Penang Souvenirs And What To Buy In Penang

Bring back a Penang souvenir home to your friends and family!

Penang has artsy crafts made with skill that has transcended generations! And a variety of mouth-watering food souvenirs!

You can pick up souvenirs easily as they are often near to popular attractions and come in handy little packages!

Table Of Contents:

Penang Food Souvenirs

Penang is synonymous with food.

So not surprisingly, the recommended souvenirs to get are food!

Food is always a safe option if you do not know what to buy in Penang!

1. Penang Tau Sar Piah – Tambun Biscuits

Made out of simple ingredients like wheat flour, sugar, green beans, fried onions, vegetable oil and salt:

These ping pong ball sized biscuits pack a punch with a sweet and savoury crumbly filling in a flaky crust.

Tambun Biscuit From Him Heang, Penang
Tambun Biscuit From Him Heang, Penang – photo credits to mr.shugan (Instagram)

A must have treat for your family, friends, colleagues and yourself!

Him Heang

Location: 162A, Jalan Burma, 10050 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 5pm (Closed on Sundays)

Contact: +604-228 6129

Other Recommendations:

  • Soon Hiang Biscuit Shop 順香餅家 (Local favourite)

2. Beh Teh Saw Biscuits

Beh teh saw (Hokkien) go by a different name in Ipoh – Heong peah (Cantonese). These cup shaped pastries have a flaky exterior with a sweet and sticky filling.

Beh Teh Saw Traditional Penang Biscuits
Beh Teh Saw Traditional Penang Biscuits – photo credits to johnniemarathon (Instagram)

Ingredients include wheat molasses, sugar, wheat flour, peanut oil, sesame seeds and fried onions.

And they are made through a laborious and unique baking method!

Him Heang has perfected this recipe for generations!

Him Heang

Location: 162A, Jalan Burma, 10050 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 5pm (Closed on Sundays)

Contact: +604-228 6129

3. Pepper Biscuits

For people who like a hint of spice, the humble pepper biscuit uses Chinese five-spice as its main ingredient.

Pepper Biscuits Make Good Penang Souvenirs
Pepper Biscuits Make Good Penang Souvenirs – photo credits to joie430 (Instagram)

It’s actually a thinner variant of Kampar chicken biscuits (kai chai peng in Cantonese)!

The overall taste is actually more savory than sweet.

Ban Heang (萬香) Branch In Penang
Ban Heang (萬香) Branch In Penang – photo credits to dayananazri (Instagram)

You can get this particular pastry at Ban Heang (Thousand Fragrance) on Jalan Macalister.

Or at Ng Kee Cake Shop, a 85-year old business that specializes in these biscuits!

Ban Heang Bakery

Location: 200, Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm

Contact: +604-229 5018

Ng Kee Cake Shop

Location: 61, Lebuh Cintra, George Town, 10100 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm (Closes at 4pm on Sundays)

Contact: +604-261 2229

4. Crushed Peanut Candy

Crushed peanut candy or kacang tumbuk (in Malay) is a timeless candy. Generations of Malaysians still enjoy this novel candy as it brings a sense of nostalgia!

Peanut Candy By Ang Seng Heong - Biscuit Cookies Store (洪成香), Penang
Peanut Candy By Ang Seng Heong – Biscuit Cookies Store (洪成香), Penang – photo credits to jamietan04 (Instagram)

Elders like this candy as well as it is neither too sweet, salty or crunchy! The texture is chewy but easy on the jaws!

If you happen to pass through Jalan Perak, you can witness how peanut candy is made!

Ang Seng Heong Enterprise

Location: 326-U Ground Floor, Jalan Perak, Taman Ara, 11600 George Town

Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 7pm (Monday until 6pm)

Contact: +6012-933 4448

5. Nutmeg Products

Nutmeg has been around for centuries in this region! Its history as a precious agricultural commodity hails back to the 19th century!

Europeans considered nutmeg to be a luxury good out of all their favourite spices in this region.

Learn About Nutmegs At The Ghee Hup Nutmeg Factory In Penang
Learn About Nutmegs At The Ghee Hup Nutmeg Factory In Penang – photo credits to joshuatan_spa (Instagram)

Hence, in the early 1800s, nutmeg was brought into Penang under the East India Company.

Where the locals discovered multiple uses for this plant and its seed!

Uses of Nutmeg:

  • Medicated oils
  • Mace (A spice made from nutmeg seeds to flavour food or for medicinal purposes)
  • Balm
  • Syrup
  • Preserved fruit flavouring

Ghee Hup Nutmeg Factory

Location: MK 3, 202A, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Kampung Sungai Pinang, 11000 Balik Pulau, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm

Contact: +6016-433 6303

Alternatively, if you have limited time, you can get nutmeg products in the city at:

Cheong Kim Chuan (Main Branch)

Location: 99-B, Lorong Selamat, George Town, 10400 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Daily from 8:30am to 5:30pm

Contact: +604-226 2375

Note: There are 2 more branches of Cheong Kim Chuan near Kek Lok Si Temple

6. MyKuali “Penang White Curry” Instant Noodle

Local grocery stores in Malaysia commonly carry these highly-rated instant noodles under the MyKuali brand!

Mykuali Penang White Curry Instant Noodles
Mykuali Penang White Curry Instant Noodles – photo credits to mykuali.net

The flavour Penang White Curry Instant Noodle is exceptionally good according to ramen enthusiasts!

And it recently ranked in second out of 31 international contenders in the L.A. Times!

A Bowl Of Mykuali Penang White Curry Instant Noodles
A Bowl Of Mykuali Penang White Curry Instant Noodles – photo credits to makijessiesoon (Instagram)

If you’re in Penang, you can try the real deal with cuttlefish, cockles, tofu and bean sprouts at the original stall on Lorong Abu Siti!

Note: It’s called white curry because the base soup is white-ish until you add the red chilli paste.

7. Pickled Fruits (Jeruk buah)

In Malaysia where fruits are abundant, there are many types that are can be preserved with brine and syrup.

Such as mango, papaya, guava, kedondong (Or ba long long in Singapore)!

Pickled Fruit By Jeruk Madu Pak Ali In Penang
Pickled Fruit By Jeruk Madu Pak Ali In Penang – photo credits to selamat_carreca (Instagram)

Preserving the fruits this way means they can keep longer but still retain their raw texture and natural flavour. A sweet and sour snack for in-between meals!

In Penang, there is a well-known chain (Jeruk Madu Pak Ali) that sells these freshly packed!

Jeruk Madu Pak Ali (George Town)

Location: 423 & 425, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours:

  • Monday to Thursday from 9am to 8pm
  • Friday to Sunday from 8:30am to 8:30pm

Contact: +6016-440 7799

8. Ghee Hiang Sesame Oil

Ghee Hiang sells arguably the best sesame oil in Malaysia! In fact, this has been and is the brand’s specialty product for over 160 years!

Ghee Hiang Sesame Seed Oil
Ghee Hiang Sesame Seed Oil – photo credits to khooleonie (Instagram)

Sesame oil can add great flavour to your cooking!

Note: The sesame oil they sell is halal-certified!

Ghee Hiang Bakery (Main Branch)

Location: 216, Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 9pm

Contact: +604-227 2222

9. Roti Jari

Roti jari has been around for some time but is recently gaining popularity in Penang’s kopitiam scene.

Penang Roti Jari Or Roti Tiau Is Best Paired With Kopi
Penang Roti Jari Or Roti Tiau Is Best Paired With Kopi – photo credits to wengbin (Instagram)

Colloquially, they are bread sticks that look like a mini French loaf. Locals like to dip this bread stick into their kopi (coffee) to let the bread soak up the coffee taste!

Biscuits Sold Loose At Hup Hoe Biscuit Shop (合和饼家) In Penang
Biscuits Sold Loose At Hup Hoe Biscuit Shop (合和饼家) In Penang – photo credits to rrainrainn (Instagram)

Hup Hoe Biscuit sells roti jari along with many local biscuits. All sold in loose form!

Hup Hoe Biscuit

Location: 1629, Jalan Besar, 14100 Simpang Ampat, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 8pm

Contact: +604-587 3949

Read more: Penang Famous Cendol – 9 Best Cendol In Penang That You Can Try Today!

Art, Handicraft Souvenir Shops In Penang

Ultimately if you want something that lasts longer than food, a handicraft makes a suitable gift!

Don’t limit yourself to Penang shopping malls or to a Penang night market either!

To start with, you might be wondering what to buy in Penang that is more traditional:

10. Batik & Songket / Silks and Batik Art

Malaysian batik is unique and requires a high level of skill to produce!

There are 2 places to get quality batik products in Penang.

One’s in George Town while the other is further at Teluk Bahang.

Note: Teluk Bahang is where ESCAPE Theme Park and Penang National Park are!

10.1. Penang Batik Factory at Teluk Bahang

Penang Batik Factory is an established traditional batik manufacturer. They have been in business since 1973!

Penang Batik Factory
Penang Batik Factory – photo credits to fluttering_th0ts (Instagram)

And specialize in hand-painted designs utilizing techniques like block printing as well! It’s free for visitors to enter the open-air factory and observe the process.

You can buy quality batik scarves, fans and clothing at their gift shop!

Note: There is the option of joining a batik painting class too!

Location: 669, 11050 Tanjung Bungah, Penang

Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm

Contact: +604-885 1284

Batik Painting Class:

  • Malaysian: RM25 (Adult/ Child)
  • Non-Malaysian: RM30 (Adult/ Child)

10.2. Sam’s Batik House

This is the place to go to stock up on stylish summer wear.

They have bedspreads, table clothes, and men and women’s clothing made of natural fabrics like cotton, viscose and silk.

With free alteration service!

Or you can get fabric with batik print on cotton voile to make your own clothes too!

Note: Bargaining is acceptable here.

Location: 183,185, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10:30am to 8pm (Closed on Sundays)

Contact: +604-262 1095

Read more: 13 Best Breakfast In Penang – With Local, Western Cafe & Halal Options

11. Photographic Prints At Studio Howard/ Shop Howard

Run by a local artist Howard Tan, there’s a gallery on Armenian Street displaying his photographs of typical George Town scenes.

StudioHoward In Penang
StudioHoward In Penang – photo belongs to shophoward (Instagram)

Besides the prints, there are calendars, postcards, magnets, stationery, bags and notebooks for sale too!

With similar merchandise for sale at his shop on Kapitan Keling Street!

Location: 154, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, 10200 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm
  • Sunday from 10:30am to 5:30pm

Contact: +604-261 1970

Read more: Penang Durian Farm (Ultimate Guide) – 9 Best Places To Eat Durian

12. 14 Living Story Handicraft Shop

At Armenian Street, there is 14 Living Story – you can spot this shop from its colourful patchwork curtains that hang in front!

Shop Front Of 14 Living Story (14号生活馆) On Armenian Stree In Penang
Shop Front Of 14 Living Story (14号生活馆) On Armenian Stree In Penang – photo credits to hakuku (Instagram)

They occasionally change it up with lanterns too! Take the time to browse through their wares!

What To Buy At 14 Living Story:

  • Malaysian batik gifts (e.g. pouches, pocket tissue covers, coasters, shirts, etc)
  • Vintage postcards and storage boxes
  • Mah-jong sets
  • Hand-made jewellery
  • Dainty ceramics
  • Prints
  • Peranakan tiles
  • Tiffin carriers
Note: The staff will pack your items accordingly if you want to bring them back to your home country!

Location: 14, Lebuh Armenian, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 6pm

Contact: +604-261 0352

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Read more: 11 Best Asam Laksa In Penang – Satisfy Your Tastebuds With This Iconic Malaysian Dish!

13. The Owl Shop – Specialized Handicrafts

Set up by an owl-obsessed duo, the quaint shop close to the main entrance of Khoo Kongsi sells everything with owls on it!

Welcome To The Owl Shop In Penang
Welcome To The Owl Shop In Penang – photo is from their Facebook page

There are wooden sculptures and ceramic or metal works of owls! Even some made of shells!

Owl Figurines And Sculptures At The Owl Shop In Penang
Owl Figurines And Sculptures At The Owl Shop In Penang – photo is from their Facebook

Things You Can Buy Here:

  • Toys
  • Caps
  • Key chains
  • Lamps
  • Home décor
  • Pouches
  • Jewellery
  • Coin purses

Location: 13, Lebuh Cannon, 10200 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 7pm

Contact: +604-261 0601

Read more: 15 Best Hotels In Penang For An Unforgettable Stay (From Budget To Luxury)

Getting To Souvenir Shops In Penang

Some places like the Batik Painting Factory in Teluk Bahang aren’t as accessible.

You can incorporate a visit to any of these places into a fully customized itinerary with private tour service, RayTheTour!

Penang Tour - RayTheTour & Travelswithsun

Other Benefits:

  • Pick up and drop off anywhere in Penang during the tour
  • Long hours from 9am to 6-7pm
  • No limit to the number of places
  • MPV or van transport
  • Local guides who speak English or Chinese
  • We have tours to Cameron Highlands, Ipoh and Taiping too!

Book a tour through our WhatsApp or Facebook! It’s easy!


Further reading:


Conclusion

Hunting for Penang souvenirs can be a fun process! Be sure to leave some time in your Penang trip itinerary to do so to avoid rushing yourself!

Take some tasty snacks back home! And photo prints, vintage pieces, local handicrafts or exquisite batik products!

Or even prints that you made yourself at a class!

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