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 5 Bars

Momo - Georgetown:
If you are looking for sparkling colourful night, you are at the right place, Momo, which spans over 16,000 sq. feet, offering an exotic experience of the Middle East with an essence of Mediterranean hospitality. This club is bifurcated into several chic areas, which include five selected bars offering an ideal atmosphere to dance, drink and enjoy. It's one of the world best bars as well a winner of many international awards.

Babylon Boom Boom - Georgetown:
Babylon Boom Boom, a place for young crowd as well as for those interested in nightlife and entertainment. With its complete enthralling atmosphere, you will get indulged in dance, music and drinks. It is also famous for the cabaret show, which will pull your attention for sure. Additional attractions include pools and darts.

Hard Rock Café - Jalan Batu Feringghi:
It's a perfect place for thrilling night, if you are interested in lots of fun and entertainment. This place is ideal for those looking for rocking atmosphere. Hard Rock is a unique place for hangout along with friendly staff, reasonable drinks and above all, awesome ambience to steal anyone's heart.

Soho Free House - Georgetown:
Enjoy lively vibes at Soho Free House, where nightlife is entirely different for those interested in complete enthrallment. It is one of the most lovable bars of Penang offering wonderful environment for get-together, reunions and assemblages. At night, DJs groove the floor with retro music and dancing tunes.

Sunset Bistro - Batu Ferringhi:
After visiting such a non-stop destination, you will forget everything. The place offers an entertaining atmosphere, which is full of life. It's an ideal place for couples, friends and groups. One good thing is its reasonable rates for drinks and snacks. Sunset Bistro offers a nice glimpse of sunset along with decent crowd and overall a nice sea breeze to an enticing nightlife. Music of your choice and friendly staff will make your night.

Top 10 Activities

Jungle Trekking:
With such a lovable activity, you get much to do in Penang. There are lots of things to do if you are interested in jungle treks. Many hotels and resorts organise treks for those, who get attracted to jungle life. Get a chance to watch waterfalls, water streams as well as spend a day full of jungle fun. For family tour, you can refer a guide which is available at tourist information offices, published by the Malaysian Nature Society Called the Nature Trails of Penang. It's a good source for those interested in exploring many trails in jungle environment.

Youth Park:
Spend quality day at a youth park, the largest recreational area in Penang. It is an ideal place for those interested in spending their time at peaceful place. The park includes outdoor exercising area, play equipments, outdoor swimming pool and lush tropical gardens, mainly visited by parents and children.

Butterfly Farm & Spice Gardens:
Get an opportunity to know about thousands of butterflies fluttering all around you. You can also see rare species, which are hardly found anywhere. With a lively butterfly museum of its own kind, you get a bit more close to natural habitant. As well, you can explore the meaning of Malay cuisine prepared at the nearby Spice Gardens, housing more than 500 varieties of tropical herbs and spices.

Malaysian Handicrafts:
Learn making Malaysian handicrafts in Penang and sharpen your creative skills. Get a chance to visit Royal Selangor Pewter Shop and know how to be trained in the art of pewter-making. Make your pewter dish and batik painting for your dear ones. Spend a day full of fun with an interactive tour preferred for all ages. Discuss with a local batik painter how to paint using wax and dye.

Tropical Fruit Farm:
In order to preserve green heritage of Penang, it is a contribution to future generation of Malaysia. Tropical fruit farm covers an area of about 25-acers including around 200 species of tropical and sub-tropical fruits and herbs. It is situated on hillside in Teluk Bahang overlooking Indian Ocean. Take a guided tour if you are interested in discovering varieties of trees. Make sure to taste a few fruits, which might be new to you.

Round Island Tour:
With a round island tour of Penang, you come to know about variant sides of Malaysia. Visit so many places such as traditional Batik Factory and Snake temple. Discover Penang in great ways by exploring international jewellery factory along with a contrast of a Malay Kampung village. Before returning to island tour, visit Penang Bridge, the world's third longest bridge linking the island to mainland.

Monkey Beach Excursion:
Make sure to explore white sandy Tropical Island off Penang as well plan for a monkey beach excursion. With such an unexploited beach, feel privileged to spend a fulfilled day enjoying the sun, sand and sea. Take a 30 minute boat ride from Penang to white sandy beach covered with coconut trees and monkeys. Try fishing and experiment with BBQ provided on the spot.

Reflexology & Fish Spa:
Fish spa is a fun loving activity if you are interested in spending a day full of recreation. Kenko Reflexology & Fish Spa and Puteri Ledang Traditional Foot Reflexology & Body Massage are situated in Gurney whilst Marine Fish Spa is situated in Batu Feringghi. It is nice to feel relaxed when small fish nibble dead cells of the feet. Some spa centres also offer full body massage with the method of reflexology.

Penang Night Tour:
Explore Penang when sun is down, when the place is ready to intermix in the night life. Get ready to experience after-dark attractions, boisterous surroundings and mouth watering cuisines. Start the night tour by visiting Gurney Drive, head on to its Hawker Centre, a perfect spot to taste Penang cuisines such as asam laksa, char kway teow and hokkien mee. Spend a few moments shopping at a night market.

Penang Squab diving:
Penang is much lovable place for those looking for fun-filled, adventurous and pleasing activates. Squab diving is a bit audacious, but it's enjoyable offering the pleasure of exploring the underwater world. Diving in tropical waters with a visibility of 100 ft along with observing coral reefs and shipwrecks is a completely different experience. This is only possible by maintaining the underwater environment.

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.