Gurney Drive is most well known for its happening eating places at night. Perhaps then, not many people know that two of the most beautiful temples in Penang are located in the vicinity. The two Burmese temples located opposite each other on Lorong Burma, Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram and the Dharmikarama, are deemed worthy of a visit if only to admire the striking beauty of its architecture.
We also found several attractions such as religious institutions dating back to the 1800s as well as World War II relics – all within driving distances from the ever-bustling Gurney Drive. We definitely recommend a road trip to our top ten attractions after having your fill of tasty hawker food and seafood.
- Traditional English Afternoon Tea at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel
- City Half-Day Tour
- EZhopper Sightseeing Bus Pass
- Georgetown by Night Tour
- Island Half-Day Tour
- Private Penang Hill & Temple
- Heritage Trishaw Tour
- Private Penang Hill & High Tea at David Brown's Restaurant
- Botanic Gardens & Tropical Spice Garden Tour
- Penang Hill & Kek Lok Si Temple Tour
Dharmikarama Burmese Temple is the only Burmese Buddhist temple outside Myanmar. Located in Georgetown Penang, it stands opposite Wat Chayamangkalaram Temple, with a pair of large stone elephants flanking the front gates. Inside the pagoda grounds is a Boddhi tree, a wishing pond and apartments for monks.
Devotees have contributed many statues of Buddha, so his serene-faced image can be found at almost every corner in different meditation poses. The walkways have a series of panels with beautiful murals depicting scenes of the journey of Prince Siddharta (dressed in typical Burmese fashion) achieving Nirvana and becoming Buddha. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 05:00 – 18:00
- Address: 24 Lorong Burma, 10250 Penang
- Tel: +604 226 9575
Church of Immaculate Conception
The Church of Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic parish on the island of Penang, in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. The church is about a 40 minute drive from the Penang International Airport and 30 minute-drive from the Sungai Nibong Express Bus Terminal.
The church spans across the urban district of Pulau Tikus, westwards along the northern coast, to the northwestern tip of the island, covering the suburban areas of Tanjong Tokong, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang. The history of Church of Immaculate Conception traces back to 1811, during the early Eurasian settlements in Pulau Tikus, which makes it the second oldest church in the diocese after Church of the Assumption. The first parish church was built on a site which is now the Kelawei Cemetery.
- Opening Hours: Daily
- Address: 1 Lorong Maktab, Pulau Pinang
- Tel: +604 227 8297
Tua Pek Kong Temple @ Tanjong Tokong
The Tua Pek Kong Temple in Penang’s Tanjong Tokong is believed to be original Tua Pek Kong temple that eventually sprouts the worship of this deity throughout West Malaysia, Singapore and East Malaysia. The temple provides a glimpse into the Taoist-inspired beliefs of the local Chinese. The temple itself is not as spectacularly ornate as those within George Town, but its lengthy history makes it a very significant place for devotees.
Known for its flame-watching ritual called Chneah Hoay, visitors are advised to visit the temple on the 14th night of Chinese New Year (usually in January and February). It is a Taoist divination ritual to provide "economic forecast" for Penang in the coming year. At other times, the temple remains quiet which is perfect for visitors who want to have a look at the quaint architecture and enjoy a serene environment by the sea.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00
- Address: 338 Mukim 18, Tanjung Tokong
Chooi Bee Keong Temple @ Tanjong Tokong
Chooi Bee Keong temple literally translates to "Temple of Beautiful Waters” is an understated temple beside Tanjong Tokong Road. Nestled among Marina Bay’s high-rise condominiums, the temple was built in 1882 by the local Chinese to worship deities Chu, Ti, and Wangye. Chooi Bee Keong Temple is accessible via Rapid Penang buses, which stop in front of the Marina Bay condominiums.
Chinese characters and traditional artwork decorate both interior and exterior walls while bowls of fruits and lit joss sticks are placed on the altar to honour the deities. Though many renovations have been done over the years, the original structure and design of Chooi Bee Keong remains intact and its green roofs and red pillars are stark contrasts against the contemporary designs of surrounding condominiums.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00
- Location: Jalan Tanjong Tokong, Penang
Gurney Paragon Mall is a beachfront lifestyle mall located along Gurney Drive, Penang. Similar to Kuala Lumpur’s The Gardens @ Mid Valley, the 700,000sqft complex is a mixed development project comprising a lifestyle mall, an outdoor dining strip, office tower and two luxury apartment blocks.
The mall’s outdoor dining stretch is set within a converted restored heritage building – the St. Joseph’s Novitiate – with the main complex’s style taking its inspiration from the chapel’s colonial architecture. Shoppers can find an array of international brands like H&M, Sephora, Puma, Adidas, L’occitane, and after a long day of shopping, sit back and enjoy Gurney Paragon’s many cafes and restaurants such as Morganfield’s, Ben’s Kitchen, and Starbucks Coffee. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 22:00
- Address: Gurney Paragon Mall, Gurney Drive, Penang
- Tel: +604 228 8266
Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram Temple is the largest Thai temple in Penang. Set just off Jalan Burma (on the way to Batu Ferringhi), the yellow-and-blue temple is also known as Wat Buppharam. Built in 1845, it is home to a 108ft-long reclining Buddha image, said to be the third largest in the world.
Draped in a gold-leafed saffron robe, the sprawling statue was erected as a monument to signify Buddha’s final resting position at his death and symbolizes his detachment from worldly matters. Located opposite the less extravagant Dharmmikarama Temple (which lights up beautifully at night) Wat Chaiya Mangakalaram Temple is a beautiful sight with ornate, gold pagodas, and mural-painted walls. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 Daily
- Address: 24 Lorong Burma, Pulau Tikus, Georgetown
Gurney Plaza is a waterfront shopping mall in Penang. Opened in 2001, it has three anchor tenants: Parkson Grand, the 12-screen Golden Screen Cinemas and Cold Storage supermarket. Additionally, the nine-storey mall houses over 380 stores with international brands such as Coach, Fossil, and Versace. Approximately three kilometres northwest of Georgetown, located along the popular Gurney Drive, Gurney Plaza is the second-largest mall on the island and is 858,000sqft in size. Catering to the posh residential precincts and nearby hotels such as Evergreen Laurel and G Hotel, it is accessible via Gurney Drive and Kelawai Road.
In addition to its extensive selection of retail outlets and restaurants, Gurney Plaza also has two children playgrounds for kids to play while their parents can rest from a day of shopping: an indoor playground filled with colourful kiddie rides located at Fourth Floor and an outdoor children's playground next to New Wing, Kelawai Entrance. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 – 22:00
- Address: Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang
- Tel: +604 222 8111
Cathedral of The Holy Spirit
Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the suburbs of Island Park in Green Lane (Jalan Masjid Negeri), Penang. The church is built with European design aesthetics in 1958 where the main building has a circular ceiling to mirror the effect of the rising sun. The cathedral also has a bell tower topped by a cross as well as beautiful stained glasses, including four added in 2004, titled The Baptism of the Lord, Transfiguration of the Lord, The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary and The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.
The relic of blessed Nicholas Kitbamrung, a martyr of Thai descent who did his priestly formation at College General in Penang, sits at the altar while the centre piece of the Cathedral sanctuary is the Pentecost scene created using byzantine tiles.
- Opening Hours: Daily
- Address: 1 Tingkat Besi Satu, 11600 Penang
- Tel: +604 658 4909 / +604 656 6681
Penang Bodhi Heart Sanctuary
Penang Bodhi Heart Sanctuary is a non-sectarian Buddhist Society that is situated in the bustling city of Penang yet surrounded by Mount Erskine’s lush greenery. A getaway for those who prefer a quiet retreat rather than visiting crowded shopping hubs, the sanctuary is visited by residents and visitors for spiritual programs and calming meditation.
It hosts a number of activities for those who want to learn, reflect, and understand the beautiful teachings of Buddha. Its spiritual centres include a number of tea houses, open-air meditation, prayer and activity centres, a meditation hall, a pond, as well as a welfare village that houses organisations such as The Shan Children Home. The many stone-carved statues of Buddha and almost untouched natural surroundings make Penang Bodhi Heart Sanctuary the perfect place to recharge spiritually and rediscover one’s inner peace.
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 21:00
- Address: 677-G, Jalan Mt Erskine, 10470 Tanjong Tokong
- Tel: +604 227 4702
World War II Relics @ Tanjong Tokong
The Tanjong Tokong World War II Relics are remains of a military installation on the coast of Tanjong Tokong, Penang. Constructed during the World War II era, the coastal defences were built by the British in anticipation of Japanese invasion.
After the war, these relics were left in a state of disuse. Although they are still standing today, nothing much has been done to preserve them. A retaining wall was built along the coast in front of the Tua Pek Kong Temple in the 1960, which forms a mini promenade for those who want enjoy the sea breeze. Local philanthropist Aw Boon Haw also erected a pavilion in the area, and is now integrated into the Sea Pearl Lagoon Cafe, a local seafood restaurant.
Visitors to Tanjong Tokong Tua Pek Kong Temple are recommended to have a look at the remnants of Penang’s past as the war relics are located on the promontory facing the sea in front of the temple.
- Address: Tua Pek Kong Temple, 338 Mukim 18, Tanjong Tokong