Penang is located on the northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia and comprises of Penang Island and a strip of the mainland known as Seberang Perai. The official name of Penang is Pulau Pinang, meaning island of beetle nut tree in Malay language.
Penang coat of arms
The island is approximately 24 km long and 14.4 km wide, and covers an area of 285 sq km. It is linked to the mainland by the 13.5 km Penang Bridge and a 24-hour ferry service.
Map layout of Penang state.
Penang is one of Malaysia’s major tourist attractions as it offers many attractions for a small island.
There are beach resorts, historical monuments, natural attractions, great food, great shopping and a city that is modern yet retains plenty of old character. A walk in Georgetown can take you from skyscrapers to rustic old shophouses with just a turn if streets.
Malaysia is located north of the Equator, right in the heart of South East Asia. It consist of a peninsular in the west and, across the South China Sea, Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo in the east.
The country is a federation of 13 states and 3 federal territories. it is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy.
Its economy is dependent on the manufacturing, agricultural and mining sectors. Malaysia is a major exporter of electronic components and equipment, petroleum, palm oil and natural rubber.
Clothing & etiquette
The tropical weather favours light, casual clothing. Most restaurants and nightspots are not restrictive with the dresscode. If in doubt, ring up beforehand to check. Topless bathing is illegal on the beaches. Loose clothes that cover the arms and legs may be required when entering places of worship. Dress conservatively. Take off your shoes before entering temples, mosque or someone’s house.
Do not use the left hand to give or receive something. Pointing with the forefinger is considered rude. Instead, place your thumb atop a loose fist to point.
Smoking in public places like buses, taxis, lifts, cinemas, government offices, air-conditioned restaurants and shopping centres is prohibited.
The standard Malaysian time is:
- 8 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time.
- 16 hours ahead of US Pacific Standard Time (San Francisco and Los Angeles) 13 hours ahead of US Standard Time (New York).
- 2 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time (Sydney and Melbourne).
(see top right corner of this page for current Malaysian time)
Penang has an equatorial climate with fairly uniform temperatures throughout the year, ranging from 22 degree Celsius at night to 32 degrees Celsius during the day. Humidity is high at 85% – 95% and the annual rainfall is approximately 267 cm, distributed evenly throughout the year.
People and language
Penang has a population of 1.2 million and consists of Malays, Chinese, Indians and others. Islam is the national religion of Malaysia but other religions are freely practised. The Malays are almost all Muslims; the Chinese, Taoists or Buddhists; the Indians, Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs. Christianity is embraced by both the Chinese and Indians.
The official language is Bahasa Malaysia, although English is widely spoken, especially as a language that links the various ethnic groups. Other languages spoken include Chinese and Tamil dialects
Supply is 200 – 240V, 50 cycles. Adaptors can be requested in most hotels. Power sockets are of the three-square-pin type.
Name: Malaysian Ringgit
Country Dialing Code: +60
Weights & Measures: Metric