Penang may be a small city in Malaysia, but shopping here is a blast. This leading Malaysian tourist destination has huge malls and quaint markets for tourists to enjoy. Like all other attractions and fun activities available, shopping in Penang is larger than life. International tourists who may have not experienced shopping in an Asian market before are in for a treat.
The heart of Penang tourism is the mesmerizing capital of Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the heart of Georgetown is Little India and nearby China Town. These areas are always packed with shoppers, immersing themselves in Indian and Chinese cultures while purchasing the tastiest spices and most interesting products in the city. Also nearby is the Kumar Pacific shopping mall, a modern mall within the spectacular 65-storey KOMTAR (Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak) Tower. Found in this mall are the latest international brands and fashion accessories.
Just a few meters away are Gama, one of Penang’s oldest supermarkets, and Prangin Mall, another modern mall but more popular for teenagers. Prangin showcases the latest flamboyant fashion styles from Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Prices are very affordable. Other Penang shopping malls that are popular to teenagers are Sunway Carnival, Aeon and Megamall Pinang.
Closer to Penang’s center is the huge Gurney Plaza along the famous Gurney Drive promenade. Shopping in this second largest mall in the city is a blast for its many fashion stores, bookshops, specialty stores, computer shops, and electrical appliance shops, as well as a movie house and karaoke center. Many locals and tourists come here just to enjoy the place or dine at the various international fast food chains and coffee shops. Nearby is a smaller mall, yet also very famous, the Island Plaza.
From Gurney Plaza, the next stop is Batu Ferringhi for island-themed shopping. The area is bustling even in the evenings as stalls come alive with wooden handicrafts, silver, pieces of jewelry, shirts and tons of souvenir items. People also flock here to eat local dishes.
On the other side of Penang are Queensbay Mall, the largest mall in Penang, and Kompleks Bukit Jambul. Queensbay is popular for its top clothing brands, while Bukit Jambul is known for its electronic gadgets and computer-related products. Not far away is Sunshine Square, which is known for its locally produced fashion brands and some of the best Malaysian clothing and accessories.
Other malls that make shopping in Penang extremely interesting are Penang Time Square, 1st Avenue near Prangin Mall and Straits Quay. Meanwhile, the leading outdoor markets are the Lorong Kulit flea market, Pasar Malam (opens from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight), and Little Penang Street Market (open only on the last Sunday of the month).
Other than the shops and marketplaces, tourists also enjoy visiting Chinese bakeries. The most popular bakeries are Ghee Hiang on Beach Street (the oldest bakery in Penang), Him Heang on Burma Road (the most famous Chinese bakery in Penang, well known for its Tambun Pneah and Beh Teh Sor products), Ng Kee Cake Shop on Cintra Street, Sin Hock Seng on Penang Road, and ‘Heap Hoe Hin on Jalan Raja Uda. Shopping in Penang includes checking out these bakeries for pastries as souvenirs.