Penang (Malay: Pulau Pinang)  is an island off the northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is also the name of the Malaysian state which is made up of Penang Island and the facing strip of territory on the mainland called Seberang Perai (formerly Province Wellesley).
Penang is one of Malaysia's main tourist draws. Its beaches are nice, though a little lacklustre when compared to those in some other Malaysian states, but this is more than compensated for by the island's rich multicultural history which is full of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and European influences. Penang is also well known for being the "food paradise" of Malaysia.
- Georgetown - The capital of Penang; a favourite spot for tourists as it has many quaint pre-Second World War houses, as well as 19th century churches, temples, mosques, and colonial buildings. The city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2008. 
- Batu Ferringhi - Located on the north coast, with white sandy beaches, luxurious hotels & restaurants... a favourite spot for both locals & tourists.
- Bayan Lepas - Penang's main electronic manufacturing area and location of its international airport.
- Balik Pulau - Literally "Back of The Island" in Malay; a small agricultural centre surrounded by Malay villages, fruit plantations, and padi fields.
- Butterworth - The mainland gateway to Penang
- Bukit Mertajam - The capital of Seberang Perai Tengah district
- Bandar Perda - A new town of Seberang Perai Tengah which is 20 minutes from Butterworth & 15 minutes from Penang Bridge.
- Nibong Tebal - The capital of Seberang Perai Selatan district
- Simpang Ampat - A small town in the district of Seberang Perai Selatan, famous for its nearby seafood at Bukit Tambun and Batu Kawan
- Seberang Jaya - Satellite township in the district of Seberang Perai Tengah
- Tasek Gelugor - A small town which is 20 minutes from Butterworth
Penang was part of the Malay state of Kedah until 1786, when Captain Francis Light built a fort at the site of present-day Georgetown and managed to get the island ceded to the British East India Company. Along with Malacca and Singapore. The island was one of the three British Straits Settlements.
The name Penang comes from the Malay word Pinang, means the betel nut (槟榔） tree (Areca catechu). The name Pulau Pinang translated literally from Malay means "betel nut island". The original name of Penang was Pulau Ka-satu or "First Island", it was renamed to Prince of Wales Island on 12 Aug 1786 to commemorate the birthday of the Prince of Wales, later, George IV. During the early and middle part of the last century, Penang Island was also known as "The Pearl of the Orient".
The capital, Georgetown, was named after King George III of Great Britain. Today, Penang has the highest population density in Malaysia and is the only state where the ethnic Chinese are the majority. Penang state is today the third-largest economy amongst the states of Malaysia, after Selangor and Johor.
The cargo trade has largely shifted down to Port Klang and Singapore since Penang lost its free-port status in 1969, but now Penang makes a good living off tourism and electronics factories. The multi-national corporations that built their manufacturing factories in the Free Trade Zone include Intel, AMD, Dell, Agilent, Osram, Motorola, Seagate, and Jabil. Penang has been granted Cyber-City status since 21 Jun 2004. At the World Heritage Committee Session on July 2008, Georgetown, along with Malacca were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The state of Penang is made up of two parts, Penang Island and Seberang Perai (formerly Province Wellesley). The island lies in the Straits of Malacca, just 8 km off the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The island is shaped like a turtle which is swimming north, while Seberang Perai is a rectangular piece of land located to the east of the island. Georgetown, is Penang's largest city. Development of the eastern coast of the island is slowly linking Georgetown and Bayan Lepas (in the south-east) into a single large city. The island's best beaches are on the northern side, particularly Batu Ferringhi. The northern coast, which was a tranquil part of the island just ten years ago, is now being heavily developed. At the north-western end of Penang island is Teluk Bahang, a fishing village. From there, you can explore the secluded beaches of Pantai Kerachut, Muka Head, and Teluk Kampi. The village itself has a kilometer-long beach and a Scout campsite. The island's western side is still relatively quiet and undeveloped, with a peaceful "kampung" (village) feel about it. The airport is located at the south-east corner of the island.
Penang, like the rest of Malaysia, has an equatorial climate. This means temperatures of between about 22°C (night) and 30°C (day), between 70% and 90% humidity, and an annual total rainfall of about 2400mm. The driest months are usually January and February. The wettest period is usually from September to November; frequent thunderstorms can be expected in these months. Forget about using an umbrella during an equatorial thunderstorm, just get indoors.
When to go
Penang's high season is around Christmas, New Year's Day, and Chinese New Year (check the lunar calendar; it could fall on the end of January or early to mid February), when the east coast of Malaysia is drenched and hordes of sun-seeking Europeans descend on the island. Accommodation tends to be packed, and priced accordingly.
Recently refurbished Penang Bayan Lepas International Airport (IATA: PEN) is one of Malaysia's larger and better-equipped airports, operated by Malaysia Airports . The airport is connected to virtually all of Malaysia's major cities via domestic airlines Air Asia , Firefly  and Malaysia Airlines , and also has frequent service to nearby international hubs including Bangkok (Thailand), Hong Kong, Medan (Indonesia) and Singapore. Firefly also operates direct flights to the Thai resorts of Ko Samui and Phuket.
The airport is located on the southeastern coast of the island, some 20 minutes from Georgetown. Contact number:+60 4 643-4411
There are no trains on Penang Island, but many people take the train to Butterworth from elsewhere on the peninsula and then use the ferry (within walking distance from the train terminal) to cross over to the island. You can book the KTMB train tickets at the Penang ferry terminal or the railway station in Butterworth. Contact numbers:
An overnight train departs Bangkok daily at 14:45 (Thai time). It is scheduled to arrive at Butterworth at 12:55 (Malaysian time) but normally gets there late, usually around 14:00-14:30. There is only one fare for an air-con berth that costs 1,210 baht (as of July 2008). The surcharge for a bicycle is 104 baht to the border; a further small freight charge may be made by KTMB for the border-Butterworth leg.
Toll rate: For vehicles heading to the island from the mainland:
- Motorcycles - RM1.40
- Motorcycles with sidecars; commercial vehicles on three wheels; car including station wagon - RM7.00 (RM5.60 for those who hold the Touch 'n Go card that can be purchased from the Penang Bridge toll plaza)
- Lorries; vans and buses with two axles and four wheels - RM12.00
- Lorries, vans and buses with two axles and five or six wheels - RM25.00
- Vehicles with three axles - RM45.00
- Vehicles with four axles - RM60.00
- Vehicle with five or more axles - RM75.00
No toll for vehicles heading to the mainland.
Long-distance buses connect Georgetown to a variety of Malaysian towns. The trip from Pudu Raya, Kuala Lumpur costs around RM 27 (standard 26-seat coach; prices vary by operator) and takes around 5-6 hours. Buses to/from Kota Bharu and Perhentian Islands (Jerteh/Kuala Besut) cost about 26 RM for a 5-6 hours journey. From Johor Bahru in 10h for RM 50. The buses arrive/depart at the new bus terminal at Sungai Nibong, a fifteen-minute ride from the center of Georgetown, and about ten minutes from the airport. From here, a taxi ride to the KOMTAR building costs around RM15-20.
Major coach operators:
Minivans service is available between Georgetown and some towns in Thailand such as Ko Phi Phi, Phuket, Trang, Surat Thani, Krabi, Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Bangkok and Hat Yai on daily basis. Georgetown office is located at KOMTAR bus terminal. Tourist operators usually propose minivan services to the perhentian islands for about 160 RM (boat included). Express buses fares are much better.
From the mainland The classic way to arrive in Penang, especially if traveling by train, is to take the ferry from Butterworth. The ferry service operator is Penang Port  and its operation hour is 5:30AM till 1:00AM (Last departure) daily.
Ferry rates applicable (from Butterworth to Penang Island) are listed below:
- Pedestrian: Adult - RM1.20 & Children (between 5 to 12 years old) - RM0.60
- Vehicles: Bicycle - RM1.40, Motorcycle (inclusive of pillion rider) - RM2.00, Trishaw/tricycle - RM3.00, Motorcar (including station wagon, four-wheel drive, three-wheel commercial vehicle, motorcycle with side car) - RM7.70, Lorry (2 axles with 4 wheels) - RM13.20, Lorry (2 axles with 6 wheels) - RM27.50.
- Ferry service available from Langkawi Jeti (Jetty) to Penang at 2.30PM and 5.15PM on daily basis. Operated by Langkawi Ferry Services , Tel: +60 4 264-2088 in Penang; +60 4 966-3779 in Langkawi. Oneway trip costs RM60 for adult, RM45 for child (3-11 years old) and RM25 for infant (below 2 years old). Return trip costs RM115, RM85 and RM50 respectively. Single trip takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. Advance booking can be made via the web site. Credit cards are not accepted at the terminal, although there are numerous ATMs in the attached shopping mall. The ferry in service is very old and offers no facilities other than simple airconditioned seating. There is no access to the top, meaning thereby that no sight seeing on the way is available. There is proper locked storage for luggage at the rear of the ship upon boarding. There is no restaurant. Check-in is at least 30mins before scheduled departure time.
Penang Port also operates Swenttenham Pier on Penang island to handle some of the largest cruise vessels in the world. The following are fleets that routinely stopover at Swenttenham Pier:
- SuperStar Virgo and SuperStar Gemini operated by Star Cruises 
- Pacific Sky operated by P&O Cruises 
- Ferries depart from Medan's port of Belawan to Swenttenham Port or vice versa at 9am daily. Operated by Langkawi Ferry Services , Tel: +60 4 264-2088 in Penang; +62 61 4521666 / 4527555 in Medan. Oneway trip costs RM110 for adult, RM60 for child (3-12 years old) and RM40 for infant (below 3-year old); return trip costs RM180, RM100 and RM50 respectively. Travel duration is about 5 hours 30 minutes.
Getting around Penang can be hard work, as buses tend to be infrequent and taxis uniformly refuse to use the meter. Always haggle with the taxi driver and agree on a price before jumping into a taxi. Avoid driving during the rush hours between 7.30 a.m. - 9.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. -7.30 p.m. Motorcyle riders can be undisciplined and tourists should be extra vigilant of them. One of the best ways to sightsee is to walk around Georgetown; but wear light clothes, start early in the morning, and put on plenty of sun-block during the daytime. When crossing the roads, remember to look both ways, even on a one-way street!
Beginning the month of August 2007, a new intracity public bus service called RapidPenang began operations. RapidPenang is part of the government's plan to improve public transportation in view of the deteriorating intracity traffic. RapidPenang offers better services and comfort due to their new line of buses. All bus stations and bus stops which are serviced by the RapidPenang buses are labeled with proper signboards to ensure user-friendliness.
Buses are somewhat frequent on the main artery to Batu Ferringhi. Look out for Transitlink bus 202 bound for Teluk Bahang; it goes through midtown Pulau Tikus, (northwest end of) Gurney Drive, Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bungah, and Batu Ferringhi. Avoid so-called 'minibuses' because they usually go as far as Tanjung Bungah and can be poorly maintained. Route 93, also bound for either Tanjung Bungah or Teluk Bahang, generally runs on buses that do not have air conditioning, but the ride is more decent than one on a minibus.
Bus 101 and 130/230 to Air Itam (RM1.50 Adult) departing westward on Lebuh Chulia (the main backpacker hotel road) or southbound from the KOMTAR building are handy for visiting both Kek Lok Si Temple and Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera) Funiciular Base Station -around 30mins south west of the city centre. The driver will inform you of when to alight. Bus 203 departs from the funicular base station to return to Komtar and onward.
The main hub for buses in Georgetown is KOMTAR, the tallest building in town. The secondary hub is located at the ferry terminal. All buses depart from the ferry terminal will stopover at KOMTAR, but downtown-bound buses destined for KOMTAR may not go all the way to the ferry terminal; ask the bus operator. There is a new long-distance bus terminal at Sungai Nibong, refer to by bus entry.
Municipal Council of Penang Island  provides a free shuttle bus service in Georgetown which runs approximately every 12 minutes Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-7 p.m., plus Saturdays 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.(no service on Sundays or public holidays).
These three-wheeled human-powered vehicles might be the best idea for a pleasant city tour. One can stop at any point to take a photo or buy souvenirs. Many trishaw riders are also excellent 'tour guides'. Negotiate the fare first before getting on a trishaw; it is advisable to hire them by the hour for extended sightseeing.
Car rentals may be a viable option, especially if you are planning to get off the beaten track and explore the western or southern coast of the island. Take note that Penang Island has quite a number of one-way streets and narrow roads. Many Penangites ride motorbikes and a minority of them have disregard for pedestrians, cars, and even their own lives, so you must be very careful when driving on the roads. Drivers from developed countries usually find it challenging to adapt to Malaysian road habits.
- Penang Budget Car Rental. Location:Gelugor and Sungai Dua TEL:+6016 4029300 or +6016 4143001
- Five A Travel Service (Pg) Sdn. Bhd. Travel Information and Cheapest Air Ticket ,.
- 86 Penang Street. Tel. +60 4 261-0642, Fax +60 4 261-8399. email@example.com
- Avis Rent-A-Car,. Arrival Hall of Penang International Airport. Tollfree within Malaysia: 1-800-88-2054, Tel. +60 4 643-9633.
- Budget Rent-A-Car,. 77-G-1 Jalan SP Chelliah. Tel. +60 4 210-8211 / 210-8212 / 210-8213, Fax +60 4 226-6690.
- Hertz,. Tollfree within Malaysia: 1-800-88-3086
- 38 Farquhar Street. Tel. +60 4 263-8602 / 263-5914, Fax +60 4 263-1273. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Insas Pacific Rent-A-Car,. Arrival Hall of Penang International Airport. Tel. +60 4 643-8891, Fax +60 4 644-4602. email@example.com.
- Arrival Hall of Penang International Airport. Tel. +60 4 643-0208, Fax +60 4 642-6635. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kasina Rent-A-Car,. Sungai Tiram. +60 4 644-1842. email@example.com.
- Mayflower Car Rental,. Arrival Hall of Penang International Airport. Tollfree within Malaysia: 1-800-88-1688, Tel. +60 4 641-1191.
- New Bob Rent-A-Car,.
- 11 Gottlieb Road. Tel. +60 4 229-1111, Fax +60 4 229-7777. firstname.lastname@example.org
- 3S, BA, Jalan Sungai Emas. Tel. +60 4 881-3886.
- Five A Rent-A-Car,.
- 86 Penang Street. Tel. +60 4 261-0642, Fax +60 4 261-8399. email@example.com
Almost all locals in Penang are able to speak Malay, the national language of Malaysia. However, the ethnic Chinese in Penang (who form the majority) usually speak a localised variant of Hokkien known as Penang Hokkien, which Minnan speakers from Taiwan and Fujian will have difficulty understanding due to the large number of loan words from Malay. Most ethnic Chinese are also able to speak Cantonese and Mandarin with reasonable fluency. Ethnic Indians usually converse in Tamil. English is also widely spoken by professionals and businessmen. Many, if not most locals will be able to communicate in broken English supplemented by non-verbal forms of communication such as pointing and gesturing.
In addition to the sites below, Georgetown has a number of culturally and historically interesting sites, covered on their own page.
- Kek Lok Si (极乐寺, "Temple of Supreme Bliss"). A rambling hillside structure that claims to be the largest Buddhist temple in South-East Asia, with the khmer/thai/chinese style Ban Po Thar (Ten Thousand Buddhas Tower) (RM4 to top via stairs) and various buddha images in the main temple complex. Futhermore, a minifunicular (RM4) connects to the summit of the hill featuring a giant 36.5m high statue of Kuan Yin, goddess of mercy. The current bronze version was completed after donations from mainland chinese in 2003, replacing a ca. 100 year old version that was decaying. Currently, there is scaffolding around the statue since there is building work in progress for a giant open pavillion to protect the statue, due to be completed in 2009 -photographs taken while construction is in progress will not be optimal, but still worth the inclined elevator ride up. During the Chinese New Year period, the temple is decorated with hundreds of lanterns which turns it into a night-time wonderland. Located near the village of Air Itam; a taxi from Georgetown will set you back RM 20-25, or catching a bus from the station next to the Komtar will cost you RM 1.50. (203 to Air Itam). A must-see place for visitors, although try to avoid the busy weekends.
- Penang Hill (升旗山, Malay:Bukit Bendera) - Penang Hill probably has the best view of Georgetown and Penang Bridge, especially at night. Go up via the Penang Hill Funicular (Return Adult RM8, ca. 30mins), a fascinating little cable train service that lifts you out of the heat and humidity of the coastal plain and up to a fabulous view and cool breezes. The 19th century English travel writer, Isabella Bird, called the temperature on the hill 'delicious' because it can be at least 5°C cooler than on the plain at sea-level. The more adventurous (and fit) may want to hike up the hill (remember water). There are several starting points for a trek up the hill including from the Moongate (about 300m from the entrance to the Botanical Gardens) and from inside the Botanical Gardens itself (just before the Reservoir). You can also walk up the paved jeep trail which begins beside the entrance to the Gardens. When you reach the summit you can walk around the hilltop, stop for tea, enjoy a leisurely lunch, buy a souvenir, try to photograph Georgetown and the Strait, or simply breathe deep lungfuls of cool,clean hill air. Leave a good 2-3 hours minimum to get to the top and return once buying your ticket. The trains can be crowded and you may have to wait some time in queue at the bottom and top, so try to avoid weekends.
- Penang Botanic Gardens,, Jalan Kebun Bunga, Phone:+60 4 227-0428 (for group tour arrangement) Fax:+60 4 228-6075 firstname.lastname@example.org. Open daily, 5am-8pm. Free admission. The gardens were established by Charles Curtis of Britain way back in 1884; it's generally known as the Waterfall Gardens by the local community because of the beautiful waterfall located within it. Every morning, many locals will come to the gardens to perform their daily exercises like walking, jogging, jungle trekking, aerobic dance, and to practice Tai Chi (太极) or Qi Gong (气功). It is also the home of large, roving troops of wild monkeys. These furry fiends/friends will sometimes snatch bags from unwary visitors. The garden hosts an annual international floral fest as well as a world music festival .
- Bukit Jambul Orchid, Hisbiscus & Reptile Garden, Persiaran Bukit Jambul. Phone:+60 4 644-8863, Fax:+60 4 644-2236 / 228-5733. Daily 9.30am-6.30pm (last admission at 5.30pm). This garden is close to Hotel Equatorial and is about 10 minutes from Penang International Airport. You can pose for a picture with Malaysia's largest tame snake, a rare Albino Python or watch the Snake Show on weekends and public holidays, 11.30am-3.30pm. Adult RM5 and children RM2.
- Penang Butterfly Farm, 830 Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Pahang. Tel : 04 8851741. Open Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm, Sat, Sun and public holidays 9am – 6pm. Houses a large collection of butterflies, as well as some scorpions, snakes, fish, and reptiles. Admission RM9 Malaysians, RM12.50 for foreigners.
- Fisheries Department Research Institute Aquarium, Batu Maung. Phone:+60 4 626-3925, Fax:+60 4 626-2210. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult RM5, children (7-12 years old) RM2, free admission for children under 7. A medium-sized aquarium that showcases mostly fish found in regional waters. Nothing fancy but quite informative and enjoyable.
- Penang Bridge (槟威大桥). With a span of 8.4km over water, it is one of the longest bridges in the world. The bridge connects the island to the mainland (Seberang Perai) and offers great views of the port and city. You are not supposed to stop on the bridge but many people use the emergency stop areas for a quick photo shoot. The bridge opened to public in 1985 and still is a major national landmark for Malaysia.
- Pulau Jerejak Resort, (Jerejak Island), Phone: +60 4 658-7111, Fax:+60 4 659-7700, email@example.com, . Also known as the Alcatraz of Malaysia, because the island was once the location of the Jerejak Prison. This beautiful 362 hectare tropical island, is located directly across the channel from the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, on the south eastern coast of Penang island. The island is now open to the public as a recreational resort. Numerous outdoor activities including nature & historical trekking, mountain biking, and archery are available; personal care such as aromatherapy massage, tired foot treatment, body scrub are also available. Unfortunately, you are not advised to swim in the sea around the Jerejak island because it is not quite clean. Ferries from Penang start operations at 6.30am and continue until 12.30pm. Return trip fare for guests with room / event reservations: Adult RM6, Children RM3. Day trippers: Adult RM16 (include meals), Children RM3. Various accommodation option available: tent for 2 person costs RM80 per night, 2-bed room RM115, chalet RM220 or promotional 3D/2N package for 2 person costs RM499.
- Snake Temple (蛇庙) was built in 1850 in memory of the renowned Chinese monk Chor Soo Kong. The Snake Temple is situated in the small town of Bayan Lepas and is famous for the fact that it has pit vipers living within the temple grounds. Legend has it that Chor Soo Kong, who was also a healer, gave shelter to the snakes of jungle. After the completion of the temple, snakes appeared on their own accord. Today the snake population of the Temple of the Azure Cloud is very small, due to the urbanization of the area, but you can still see them coiled up on the altar tables, and you can touch them if you are brave enough. Originally the snakes were said to be rendered harmless by the smell of the burning incense, but today, to be safe, the resident vipers are devenomed. RM5 for adult and RM1 for children.
- War Museum Lot 1350, Mukim 12, Batu Maung, Phone: +60 4 626-5142, 391-0067 Fax: +60 4 626-4142, 644-8015. Every day, 9am-7pm (last admission). Located at southeastern tip of Penang, it is a large abandoned military fortress built in 1930's by British to protect the southern approaches to the island. The British Royal Engineers and a work force of local laborers blasted and dug into the hill to create a fort with underground military tunnels, an intelligence and logistic center, halls, offices, ventilation shafts, artillery firing bays, sleeping quarters, cook houses as well as an infirmary.
- Tropical Spice Garden - The Tropical Spice Garden, which is located in a 8 acre valley fronting the shores of Teluk Bahang showcases a landscaped garden that consists of tropical plant collections from all over the world. The garden has over 100 varieties of tropical spice and herb plants and a huge collection of other exotic flora.
- Fort Cornwallis - This brick-and-mortar fort was first built using bakau wood in 1786 by the British under Captain Francis Light at the site where they first landed. The fort was upgraded in 1793 to its current state. Located by the sea at the Esplanade (Padang Kota Lama in Malay), the fort has a small lighthouse, a chapel, and a gunpowder bunker within its walls. Several old cannons (including one that is believed by some locals to have magical 'fertility' powers) can still be found at the fort. This well-preserved historical site is open to the public from 9.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. on Mondays to Saturdays. Admission costs RM3.00 (adult) and RM1.00 (children).
- Tropical Fruit Farm  - This 25-acre farm lies in the scenic hills near Balik Pulau. You can view the many kinds of fruit trees there and sample fresh fruit at reasonable price. A small stall near the entrance sells fresh fruit juice and fruit dishes. You can also enjoy a great view of the north-western coastline of the island.
- Penang Bird Park - A small bird park located on the mainland (Seberang Perai) about 10 minutes from the Penang Bridge. Take a walk under nice shady trees and view dozens of kinds of birds including ostriches, sea eagles, peafowls, hornbills, flamingos, macaws, and grey parrots. There are also two walk-through aviaries and a fish pond. Some of the enclosures do need a touch of paint, but kids should love this place. Open daily from 9.00a.m. to 7.00p.m. Address: Jalan Todak (near the Sunway Carnival Mall), Bandar Seberang Jaya, 13700 Perai, Penang. Tel.: 604-3991899
Events and Festivals
- Chinese New Year. This year (2009), it falls on 26 January. There will be cultural events and 'open houses' around Penang, especially in Georgetown. Celebrate the year of the Ox in Penang!
- Thaipusam. 8 February 2009. A Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan/Feb). Read about this fascinating festival here: 
- Penang International Dragon Boat Festival. Dragon boat racing at its best.
- Penang Bon Odori Carnival . A Japanese traditional carnival usually with drum and dance performances.
- The Feast of St. Anne . 29 July. Venue: St. Anne's Church, Bukit Mertajam. A Christian religious festival that includes a candle-light procession at the church.
- Nine Emperor Gods vegetarian festival is held at Taoist temples for 9 days of the 9th lunar month in the Chinese calendar, normally at the end of Sept or Oct.
- Deepavali. The Hindu 'Festival of Lights' which, according to legend, celebrates the triumph of Lord Khrishna over the demon Narakasura. There will be an 'Open House' hosted by the Malaysian Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry at 'Little India' on 10 November 2008 in conjunction with the festival.
- Penang Floral Festival. Held at the Penang Botanic Gardens.
- Penang Bridge International Marathon - participants run on the Penang Bridge (13.5 km long) and along a scenic coastal highway. This is the only time of the year when the bridge is closed for several hours. The event is usually held in May/June; the entry form can be obtained through its official web site (google to find it as the website usually changes each year).
- Food tasting - Penang is popular among Malaysians for a huge variety of local food such as Char Koay Teow, Penang Laksa, and Nasi Kandar, which are found practically everywhere on the island. For the most well-known Char Koay Teow, try "Sister's Char Koay Teow" at Macalister Road.
- Jungle trekking & camping - Enjoy walking through the reserve forest in Teluk Bahang, go to the northwestern cape of the island where there are unspoiled beaches and an old lighthouse. For a quicker and more relaxed way to reach the secluded beaches there, approach the locals at Kampung Nelayan for boat rides to beaches like Muka Head, Pantai Kerachut, and Teluk Kampi. Kampung Nelayan is located less than 1km down the road northwest of the small roundabout located at Teluk Bahang.
- Bukit Jambul Golf & Country Club 2 Jalan Bukit Jambul, Tel: +60 4 644-2255, Fax: +60 4 644-2400, firstname.lastname@example.org. Course designer: Robert Trent Jones Jr.
- Pearl Island Country Club 8 Persiaran Kelicap, Tel: +60 4 642-7888, Fax: +60 4 646-6999. Course design: Pacific Coast Design (Aust)
- Bukit Jawi Golf Resort  Lot 414, Mlk6 Jln Paya Kemian Sempayi Sungai Jawi, Seberang Prai Selatan, Tel: +60 4 582-0759, Fax: +60 4 582-2613 email@example.com
- Sight seeing is the most important agenda when visiting Penang. Plan your trip and don't forget to bring your camera to capture all your sweet memories there! Remember to pick up your FREE copy of IN PENANG magazine to guide you around in Penang.
- Rest & Relax
- Shopping - the three most popular shopping malls in Penang would be Gurney Plaza, Prangin Mall and Queensbay Mall, which house shops offering a full range of fashionable goods and necessity items. If you crave the unusual, head on down to the flea market at Lorong Kulit, which is open from morning until around 2:00pm daily. If mingling with the masses is your idea of fun, check out the pasar malam (night market) along Batu Ferringhi for some inexpensive shopping and dining, gets more interesting during weekends.
- Penang International Dragon Boat Festival has been staged annually since 1979 and has successfully attracted teams from all over the world including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Canada, and the USA. Penang will host the 6th Club Crew World Championships (CCWC)  in 2008.
- Watersports are on the agenda for many visitors, although the waters are a bit too murky for scuba diving and a bit too calm for surfing or more extreme pursuits. Swimming is OK along most of the northern coast especially near the international-class hotels as they do their best to keep the beaches and water clean. You can also try out jet skis and parasailing near most of the hotels along Batu Feringhi beach.
Life in Penang is relatively cheap. A night at a 4-star hotel costs less than RM200 (roughly USD54) for 2 persons. A typical meal at the hawker center costs only about USD3 for one person. One of the potential problems is getting around. The bus service is cheap but can be sporadic (depends on time of the day and popularity of a particular route). Taxis can ask for unreasonable prices, so haggle before boarding if the taxi doesn't seem to be running on the meter.
- Popular Book Co., 33-4-09 & 10, Prangin Mall Komtar, tel:04-2636122/126 fax:04-2636130. Also has stores at Gurney Plaza and Queensbay Mall.
- Borders, Queensbay Mall, Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas, 11900 Penang.
- Tan Mark Book Centre, 283 Jalan Burma.
- MPH Book Store, Gurney Plaza, Gurney Drive.
- Book Zone, 2nd floor, Penang Plaza, Burma Road.
- Nutmeg (豆蔻) products - In traditional medicine nutmeg oil or balm were used for illnesses related to the nervous and digestive systems. Preserved nutmeg strips either in dry or wet form are used as the snack by locals.
- Traditional biscuits such as Tambun Pneah (淡文饼), Beh Teh Sor (马蹄酥), Heong Pneah (香饼), Pong Pneah (清糖饼), Tau Sar Pneah (豆沙饼) and etc.
- Ghee Hiang(义香), 95 Beach Street, Tel. +60 4 262-0635, Fax +60 4 263-5158. 216 Macalister Road, Tel. +60 4 227-2222, Fax +60 4 227-2522 firstname.lastname@example.org The company has been established since 1856; other well-known product includes sesame seed oil. Their new product that launched recently is almond biscuit (杏仁饼).
- Him Heang (馨香), 162-A Burma Road, Tel. +60 4 228-6129 / 228-6130. Arguably the most famous Chinese bakery in Penang, popular among locals and Singaporean tourists. Order through phone first due to limited daily production.
- Ng Kee Cake Shop (伍记), 61 Cintra Street, Tel. +60 4 261-2229. The shop produces and sells Cantonese traditional biscuits including wedding biscuits. One of the famous biscuits is pepper biscuit (咸切酥, Ham Chit Soo).
- Sin Hock Seng (新福成), 316, Penang Road Tel +60 4 263-2667. The shop sells more than one hundred different types of biscuit. Basically, you can find any kind of traditional biscuit there.
Penang offers plenty of delicious and cheap Malaysian food, but is famed throughout the rest of the country for some specialities. Penang is an island of countless food stalls, a veritable "food paradise". It is known to many around Asia for its culinary originality and diversity. However, Penangites find good food in many places usually unknown (and even odd) to tourists. A good way to find good food is to ask the locals. Don't be surprised that some stalls that are set up beside a busy road are considered to serve very good food by the locals. Hygiene may be your primary concern but most of the food is clean, so there's really nothing much to worry about. The rule of thumb is to be adventurous with your tongue and to look at the condition of the stall and its surroundings. Generally, if a stall is being patronised by many locals, the food will be safe to eat. If there is a water tap nearby and if the food is served hot, you should not be worried. Don't be fooled by the names: Penang laksa or hokkien mee are quite different from what you'd get in, say, Kuala Lumpur. Topping the list are:
- Hokkien Mee - Two types of noodles in prawn and pork soup with slices of pork, prawns, hard boiled egg, vegetable, beans sprout and sprinkling of deep fried shallots. LHH recommends the stall at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre near the roundabout.
- Assam Laksa - a far cry from the sweet, coconutty Singaporean version, this noodle soup comes with sour broth flavored with tamarind (assam) with pureed fish, fruits, veggies and a generous helping of chili mixed in. Watch out, the combination is powerful and will have the uninitiated breathing fire! Famous assam laksa include Air Itam market, Gottlieb Road, Gurney Drive, etc.
- Penang Char Koay Teow (炒馃条) - a local interpretation of the ubiquitous stir-fried flat rice noodles, tossed with bean sprouts, cockles, and anything else the chef has handy. Eggs are additional and cockles can be opt out if preferred by the customer; request when placing order. Some said the best Char Koay Teow can be found at Lorong Selamat but it costs at least RM5 per plate and that only if you have the patience of a saint to wait for it. Another choice is Macalister Road Sister's Char Koay Teow and the Char Koay Teow in Bukit Emas Restaurant, Seberang Perai.
- Penang Nasi Kandar - white rice (nasi) with anything else that you want with it! Usually served with fried chicken, fried fish, prawns, squid, hardboiled eggs, various vegetables, and a curry (which is poured onto the rice). Be careful though! Taking too many of the 'side dishes' can be quite expensive. Can be found at various places around Georgetown.
- Koay Teow Th'ng - flat rice noodles in clear chicken soup with slices of chicken, pork and fish cake. Garnish with chopped spring onions. Some places have duck meat and other organ meats as extras. Some said the shop in Hutton Lane couple shops opposite Tandoori House is a good choice.
- Kaya (a type of jam) - which is a mixture of eggs and cocount milk to be spread over anything you want and according to some the best kaya is at a little coffee shop at the end of Madras Lane. To impress the locals, order some kaya toast and dip it in some half-boiled egg.
- Coconut tart - If you have eaten egg tart before then instead of the egg put in some coconut and voila! You get coconut tart and definitely the best is at Cintra Lane.
- Cendol - a mixture of blended ice with big mushy red beans with gula melaka (brown sugar) thrown in. This will satisfy anyone even if it is raining. Cendol can be found anywhere but the best is at Penang Road.
- Penang lobak - a mix of deep fried stuffs. One of it is actually called lobak (coarse minced pork and various vegs rolled in tofu skin). Other stuffs are usually stingray, tofu, tofu and shrimp in batter, etc ... (varies in different places) served with two types of dipping sauces (chillie and another type). Famous lorbak is at the coffee shop (junction of Sri Bahari Rd and Penang Rd)
- Penang Sar Hor Fun (炒河粉) - a local dish with koay teow (flat rice cakes) in a delicious broth of beaten eggs and seafood bits. Goes best with prickled green chillies.
- Seafood - As you might expect on an island, seafood is abundant. Head for the fishing village of Teluk Bahang in the north, or go to Batu Maung / Teluk Kumbar in the south for fresh fare at local prices. You can also get good seafood at Batu Ferringhi beach.
- Durian Fruit - Penang's durian is unique in the world. Best way to eat is at the stall. They open the durain for you. You pay what you eat. You don't have to worry about buying rotten durians. Stalls are usually located by the roadside next to durian plantations, like the along road from Teluk Bahang to Balik Pulau, and along the road from Air Itam to Relau. Within Georgetown, there is one at Jalan Anson, opposite Jalan Dunlop, and another along Jalan Macalister.
Hawker stalls & hawker centers:
- Buckingham Street near KOMTAR
- Campbell Street near KOMTAR
- Prangin Mall hawker center
- Wawasan Mutiara Nasi Kandar near KOMTAR bus station
- New World Park near Chew Thean Yang Aquarium and Sheraton Hotel
- Buckingham Street near KOMTAR
- Chulia Street near Kapitan Keling Mosque
- Gurney Drive Hawker Center beside the roundabout at Gurney Drive.
- New Lane near KOMTAR and Sunway Georgetown Hotel
- Pearl Hill near The Toy Museum and Copthorne Hotel
- Red Garden Food Paradise on Leith Street, next to the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion.
- Mamak stalls along Penang Road offers Indian food such as Roti Canai, Roti Helicopter, Roti Tissue, Mutabak etc.
- NO EYE DEER Restaurant Great little restaurant which is a favourite haunt among the locals & expatriates living in Penang. This restaurant serves a great variety of Western and Asian cuisine. It is famous for its Laotian Laksa, Chicken Parmigiana and it serves one of the best steaks on the island. Popular dishes among its regular patrons include its Chicken Kapitan Bryani, Chilli Lime Sea Bass, Grilled Lamb Chops, Mutton Rogen Josh, and Spaghetti Marinara. They are also reputed to serve one of the best fish & chips in town. It is located above the 7-Eleven store in the Prima Tanjung complex (opposite Island Plaza), Tanjung Tokong. The weekends are normally pretty busy, thus it is advisable to get there early. Tel: 04-899 0488 Fax: 04-899 3488
- Bukit Genting Thai Food is located on a hilltop, along the road to Balik Pulau. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery while tasting the delicious spicy Thai food there. Although it's a long way from Georgetown, the food and the scenery make the trip worthwhile. Call to get directions and try to get there before sunset. Be careful while driving on the narrow road going up. Best to go when it's not yet dark. Phone: 60 4 827-9805.
- Cherry Sweet Spicy Thai Food, 8 Clove Hall Road. Phone: +60 4 227-6758, 229-2561. Daily (Closed on Wednesday) 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm. Pork-free.
- eGate, next to Tesco hypermarket along Jelutong Expressway. Restaurants and cafes available are: Starbucks, Old Town Kopitiam, Subway, Oasis, Tao Japanese Restaurant and etc.
- Illyana's is located at Teluk Kumbar. A Malay style eatery attracting lots of Chinese and Malays because the chef who is Thai cooks very well. Notable dishes include lala fried with olive oil and the claypot fish head curry. Seafood is always fresh (you pick what you want from the fresh seafood laid out and the chef cooks it for you, whatever style you fancy) here as it's just off the beach/jetty. Try the satay too when you are at Illyana's.
- Yellow Light Thai Food, 1-C Fettes Road. Phone: +60 4 899-1471. Closed on Monday.
- Eden Seafood Village - 69A Batu Ferringhi, Phone:+60 4 881-1852. Daily 6PM-11PM.
- Ocean Green Seafood, Hotel Paramount, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Penang. Used to be a popular seafood place for Penangites but of late, other seafood places have mushroomed. Commendable dishes include mantis prawns fried with salted egg yolk batter, fried sharksfin with eggs, and prawns.
- Oriental Seafood Restaurant - Macalister Road, Phone:+60 4 226-0969. A sister outlet of the Oriental Seafood at Gurney Drive. This outlet at Macalister Road is less pricey and it's for the locals who crave crabs and prawns (but no view, unlike the one at Gurney Drive). Service is quick and you can order other side eats such as fried noodles, etc. Crabs go by the kilogramme so prices fluctuate. Ask first before ordering. They accept credit cards and cash.
- Seoul Garden Korean Restaurant - Sunrise Tower, 1st Floor, 190-192 Gurney Drive, Phone:+60 4 2298705. The food here is not bad except that the kimchi can be quite different each time you eat here. Attracts Korean expats during lunch and dinner. So food must be similar to Korean food back home. Nice views though of the area esp during lunch. This place has been here for years!
Most of Penang's fancier accommodation is in the form of beach resorts on the main tourist beach of Batu Feringghi. More backpacker-friendly options, as well as a few classical luxury hotels, can be found in Georgetown. See those articles for details; the following listing cover only accommodations elsewhere on the island.
- Equatorial Penang, 1 Jalan Bukit Jambul, Phone:+60-4-643 8111, Fax:+60-4-881 1180 email@example.com . Located on the east coast of Penang, convenient to the airport and its industrial area, but less so for the beach-loving tourist.
- The Northam All Suite Penang, 55 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Phone:+60-4-370 1111, Fax:+60-4-370 2222 The Northam All Suite Penang. Located in Georgetown, a popular destination on Penang Island. The hotel offers 142 air-conditioned suites, all elegantly furnished with cable TV, powder room, water-massage Jacuzzi, among others.
- Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang, Tanjung Bunga, ☎ +60 4 892 3333, . Host to the blue seas and green rolling hills. A truly enviable location, directly on the ocean front and conveniently situated at Tanjung Bunga.
- Hotel Royal Penang, ☎ 042267888, . The hotel is ideally situated in the heart of Georgetown. It is adjacent to the shopping complex, Penang Plaza. It offers comprehensive facilities with a broad range of leisure and business amenities, luxurious accommodation, modern dining in The Grove Brasserie and fun gatherings in the cozy Colors Pub & Lounge. No. 3 Jalan Larut, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.Rates Start at 400.00 ++.
- Penang Tourism Action Council  56th Floor, KOMTAR, Phone:+60 4 262-0202, Fax:+60 4 263-1020 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tourism Malaysia 
- Penang Tourist Centre: Bangunan Penang Port Bhd, Pesara King Edward. Phone:+60 4 261-6663
- Penang Development Corporation Tourism Division: 1 Persiaran Mahsuri, Bayan Baru. Phone:+60 4 643-2111, Fax:+60 4 643-2405
- Tourism Information Centre: Level 3, Concourse KOMTAR. Phone:+60 4 261-4461
- Tourism Malaysia Penang Branch: 56th Floor, KOMTAR. Phone:+60 4 261-0058 / 264-3494. Fax:+60 4 262-3688 email@example.com
- Penang Heritage Trust  26 Church Street, Phone+60 4 264-2631. Fax+60 4 262-8421 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ambulance / Police: 999
- Fire: 994
- Rescue (Civil Defense): 991
- All the abovementioned numbers: 112 from mobile phones
- Tourist police:+60 4 222-1522
- Telegram service: 100
- International and domestic operator assisted service: 101
- Directory enquiry service: 103
- Multilingual international service: 198
- Don't walk alone in deserted places.
- Don't accept rides from Kereta Sapu (passenger car / unlicensed taxi).
- Don't carry valuables in motorbike-baskets.
- Don't leave valuables in hotel rooms.
- Don't place valuables on restaurant tables.
- Do be wary of snatch-thieves - especially when wearing jewelery and/or carrying bags. Some of these felons practice the art of 'ride-by' snatching of ladies' handbags which can result in serious injury to the victim. So ladies: walk against traffic and keep the handbag on the side away from the road or better still - don't carry one.
- Do be wary of the (sometimes aggressive) long-tail macaques at the botanical gardens.
- Do read the local newspapers to know what's going on.
- Immigration Dept Georgetown Office  Beach Street, Phone:+60 4 250-3410, Fax:+60 4 262-8090
Consulates in Penang
- Australia  1-C Hutton Lane, Phone:+60 4 263-1114 Fax:+60 4 263-3320 email@example.com
- Bangladesh 15 Bishop Street, Phone:+60 4 262-1085
- Canada 3007 Tkt. Perusahaan 5, Kaw Perusahaan Perai, Phone:+60 4 389-3300
- Denmark 1st Floor Wisma Rajab, 82 Bishop Street, Phone:+60 4 262-4886 Fax:+60 4 261-4963
- Finland 8th Floor Wisma Penang Garden, 42 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Phone:+60 4 229-4300 Fax:+60 4 227-4533
- France 2nd Floor Wisma Rajab, 82 Bishop Street, Phone:+60 4 262-9707
- Germany Plot 205-206 Jalan Kampung Jawa Free Industrial Zone 3, Phone:+60 4 641-5707
- Hungary Plot 226-228 Jalan Kampung Jawa Free Industrial Zone 3, Phone:+60 4 644-9937
- Indonesia  467 Burma Road, Phone:+60 4 227-4686
- Japan  Level 28, Menara BHL, 51 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Phone:+60 4 226-3030, Fax:+60 4 226-1030. Office hour: Weekdays, closed on Weekends & Public Holidays. Office: 8:30AM-12:30PM, 2PM-5PM. Visa Counter: 8:30AM-12PM, 2PM-4PM.
- Netherlands, The 202 Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah Phone:+60 4 647-3333
- Norway 4 Jalan Sepoy Lines, Phone:+60 4 226-3459
- Russia 37 Green Hall, Phone:+60 4 262-2944
- Sri Lanka 1 Bishop Street, Phone:+60 4 261-3093
- Sweden 3rd Floor, Standard Chartered Bank Chambers, 2 Beach Street, Phone:+60 4 262-5333
- United Kingdom 3rd Floor, Standard Chartered Bank Chambers, 2 Beach Street, Phone:+60 4 262-5333
- Thailand 1 Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Phone:+60 4 226-8029 / 226-9484, Fax:+60 4 226-3121 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Turkey 3rd Floor, Standard Chartered Bank Chambers, 2 Beach Street, Phone:+60 4 262-5333
- Alor Star - capital of Kedah state
- Hat Yai
- Ipoh - capital of Perak state
- Kota Bharu - capital of Kelantan state
- Pulau Langkawi (Langkawi Island)
- Perhentian Islands
This page was last edited at 07:41, on 28 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Jani Patokallio, Liz, Hock Aun Yeap, Peter Fitzgerald and Stefan Ertmann, Wikitravel user(s) Foox, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.