About Penang, Malaysia
The place is Malaysia. A bustling melting pot of Asia. For the perfect holiday full of surprises, eclectic cultures and natural wonders, the place is Malaysia.
Penang Island is one of the most wonderful place to live, where the carefree sunny beach comes with a wealth of cultural attractions and festivals. Well known for its local hawkers’ food offering – a paradise for food connoisseur. Feel as if you are on holidays every day, enjoy the superb tropical climate, endless sunny days, warm waters to swim and surf in. The Ferringhi Beach has one of the best beaches to view the first sunrise as well as fine dinning, shopping, 5-stars hotels, entertainment outlets and famed restaurants. Penang Island is a place to live your beachside or rural dream, and with lots of growth and energy, a great place to make an investment. All the food of the world can be found here at very reasonable cost. With so many races and cultures living harmoniously together, it is not a surprise that each race has picked up the best of each other's food and made Malaysia into Asia's Food Paradise. Here the adventurous eater can sample the distinctly different cuisine of Malays, Chinese, Indians and many others.
Penang, a contemporary metropolis with modern amenities and simple small town friendliness, offering the best of both worlds. Best of the east and west, while retaining its old-world flavour. Discover the rich diversity of Exotic Penang - just a great place to enjoy life after retirement or for long term holiday vacation. Malaysia, Truly Asia. Seriously, if you've never been to Malaysia, you HAVE to go. It's cheap, It's fabulous , almost everyone speaks English and the beaches are sublime. Really, it's "only a smile away".
Recently named the sixth most livable city in Asia by Asiaweek, Penang is one of the most prosperous states in Malaysia
For those who are new and have yet to visit the Pearl of Orient called Penang Island...
An online travel guide has picked Penang as one of the top 10 islands in the world “you must see before you die.”
"The Pearl of the Orient" lies on the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The state comprises an island of some 285 sq. km and a narrow strip of approximately 760 sq. km on the mainland known as Seberang Perai (Province Wellesley separated by a channel 3 km wide at the closest point). They are linked by the Penang Bridge and a 24-hour ferry service. Its population of more than 1 million represents a happy mix of the major races found in Malaysia with Malays making up 32%, the Chinese 59% and Indians 7%.
A Brief History
Georgetown, at the north-eastern tip of the island is the seat of administration and is also the commercial hub of the state. This bustling metropolitan city combines the best of east and west as seen in its fascinating collection of fine old buildings, each bearing the stamp of different foreign influences in its colorful history. Much of its charm also lies in its famous golden beaches and clear blue seas. Penang today is a resort island in full bloom - an idyllic playground for worshippers of the sun and the sea. Its multi-racial population contributes to a wealth of cultural attractions and festivals for visitors to bring home memories of happy times in Penang.
Penang today bears the mark of an early history of successive foreign influences - from the early Indian Civilization that took root in northern Malaya to that of the Portuguese, Dutch and later the British who came to this part of the world in search of spices and stayed to participate in the lucrative trade.
The history of modern Penang can be traced back to 1786 when Francis Light managed to persuade the Sultan of Kedah to cede "Pulau Pinang" (island of the Betel nut) to the British East India Company. Light landed at the site of the present Esplanade and according to local legend, fired gold coins into the surrounding jungle to induce his men to clear the area. The island was originally named Prince of Wales Island and the settlement that soon grew up was named Georgetown after King George III. In 1800, the Sultan of Kedah further ceded a strip of land on the mainland across the channel which Light named Province Wellesley, after the then Governor of India. In 1832, Penang formed part of the Straits Settlement with Malacca and Singapore. It flourished and grew to be a major trading post for a lucrative trade in tea, spices, china and cloth. For more than a hundred years, it remained under British Colonial rule until 1957 when it gained independence and became one of the states of the newly formed Federation of Malaya and later Malaysia in 1963.
Penang is easily accessible by air with daily flights from major capitals of the region. It has direct links with Singapore, Bangkok, Hadyai, Nagoya, Phuket, Medan, Xiamen(China) and Madras, operated by Malaysia Airlines. The airline also operates about 24 daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
The Bayan Lepas International Airport is about 20km from the city center. Taxis plying the route follow the coupon system by which fares between the airport and various destinations in Penang are fixed. Passengers pay the fare at the taxi booth in exchange for the coupon which they then produce to the driver. Air-conditioned taxis and limousines charge slightly higher fares.
The opening of the Penang Bridge linking the mainland of Peninsular Malaysia to Penang Island has facilitated driving to Penang. A charge of RM7.00 is levied on all classes of cars at the toll plaza in Perai on the mainland. No payment is required for travelling from the island to the mainland.
From Butterworth, it is necessary to take the ferry to Penang Island. The ferry service is available around the clock for both passengers and vehicles. Tickets are purchased at the Butterworth terminal and the rates are applicable for a return journey, Fares: Adult - RM0.60- Children - RM0.40
The rates charged for vehicles are based on the engine capacity of the car and the number of passengers. Cars below 1200c.c - RM4.00 + 0.40 sen/per passenger. Cars above 1200c.c - RM5.00 + 0.40 sen/per passenger.
The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth takes approximately 5 hours. First and second class passengers travel in comfort in the air-conditioned coaches. Taking the train is a comfortable way to travel within the country and it affords one the opportunity to see a lot of the countryside. Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad also operates regular services to Alor Setar, Padang Besar, Hadyai and Bangkok in the North from Butterworth.
Penang's public transport system is efficient and moving around by taxis, buses or trishaws may be a fun and inexpensive way of catching the sights.
Most city taxis do not generally use the meter. You may either insist on the meter being turned on or agree on the price before you move off. Taxis normally charge between RM4.00 - RM8.00 for short distances within the city.
Penang is also served by many buses which ply various routes between the city and other destinations on the island. The City buses operate from the main terminal at Lebuh Victoria, at frequent intervals.
Source from: Asiaweek
FAST FACT ON PENANG ISLAND
Population of Penang is 1.5 million (Total population of Malaysia is
Land Area of Penang is 1,030 sq km / Population Density 1,300 persons / sq kilometre
Annual population growth rate 1.95%
Source: www statistics.gov.my/
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