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Penang  Pearl of the Orient

Known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, it lies off the NW coast of Malaysia. Consisting of the Island of Penang and a strip of mainland opposite the island known as Seberang Perai (or Province Wellesley) and separated by a channel 3km wide at its closest point, they are linked by the 13.5km Penang Bridge. The islands northern coast boasts of beautiful beaches and a vibrant nightlife.

Its Capital, Georgetown, has arguably the most elegant British colonial buildings in the country, and a plethora of hawker stalls and restaurants make local food an attraction. In the old quarter of Georgetown, trishaws still ply the narrow roads, and the vehicles are popular for sightseeing rides. The inner city’s unique character is a result of the coming together of Penang's diverse heritage, traditions and communities, providing all Penangites with a sense of pride and belonging.

The state is geographically and administratively divided into two sections - Penang Island and Seberang Perai what used to be known as Province Wellesley. Butterworth, the main town in Province Wellesley, lies along the Perai River estuary and faces George Town which lies 3 km (2 miles) across the channel to the east.

Penang was once part of the Kedah Sultanate. Locals knew Penang Island as ‘Pulau Kasatu’. Francis Light established Penang as a British trading post for the East India Co. in 1786 for trade between India, China and Archipelago. In 1800 Light also acquired the strip of land between the Krian and Muda rivers. Francis Light named the island Prince of Wales Island (after the heir to the British throne); the capital George Town (after King George III) and the strip of land, Province Wellesley (after the Marquis of Wellesley). Trade quickly grew, especially in pepper, nutmeg, clove and gambier, and the islands original population of 50 people swelled due to the influx of immigrants and merchants.
Administratively Penang was part of India before becoming a member of the Straits Settlements together with Malacca and Singapore.

Getting There
Penang is linked to the mainland by air, sea, and road (via the Penang Bridge). MAS, the national carrier, links Penang International Airport to Singapore, Bangkok, Medan, (Indonesia), Xiamen (China) and Madras. MAS also has more than 20 flights daily between Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
The Penang Bridge, links Seberang Prai on the Mainland to Gelugor on the island. Toll is levied on vehicles when entering the island but not when they leave. From Butterworth, ferries transport both passengers and vehicles to and from the island.

Full State Name - Pulau Pinang (Penang Island)
Weather - A year-round equatorial climate which is warm and sunny, along with plentiful rainfall, especially during the southwest monsoon from April to September. The climate is very much dictated by the surrounding sea and the wind system
Population - 2.2 million
Capital City - George Town
People - 43.2% Chinese / 40.1% Malay / 9.9% Indians / 6.48% Others
Head of State - Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
Head of State - Governor / Yang di-Pertua Negeri - Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abbas
Major products/industries -
The third-largest economy in Malaysia after Selangor and Johor. Manufacturing is the most important component. Other important sectors of Penang's economy include tourism, finance, shipping and other services



Sights & Visits

Komtar - Penang bidge - P. Ramlee's House - Batu Maung Fishing Village - Khoo Kongsi - Kampung Seronok - Nagore Shrine - Penang Cultural Center

Old City

City Hall Esplanade - Clock Tower - China Town - Penang Museum & Art Gallery - Cheonh Fatt Tze Mansion - Tua Pek Kong Temple - St. George Church - The Esplanade - Fort Cornwallis - Kapitan Keling Mosque

Other Places

Botanical Gardens - Penang Hill - Forestry Museum - Butterfly Farm - Penang Bird Park - Tropical Fruit Farm

Shop & Dine

Places for economic buys, curious and antiques and local products.
Famous for its laksa, nasi kandar, char kuay teow, ore chien (oyster omelet), pesembor, loh bak, roti jala, and nyonya dishes such as otak-otak, Enche Kabin, and Curry Kapitan’.

Temples & Wats

Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram - Nattukkotai Temple - Kuan Yin Teng Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple) - Kek Lok Si Temple - Snake Temple - Dharmikarama Burmese Temple - Sri Mariamman Temple


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