Penang, the second-largest city in Malaysia

, is an exotic location, known for its rich history, stunning architecture, natural wealth and many man-made splendid places. Be it visiting theme parks, beaches, going hiking, visiting museums and galleries, or witnessing interesting structures, Penang never fails to entice people all over the world.

Needless to say, there is a lot to explore while on a holiday to this full-of-life destination. However, we list here the offbeat side of Penang that unfolds before you the wild and unusual beauty of the place. Strange and out of the box things while on a journey or indulging in something adventurous call for more fun and excitement. So let’s roll in fun to your travel while in Penang. Let’s take the road less travelled!

Stopover at Wonderfood museum – Imagine entering a food museum and not touching the food at all! With the plastic replicas of food on display, the Wonderfood museum will not only enrich your love for food but also enlighten you about the fascinating facts associated with foods across the globe. Displaying hundreds of food models from various cuisines and cultures, the items are at times gigantic in size and also small tiny three dimensional dioramas to fascinate every food lover. So the next time you wish to hug a giant-sized doughnut, you know where to go!

Wonderfood museum

To add to the Wonderfood Museum, there are more unusual museums in Penang. These include an upside down museum, which is fun to visit with friends and family; an art museum, which tricks viewers into going in and living inside a painting; a museum dedicated to ghosts and spirits; and many more. These fun and interesting museums are great places to visit with a gang, which is as wild as the ideas!

Visit a Temple packed with sleeping snakes – Also known as the Penang Snake Temple, this temple seems quite ordinary from the outside. However, once you enter the premises, you will realize then that the Snake temple is one of the most unusual things to do in Penang. With not much light inside, one may apprehend only after a while that there are huge pit viper snakes all around the place. For one, there is a massive incense burner at the altar, which is coiled around with snakes! The temple is currently non-operational as it is said that the monks left the place after the local snakes moved it. The temple was surrounded by a forest back then and thus this gave a unique twist to form an offbeat place of visit in Penang.

Penang Snake Temple

Savour a unique Nutmeg Juice – Nutmeg, which is a spice, by all order not a common ingredient to make a juice. It has a distinct spicy taste, however, thanks to the addition of sour plum, the juice is palatable to say the least. Introduced in Penang, one has to try this juice and know what its taste is like.

Pay a visit to the floating mosque – Located at Tanjung Bangah, you will come across an interesting mosque – Masjid Terapung built over water. During high tide, it appears as if the mosque is floating. One may also witness the optical illusion of the mosque that seems floating from outside. To visit the mosque, visitors have to seek permission from the mosque officials. Moreover, they must dress appropriately.

Floating mosque

Take a skywalk tour – Another offbeat side of Penang is walking on top of the tallest building – Komtar Tower and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Level 68 of the tower heads towards the open-air Rainbow skywalk on its rooftop, which offers people the matchless adventure of walking on air at 816 feet above sea level! Correspondingly, the tower also hosts an observatory deck at Level 65, featuring a glass walkway that stuns every spectator to watch the world move under their feet!

 Komtar building

Additionally, Level 68, the rooftop of the tower, houses high-end restaurants and lounges, where one can relish exotic tapas food and some refreshing cocktail with some great views!

Get a feel of the other side of life at the Haunted School – Penang features a few old buildings or structures that are depilated with time but hints at its glorious history. One such structure is the Shih Chung Branch School. The building was said to be initially a family home, which later with the passage of time turned into a hotel and then a school. Furthermore, during the war, the building was occupied by Japanese troops and it was used as an interrogation centre. It is believed that the spirits of the captives who passed away still haunts the building. The building is covered up and entry here is prohibited to all, nevertheless, the car park area surrounding the structure offers a good glimpse of the building.

A door to nowhere – This is not spooky or ghostly, but a door to Penang’s cocktail bar! It’s one of those bars worth trying where you enter the place through a small secret door inside a coffee shop, located at Lalan Kuala Kangsar. The door resembles a fridge and is thus difficult to locate by many. Visitors are hinted by the staff to open the fridge, however, some still fail to guess – the small door to wonderland!

Pose on street art – Penang is popular for its street art. The art mixes well with the surrounding commodity and brings in a certain emotion that is hard to express. Most street arts are cleverly amalgamated, making it fun to witness. There is no surprise that people wait to take photos of certain commodities which are popular among kids. Posing and clicking photos is thus another memorable and refreshing thing to do in Penang. There are more fun-filled, quirky and unusual things to experience in Penang. You need to get there and witness some first-hand. For now, keep guessing and ponder over the offbeat side of Penang!

Savita Pillay is an educationist turned writer, hailing from Pune city, India. She has composed and edited thousands of articles in her writing career and had travelled to UAE, to pursue her love for teaching. A connoisseur of art, an avid reader, who loves to travel and witness the magical phenomenon of nature.

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