Penang, Malaysia » City Info

Penang, the state of Malaysia, is sited on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is outlined by the Strait of Malacca, bordering Kedah in the north and east, while Perak in the south. Being one of the important states of Malaysia, it’s rising as an unparalleled destination in the world. It is the eight most densely inhabited and the second smallest state in Malaysia with highly assorted culture, language and society.

Top 10 Penang Landmarks

Kek Lok Si:
One of the famous Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia, Kek Lok Si is known as Temple of Supreme Bliss. It is a temple of Mahayana Buddhism with Taoist beliefs that also blends an influence of Chinese rituals in the temple's architecture and artwork. The temple is situated in Air Itam in Penang, commercialised with shops at every level and inside the main temple complexes.

Bata Furring:
Being the most popular stretched beach in Penang, Bata Furring is home to an array of beach resorts. The beach eyeballs many visitors because of its hotels line standing one after another in a series. Get a chance to refresh your stressed soul and mind with such a splendid view of beach. On a sunny day with clear sky, glare at Kedah Peak, also known as Gunung Jerai.

Komtar, the cutting-edge building, is home to many retail outlets, transportation hub and administrative offices. It is an eye catching multipurpose complex built to revitalise the urban centre of George Town. One of the finest visions of the former Chief Minster of Penang, Dr Lim Chong Eu, it is a 65-storey building designed and constructed by local expertise. Komtar is an acronym for Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak named after the second prime minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.

Snake Temple:
With a unique presence in the world, Snake Temple houses many venomous serpents. It is located at Sungai Kelung, Bayan Lepas, in Penang. The temple is also known as Ban Kah Lan constructed in 1850 to dedicate the Buddhist monk, Chor Soo Kong. Every year thousands of tourists visit the Temple of the Azure Clouds on the 6th day of the first lunar month to celebrate the monk's birthday. It is a traditional temple to visit throughout Chinese New Year.

Queensbay Mall:
It is one of the largest shopping malls in Asia as well the longest malls in Penang. The mall is 9-storey building having a gross built up area of 2.5 million sq. ft. It comprises 5 storeys of shopping space for 500 outlets and parking space with an area consists of 8-storeys. It is situated in Bayan Lepas completed by CP Mall Son Bud on 1st of December 2006.

Kapitan Keling Mosque:
The Kapitan Keling Mosque is the largest mosque in Georgetown as well one of the first mosques in Penang. This mosque is named after Caudeer Mohudeen, where the name "kapitan keling" means the leader of the South Indian Muslim community. The mosque features a dome shaped minaret inspired by Moorish architecture. It is symbol of eminent landmark unleashing architecture of magnificent significance.

Fort Cornwallis:
The Fort Cornwallis was previously known as Fort Point as it was located at the tip of the Penang Island. The fort was named after the late 18th century governor general of Bengal, India, Charles Marquis Cornwallis. It was constructed in 1786 after Captain Sir Francis Light took the possession of Penang from the Sultan of Kedah. It resembles other British forts in India as well it is one of the oldest star-shaped forts in Penang.

Khoo Kongsi:
Khoo Kongsi is one of the most beautiful temples in the world situated outside the province of China. It is a huge Chinese clanhouse with magnificent ornamented architecture elaborating the existence of Chinese in Penang, Malaysia. This historic setting is situated in Cannon Square, George Town. The temple owns its significance as a symbol of redefining clan's association in the present days.

Sri Mahamariamman Temple:
Sri Mahamariamman Temple also known as Arulmigu Sri Mahamariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Penang. It is situated in Queen Street designed with fascinating sculptures of gods and goddesses over the main entrance and façade. In 1833, this place was reckoned as the temple for worship. It is 200 years old architecture, standing like an epitome in Penang.

Wat Chaiyamangkalaram:
Wat Chaiyamangkalaram is a Thai Buddhist Temple, and well-known for its Reclining Buddha Temple. This stature is 33 metres in length and the 3rd largest of its own kind in the world. The temple was built in 1845 on a piece of land donated by Queen Victoria to four women trustees. It is one of the two temples involved in the performance of Thai festivals such as Loy Krathong and Songkhran.

Top Penang FAQs

Q.1) Where is Penang located?

Ans: Penang is located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is one of the famous states in Malaysia as well the name of the constituent island.

Q.2) What is the capital of Penang?

Ans: The capital of Penang is George Town (sometimes written as Georgetown), which is ranked as the most liveable city in Malaysia.

Q.3) Which state of Malaysia is often known as "The Pearl of the Orient"?

Ans: Penang is often known as "The Pearl of the Orient." It is spoken as "PG" or "PP" in Malay.

Q.4) What is the total population of Penang?

Ans: The total population of Penang is 1,520,143 (2010) while its density is 1,500/km².

Q.5) What is the time zone of Penang?

Ans: The Penang standard time zone is MST (UTC+8). Penang does not observe daylight saving.

Q.6) How is Penang divided?

Ans: Penang is divided into two parts where the seat of government is Penang Island and Seberang Perai on the Malay Peninsula.

Q.7) What are the postal code and the calling code of Penang?

Ans: The postal code is 10000 - 19500.The country code of Malaysia is +60 while the area code is 4.

Q.8) What is the total area of Penang?

Ans: The total area of Penang is 1,048 km2.

Q.9) Which are the official language and the working language of Penang?

Ans: Malay is the official language of the state. It is spoken in the northern accent, with characteristic words such as "hang", "depa", and "kupang". English is a language used in commerce, education and arts. Penangites use predominantly British English with American influences.

Q.10) How to denote a resident of Penang?

Ans : Penangite is used to denote a resident of Penang.

Q.11) Which religions are followed in Penang?

Ans : Islam is widely followed in Penang while other prevalent religions are Buddhism, Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Taoism and Hinduism etc.

Q.12) Which festivals are celebrated in Penang?

Ans: Penang celebrates the Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, Hungry Ghost Festival, Qing Ming, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Haji, Deepavali, Thaipusam and Thai Pongal and Good Friday, etc.

Q.13) What are the famous newspapers in Penang?

Ans: The most popular newspapers in Penang include the English dailies - The Star, The New Straits Times. The Malay dailies - Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia, Harian Metro and Kosmo! There are several newspapers sold in different regional languages.

Q.14) Where is the Penang International Airport situated?

Ans: The Penang International Airport is situated at Bayan Lepas in the south of Penang Island.

Q.15) What are the visa requirements for Penang?

Ans: Please visit our visa requirements page for more details.

Getting Around in Penang

Penang is well connected by different modes of transport, such as bus, taxis, rail and car rental. Major highways are directly linked to main towns. Therefore, it is convenient for those interested in visiting different sites. Old rail routes are well maintained to provide additional privileges to visitors. Taxis are rigidly available as well one can rent a car in Penang to explore various sites by own convenience. Travelling in Penang is a bit inexpensive if you hire motorcycles, tricycles and bicycles. The state is served by a fleet of aeroplanes. The Penang International Airport stays busy because of thousands of travellers.

Bus System

Buses are the most common form of pubic transport in Penang. After the launch of Rapid Penang, the latest bus service, it has totally transformed Penang public transportation system. Bus system is highly improved because of easy to read signboard, appropriate route maps and helpful drivers. Because of booming tourism, Rapid Penang has launched the Tourist Passport, which is billed at once, but stays active for a week and it provides access to all Rapid Penang buses. Penangites enjoy a bus service and a free shuttle bus also known as Rapid Penang CAT (Central Area Transport).


Taxis in Penang are fitted with metres, which provide accurate rending for the distance covered. Most drivers avoid using metres and charge fixed fares. Therefore, tourists should stay agile while handling taxi drivers. It is always better if you fix prices before boarding onto taxis. One can also board onto shared taxis, which charge low fares. The fare from the Penang International Airport to Penang road in George Town is around RM 40 (this may change).


The state is served by 34.9km of rail track within its border. The Butterworth railway station is serviced by the Keretapi Tanah Melayu. There are many daily trains from Hat Yai, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Booking a ticket in the Oriental Express (from Bangkok to Butterworth) is the most luxurious travelling experience. Butterworth is a major station for trains coming from Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. The International Express runs daily between Butterworth and Bangkok.

Car Rental

Journey becomes more enjoyable when you rent a car in Penang. Car rental is relatively inexpensive in the city. Just hire a comfortable car sitting five people at affordable rates and get a total freedom and flexibility in the expedition. Before driving on your own, you must know basic traffic rules. Penang has the right hand side of driving. The speed limit varies from 60km on normal road to 110km on the highways and expressways. The city has well-managed parking areas.

Communication in Penang

Because of increasing popularity, Penang is growing as the most lovable holiday destination in the world. The state has full range of wireless mobile phone coverage. Maxis, Digi and Celcom provide both 3G and GSM services in Penang. There are internet cafes located at various localities. The Edge is an English-language financial newspaper. The Star, the New Straits Times and the Sun are the mainstream newspapers in Penang. Mutiara FM, Perak FM and Kedah FM are popular radio stations operating in Penang.