Pub/night club, Penang
For some reason, I was really looking forward to this joint since it has been touted as a happening spot in VT. Also, it kinda look charming from all the photos I've seen. A retro-looking night spot housed in a colonial house. But when I was there on a Friday night, it was quiet, too spooky-quiet, I thought. Nary a soul in sight despite the loud music coming from inside! And to make the whole experience worse, 2 transvestites ( they were loitering outside ) started whistling at my husband. Arrgh, just my bloody luck, I swore under my breath, grabbed my husband's hand and stormed to another location.
Penangite Chin later explained that Leith St has seen its heyday and now the happening spots in town have shifted elsewhere. He brought us to SOHO later for a pint of beer to cool our spirits..
Dress Code: Since I didn't see anybody there except for those 2 gender - benders, I'd say a dress with sparkles on it..
I suppose this is now the happening spot in town since 20 Leith St has strangely fallen out of vogue. If you want to go a loud and happening place, this is the place ! Loud because you'll constantly hear a whole string of American retro hits being belted out. Happening because you'll see huge crowds of expats, caucasian backpackers and the local yuppies lounging by the ubiquitous pool table and TV set. This whole place is modelled after an English tavern so it'll have some ol' favourites like spinach soup, fish and chips and stout.
Try: This is the only place in town that serves decent Kilkenny Draft Beer. 500ml goes for RM20+ . But since I'm not really a fan of the Irish ale, I went for the best selling Dutch beer.
Happy hours are from 5pm-9pm . We found out later that there was a cover charge (RM10?15?) after 930pm.
Dress Code: Casual as casual gets.
Call me patriotic or eccentric, but it is my habit to try the Singapore Sling in every Raffles owned/Raffles-related hotel in every part of the world. Be it Siem Reap or Switzerland! So Penang shouldn't be an exception. Though E&O Hotel (Georgetown, Penang) isn't owned by Raffles, it was built by the same billionaire and similarities abound. So it wasn't too surprising to find Farquhar's Bar, a little european-esque bar that hark back to the good ol' days of Malaya. It was similar to Singapore's Long Bar but much quieter . And it wasn't too difficult to picture pompous colonial masters over here, in their khaki best of course, celebrating over a cigar after shooting a hapless tiger or two. Well since there are no tigers to be had now, the best I can do was to sip on their Singapore Sling. It was good. Not as sweet and pink as the one in Long Bar ( less grenadine syrup perhaps?) but more gin-worthy. I was flushed red by the time I finished my Sling.
Operating hours: 5 pm to 12 am weekdays and 1.00 pm - 12.30 am weekends.
I guess if you're young, restless and loaded with ringgit in Penang, the best place to hang out would be SegaFredo at Upper Penang Road ( close to E&O hotel). The last time I was there at a long weekend, there were throngs of trendy young locals over there sipping on RM12 expressos and celebrating Halloween at the same time with ghastly face paint . Funny I just don't see the relation between horror and caffeine. As for me, I didn't give a damm how chic this place was and the last thing I wanted to do was to cover my face with faux blood. I was there because I was desperate for a good cuppa and the local brew (RM1) somehow just didn't satiate my caffeine addiction. I needed good strong expresso! After making a couple of checks, I discovered this joint and Gloria Jean's@ The Garage ( right in front of E&O). But I settled for this place as it serves a better range of coffee at cheaper prices and I could have the option of taking my drinks al fresco. Suits me just fine. I had an expresso followed by a choc milkshake ( choc shiok) out in the open and people-watched the whole night long.
Try: The Choc Milkshake, it's thick and deliciously cold and creamy
Avoid:The Tiramisu. Ghastly Taste, no lady's fingers and definitely no Tia Maria.
this is my favorite spot for a drink. u might want to know why... it's simply because the place is small but cozy. further more, i enjoy looking at 2 regular "customers" in the hunt for their victims. hee... 2 trans, to be exact. by the way, they are hot and sexy, under the dim light u can't even differentiate their real gender. during weekend, the place will be crowded with western tourist and locals (and of course my two dearest "idols", hee...). oh... before i forget, watch out for more trans down the road outside of Soho. for guys, u will flattered with all sort of name they address you.
Dress Code: no dress code
20th Leith Street has been around for years & patrons usually go there for drinks, live band and quiet atmosphere.
20th Leith Street (named after it's address) in between a restaurant and bar, and Jaipur Court, a North Indian restaurant. This stretch of building was originally servant quarters for Cheong Fatt Tze mansion (just opposite).
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Opened 8 years ago and still as popular as ever. Couple of years ago, they opened the second level, after closing down the other branch "SOHO Beach Club @ Batu Ferringhi".So, now you can enjoy two floors of entertainment with different concepts for a splendid night out: ground floor provides up-beat music to party all night long and for people watching, very interesting characters on the ground floor.(If you think it's a girl sitting next to you, do a double take). On the second level, is for those who like to chill out in classy Victorian surroundings.
This has been my wateringhole for 8 years. The reason why I keep going back year after year - it's the people. From the owner Dave, Richard the manager, to DJ Joel and all the other staff have always made me feel so at home in their company. Especially Richard, for all the time that I was there, he has taken care of me, and took me to some of the most fantastic eating places in Penang.
Dress Code: Casual, leave the coats and tie in the hotel room!
About 100 m from Grand Plaza Park Royal, right on the beach under a big shady tree is SUNSET BISTRO. An ideal setting for an afternoon beer on the beach and as the day winds down, a nice place to relax with your Tiger, and enjoy the sea breeze.
You can either sit at the bar, verandah or right on the beach - that's a front row ticket to an evening sunset.
A chilled Tiger, samosas and chicken wings, is highly recommended.
Dress Code: Casual wear, beach wear, but not in your birthday suit.
A popular tourist / traveller hangout. Serves you western and local. I doubt I need to explain more on what's here... oh, the local reggae people are the Malay's.
From what I know, it's 'the' place for travellers to catch up with stuff and so on. Well, if you're there, don't forget to pop by. ☺
Dress Code: Anything goes.
By looking at this place you would be puzzled as what it had to offer it's patrons. Never been inside I always pass this place and one fine day, I just had to get a picture of it.
It's located along Chulia Street in Penang which is famous for it's backpackers lodging and cafe's. Note the side lane stalls beside the HK Bar, It's stalls like these which actually serve the best foods around.
The Pub 20 Leith Street is named after it own address. This nightspot has ample parking space, food stalls and an outdoor beer garden. The bar and dafts room are inside the charming 1931 colonial manion. A deejay spins records from 9 pm nightly and there is a small dance floor.
Open from 5 pm daily for happy hours till 9 pm, it closes at 2 am on weekdays and at 3 am on weekends.
In Penang there are a lot of different night clubs... The biggest part situated at Penang Upper Road.
The area around SOHO is full of "Ladyguys," and there are a lot of western and indian people at Soho. Still its a very nice place with great music and a dancefloor.
Else there is Momo, new opened disco - very nice. Outside it looks like a hotel with beach chairs, lying chairs, live music and good bartenders in the bar.
GLO is also a nice place with dancefloor.
Slippery Senoritas is a great place if you want to catch some live music and modern music in the breakes.
Finally we have Chill Out and Mambo. 3 discos at the same place. You can go from one to another in the same building. Its situated at Gurney Tower and surrounded by Coffe Bean and Starbucks. Really a nice place, but the music is loud.... They play 3 different types of music... Dance, hip hop R`n`b, live music....
Just across the bridge, in Butterworth, there are a big party area too called Auto City. There they have a SOHO 2. And alot of other Disco. At Discovery they play hardcore techno....
Dress Code: No dresscode
It's said the Penang nightlife is great, like at the "Garage", "Chill Out", "Slippery Seniorina's", "Modesto" Disco and LUSH. Last one is a "champain" bar where house music will beat you down. Also some hotels have a great selection of nightlife, included the pub over there...
Dress Code: If you don't know where to go watch your eye! The ladymen, lady boys, sheboys, penang-ladyboy, shemales, katoeys dance around the Penang Island and ... the fewer the tourists, the higher the prices. Unless you'll go for the incredible beauty of these remarkable creatures! They even swarm around the hotels ...
Having bored of the bright lights & disco beat of the Upper Penang Rd I decided I wanted to listen to music that the locals listened to in a venue that was preferably devoid of tourists.
After engaging the opinion of a group of taxi drivers I opted for a 'Dangdut' nightclub called 'Queens' which is situated in the Queensbay Mall area of Penang, taxi cost RM30 from Penang Rd.
I had never heard of Dangdut before & was informatively enlightened that it is a fusion of Indonesian/Malay/Indian music. Intriguing indeed!
As the taxi approached my destination I could already hear the rhythmic beat emanating from this place & I thought WOW, this place rocks!
Upon entering (no cover charge) the welcome I got was both enthusiastic & very friendly & the sound & light system was; well awesome.
The place was packed & the music was definitely different to the regurgitated sounds emitted from the popular Georgetown venues, but best of all there was a live Dangdut Band & they were superb.
The best way to describe Dangdut would be a measured blend of teasing singing, electrified effects, rock guitar, with the gendang drums & flutes clear but not overwhelming in the background.
I felt content that my desire for an alternative night out listening to local music had been fulfilled, it was a fantastic night out & Queens is one venue I would highly recommend especially if you are seeking an alternative music scene.
Dress Code: It did not seem apparent if there were any dress restrictions, there were no indications of any at the entrance & the staff on duty did not inform me of any such restrictions.
I would imagine that smart/casual is the order of the day judging by the attire of other patrons of the establishment.
Batu Ferringhi was a good choice to stay at in Penang as this place comes alive at night and our hotel was close to the action. The night markets were fun to wander around.
But after a big of walking, we built up a thirst ;o) So we found ourselves at the pub right next to my favourite restaurant Magic 1.
The Wooden Pub is well known for it's rustic wooden bar and furniture. Coupled with nice lighting and a cozy atmosphere, this pub is the place! :o) Check out the photos.