchhhhh.. oh penang.. :p

  21. the hot air balloon fiesta is on the 24th and 25th, not the 10th and 11th.


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