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Agora, Hotel 04-2266060 Aurora Court 04-2280727 Bayu Emas Apartments 04-8812641 Bayview Beach Resort, The 04-8812123 Beachcomber Paradise Hotel 04-8928808 Bellevue, Hotel 04-8299600 Berjaya Georgetown Hotel 04-2277111 Bukit Dumbar Permai Apts 04-6560118 Casuarina Beach Hotel 04-8811711 Cathay Hotel 04-2626271 Chusan Hotel 04-8908255 Copthorne Orchid Penang 04-8903333 Continental, Hotel 04-2636388 Crown Prince Hotel 08-8904111 Eastern & Oriental Hotel 04-2630630 Embassy Hotel 04-3235378 Equatorial Penang, Hotel 04-6438111 Ferringhi Beach Hotel, The 04-8905999 Garden Inn 04-2363655 Golden City, Hotel 04-2379910 Grand Continental, Hotel 04-2636688 Holiday Inn Resort Penang 04-8811601 Lone Pine Hotel 04-8811511 Malaysia, Hotel 04-2633117 Mar Vista Resort 04-8903388 Merchant Court, The 04-2632828 Merit Sri Sayang Resort Apts 04-8811113 Midtowne Hotel 04-2269999 Ming Court Inn 04-2298588 Mingood, Hotel 04-2299922 Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeat Novotel Penang 04-8903333 Eastern & Oriental Hotel Paradise Tanjung Bungah Penang Hotel 04-8908808 Palm Beach Resort 04-8811621 Paramount Hotel 04-2363649 Park Inn International Penang 04-8908808 Peking Hotel 04-2636191 Penang Mutiara Beach Resort 04-8852828 Penang Parkroyal Resort 04-8811133 Sandy Bay Paradise Hotel 04-8999999 Seri Malaysia Bayan Baru 04-6429452 Shangri-La Hotel 04-2622622 Shangri-La’s Golden Sands Resort 04-8811911 Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort 04-8811811 Sheraton Penang 04-2267888 Sunway Hotel Penang 04-2299988 YMCA International Hostel 04-362211

Ayu Mayang Apartments (Closed for Booking)
Tanjung Bungah
Bayu Emas Apartments Batu Ferringhi
Crown Prince Hotel Tanjung Bungah
Eden Seaview Condominium Tanjung Bungah
Mar Vista Resort Apartments Tanjung Bungah
Marco Polo Guesthouse Apartments (Closed for Booking) Batu Ferringhi  
Merit Sri Sayang Resort Apartments Batu Ferringhi
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PENANG - Hotels
Bayview Beach Resort Batu Ferringhi Beach
Berjaya Georgetown Hotel City Center
Belleveue The Penang Hill Hotel Bukit Bendera  
Casuarina Hotel Batu Ferringhi Beach
City Bayview Hotel City Center  
Cititel Penang City Center
Copthorne Orchid Hotel Tanjung Bungah Gym will be closed from now until further notice
Crown Jewel Hotel Tanjung Bungah
Eastern & Oriental Penang Georgetown  
Equatorial Hotel Penang Bukit Jambul
Evergreen Laurel Hotel Gurney Drive
Ferringhi Beach Hotel Penang Batu Ferringhi Beach
Grand Plaza Park Royal Penang Batu Ferringhi Beach
Golden Sands Beach Resort Batu Ferringhi Beach
Grand Continental Hotel Georgetown
Holiday Inn Resort Batu Ferringhi Beach
Jerejak Resort & Spa Pulau Jerejak  
Lone Pine Hotel Batu Ferringhi Beach
Midtowne Hotel Penanq City Centre  
Mutiara Penang Beach Resort Telok Bahang Beach
Sandy Bay Paradise Tanjung Bungah Beach
Seri Malaysia - Penang    
Shangrila Rasa Sayang Beach Resort Batu Ferringhi Beach

Closed for redevelopment

Sheraton Penang Hotel City Center
Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya Prai  
Sunway Hotel Penang Georgetown  

Tanjung Bungah Hotel

(formerly known as Paradise Tanjung Bungah)

Tanjung Bungah Beach
The Gurney Hotel Gurney Drive
The Krystal Suites Bayan Lepas  
The Northam All Suite Penang City Center

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The island was referred to as 檳榔嶼 (Bīnlng X) in the navigational drawings used byAdmiral Zheng He of Ming-dynasty China in his expeditions to the South Seas in the 15th century. Early Malays called it Pulau Ka-Satu or "First Island".

The name "Penang" comes from the modern Malay name Pulau Pinang, which means island of the betel nut tree (Areca catechu), family Palmae. In Chinese, Penang is known as 檳城 (pinyin: Bīnchng / Bīngchng). All three names can refer either to the island of Penang, the state of Penang or sometimes the state capital, George Town.

More specifically, George Town is known as Tanjung in Malay and 喬治市 (Qiozh Sh) in Chinese. Penang Island is simply Pulau Pinang (/'pulaʊ 'pinaŋ/) in Malay and 檳榔嶼 (Bīnlng X) in Chinese, and Penang state is Negeri Pulau Pinang in Malay and 檳州 (Bīn Zhōu) in Chinese.

Penang is also popularly known as the "Pearl of the Orient".

The state is geographically and administratively divided into two sections:

Penang Island: an island of 293 square kilometres located in the Straits of Malacca; and
Seberang Perai (also known as Province Wellesley): a narrow hinterland of 760 square kilometres on the Malay peninsula across a narrow channel whose smallest width is 4 km (2.5 miles). It is bordered byKedah in the north (demarcated bythe Muda River) and east, and Perak in the south.
Penang Island is irregularly shaped, with a granitic, hilly and mostly forested interior, the highest point being Western Hill (part of Penang Hill) at 830 metres above sea level. The coastal plains are narrow, the most extensive of which is in the northeast which forms a triangular promontory where George Town, the state capital is situated. The topography of Province Wellesley is mostly flat. Butterworth, the main town in Province Wellesley, lies along the Perai River estuary and faces George Town at a distance of 3 km (2 miles) across the channel to the east.

Penang island

Tanjung Tokong
Tanjung Bungah
Batu Ferringhi
Teluk Bahang
Balik Pulau
Air Itam
Sungai Pinang

Bayan Lepas
Bayan Baru
Pantai Aceh
Batu Maung
Teluk Kumbar
Paya Terubong
Bukit Jambul
Batu Uban
Sungai Ara
Province Wellesley

Seberang Jaya
Kepala Batas
Nibong Tebal
Bukit Tengah

Bukit Mertajam
Sungai Bakap
Permatang Pauh
Sungai Dua
Bukit Tambun
Simpang Empat

State of Penang[edit]
Outlying islets
There are a number of small islets off the coast of Penang, the biggest of which, Pulau Jerejak, is located in the channel between Penang Island and the mainland. It was previously a leper and penal colony, but is now a tourist attraction featuring the Jerejak Resort and Spa. [1].

Pulau Jerejak (largest)
Pulau Aman
Pulau Kendi
Pulau Rimau
Pulau Gedung
Pulau Betung
Pulau Tikus

Penang enjoys a year-round equatorial climate which is warm and sunny, along with plentiful rainfall, especially during the southwest monsoon from April to September. The climate is very much dictated bythe surrounding sea and the wind system. Penang's proximity with Sumatra, Indonesia makes it susceptible to dust particles carried bywind from perennial but transient forest fires, creating a phenomenon known as the haze.

The Bayan Lepas Regional Meteorological Office is the primary weather forecast facility for northern Peninsular Malaysia.
The state has the highest population density in Malaysia with 2,031.74 people per square kilometre on the island and 865.99 people per square kilometre on the mainland. Penang is the only state in Malaysia where ethnic Chinese are the largest ethnic group. The ethnic composition in 2006 was:

A colonial-era house with a Straits-Chinese art deco eclectic architectureEthnic Chinese: 635,500 (42.5%)
Malay: 612,300 (41.0%)
Ethnic Indian: 148,000 (9.9%)
Bumiputra: 5,600 (0.38%)
Non-bumiputra: 91,200 (6.1%)
There were Jewish and Armenian communities in Penang before World War II, but these dissipated as a result of the Japanese occupation and the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. A small but commercially significant community of German merchants also existed in Penang. Today, Penang has a sizeable expatriate population especially from Japan and Britain.

The greater metropolitan area of Penang Island, Seberang Prai and neighbouring towns such as Sungai Petani and Kulim has a population of over 2 million [6], around the same as metropolitan Johor Bahru and second only to the Klang Valley.


A restaurant serving Baba-Nyonya cuisine.The Peranakan, also known as the Straits Chinese or Baba-Nyonya, are the descendants of the early Chinese immigrants to Penang as well as to Malacca and Singapore. They have partially adopted Malay customs and speak a Chinese-Malay creole. The Peranakan community possesses a distinct identity in terms of food, costume, rites, crafts and culture. Most of the Peranakan Chinese are not Muslims but practise ancestor worship and Chinese religion. During British rule, the Peranakan had a reputation of being loyal British subjects and many of them adopted British mannerisms. They prided themselves as being Anglophone and distinguished themselves from the newly-arrived Chinaman or sinkheh. The Peranakan, however, are almost extinct today due to their re-absorption into the mainstream Chinese community. However, their legacy lives on in their great cuisine, their intricate nyonya kebaya costume and exquisite handicrafts.

The common languages of Penang, depending on social classes, social circles, and ethnic backgrounds are English, Penang Hokkien, and Malay. Mandarin, which is taught in Chinese-medium schools in the state, is also increasingly spoken.

Penang Hokkien is a variant of Minnan and is widely spoken bya substantial proportion of the Penang populace who are descendants of early Chinese settlers. It bears strong resemblance to the language spoken byChinese living in the Indonesian city of Medan and is based on the Minnan dialect of Zhangzhou prefecture in Fujian province, China, but incorporates a large number of loanwords from Malay and English. Many Penangites who are not ethnically Chinese are also able to speak in Hokkien. Most Penang Hokkien speakers are not literate in Hokkien but instead read and write in standard (Mandarin) Chinese, English and/or Malay.

Malay is spoken locally with north-western dialect features, such as hang for "you" and depa for "they/them".

English is a working language widely used in business and commerce, and is also the language of instruction of Science and Mathematics in schools. English used in an official or formal context is predominantly British English with some American influences. Spoken English, as in the rest of Malaysia, is often in the form of Manglish (Malaysian colloquial English).

Other languages, including Cantonese and Tamil, are also spoken in the state. Teochew is heard more in Province Wellesley than on Penang Island.

The official religion of Penang is Islam and the head of Islam is the Yang Dipertuan Agong, but other religions are freely practised. These are Buddhism, in the Theravada, Mahayana and increasingly also Vajrayana traditions, Taoism, Chinese folk religion, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism (the largest denominations of which are the Methodists, Seventh-day Adventists, Anglican, Presbyterian and Baptists) and Sikhism- reflecting Penang's diverse ethnic and socio-cultural amalgamation.

Character of Penang
Being one of the earliest, most established urban centres in Malaya, Penang has often prided herself on her progress while at the same time relishing her traditional and enduring values, way of life and mannerism. Old Penang evoked images of the slow-paced lifestyle of merchants and planters in the Far East, where European culture intermingled with Eastern customs and colonial buildings stood next to attap houses and rickshaw pullers and where electric trams met bullock carts. Chinese influence has always been more evident in urban areas due to their superior numbers while the Malays, until recent times, have largely resided in the rural areas.

Twenty-first-century Penang remains a thriving commercial (and now industrial) centre with a relatively high standard of living. However, in terms of development it has been overtaken in recent years bythe Klang Valley, which is the political and economic heart of modern Malaysia. While the slower rate of development in Penang has left much of its cultural and architectural heritage intact, what development there has been has been poorly managed due to underfunding in infrastructure bythe federal government, corruption and the breakdown of participatory local government since the late 1960s. Nonetheless, Penangites maintain a strong civic identity rooted in Penang's former pre-eminence, reinforced bya strong local cultural and linguistic identity.

Main article: History of Penang

Penang, originally part of the Malay sultanate of Kedah, was given to the British East India Company in 1786 bythe Sultan of Kedah, in exchange for military protection from Siamese and Burmese armies who were threatening Kedah. On 11 August 1786, Captain Francis Light, known as the founder of Penang, landed in Penang and renamed it Prince of Wales Island in honour of the heir to the British throne.

Unbeknownst to the Sultan, Light had acted without the approval of the East India Company when he promised military protection. When the Company failed to aid Kedah when it was attacked bySiam, the Sultan tried to retake the island in 1790. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the Sultan was forced to cede the island to the Company for an honorarium of 6,000 Spanish dollars per annum. This was later increased to 10,000 dollars, with Province Wellesley (Seberang Prai) being added to Penang in 1800. An annual honorarium of 10,000 ringgits continues to this day to be paid each year bythe Malaysian Federal Government to the state of Kedah.

In 1826, Penang, along with Malacca and Singapore, became part of the Straits Settlements under the British administration in India, moving to direct British colonial rule in 1867. In 1946 it became part of the Malayan Union, before becoming in 1948 a state of the Federation of Malaya, which gained independence in 1957 and became Malaysia in 1963.

The island was a free port until 1969. Despite the loss of the island's free-port status, from the 1970s to the late 1990s the state built up one of the largest electronics manufacturing bases in Asia, in the Free Trade Zone around the airport in the south of the island.

Penang state is today the third-largest economy amongst the states of Malaysia, after Selangor and Johor. Manufacturing is the most important component of the Penang economy, contributing 45.9% of the State's GDP (2000). The southern part of the island is highly industrialised with high-tech electronics plants (such as Dell, Intel, AMD, Motorola, Agilent, Hitachi, Osram, Bosch and Seagate) located within the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone. In January 2005, Penang was formally accorded the Multimedia Super Corridor Cyber City status, the first outside of Cyberjaya, with the aim of becoming a high-technology industrial park that conducts cutting-edge research.

The entrept trade has greatly declined, due in part to the loss of Penang's free-port status, but also due to the active development of Port Klang near the federal capital Kuala Lumpur. However, there is a container terminal in Butterworth which continues to service the northern area.

Other important sectors of Penang's economy include tourism, finance, shipping and other services.

The Penang Development Corporation (PDC) is the state development agency to develop, plan, implement and promote development projects in the form of socio-economic interests on behalf of the State Government of Penang. It functions as the investment arm of the state government.

Penang agriculture is mainly made up of the major export crops of rubber and oil palm and some cocoa, the food commodities comprising paddy, fruits, coconut, vegetables, livestock which is dominated bypoultry and swine, fisheries and aquaculture, and new emerging industries such as ornamental fishes and floriculture[9].

Owing to limited land size and the highly industrialised nature of Penang's economy, agriculture is given little emphasis. In fact, agriculture is the only sector to record negative growth in the state, contributing only 1.3% to the state GDP in 2000. The share of Penang's paddy area to the national paddy area accounts for only 4.9%


The HSBC building at 1 Downing Street
The Standard Chartered Bank building at 2 Beach StreetPenang was the centre of banking of Malaysia at a time when Kuala Lumpur was still a small outpost. The oldest bank in Malaysia, Standard Chartered Bank opened its doors in 1875. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, now known as HSBC traced its history back to the opening of the first HSBC office in Penang in 1885. The Dutch-based ABN AMRO Bank opened its first office in Penang in 1888 to cater to the financial requirements of the early European traders. Most of the older banks still maintain their local headquarters on Beach Street, the old commercial centre of George Town.

Today, Penang remains a banking hub with branches of Citibank, United Overseas Bank, and Bank Negara Malaysia (the Malaysian central bank) together with local banks like Public Bank, Maybank, Ambank and Bumiputra-Commerce Bank.


A hawker stall selling rojak, a fruit dish in shrimp and chilli paste
Hawker food centre at Gurney Drive, one of the best places to experience Penang's best foods.Main article: Penang cuisine

Penang island is a paradise for food lovers who come from all over Malaysia and even Singapore to sample the island's unique cuisine, earning Penang the nickname of the food capital of Malaysia. Penang was recognised as having the Best Street Food in Asia byTIME magazine in 2004, citing that nowhere else can such great tasting food be so cheap. Penang's cuisine reflects the Chinese, Nyonya, Malay and Indian ethnic mix of Malaysia, but is also strongly influenced bythe cuisine of Thailand to the north. Its especially famous "hawker food" is sold and eaten bythe street feature strongly in noodles and fresh seafood. Great places to savour Penang's food are Gurney Drive, Pulau Tikus, New Lane, Swatow Lane, Penang Road and Chulia Street. Local Chinese restaurants serve excellent fares too. American fast food outlets and coffee joints are readily found throughout the state. Japanese, Korean, Italian and Western food are also popular.

Public transport

Buses and taxis in George TownPenang boasted an efficient public transport network right up to the 1970s. Electric trams, trolleybuses and double deckers used to ply the streets of Penang. The Penang Hill Funicular Railway was an engineering feat of sorts when it was completed in 1923.

The Penang bus services today are generally unsystematic and do not have a reputation of reliability. Therefore, the usage of public transportation is still low, exacerbating the traffic jams in the city during rush hours. The city council has, however, provided free shuttle bus services for short intra-city travel to lessen the congestion, with mixed success. In April 2006, the local authorities announced a revamp of the public bus service to bring about a more reliable and efficient network without any visible progress.

There are two main bus terminals for express buses which travel out of the state. One is located at the ferry terminal in Province Wellesley, and a newer one at Sungai Nibong on the island.

Taxis in Penang have not conformed to the meter system as exhorted bythe federal authorities, citing unprofitability. A new ruling implemented on August 1, 2006 makes it compulsory for taxis to use the meter system. This has caused many taxi drivers to go on strike or "sick leave".

A quaint mode of transportation, the three-wheeled trishaw, still operates in certain parts of George Town. However, with the advent of modern transportation, the trishaw has increasingly become a mere tourist attraction.

Rail and monorail
Butterworth is serviced bythe Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) or Malayan Railway West Coast line which runs from Padang Besar on the Malaysia-Thailand Border in Perlis to Singapore. Senandung Malam is the daily night express running from Kuala Lumpur to Haadyai via Butterworth. Trains are not a popular mode of tranportation due to their low speed and also because of the availability of buses which are more convenient, as well as high ownership of cars.

Penang has had a monorail under consideration since 1999. The Penang Monorail project was finally approved on March 31, 2006 under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. On August 2, 2006, the federal government has decided to build the monorail transit system in the city of George Town. This monorail line will connect Tanjung Tokong in the north with Bayan Lepas in the south.

Penang International Airport (PEN) is located in Bayan Lepas in the south of the island, and international flights are available to London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Medan, Taipei, Bangkok, Bangalore, Seoul, Riau, Xiamen and Guangzhou. The airport serves as the northern gateway to Malaysia.

Ferry and seaports

The early days of the Penang Port
This image has an uncertain copyright status and is pending deletion. You can comment on the removal.
A Penang ferry docking at the Butterworth jettyCross-channel ferry services, provided bythe Penang Ferry Service, connect George Town and Butterworth, and were the only link between the island and the mainland until the bridge was built in 1985. High-speed ferries to the resort island of Langkawi, Kedah in the north as well as to Medan, Indonesia are also available daily.

The Port of Penang is operated bythe Penang Port Commission. There are four terminals, one on Penang island (Swettenham Pier) and three on the mainland, namely North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT), Butterworth Deep Water Wharves (BDWW), and Prai Bulk Cargo Terminal (PBCT). Malaysia being the 13th largest exporting nation, the Port of Penang plays a leading role in the nation's shipping industry, linking Penang to more than 200 ports worldwide. Swettenham Pier also accommodates cruise ships.


The Guillemard Reservoir, Tanjung Bungah in 1929
This image has an uncertain copyright status and is pending deletion. You can comment on the removal.Water supply which comes under the state jurisdiction, is wholly managed bythe state-owned but autonomous PBA Holdings Bhd whose sole subsidiary is the Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP). This public limited company provides reliable, round-the-clock drinking water to 100% of the urban areas and 99.5% of the rural areas throughout the state. Penang was cited bythe World Development Movement as a case study in successful public water scheme. PBA's water rates are also one of the lowest in the world [10]. Penang's water supply is sourced from the Air Itam Dam, Mengkuang Dam, Teluk Bahang Dam, Bukit Panchor Dam, Berapit Dam, Cherok Tok Kun Dam, Waterfall Reservoir, Guillemard Reservoir, and also from neighbouring Kedah state.

Penang was among the first states in Malaya to be electrified in 1905 upon the completion of the first hydroelectric scheme. At present, electricity for industrial and domestic consumption is provided bythe national electricity utility company, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).

Telekom Malaysia Berhad is the landline telephone service provider as well as the main Internet service provider in the state. Penang also has excellent cell phone coverage. Broadband internet is also widely available.

Garbage collection and disposal is managed bythe respective local authorities. The main landfill is the modern Pulau Burung landfill near Nibong Tebal.

Sewage treatment in Penang is managed bythe national sewerage company, Indah Water Konsortium. Prior to systematic sewerage piping and treatment, waste water was haphazardly disposed, mostly in the sea, causing environmental pollution. It is not uncommon to see washing water from roadside pushcart stalls simply released into the open drainage system. Litter floating in drains and canals is not an uncommon sight.

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
Penang is one of the hotbeds of social activism in the country. Malaysia's and among the world's leading social advocate Anwar Fazal who together with several individuals also the founded Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) in 1969 and was first based in his house. The country's most vocal and active consumer protection group, CAP strives to protect the interests of consumers and is a vociferous critic of both the government and private enterprises. It publishes the Utusan Konsumer, Utusan Pengguna, Utusan Cina, Utusan Tamil, Majalah Pengguna Kanak-kanak. Anwar Fazal is also known as the "Father of the Malaysian NGO Movement" and "Ralph Nader of the East".

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action WABA whose objectives are to protect, promote and support breastfeeding globally and inparticular to:

1. Re-establish and maintain a global breastfeeding culture. 2. Eliminate all obstacles to breastfeeding. 3. Promote more regional and national level co-operation. 4. Advocate for breastfeeding in development, women, environment and human rights programmes. is also based in Penang.

The Penang Heritage Trust is an NGO whose objective is to promote the conservation of Penang's heritage, and to foster cultural education about the history and heritage of Penang. PHT works to enlist the historic enclave of George Town as a World Heritage Site. The organisation had played an important role in saving many heritage buildings in Penang from the encroachment of development.

The Women's Centre for Change Penang (WCC) is a non-profit organisation which supports women and children in crisis.

Friends of the Penang Botanic Gardens Society is a voluntary organisation dedicated to supporting the botanic, horticultural, educational and recreational objectives of the Penang Botanic Gardens.


Tanjung City MarinaThe state has good sporting facilities which provide good training grounds for aspiring sportsmen. The two major stadia are the City Stadium in George Town and the Batu Kawan Stadium in southern Province Wellesley. The Penang International Sports Arena (PISA) in Relau has an indoor stadium and an aquatic centre.

Penang has 4 golf courses, namely the 18-hole Bukit Jambul Country Club (on the island), the 36-hole Bukit Jawi Golf Resort, the 18-hole Penang Golf Resort and the 18-hole Kristal Golf Resort.

The Penang Turf Club, established in 1864, is Malaysia's oldest horse racing and equestrian centre. The turf club is to be relocated to a new site now under construction in Province Wellesley.

Eminent sports clubs in Penang include the Penang Club, Chinese Recreation Club (CRC), Penang Motor Sports Club, Penang Rifle Club, Penang Polo Club, Penang Swimming Club, Chinese Swimming Club, Penang Squash Centre and the prestigious Penang Yacht Club in Batu Ferringhi. A marina, named Tanjung City Marina which can accommodate up to 140 yachts and boats of various sizes has been built in Weld Quay to attract seafarers from around the world.

Penang also hosts the annual Starwalk and the Penang Bridge Run and Marathon.