What other tourists said about Penang Gurney Drive
“Great food at great value”
This is a must do in Penang and if you only have the amazing chicken and beef satay and the great fresh juices its worth the taxi to get here. It gets going around 6pm and is super cheap whilst good quality and fresh! Worth walking to Gurney mall too which is next door to walk off the meal, and look around some good shops.
Visited March 2013
“Nice Food All Over One Place”
This is a must visit place in Penang where you can find all the nice and cheap food all under one roof. Usually it will be crowded in the evening after 6pm and so good to be there early.
Recommended food: Penang Laksa, Chay Kueh Teow, Chendol, Cheng Teng, Satay, Rojak.
Visited December 2012
“Gurney Drive is like the good old Orchard Road Carpark Hawker Ctr”
If there’s one place a tourist should never missed in Penang is Gurney Drive. A very popular and favourite tourists makan spot where you can try to savour eat-all-u-can all the local hawker fare. Open space dining under blue night skies where you eat and sweat it out especially when the place gets over-crowded with diners when you have to be smart enough to get a table before you go round to order for your famous Penang char kway teow or even assam laksa.
From kangkong cuttlefish, prawn mee, lor bak, oyster omelettes, satay celop and many many more. You quench your thirst with fruit juice or order cendol and for the ultimate ABC (air batu campur) like our ice kacang. For muslims visitors can have a fair share of halal foods like satay (was very good), mee jawa, mee goreng, mee udang, pasembor just like our indian rojak. All you see and the more you feel like eating everything – bon apetit.
Visited March 2013
“Inexpensive late dining options at Gurney Drive Food Court”
It’s a kind of food court where you can find inexpensive dishes from seafood to fried rice, tom yam and char kuay teow. In fact we came here because one of my friends read about it on Tripadvisor and she suggested this place. The food was good, however the place was too crowded so it even took a while before we could find an available table to sit.
It took some time to go to collect the dishes; we also had to join a queue at some places because there were too many people. Our group came here after a full day visiting tourist attractions in Penang, so we were tired. After all, the food was good, the price was good but I did not enjoy this dining experience very much.
Visited December 2012
“Good food – worth a visit!”
Gurney Drive is famous for its open air hawker centre. If the weather is good, its well worth a visit. The stalls display the photos of food and prices. In addition, most of the hawkers (at least the six) we patronised appear to speak English so its easy to order. We found the food tasty and not too expensive (although hawker fare purists may disagree).
There are decent public toilets at the centre which we found useful for our young son.
The centre is 3min walk from a large mall and there is a seafront across the road. Its good to be there early for dinner (5.30pm) as the place fills up after that. Do note that there are bad traffic jams in the evening (6pm onwards) and it may be difficult to get there or leave after that.
Visited August 2012
Morning Stroll Along Gurney Drive
On a beautiful evening, I decided to take a stroll along Gurney Drive bringing along my camera. I have been to Gurney Drive million of times. But I am still doing it despite the multiple visits. Most of the time I am there thronging the shopping mall, Gurney Plaza and newly opended Paragon Mall. Gurney Plaza and Paragon is a premier shopping and entertainment mall.
This time around, I decided to take a walk along Gurney Drive. Actually I haven’t really walked from one end of the road at Jalan Pangkor to the other end at the roundabout near Gurney Plaza. It’s not that far though for this stretch of the road and I think the walk turned out to be quite a meaningful experience since there a lot of things you can discover here.
Things You Will See Along Gurney Drive
Affluent beach-side bungalows were located here, many of which are today incorporated into the design of upscale condominiums. At the Pangkor Road end of Gurney Drive was the fabulous mansion of Kapitan China Chung Thye Phin, son of Kapitan China Chung Keng Quee, occupied today by One Persiaran Gurney condominiums.
Gurney Drive has some of the most modern skyscrapers in Penang, it is also where you will find lavish and luxury homes belonging to the wealthy men of the past. One of these is the Loke Mansion. Also at Gurney Drive is the St Joseph’s Novitiate, which is a historic building which is part of the St. Joseph’s Training College that stood next to the original College General Complex, which is currently occupied as part of the building in Gurney Paragon Mall.
Hotels within Walking Distance
High End Condominiums Along Gurney Drive
In Malay terms, it’s called Persiaran Gurney. It’s a 2km seafront promenade lined with cafes, high-end condominiums, hotels, restaurants and hawker centre as well as a shopping mall offering a seemingly endless array of entertainment as well as local and international cuisine. You name it, everything ranging from lifestyle, cultures, food as well as a breathtaking sea view are available in Gurney Drive. In real estate terms, Gurney Drive is Millionaire’s Row. How would you like to rub shoulders with actress Datuk Michelle Yeoh who owns the ultra deluxe 35-storey Millennium Tower condominium here!
A Place You Don’t Want to Miss
When people come visiting Penang Island, sure enough they will not miss Gurney Drive. It’s a very popular place in Penang. People normally relate it to luxury and a happening place which must not be missed when they are visiting Penang. Gurney Drive is liken to Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur which is also a place related to luxury lifestyle and a happening place to chill out.
Time to Chill and Enjoy the Sunset
Other than a place to chill out, Gurney Drive also offers a place with simple informal lifestyle especially in the evening. As I strolled along the walkway, I could see people from all walks of life come together to this place to enjoy the beautiful sunset coupled with gentle sea breeze.
There were foreign tourists, students, senior citizens, couples as well as some touts with a stall selling all kind of things here. With multi-racial Penang folks gathering here, Gurney Drive is like a mingle of different cultures.
And looking out to sea, you are rewarded with the daily glorious sunsets, the activities of the humble fishermen in their small boats as well as some anglers patiently waiting for their catches.
Moreover, there is also a young mother pushing her baby in a stroller, a lady taking her dogs out for a walk and an endless stream of joggers. There are such a lot of things to do and see here that Gurney Drive is like a ‘Penang in Miniature’.
Pollution along the Coast
As I continue my evening stroll, I could see not much of the sandy beach left because the huge Tanjung Tokong reclamation project nearby has caused the coastline to become muddy. This sad development however, may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as recently, mangrove tree seedlings have been taking root on the mudflats, attracting birds and other animals. Who knows, maybe in 10 years, gurney Drive may have a new attractions in its mangrove ecology.
Eating out in Gurney Drive
Gurney Drive is also a food heaven for food lover and it’s also home to some of the oldest restaurant on the island. Speaking of Gurney Drive, one will automatically evoke the drooling thoughts of Bak Kuk Teh (a herbal stew of pork ribs and meat), sotong bakar, asam laksa, ais kacang and seafood dinners.
Most of the street food can be found in hawkers stalls at the end of the road near the roundabout. For the more sophisticated diners, there are some very nice up-market restaurants and some of them are located in the hotels where you could enjoy western style cuisine.
At night, the brightly lit Bali Hai Seafood restaurant is drawing a lot of customers while the smaller establishment like Crepe Cotttage and nasi kandar shops attract their fair share of customers. The most famous one must surely be the long established Song River Cafe with its famous otak-otak and fish dishes.
“White” Bak Kuk Teh
In the morning, there are actually some very nice restaurants open for business in Gurney Drive. The most attractive one is the so-called “white” Bak Kuk Teh which I have tried once after my morning exercise at the Botanical Garden. It’s called ‘white’ Bak Kuk Teh due to the color of the soup.
Most of the usually found Bak Kuk Teh have dark color soup. But this one has a clear one. Anyway, the “white” bak kuk teh is not only unique but also tasty. I think it’s only available in Penang since I haven’t seen it elsewhere. Other than the delicious Bak Kuk Teh, there are also dim sum available here.
Getting to Gurney Drive
Gurney Drive is 20 minutes from the Penang Island International Airport. It can be assessed from Kelawei Road as well as 10 to 15 minutes drive from the ferry terminal . The nearby areas are Tanjung Tokong, Pulau Tikus and Air Itam. There are lots of hotel and apartments nearby catering to a wide range of budgets.
Nearby attractions are the Reclining Buddha Temple and Burmese Temple along Lorong Burmah, 15 minutes walk away. While at the temples, pick a box of the popular four-flavoured Hoe Heong Tambun biscuits from a few doors away. The Pulau Tikus wet market is also within walking distance.
For more pictures of Gurney Drive, please visit the following flickr photostream.