Penang Boy’s Advice: How to blend in with the locals

Penang Boy
AIESEC in Malaysia

By: Kyle

Penang Boy’s Advice: How to blend in with the locals


If you expect me to introduce some of the nice spots to hang out or where to get the best Oyster Omelette in Penang, you have come to a wrong place my friend. This is way beyond that, this is where you are going to get the insights of what we Penangite like to do and how we do it so that you can blend into the locals like a NINJA! *Poof



Wait a second…

Why exactly you need to disguise as a Penangite while you pay your visit to Penang you ask?

Well, here is why


 1. You will get treated better.

It is beyond doubt that a local will get a better treat by the locals itself. Perhaps some extra red beans in your “Ice Kacang” or a special buy one free one super deal of “Musang King” to save a couple of dollars?

2. Not so obvious a target for pickpocket

Statistic shows that tourist are more likely to get pickpocketed compared to the locals. You can’t argue with numbers.

3. Get closer to the local culture

While in most places, it is almost impossible not to be recognized as a tourist it is important to blend in with the locals to experience their cultures. If you look and act like a local, chances are you will be treated as one. Only then, you will see and get the most original version of Penang out of your trip.

Now that you already know why you are here, here are some of the facts about us. It does not represent the whole Penangite but it certainly represent most of us.


1. Speak Hokkien

Hokkien is the main dialects of Penang’s Chinese. You can hear people talking Hokkien in the hawker centre or somewhere down the streets. Be it Chinese, Malay or Indian, if they cannot speak it, at least they can understand a little bit about it.


2. Drive like a boss carefully

Penangite are well-known for their driving skills, well not exactly something to be proud of but still we Penangite have our own ways of driving. Penang streets are always full of motorist,believe it or not, they might be small in size but they own the roads. For some reasons, Penangite just don’t bother to use the indicator lights and they like to turn randomly. Seriously, don’t drive like us.

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3. Eat heavily taste food

Everyone knows that Penang is a food paradise, there is no need for an introduction for that. An extra fact of us Penangite is that we like to eat food with “heavy taste”. We like Tom Yum, we like Spicy food, we like it all. “Durian”, “Asam Laksa”, you name it. If you want to look like one of us, you better start working on it now.

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4. Penangite can be a little “kiasu”

“Kiasu” is Hokkien and it means afraid of losing. Everything in Penang can be a little competitive.


5. It might be the first time we visit a tourist spot in PENANG

Yes, you heard me. Despite the fact that we are living in Penang, Penang “Lang” just don’t visit to the typical tourist spot in Penang. Don’t be surprised when your Penang friend said “ This is the first time I am here bro.” when they bring you to a tourist spot.

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6. Kill time in Cafe

During weekends, we like to chill in the nearest cafe. There are tons of themed cafe that you can find in Penang, or perhaps the one with some nice live music while you are taking your time to enjoy your drinks.


Hope these tips can help you to disguise as one of us !

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