Queensbay Mall is the latest place to shop in Penang. The project was delayed after the 1997 financial crisis and is finally open in December 2006. It has an excellent view of Pulau Jerejak and Penang Bridge.
It has the one largest shopping area with Jusco as the main tenant. Borders Bookshop with its Starbucks cafe is a popular place to browse and surf with one's notebook. There is a popular modern cineplex, an excellent halal Arena foodcourt with choices of Penang famous streetfood and a roller skater rink crowded during school holidays.
Parking for both indoor and outdoor is only RM1 per entry. There is now Rapid Penang bus that stopover here.
As tThe mall is actually next to the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, it also a popular lunch place for those working in the factories. Most of the high end shopping from moved from Bukit Jambul Complexs to Queensbay Mall. Queensbay Mall and Gurney Plaza are now both the premier shopping places for locals and visiting tourists.
You will suddenly find yourself in "Thailand" when you visit this group of stalls of Thai authentic food, handicraft, clothes, begs, jewelry, souvenir, on-site massage, etc, at one of the shopping mall.
This picture is taken at Midland One-Stop Mall at Jalan Burma. I have seen this same set of stalls set up in Komtar, Island Plaza and Prangin Mall.
So you do not need to go to Haadyai or Thailand as the stalls are run by Thais who are from mainly southern Thailand.
- Souvenirs at Kek Lok Si
There is a covered winding passage filled with traders selling souvenirs that leads you up to the temple.
The biggest shopping landmark is KOMTAR (Kompleks Tuanku Abdul Rahman) at Jalan Penang.
- Jalan Penang with Komtar in the centre, offers good value for clothes, shoes, electronics and everyday goods. Opposite Komtar there is a collection of small shops offering batik, jewellery, pewter, and handicraft.
- Lebuh Bishop and Lebuh Chulia are good places for curios and antiques while Jalan Kapitan Keling is noted for Indian goldsmiths.
- Penang is well known for its mobile night market, or 'pasar malam' which offers goods ranging from household items to clothes, knick-knacks and food.
Currently the No. 1 Shopping Center in Penang for tourists. It is popular with locals but the price is above local average as many of the outlets are selling mainly well known branded clothes and electronic gadgets.
Very pleasant shopping atmosphere and easy access floor to floor by escalaters.. There are lifts too. Also it rather complete with cinemas, 3 bookstores, all the franchise fast food and restaurants and next to Gurney Drive's famous foodstalls.
The new shopping mall "Queensbay Mall" in town when all the outlets are open may be a serious challenge to Gurney Plaza. But for the time being, if you can only visit one mall, go to Gurney Plaza.
The Flea Markets are in Georgetown near the prison... They start around 7 am on a Sunday. These markets sell a lot of local produce (some strage fruits and vegetables that I'd never seen before), a lot of second hand 'junk', watches, jewellery, t-shirts, handbags etc. I didn't think these markets were as good as the night markets but the girls still bought a lot of stuff...
Sunshine Square is a Penang success history of a small supermarket which started as Suiwah Bayan Baru that has made it and have several supermarkets throughout Penang.
This location in Bayan Baru is the earliest and still popular as others like Bukit Jambul Complexs, Tesco, Giant and now Queensbay Mall have popped out in the nieghborhood.
It is near the wet market and a large hawker center. Due to its convenient location and easy parking, it is still a place to shop for daily essentials and for new wardrobe for the new year at competitive price. Pricing is probably the most attractive reason why local shoppers still flock to this location especially when there is sale.
The other popular Sunshine location is Sunshine in Farlim, Air Itam.
There are many stalls when you walk along the steps up the Kek Lok Si from the ground car park. While the Kek Lok Si temple closes at 6pm, many of the stalls on weekdays start closing after 5pm. So go in the morning or early afternoon on weekdays. More tourists on weekends and so hours will be longer.
If you were dropped at the mid-hill car park at the Vegetarian Restaurant, you can walk down these same steps on your way back.
There are Penang item souvenir and many items that are from China. Bargaining is a must and can go down to 50-70% less than the offering price. Take you time to go from stall to stall. Let the seller offer the best price.
Enjoy bargaining and getting the best deal.
Chowrasta Market started up as a wet market in 1890 and the current building in 1920. So it has been an age old landmark of Penang Road (Jalan Penang).
What to buy: The front of the building is similar shops all selling Penang specialty food products like preserve nutmeg, famous biscuits like "Tau Sah Peah" and nonya type shrimp products in bottles and paste.
The back of the building is still a wet market selling vegetables and fresh meat. Upstairs are stalls selling textiles, clothes and used books.
Around the building, there are other food stalls as well as "Nasi Kandar" Indian Muslim restaurants.
Most tourists will stop at the Titi Kerawan stalls on the way round Penang Island.
During the fruit seasons, you will see the famous Balik Pulau durians on sale, the smell is heavenly great or hellish overwhelming depending on your preference. Other less controversial local seasonal fruits like rambutan ("hairy ones"), mangosteens and chempedak will be on sale.
Throughout the year, you can get local Penang product of nutmeg and nutmeg oil. As usual, be prepared to bargain to get your best price and value for money.
Here is a list of my favorite shops to buy stamps:
Komtar, Block B1 (Tun Abdul Razak Complexs)
1) Picton Stamp (604) 2614293 (Level 1)
2) Pearl Trader Stamp & Money Changer (Level 1)
3) Penang Stamp & Coin (Level 3)
Weld Quay Area (near Ferry)
4) Picton - Main branch, 49-C Weld Quay (Opposite Shell Petrol Station)
5) Penang General Post Office - selected collection, first day covers
What to pay: Loose used stamps go for 20 sen a piece. Ask for discount if you are buying more.
One of the most popular shopping center in Bayan Lepas area.
Bukit Jambul Complex has plenty of shops, Fajar supermarket selling Malay products, mobile phone accessories, Popular Bookstore, DVD/Computer CDs,a modern cineplex, bowling alleys, restaurants.
There is a taxi stand and a major bus stop on the main road of the shopping complex.
Bukit Jambul Complex is walking distance from Vistana hotel, there is a shuttle from Hotel Equatorial and it is 20 minutes from the airport if there is no traffic jam.
Giant Hypermarket is a Malaysian brand that is well known as selling local merchandise and grocery at the best price.
Giant at Bayan Baru has opened recently. It is located near Bayan Baru Market and Sunshine Square. Parking is free.
So check out what is available local Malaysia products and groceries in spacious air condition environment.
This historic building was used for decades to sell UK cars like Austin, Morris and Jaguar. Then it was left delipated before being refurbished into a art, curio and souvenir mall.
The inside of the building has a replica street of Penang complete with shops with econd floor "windows". There are also cafes and restaurants for lunch and dinners.
In the evening, there are several entertainment outlets. Worth a stop to shop or for a look if you are in Upper Penang Road.
Royal Selangor is an international brand for fine pewter whether a pewter vase, beer mug, picture frame or salt shaker.
As Malaysia was once the world largest producer of tin, it is not surprising that pewter ware has become a thing to buy besides batik.
There are other local brands like Penang Pewter which are of more competitive price but Royal Selangor hass made its name world wide. I particularly like their gift wrap. An excellent souvenir or birthday gift.
There are several branches of Royal Selangor in Penang including this one at Gurney Plaza.
Penang "tau sar peah" is very famous. There are different brands including Him Heang (which is sold only at its production outlet and not retailed out), Ghim Heang. etc.
Nutmeg of different dryness preparation and flavoring is also a popular souvenir gift.
Durian cake (doldol) is an interesting gift to bring back for sampling.
Penang rojak sauce, prawn paste (hae kor) and belacan (prawn paste cube) are popular for Penangites staying overseas.
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