Pulau Pinang, as it is known locally, is the northern gateway to Malaysia and also the country's oldest British settlement. The word "Pinang" in Malay refers to the areca nut palm, which provides the betel nut, an essential ingredient in a delicacy chewed by millions in the Far East. Today Georgetown is noted for the largest collection of pre-war houses in all of Southeast Asia and the Penang Heritage Trust has been established to maintain its unique heritage.
The following Shore Excursions are available for this port on this cruise, and may be reserved beginning 240 days before the cruise begins for guests receiving Concierge amenities, and 180 days before the cruise begins for all other guests. Guests receiving Concierge amenities will receive a 5% discount off of the prices shown below for Regent Choice tours.
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
Ride a tram to the top of Penang Hill for a spectacular view of Georgetown and beyond, and then visit a Buddhist temple so famous that it has become an icon of Malaysia.
After departing from the pier, you will drive inland to the town of Air Itam, which means “black water” in Malay, a reference to the darkness of a nearby river. Although the town originally developed because of the ideal agricultural conditions, today Air Itam is more renowned for being the home of Malaysia’s largest Chinese Buddhist temple.
As a scenic introduction to town, you will first ascend Penang Hill on a railway tram. The views of Georgetown and the Straits of Malacca on the way to the top are outstanding, as the peak rises more than 2,700 feet above sea level. Upon arriving, you will notice that the temperature is significantly cooler, one reason that the British colonials built homes here.
After taking in the magnificent views and then descending Penang Hill, you will drive to Kek Lok Si Temple, a sprawling Buddhist complex built in the early 20th century. The highlight is its towering seven-story Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas, whose stunning design is Chinese, Thai and Burmese. Inside, you will behold a 100-foot-tall statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, before walking to the Liberation Pond.
Turtles are often set free here, as they are considered sacred and symbolize longevity. Following your tour of Kek Lok Si, you will re-board your coach and travel back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes just over 2-hours of moderate to strenuous walking that includes over 200 steps at the temple. Participants must be able to enter and exit the tram with limited assistance. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not recommended for those with mobility concerns. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Explore Georgetown's history and culture during this orientation tour of the city, and tea at the Eastern and Oriental Hotel.
Depart the pier for the drive past Fort Cornwallis, the site where Capt. Francis Light first landed, en route to the Penang Museum. Next, you will drive to the Thai temple of Wat Chayamangkalaram, which houses the 108-foot long figure of the reclining Buddha. From here, you will continue on to the Khoo Clan Ancestral House to admire its intricate carvings and woodwork.
Following tea served in the charming, Old World setting of the Eastern and Oriental Hotel, your tour will conclude with a stop at the Chew Jetty, an early Chinese settlement where houses are built on stilts along the waterfront.
Please note: You must remove your shoes before entering the Wat Chayamangkalaram temple.
Georgetown’s rich heritage comes to life as you explore its landmark temples and historical residences, which include an ornate mansion, clan house and Chinese immigrant community.
After departing from the pier, you will drive through Georgetown, a former trading post that was under British colonial rule until 1957. So many reminders of its illustrious past have been restored that Georgetown has become a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
For an enlightening look into its religious heritage, you will visit the Reclining Buddha Temple, known locally as the Sleeping Buddha Temple. Built in 1845, the temple houses an enormous, gold-plated statue of Buddha in a reclining position that symbolizes complete peace. A short walk across the street brings you to an even older Burmese Buddhist temple, the only one outside of Myanmar. Small statues of serene-faced Buddha left by devotees and beautiful murals depicting Buddha’s journey adorn the inside.
Then, it’s on to Chung Keng Kooi Mansion, also known as Baba Nyonya Mansion. Beautifully ornate and full of antiques, it was once the home of a Chinese Kapitan that was the head of the Hai San secret society. For a different perspective of Chinese family life, you will see Khoo Kongsi, a 650-year-old clan house built to celebrate the success of the Khoo family.
Finally, on the way back to the pier, you will stop at Chew Jetty, a settlement of wooden houses on stilts that Chinese immigrants built in the 19th century.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of moderate walking/standing that includes some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light cotton clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended."
Journey to the seaside district of Teluck Bahang for a scenic visit to the renowned Butterfly Farm and Tropical Spice Garden. A nature tour that features the flora and fauna of Penang.
Depart the pier for a leisurely drive towards the northern tip of the island, enjoying the coastal views as you pass beautiful coves and bays of Batu Ferringhi, where you’ll visit the Entopia Butterfly Farm, where butterflies and insects are free to come out to play. The new and restructured facilities offer world-class and meaningful experiences, with over 150 species of flora and fauna for you to discover. The unique design of the tropical setting on this fascinating tour will enable you to observe a live exhibition of insects and other rare insect species from the tropical jungle thriving in their natural environment.
Next, you will visit the Tropical Spice Garden, an eight-acre paradise showcasing a living collection of more than 500 species of local and introduced flora, with an emphasis on the conservation of tropical herbs and spices from Malaysia and around the world. It is also home to wild animals, birds and insects. Step into it and let nature’s sights, smells, sounds, of this lush tropical eco-system, take over offering a tranquil retreat.
Please note: This tour involves approximately 2-hours of walking, some on uneven paths and slopes. Tour is not recommended for wheel chair guests or those with mobility issues. Long pants, insect repellent, a hat and good walking shoes are recommended.
Discover your artistic side while learning the ancient art of Batik during this scenic and informative tour of Penang (Georgetown).
Depart the pier for the drive to the seaside district of Teluk Bahang and to one of the pioneers of batik manufacturing on the island. At the Penang Batik Factory, unlike the usual one-sided print, each piece features patterns and colors on both sides of the fabric. Upon arrival, a local artisan will teach you the traditional way to make your own hand-drawn, 36 x 36-inch Batik cotton voile scarf using wax and dyes.
Malaysian Batik is created by four methods: block-printing, hand-drawn freestyle, silk-screening and tie-dyeing. Batik fabrics are typically cotton and silk. Block-printed Batik cloth is produced by dipping the copper mould design in wax, then stamping and dyeing the material. After the first dyed color has dried, a second wax design is stamped and the material is dyed again. After repeating this process two or three times, the wax is melted away by boiling the cloth; resulting in an intricate and beautifully-colored design.
Should you want to keep your creation,after the necessary treatment to set the colors, if the piece does dry on time, it will be packed and mailed to your residence at no extra cost.
You will also have an opportunity to buy batik clothing at the Boutique, where batik-print men's dress shirts, sarongs, scarves and more (even haute couture gowns) can be found.
Following your visit, you will be transferred back to the pier.
Please note: Walking is limited on this tour. However, participants will have to stand during most of the 1-hour workshop.
This full day adventure that covers some of Penang's most notable attractions begins with a scenic drive to Kek Lok Si Temple. The largest temple in Southeast Asia, it is majestically situated on a hilly slope that commands amazing views over Georgetown. Built in tiers, this sprawling temple complex is dominated by the magnificent seven-story Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas and the enormous bronze statue of the Goddess Kuan Yin. Located within the temple grounds you'll also find tranquil gardens, a turtle pond and numerous decorative shrines and sculptures.
Proceeding on, you'll next make a stop at the Baba Nyonya Museum also known as the Chung Keng Kooi Mansion. This was formerly a private home belonging to a Chinese Kapitan who was the head of the Hai San secret society. The house has been wonderfully restored and the antique furniture and woodwork is simply awesome. Following your visit, you'll transfer to one of the area's leading restaurants for an appetizing buffet lunch of international favorites.
The afternoon begins with a visit to a Batik factory. Malaysian Batik is created by four methods: block-printing, hand-drawn freestyle, silk-screening and tie-dyeing. Batik fabrics are typically cotton and silk. Block-printed Batik cloth is produced by dipping the copper mould design in wax, then stamping and dyeing the material. After the first dyed color has dried, a second wax design is stamped and the material is dyed again. After repeating this process two or three times, the wax is melted away by boiling the cloth; resulting in an intricate and beautifully-colored design. After an enlightening visit, you'll re-join your coach and take a relaxing drive through the surrounding pastoral hills and countryside, capturing views of rural life in Penang before arriving at one of the area's fruit stands for a brief stop. Here, you will have a chance to see first-hand the vast variety of local fruits and spices grown on the island before making your way to a typical Malay Village for a photo stop.
As you make your way back to the pier by way of the picturesque coastal road, you'll be able to get a good view of the Penang Bridge, reputed to be the fifth largest in the world. A final tour stop at the bridge to capture some pictures brings your day to a close.
Please note: The sights on this tour are not wheelchair accessible and therefore it is not recommended for wheelchair guests. The tour includes a substantial amount of walking which can be strenuous at times and over 100 steps to negotiate. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Lightweight clothing, hats, comfortable walking shoes, sun screen and insect repellant are suggested. The order of sights visited may vary to avoid overcrowding.
Terms & Conditions:
Free Unlimited Shore Excursions are for full fare guests only, capacity controlled and subject to availability. Requested excursions may not be available at time of booking. Supplement will apply on Regent Choice excursions (indicated by the above) and excludes Private Arrangements and all Adventures Ashore programs. Concierge benefits do not apply to Executive Collection private cars or other private arrangements. In order to ensure quality guides and sufficient transportation, we must provide the tour operator with passenger counts at least 36 hours in advance. Therefore no refunds will be given within 36 hours of tour departure for cancellations or no-shows. Please pay special attention to scheduling and tour lengths when booking your shore excursions. In many cases, it is not possible to participate in more than one tour per day in a given port. Tour Departure times are subject to change so please reference your actual tour ticket for the correct departure time. Tours operate rain or shine. Minor children 17 years and under must be accompanied by a an adult 18 years or older on all shore excursions. Tours require minimum participation levels to operate so please sign up as early as possible. Tours may be cancelled if minimum participation levels are not met. Prices, Itineraries and General Information shore excursion prices are subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases or currency fluctuations. Please consult the Destination Services Desk onboard for information. During local or national holidays, access to certain facilities (such as museums or archaeological sites) may be limited or denied. In such instances, adjustments will be made to minimize inconvenience to guests. Some tours have limited availability. Tours are generally available for reserving 180 days prior to the beginning of a cruise. Please sign up early to avoid disappointment. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserves the right to require guests to complete a liability waiver for select shore excursions. For more information, please visit the Destination Services Desk onboard.