Destinations > Malaysia States > Penang
Penang, 'The Pearl of the Orient' is a popular tourist destination for its alluring beaches and old-world charm. Founded in 1786 by Captain Francis Light of the British East India Company, it is a cultural melting pot and the oldest British Straits Settlement. Its historic heart of Georgetown was where ships refuelled and served as a centre for the spice trade as well as tea and cotton from China and India.
Places of Interest
Heritage walk/tour in Penang's maze of narrow streets offers an insight into the past where little has changed since the days of East India Company. Expect to 'get lost' amongst joss stick shops, fresh noodle makers and other old crafts.
Take a trishaw ride to discover Georgetown's heart and soul. Georgetown with its eclectic blend of colonial, Moorish, Indian and Chinese architecture is a sensory journey of fascinating sights, sound and aromas.
Learn more on Penang International Airport.
Penang Island is accessible by road via the Penang Bridge. A charge of Rm7 is levied on all classes of cars uding the bridge at the toll plaza in Prai on the mainland. No payment is required for the return trip from the island to the mainland.
From Butterworth, visitors can take the ferry to Penang Island. Operated by the Penang Port Commission, the ferry service is available for both passengers and vehicles. Fares for passengers and vehicles charges are collected at the Butterworth terminal. No payment is required for the return journey.
The train journey from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth takes approximately 8 hours and affords passengers views of the scenic countryside of Peninsular Malaysia. Learn more about Malayan Railway or Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB).
Penang's public transport system is efficient and getting around by taxis, buses or trishaws may be a fun and inexpensive way of catching the sights.
Most city taxis do not use the meter. You may either insist on the meter being turned on or agree on the price before you hop in.
Most buses use coin machines to collect fares. The main bus terminals are at Pengkalan Weld (ferry terminal) and KOMTAR (ground floor).
Mini buses also ply various routes in the city, charging a flat rate of RM0.70 except for bus no. 66 & 69.
Penang is claimed to has Malaysia's best food. Open-air stalls with a variety of local food can be found along Gurney Drive, Bayan Baru, Mac Alister Road, Anson Road, Burma Road and Pulau Tikus. Nonya food (a Chinese and Malay culinary blend) is also best sampled in Penang and Malacca.
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