Penang, Malaysia

Stay Safe


Penang is relatively a very safe place for travellers and one of the most visited destinations in Malaysia. A matter of fact, most visitors arrive and leave Penang without any incident regarding their safety. However, like any other place, Penang has its share of crime and the most common are pickpocketing, snatch thieves and scams, often targeted at the locals. Though visitors are unlikely to encounter such situations, you should always take common sense precautions to enjoy a safe trip to Penang.

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Georgetown, Penang

Backstreet of Georgetown

Do be wary of snatch-thieves especially when wearing jewelry or carrying a bag. These felons ride on motorbikes with an accomplice (the driver) targeting ladies walking on the streets. The practice is to snatch the handbag or jewelry from behind, often dragging the victim on the street. If in such a situation, let go of the bag and save yourself from serious injury or even your life. As a safety precaution, best to walk on the pavement away from the street and against the flow of traffic. Furthermore, keep your bag on the side away from the street or better still, do not carry one.

When walking across the streets, use the designated crossings. Be careful when crossing since some motorists may disregard or ignore the red traffic signal for vehicles to stop and allow pedestrians to cross.
Look both ways when crossing one-way streets since some motorbikers and cyclists may ride in the opposite direction in attempts to take shortcuts.
Batu Ferringhi, Penang

Batu Ferringhi at night

Other safety precautions you should remember when in Penang are as follow;

  • Don't walk alone in deserted places at night especially in the back alleys of Georgetown.
  • Don't accept rides from "Kereta Sapu", cars unlicensed to carry passengers.
  • Don't carry valuables in a motorbike-basket if you are riding on one.
  • Don't leave valuables in the hotel room and better to keep them in a safe deposit box.
  • Don't place valuables on restaurant tables since this may create the attention of thieves.
  • Careful of the sometimes aggressive macaques (monkeys) at the Penang Botanical Gardens.
  • When in the waters of Batu Ferringhi, be careful of unregulated jet skis and other water vehicles.
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