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Penang is located in the northwest of Peninsular Malaysia. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south.
The total area of this city is approximately 1,048 square km. This city is divided into two areas: Penang Island and Seberang Perai, the latter previously known as Province Wellesley. These two are connected by a 13.5 km toll bridge known as Penang Bridge.
Though Penang is known as the smallest city after Perlis, it is surprisingly the third most populated in Malaysia after Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Penang is inhabited by more than 1,500,000 people with diverse cultures, ethnicities, languages and religions.
In the field of tourism, this city offers a modern and classic look of environment. In Georgetown for instance, you can see several museums as well as modern buildings such as multinational corporations. In terms of accommodation, there are many good hotels in Penang for both locals and tourists to stay at.
Penang has a tropical climate. This climate is very much determined by the surrounding sea and the wind. Dry season normally occurs from December to February.Penang’s daily temperature is fluctuate, ranging from 23 to 32 degrees Celsius.
Below is the list of major areas in Penang:
George Town is Penang’s capital, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. KOMTAR Tower, the highest building in Penang, is located here.
Butterworth is the site of the Malayan Railway Station for Penang. Penang Bird Park, one of tourists’ favorite holiday destinations, is located here.
Air Itam meaning Black Water, is a busy town in Penang. Most tourists visit this city to tour around the famous Kek Lok Si Temple and Penang Hill.
Gurney Drive is one of tourists’ favorite destinations when it comes to culinary, with its seafront area offering attractive food stalls of local and international cuisines.
Penang is also known as Pinang Island. The term “Pinang” derives from a tree called Pinang tree.
During the colonial period, Penang’s first foreign visitor was a British navigator and privateer named Sir James Lancaster. He arrived in Penang in June 1592, pillaging every vessel he encountered and brought them to England in 1954.
This colonial period carried on until 1909. At the time, Siam Kingdom that dominated Penang was threatened by the British to hand over some of its areas: Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perlis.
In 1957, Penang gained independence from the British and became a member state of Malaysia in 1963. The first Chief Minister at the time was Wong Pow Nee from Malaysian Chinese Association.
There are many ways to go to Penang. You can go by plane, bus or ship. Here’s a list of transportation which you can take to Penang:
By plane to Penang, you will be landing at Penang International Airport.
Rapid Penang Bus
From the airport, you can take Rapid Penang Bus. By this bus, you can go to Georgetown, Teluk Bahang and Air Itam. Details are shown below:
The prices may vary depending on your destination.
Unlike regular taxis, the airport taxi in Penang does not use argometer. It usually leaves the airport after all seats are occupied.
A taxi ride from the airport to Georgetown costs around MYR 50.
If you travel in a group of 4 or more, it’s better to rent a car which costs MYR 90 - 80 per day.
If you take the bus to Penang, you can depart from Kuala Lumpur. Along the 7-8 hour ride, you will drive pass Butterworth and stop near KOMTAR Tower in Penang.
If you choose to take Alisan Golden Coach Express, the bus fare is MYR 45 per passenger.
(All prices are subject to change)
Tourists love to visit these travel destinations:
If you’re curious about the classic look of Penang, visit Georgetown. This city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site occupied by many old buildings that have transformed to a museum.
Most of the old buildings in Georgetown used to belong to the British. The top three most popular are St. George Church, Church of the Assumption and Penang Supreme Court Building.
To get here, take Rapid Transit bus number 401. It’ll cost you MYR 3 per passenger.
Also known as Bendera Hill, Penang Hill offers a view of Georgetown, Penang Bridge and the east coast of Penang. This is one of the most recommended spots in Penang to soak in the city’s beautiful landscape and nature.
Located 18 km north of Georgetown, Batu Ferringhi Beach is the perfect destination in Penang to play water sports such as parasailing and surfing. Here, you can even ride an ATV across the beach.
At night, the atmosphere becomes more romantic as local bands begin to perform songs that you can dance to.
Penang State Museum was formerly Penang Free School, an education center which allowed all Penang-born regardless of race, ethnic and religion to enroll.
Due to several bombings in World War II, the school area was partly destroyed. Until 1964, Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj suggested to renovate the building and turned it to a museum and art gallery.
Penang State Museum displays lots of artefacts, visual art materials, publications and artworks of local artists.
Penang Toy Museum is the largest toy museum in the world. It has more than 110,000 toys, dolls and other collectible figures. Surprisingly, there are still 30,000 other toys kept in the storage since the space isn’t enough.
This museum was recognized in Malaysian Book of Records as the first toy museum in the country. It welcomes around 100,000 visitors each year.
The toys displayed in this museum are Batman, Doraemon, Mr. Bean, Garfield, King Kong, Kung Fu Panda and many more. Many of them were shipped from Hollywood, USA.
Penang Toy Museum is divided into several sections:
If you’re interested in knowing about the history of camera or types of camera dated back to the past millenium, visit The Camera Museum.
As you walk inside, you will see lots of photos hanging on the wall of a dead-end staircase. Some of these photos capture the paintings of Ernest Zacharevic, a popular street painter in Georgetown.
The Camera Museum also has a cafe called Double Exposure, offering homemade food.
Qeii is a club-restaurant with a beautiful sea view. Most people come here to eat, drink and dance to House music.
The Library Butterworth
Most people come to The Library Butterworth to enjoy a selection of vodka. This bar & restaurant also offers the widest collection of beer in Malaysia plus the first with self beer taps.
TAO Cuisine Auto-City
TAO Cuisine Auto-City offers a cozy ambience with live music and happy hour. Make sure to reserve your seat in advance as it can get very crowded at night.