The observation deck on KOMTAR’s 60th floor offers a unique chance to cast your eye across the rooftops of Penang towards the hills and ocean beyond. At 761 feet (232 meters) high, the building towers over all the city’s other structures, offering unrivaled skyline views. Pop a coin in one of the telescopes to get a close-up look at the distant hills, or step back and take it all in with your camera lens.
KOMTAR stands for Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak. The 12-sided geometric building was named after Malaysia’s second prime minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein. When it was completed in 1986, KOMTAR was the tallest building in Southeast Asia. It was also one of Penang’s first destination retail centers and a recent facelift has rendered it on par with any modern mall.
Today the building’s 65 floors have shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and government offices. The building is also the city’s main transport center.
If you’re looking for electronics, head to the ICT Digital Mall in the four-story podium connected to KOMTAR. Here you’ll find everything from the latest laptops and mobile phones, to a range of mind-boggling gadgets. Stroll the other floors to find fashion bargains or pick up some souvenirs.
When you need to refuel head to the KOMTAR walk, a 500-foot (155-meter) open-air walkway with sushi bars, Chinese noodle joints, and eateries serving up Malaysian favorites such as laksa and nasi kandar, a flavored steamed rice dish.
KOMTAR is located in central Georgetown and is open daily. Getting to KOMTAR is easy, as it serves as the major transport hub for the entire city and most bus routes end up here. There is a small charge to enter the observation deck, which is open Monday to Friday. You can buy tickets at the information desk on the ground floor.