If Penang is the food capital of Malaysia, then Gurney Drive is the first place that comes to mind for an authentic taste of Penang. Gurney Drive, named after Sir Henry Gurney, former British High Commission to Malaya, is a popular seafront promenade that exemplifies the heartbeat of Penang – fun, lively and vibrant.
Gurney Drive is a tourist belt featuring luxury hotels, swanky shopping malls, food courts, open-air street food stalls and posh restaurants. It is right here that some of the finest street foods of Penang are found. Penang Laksa, Bak Kuk Teh (a herbal stew of pork ribs and meat), Oh Chien (fried oyster omelette), Nasi Lemak and many more exciting street foods are available in the Gurney Drive Food Court which operates from 6pm onwards every day and has both halal and non-halal sections.
It is also a shopper's haven with the likes of the Gurney Plaza and the newly opened Gurney Paragon. Both are premier lifestyle shopping malls. The Gurney Paragon is built around and inspired by the former St. Joseph's Novitiate, an area known for stylish restaurants and cafés steep in the architecture of Penang's heritage.
A short distance away from Gurney Drive are two majestic temples with beautiful intricate designs. The Thai Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram Temple, built in 1845, features a huge 108-foot long reclining Buddha and the Asian dragon images. The Dharmikarama Burmese Temple opposite the Thai temple is Penang’s first Burmese temple and was built in 1803.