Komtar, the iconic landmark of Penang, found itself falling down the pecking order of both locals and tourists not long ago but after a recent makeover, one could presumptuously say that - daddy is back with a bang!
From virtual world experiences to never-ending choices of activities and adventures, restaurants that set you drooling, galleries that pique your interest and heart-pumping vantage points, the tallest building in Penang is yet again the lifeblood of Georgetown.
Short of time on your Penang travel or not in the mood to drag yourself from one corner to another? Spend an entire day at Komtar then, we promise, it will leave an impression.
A rule of thumb is to start off with a heavy meal. Within the first few levels are numerous food courts churning out local delights. Don’t worry about calories, you'll downright burn them later!
On the first floor is Asia Comic Cultural Museum
where comic and culture coexist in harmony.
If a single comic brightens you up, imagine a floor space of 13,000 square-feet filled with amazing collections of Asian comics and arts from various regions. Leave with many pictures to boast about on social media.
One level up, and it's a field day for IT buffs. Browse through a vast collection of gadgets and devices that are easy on the wallet within ICT
You’ll need some time for sure, so nosh some delicious churros from Happy Churro
while building your next gaming PC!
Penang’s charm is often praised for its ability to honour the past and Penang House of Music
, located on level 3, is no exception.
It's all about celebrating the works and achievements of past musicians with a hodgepodge of old artefacts, vinyl records, books, photographs, newspaper cuttings and radios.
Also, listen to local musical genres like boria, ronggeng, bangsawan
, and dondang sayang
and, if you’re lucky enough, you can witness live performances and film screenings. A solid springboard for those in love with music, particularly from the past.
Call yourself a bookworm? Check out the Perpustakaan Siber Ilmu Komtar
on the same level.
If nothing places a wide smile on your face besides shopping, you're in good hands too. From a wide range of clothing (batik
, sportswear, printed t-shirts, jeans and even suits) to footwear and souvenirs, you'll be swooning with joy.
However, after the recent development, the real standout here is The Top
and you’ll know that you’ve reached your destination once you see a lighted stairway and a dinosaur figurine welcoming you in.
Step in and get ready to be branched out into a bevy of different worlds. A short hike to the 3rd level brings you to Durian the King of Fruits
. True to the name, expect an array of yummy treats in many shades and sizes, together with huge durian figurines drawing your camera's attention.
The stairway will then lead you to level 5 where a number of restaurants encourage a gastronomic ride.
To name a few - UMI
restaurant is the go-to for traditional, home-cooked style Malay cuisine, authentic pizzas and pasta dishes at Italian Job Pizzaria
are on point, Only Mee
goes into any noodle lovers’ good books and U Pop I Scream
, which offers out-of-the-box popcorn-flavoured gelatos like salty cheese and buttered caramel, is a perfect stop for dessert.
Apart from delectable flavours, each eatery boasts a personality of its own. Simply put, your most convenient (and quickest) cafe hopping ever!
A few steps forward would reveal a host of attractions that will leave those young and young at heart in awe.
Start your trail at Jurrasic Research Centre
. Be engulfed in a land housing more than 200 life-sized dinosaurs brought back to life to stretch your imagination.
This educational trip allows you to discover a collection of bones and fossils, before being part of dinosaur battlegrounds amidst jungles, toxic spills, army camps and a laboratory where you can partake in some interesting activities.
You’ll spot the Dino Gym
on the way out, and its a place to be if your children tow along.
The dinosaur caricatures, scattered amidst hanging bridges, rock walls, swing sets and other fun activities, are on the comical side, so you won’t hear your children screaming in fear.
Done with the land? Explore the deep blue sea next at the Ocean Explorer
without the need for an oxygen tank and getting wet.
Thanks to high-resolution surrounding projectors and cutting-edge technology, meet and greet marine life such as whales, sharks and dolphins within a virtual submarine.
Why watch a movie when you can be a part of it? At the 7D Discovery Motion Theatre,
cup yourself on a comfy seat, buckle up and spring life to your senses in a jaw-dropping virtual world.
Next, head over to Magic Mirror Maze
because no Waze is ever going to help you out of this maze.
If science is your thing, check out the Tech Dome Penang
The 40,000 square-feet space looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie rather than in Komtar as it houses more than 120 scientific and technology exhibits such as Robotics, Electro-Magnetism, Forces and Motion and lot more. Who said you can’t learn and have fun together?
Fancy a change of pace? Visit Tongkat Ali King
to pay homage to a traditional herb from the rainforests of Malaysia within lush green surrounds. Other engaging elements here are Dance Oki, Musical Carousel, Space Time Squadron, and UFOX.
After series of activities, refuel with delicious Japanese food at Japan Food Street
. Aptly named, it’s flanked by rows of shops offering food and beverage that takes your palate a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.
If you’re seeking a contemporary setting, gorgeous views and attentive service to be part of your dining experience, the Top View Restaurant and Lounge
on level 59 is the place to be. Their buffets are widely revered as one of the best in town, so it's wise to wear stretchy pants!
You’ll probably be a little burned out already, so it's pretty much the ideal time to head up to the Observatory Deck
on level 65.
The deck is air-conditioned and features a glass walkway that opens up to picturesque panoramas of the island.
Also, don’t miss the opportunity to browse through The Top Picks, an exclusive gift shop that houses the joy-inducing, fluffy miniatures of their beloved mascots - George and Pearl.
The real deal is three levels above, on the roof of Komtar, also Georgetown’s highest point, to embrace the stunning views of the island like never before.
It's the perfect way to get your bearings on the city’s layout too. It’s wise to visit when the sun is about to hit the horizon, to bid goodbye to the evening by watching the beautiful colour variance of the wide sky.
But your visit to The Top is never deemed complete till you've step foot on The Rainbow Skywalk,
a semi-circle glass path, 249m above ground.
Don’t do the rookie mistake of closing your eyes, as it's all about getting your adrenaline pumped up, visualise walking in the air and grabbing some pictures to be proud of.
A double rainbow arching into a pot of gold, a unique hanging musical orchestra and a horseshoe chair add to the experience.
Wrap up your day at Coco Cabana
, because what better joy than dining delectable meals and sipping funky cocktails or refreshing teas while being blown by the cold breeze and looking out at the city ablaze with a spectrum of lights.
When you’re leaving for home, don’t miss the chance of catching some photos of Komtar from the outside, as its all adorned with tower lightings, making it near impossible to take an ugly photo.
Komtar delivers on all fronts, yet big daddy is not slowing down as works for the longest mural in the world and other attractions within The Top are about to begin sooner or later.
So, the next time you're in Penang, do yourself a favour and pay Komtar a visit. We guarantee that you'll have the best time of your life there.