Penang Attraction Makes It Onto World’s ‘Most Boring’ List

Visitors at Fort Cornwallis in Penang | Image Credit: The Star
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

There are a lot of interesting and fun things to do in Penang… but critics contend this particular attraction definitely isn’t among them.

A recent informal study by Solitaired has unveiled a ranked list of the world’s most boring tourist attractions, sparking a mix of amusement and debate among travel enthusiasts. Using a combination of some 66.7 million Google Reviews and other metrics, Solitaired identified attractions that, despite whatever historical or cultural significance they may hold, have left many visitors underwhelmed and unimpressed. This list highlights places where the expectation often exceeds the reality, leading to a sense of disappointment among tourists.

Unsurprisingly – and perhaps a bit depressingly – many museums and educational attractions worldwide featured on the list. Additionally, likely owing to the site’s home base – or possibly the higher standards of demanding and desensitised Americans – the majority of the top 100 most boring attractions are located in the United States, with the site saying, “You can leave your passport at home for most of our dull journey because the U.S., which comprises only 38.5% of our data, holds 62% of the world’s 100 most boring attractions.”

The entrance to Fort Cornwallis | Image Credit: Wikipedia

Here in Malaysia, Fort Cornwallis in Penang was also named among these ‘boring’ attractions, cited for its lackluster exhibits and less-than-engaging atmosphere. Other sites on the list include the Manneken Pis in Brussels, Shankar’s International Dolls Museum, The National Museum of Singapore, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Vietnam, and the Blarney Stone in Ireland. The study underscores the subjective nature of tourism experiences, where even historically rich sites can sometimes fail to meet modern visitor expectations.

A performance at Hanoi’s Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre | Image Credit: Hanoi Local Tour


Fort Cornwallis, located in George Town in Penang’s northeast, is still – even if not exciting – a notable point of Malaysian colonial history. Constructed in the late 18th century by the British East India Company, the fort was named after Charles Cornwallis, then the Governor-General of India.

Initially built from palm trunks and later reinforced with bricks, Fort Cornwallis was intended as a defensive structure against pirates and potential French incursions. However, it was never engaged in battle. Instead, it served various administrative and commercial functions over the years. The fort now houses several historical artifacts, including cannons such as the famous Sri Rambai, a Dutch cannon gifted to the Sultan of Johor and later seized by the British.

Despite being ‘boring,’ some visitors have praised the beauty and historical significance of the fort | Image Credit: EZ Travel


Today, Fort Cornwallis stands as one of the largest intact forts in Malaysia (unsurprising as it never saw any battles), offering visitors a glimpse into the region’s colonial past. The fort’s walls, chapel, and numerous exhibits provide ‘a tangible connection’ to its historical significance.

Despite that history, though Fort Cornwallis found itself unhappily listed among the world’s “most boring tourist attractions.” Visitors argue that the site, while historically important, lacks any engaging activities and modern amenities that appeal to today’s tourists. Nevertheless, it perhaps remains a significant landmark for those interested in colonial history and architecture. Visitors can explore the restored structures and take in the serene views of the waterfront, making it at least a worthwhile stop (perhaps without entry) for history buffs and curious travellers alike.

The fort’s well-known Dutch cannon, Sri Rambai | Image Credit: Expedia

For those who do wish to enter, Fort Cornwallis levies a RM20 admission charge for foreign tourists, which some reviews have suggested includes a beer or water and/or RM10 vouchers redeemable at the café inside.

Reports state that ongoing renovations and upgrades to the attraction are scheduled for completion by early 2025.


Underwhelming and not worth the price of entry in my opinion at MYR20. I find it both funny and amusing at how they offer beer at the entrance though you do have the option to get a bottle of water instead. This fort is maintained and does bear a significance to Georgetown’s historical beginnings but you really don’t get much.

Richard Francisco

The place is run down, unfortunately. Renovation on the outer moat and wall is in progress though. Hopefully there will be more visual displays (only 1 seen!!) with relevant information on the fort history, the captain, etc. being provided (use multimedia). The lighthouse exhibition was closed as gate was locked. The Kota cafe was good for refreshments and the toilets were very clean.

Ton van Dijk

Small but historic fort in Georgetown. It is undergoing some major restorations that should be nice when finished. It could benefit from some good curatorial efforts.

Wayne Lundeberg

Right now, as of January 2024, I would say that ‘Fort Cornwallis’ is not worth the 20 ringgits entrance fee, as much of it is under reconstruction. There should have been a discount during this period. Once the improvements are completed, I am sure it will then be worth the entrance fee.

Not too much to see at the moment, a few canons, plenty of grass and tarmac, and the stone walls. This ‘arena’ would make a great place to show events, plays or music; perhaps it is already used for these?

Nearby is the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower; worth seeing.

Chiang Mai Charlie

Not really worth the 20 RM entrance fee. If you’re interested in history, you won’t see much here since all of the storyboards and displays have been removed due to construction.

The only real redeeming factor is the 5 RM add-on to get a bottle of Carlsberg.

Robin Janssens

It’s undoubtedly beautiful, but there’s simply not a whole lot to see or do here. A quick walkthrough takes maybe 15 mins, and the best parts can just as well be seen from the outside. Didn’t justify the ticket price whatsoever.

Christian Wischnewski

Cool fort built by the English in 1786 after their arrival. Cost 20 RM for foreigners to visit and walk around. Has old historic cannons and facts around. I suggest going while you are hungry and give Kota a try. It is little cafe inside the fort serving elevated local dishes nicely presented, delicious tasting and well priced.

There is currently some construction work going on, mostly outside, adding back the moat that was there historically.

Kevin M

"ExpatGo welcomes and encourages comments, input, and divergent opinions. However, we kindly request that you use suitable language in your comments, and refrain from any sort of personal attack, hate speech, or disparaging rhetoric. Comments not in line with this are subject to removal from the site. "


Click to comment

Most Popular

To Top