From the world’s longest water slide to a whimsical butterfly sanctuary, read on for Penang’s most Instagrammable nooks and crannies to explore
In partnership with Penang Tourism
Few places beckon travellers like Penang does. With its lively street art, mural-lined alleys and burgeoning café scene, its capital George Town is the ultimate hipster’s playground, drawing millions of visitors each year. It’s perhaps unsurprising that with over six million #penang hashtags (and counting) on Instagram, the region is also one of the most photographed and photogenic destinations in the world.
Other than its striking street art, Penang knows how to amp up the fun with world-class attractions that offer once-in-a-life-time experiences for the books and, of course, the ‘gram. Case in point: In 2019, it became home to the world’s longest water slide, according to the Guinness Book of World Records – just one of the many exciting pull factors that lure travellers to this vibrant northwestern state in Malaysia.
On your next vacation here, colour your social media grid happy with a vacation shot at one of these must-see spots. From the world’s longest water slide to a whimsical butterfly sanctuary, read on for Penang’s most Instagrammable nooks and crannies to explore.
For stunning panoramas of George Town and its surrounds, brave the sky-high Rainbow Skywalk, the world’s first tower curved skywalk, at KOMTAR. Located on the 68th floor of the city’s highest point, this open-air, see-through skywalk offers thrill-seeking visitors the exciting – and slightly hair-raising – experience of walking in the clouds at over 200 metres above sea level. The sweeping views and enviable photos of Penang’s urban skyline are certainly rewarding and not to be missed.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this was just any old science centre; but travellers would be remiss to skip the Tech Dome Penang. As the state’s first dedicated science discovery centre, it’s home to over 120 educational and highly interactive exhibitions, as well as its headline-making star attraction the G-Drop, the world’s first free-standing vertical drop slide. This three-storey free-fall ride promises great fun for everyone and is suited for families visiting with kids. Do note that there are specific time slots scheduled for the activity and covered shoes are mandatory.
Penang boasts some incredible urban lungs and beautiful green spaces. Once you’re done exploring the urban jungle in its city centre, head to Penang Hill for a dose of nature. This ancient 130-million-year-old rainforest is where you’ll find the Langur Way Canopy Walk. Towering 40m above the forest floor and spanning three headlands and valleys, this sturdy and spacious trail is the world’s highest-altitude stressed ribbon bridge, allowing travellers a rare up-close and unobstructed view of all the forest layers from floor to emergent canopy. At the end of the walk, be greeted with unbeatable views of the sprawling forest valleys and even the Andaman Sea on the horizon.
The Penang Hill Funicular Railway is head and shoulders above others in the region and beyond: not only does it have the world’s steepest tunnel track, at nearly 2km, it’s one of the longest funicular tracks in Asia. Located on the outskirts of George Town, the speedy cliffside railway takes passengers on a five-minute ascent, through tropical rainforest and past returning trains, as it climbs Penang Hill from Air Itam. Buckle up and expect a scenic ride, so do make sure to have your camera and smartphones ready.
What started out as a former butterfly farm has since evolved and expanded into a “living outdoor garden” and the world’s first tropical butterfly and insect sanctuary. Today, visitors can marvel at the 15,000 free-flying butterflies that flit about in the sanctuary’s vivarium, waterfalls and caves, as well as over 200 species of flora and fauna. Don’t miss the indoor discovery attraction, which features two floors of learning exhibits and activities that allow curious visitors to discover all about the winged creature and other invertebrates.
Score bragging rights by conquering the world’s longest water slide at Penang’s ESCAPE theme park. Snaking over a whopping 1,111 metres through lush tropical undergrowth, this four-minute ride takes thrill-seekers down slopes and over forest canopies. Since opening, the record-breaking slide has earned itself a Guinness World Record for the world’s longest inner-tube or mat water slide.
For more information on exciting places to experience in the state of Penang, please visit Penang Tourism