Penang, Malaysia

Penang is often known as "The Pearl of the Orient", "东方花园" (Garden of the East) and Pulau Pinang (Penang Island). Penang is a city filled with cultures and ethnicities, as well as a lot of exciting attractions for you to explore. The island of pearl is a thriving modern city that still retains its traditions and customs with loads of arts and cultural activities. On July 2008, Georgetown was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List. The achievement of Penang was based on the certain sections of Penang has the most number of pre-war buildings in all of South East Asia which are still intact. That is why, the island is known as Penang Heritage City. Penang is especially known as the best place to enjoy wonderful local dishes; it is seen as the food capital of Malaysia. The hawker food is as delicious as the finest gourmet experience in any city. Penang will give you a glimpse into a world where nature, tradition and history blend into a rich cultural experience.

The Penang YMCA is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating and promoting the spiritual, mental, physical and social development of individuals thereby making them responsible citizens of our country. We seek to transcend all barriers of class, race, gender, nationality and political affiliation through our various programmes i.e. recreational, social and youth programmes to direct our youths towards healthy recreational activities. We provide facilities and opportunities for youths to develop as confident individuals and useful members of society.

Underprivileged Children

The YMCA Penang has been working with a group of underprivileged children at a low-income area. We found that the children here are mostly child of single parents or some – even orphans. They are left to fend for themselves as parents or care takes are busy trying to make a living. They are entrusted to a day center where they are taken care of with love and kindness. We hope to make a positive change in their lives through journeying and encouraging them to chase their hopes and dreams. We are also working with a few orphanages and also children of spited refugees through the organizing of festive events such as Christmas.

Local villagers

Besides the awesome attractions in Penang, we are also working together with the local villagers to help boost their income via alternative tourism packages and the marketing of local products. Visitors would be presently surprise to encounter an authentic cultural experience in the villages who are authentic in their warmness and hospitality.

Youth volunteers

We are also working with youth volunteers who are still studying. We are a platform to connect them to other like-minded youths who also aspire to engage in fun friendly communication with visitors from other nations and are also quick to make friends while exploring the island – which is the foundation of a good communal platform.


Learn more about the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Penang- George Town- and be amazed with the rich history and profound artistry of this well-preserved site.

Interact with the locals

Enjoy heartfelt fellowship with the locals and experience the warmness of our community! We are sure you will pick up a thing or two and strangers will soon become friends.

Homestay & Cycling at Balik Pulau

Experience the hospitality and rich culture of Malay by living with the locals and experiencing life with them. See Penang in a slow more personal way by experiencing the local "kampung" lifestyle and settlement that barely makes it to the map

Malay Kampung Home stay

Experience the Malay culture within a day! You get to cook traditional Malay kueh, play with the local kampung kids and fit in their traditional clothes.

Farm life

Visit and learn the farm life at Balik Pulau! Expect to get up close to cute farm animals and even feed them! Visitors will have the opportunity to taste and sample local fruits and delicacies. An environment filled with scenic landscapes, friendly folks and fresh air.

Exploring the mangroves

Take a bicycle trail to the mangroves of Balik Pulau, Penang! Learn about the importance of mangroves and our conservation efforts towards a sustainable ecosystem.

Watersports Adventures

Located in Tanjong Bungah. It offers a variety of water sports including Dragon Boating and Kayaking, as well as team building activities.

Camping the great outdoors

Camp Out in Mediterranean Jungle and enjoy the fun of exploration and fellowship. Try one of the most remote of all the beaches that you are able to trek to in the Penang National Park and offers a nice stretch of beach around a gently curving bay, that is rarely visited by other tourists.

Fun Physical Activities at Escape

A place with exciting rides and games hosted in a natural environment both in drylands and waterpark!

Cycle the island!

Love cycling? Why not cycle and take an alternative expedition around the island! View the different scenes that Penang has to offer with your own sweet time as you zoom by city streets to beautiful greenery and seascapes.

Go for a photo tour

Penang has lots of photography opportunities awaiting at every nook and corner. Frm the wonders of street photography, food photography, multi-cultural places of worship, celebrations and communal gatherings to the amazing breathtaking landscapes over the tropical island.

Food paradise

Hop on and we will take you on a gastronomic journey of the wonderful food that Penang is famous for! We will have the opportunity to taste and savor different types of food. Try India, Malay, Chinese, Indian-Muslim, Baba Nonya Peranakan, Eurasian or even a fusion blend of it!

Georgetown Heritage Walk

Experience the famous street of art in Penang at the heart of Georgetown. You can snap lots of creative street arts and live the local lifestyle! Experience it by walking, cycling or taking a ride on a trishaw!

Street of Harmony

Experience harmony at its best. Along this unique street you will find the oldest Anglican Church, the famous Temple of the goddess of mercy, the majestic Kapitan Keling Mosque and an ancient Indian temple. Enjoy the communal life busting around its surrounding - it's like you have traveled Asia in a day!

Penang Hill

Visit the highest Peak of Penang. It is a popular hiking route. You can also take a train or a 4 hour hike up the hill.

Tropical Fruit Farm

A home for some 370 species of edible fruits including exotic ones to suit even the fussiest eater!

: learning about insects and little creatures comes to live

More than just a butterfly farm, it has insects and reptiles within this huge dome!

Monkey Beach

This remote, scenic beach with monkeys, water sports & snack shacks is reached by boat or a jungle hike/trek.

Botanical Garden

Also known as Waterfalls Gardens, it is a well landscaped place that contains a huge variety of indigenous and exotic plant species.

Orang Utan Santuary at Bukit MerahA

world-renowned center dedicated to the care of Malaysia's Orangutan. Learn, explore and see our beloved rare Orangutans as they live harmoniously in this sanctuary.

Batu Feringghi Night Market

The night market is a sidewalk bazaar of makeshift stalls operated by local traders, selling an assortment of goods ranging from souvenirs to imitation goods. Besides the night market, there are also a few pubs and restaurants scattered around Batu Feringghi, inside hotels and along the streets.

War Museum

Rated highly in Asia's most haunted sites, the Penang War Museum is a hidden gem! This place preserves the harsh reality of war that this island has endured under the British and the Japanese during the WW2. Be amazed! Be spooked! It's all an enjoyable experience!

Chinese New Year

When : 21 Jan to 20 Feb

Celebrated by Chinese community, this celebration also known as the Spring Festival, falls on the new moon that begins annually between January 21 and February 20, and ends on the 15th day. Throughout the celebrations there are many stages set up for performers featuring traditional music, dragon and lion dance.


Pai Ti Kong 

When : Between Jan and Feb, on the 9th day of Lunar New Year

9th Day of Chinese New Year is Ti Kong Seh in Hokkien (Jade emperor God’s birthday), also the 1st day of Hokkien New Year.  Annually starting at 11pm the Hokkiens gather at Chew Jetty and pray to the Jade Emperor. This form of praying involves offering fires and gratuitous fireworks that light up the night.

Chap Goh Meh

When : Between Jan and Feb, on the 15th day of Lunar New Year

Celebrates on the 15th night of the Lunar New Year, it is also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day. On this night, with the full moon shining down, young ladies of marrying age venture out to popular sea promenades to throw oranges into the sea, wishing for a good soul mate.


When : End of Jan and beginning of Feb

Celebrated by the Tamil community, catch to see kavadi bearers and lots of coconuts smashing that symbolize "the breaking of one's ego to reveal purity inside" around the streets of Penang.

Wesak Day 

When : Between May and June

Observed by devotees to celebrate Buddha's birthday, enlightenment and achievement of Nirvana. In the evening there is a procession of floats decked with colorful flowers and bright lights accompanied by children singing and monks chanting prayers while sprinkling holy water throughout the journey.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri 

When : 1st day of shawwal islamic calendar

Celebrated by the Muslims, it begins after the conclusion of the Ramadan, holy month of fasting. The first three days usually reserved for catching up with families, neighbors and friends, some even holds open houses and invites other races to share conversation and variety of traditional delicacies.


When : between Oct and Nov

Colorful festival, also known as "The Festival of Lights" and is celebrated by the Hindus

George Town Festival 

When : between Aug and Sep

An annual, month-long celebration of culture, heritage, art, and community. The festival transforms the city into a global stage, showcasing local and international artists, performers, photographers, musicians, designers, speakers, and more, exposing to the international performing arts scene

Hungry Ghost Festival 

When : between Aug and Sep

Celebrated on a grand scale in Penang, the Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated with makeshift altars erected at roadsides with giant joss sticks lit and food offered, as well as Chinese opera performances

Penang Island Jazz Festival

When : End of Nov 

Features local and international performers at its main and fringe stages throughout the island

Penang International Dragon Boat Festival      

When : Dec

Held in conjunction with Pesta Pulau Pinang and is a tradition to honor the "spirit of the dragon" and the spirit of unity as the participants work together as a team  for one common purpose

Pesta Chingay, Lion & Dragon Dance Parade     

When : Dec

Displaying of troupe members' skills in balancing stilt poles during the street parade.


Interaction with local volunteers and make new friends. Learn and re-learn cultures, beliefs and traditions
Explore Penang’s unique street art, filled richly with pre-war architecture and local lifestyles.
Sample Penang delicious platter of food that never seems to surprise or even end..!There are activities for land, sea and hills!


Through our partnership with other local communities, we are able to bring them income through the alternative tourism programs and they too have open up their houses and hearts to share more about their way of life – preserving the pride and importance of diversity of our unique blend of cultures.

Sustainable and nature conservation tourism

Duration : 8 Days 7Nights

See the greener side of Penang, a gem like no other! Explore trekking within the Malaysia’s smallest forest tropical reserve, Go camping in the wild, Learn about Penang’s unique multicultural values through an interesting hands on experience, try batik painting and bring it as a souvenir back home and enjoy a platter of Penang’s delicious delights!

Extreme 360 Intense Challenge camp

Duration : 6 Days 5 Nights

Are you ready for a challenge? Go for an independent treasure hunt around Georgetown and beyond, hike the highest peak of Penang in the evening, wake up to a 360 ride around the beautiful island of Penang, interact with the local youths, go thrive the obstacles of ESCAPE park and enjoy water activities along the shores of Penang!

Kids Summer Camp

Duration : 6 Days 5 Nights

An exciting educational program for kids. We will have English lessons (or any lessons required). We will explore Georgetown and its rich heritage, meet and interact with local kids, try different types of Asian food and attempt to try different methods of eating. We will also go for adventurous safe hikes and have a good time kayaking the beautiful shores of Penang.

The colors of Penang Photography CAMP

Duration : 6 Days 5 Nights

For those who have an eye for beauty, Penang is captivating! Richly blended in multi-culture and truly Asia – we indeed have it all! Go through the unique streets of Georgetown where everyday folk life goes on, explore the highest peak in Penang for a sunrise or sunset shot over the majestic city of Penang, learn and gain hands on practical experience of local practices and cultures, interact with like minded photography enthuses and discover hidden photo worthy sites in the nooks and corners of Penang.

Nature conservation and sustainable tourism

Breakthrough Camp – with YMCA of Hong Kong Uni Y

Extreme 360 with the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong

YMCA Tochigi’s Parents and Kids programs

If you are interested to know more about the Alternative Tourism programs of YMCA of Penang, you may contact them through:

Michael Cheong


Or visit Website YMCA  of Penang