Penang: Nightlife

Pearl of the Orient

Penang Nightlife

In recent years, the nightlife scene in Penang has grown to massive proportions. During weekends, crowds of people are attracted to the pubs, bars, discos, nightclubs and karaoke lounges dotting the major cities. These are great places to socialise; many of these establishments have large dance floors to accommodate a big crowd, which multiplies during festival seasons. Most also come with their own in-house restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat in between dances.

The nightlife in Penang is as vibrant as its shopping and food choices. Many entertainment venues are concentrated around George Town, the capital city, specifically in one spot called the 'Upper Penang Road'. Historically, this was the residence of Ku Din Ku Meh, a nineteenth century Rajah. Today, his mansion is now a swanky boutique hotel that's surrounded by clubs and pubs with exciting light displays. Besides chilling and dancing in clubs, there is of course karaoke – many karaoke bars are open to the early hours of the morning.

The nightlife in Batu Ferringhi is centered on its 'Pasar Malam' (night market). It is open in the evening until past midnight, and is a bazaar of make-shift stalls opened by local traders offering an assortment of goods ranging from souvenirs to snacks and clothes to electronics. Besides the market, there are some pubs and restaurants inside hotels and shops which you can sample.

Arguably, the high point of Gurney's nightlife is the hawker stalls. Many locals or visitors come here during the night to feast on hawker food and just chill out with a drink or two. For more conventional nightlife, the row of hotels that line Gurney's esplanade are great places to find pubs and bars, offering cocktails, snacks and live bands.