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Introduction  l  Places of interest  l  Getting There

Penang Bridge

The island of Penang, which is also known as the 'Pearl of the Orient' lies off the northwestern coast of peninsula Malaysia and has an estimated population of 1,000,000 people. The state capital of Penang, Georgetown, named after King George III of England, is located at the northeastern tip of the island. This lively metropolitan city has much to offer travelers with its colourful history, fascinating culture, and lovely beaches.

Visitors will find trendy restaurants, sidewalk cafes, discotheques, night markets, departmental stores and quaint pre-war shops together with a host of other place to give this state its lively and colorful character. Another attraction is the Penang Bridge, spanning 13.5 km from Seberang Perai on the mainland to Gelugor on the island. This engineering marvel has been acclaimed as one of the longest bridge in the world.

A Brief History
Penang today bears the mark of an early history of successive foreign influences - from the early Indian Cililization that took root in northern Malaya to that of the Portuguese, Dutch and later the British who came to this part of the world in search of spices and stayed to participate in the lucrative trade.
The history of modern Penang can be traced back to 1786 when Francis Light managed to presuade the Sultan of Kedah to cede "Pulau Pinang" (Betel Nut Island) to the British East India Company. Light landed at the site of the present Esplanade and according to local legend, fired gold coins into the surrounding jungle to include his men to clear the area. The island was originally named Prince of Wales Island and the settement that son grew up was named Georgetown after King George III. In 1800, the Sultan of Kedah further ceded a strip of land on the mainland across the channel which Light named Province Wellesley, after the then Governor of India. In 1832, Penang formed part of the Straits Settlement with Melaka and Singapore. It flourished and grew to be a major trading post for a lucrative trade in tea, spices, china and cloth. For more than a hundred years, it remained under British Colonial rule until 1957 when it gained independence and became one of the states of the newly formed Federation of Malaya and later Malaysia in 1963.

is definitely a shopper's paradise, with hundreds of retail establishments located conveniently, in and around the city. These places are famed for its variety of goods at reasonably cheap prices. Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak, or fondly known as KOMTAR is one of the biggest and most famous shopping complexes in the city. It is located in the heart of Georgetown and is 65 stories high. Over here, visitors can find a labyrinth of boutiques, fast food outlets, restaurants, amusement arcades and shops as well as two of the biggest department stores. Visitors can also have an excellent aerial view of the whole city as well as daily cultural shows at the Tower Tourist Center on the 58th floor. A duty free shop on the 57th floor offers good shopping and the souvenir center is yet another place to get memorabilia of Penang.


Lebuh Letih pre-war shophouse

If visitors are searching for fine jewelry, then Lebuh Campbell and Lebuh Kapitan Keling are the places to go. Batik, the highly versatile fabric available as individually designed pieces or as clothing, table-cloths, napkins and furnishings, may be purchased at factories in Teluk Bahang and in souvenir shops at Batu Ferringhi. For batik paintings, it can be found in galleries in Jalan Penang, Lebuh Leith and Batu Ferringhi. Antique lovers, in search of rare bargains can go to the junk shops along Rope Walk (Jalan Pintal Tali) for a range of antique items and bric-a-brac such as porcelain ware, chains, coins, old glass, old ceiling lamps and antique clocks.

Sea Sport

Sea Sports
Beach hotels provide facilities for a host of sea sports such as sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, parasailing, canoeing and speedboat rides. The uninhabited islands of Pulau Bidan, Pulau Telur and Pulau Song Song off Batu Ferringhi are ideal for snorkeling , scuba diving and fishing. Arrangements may be made for trips to these islands within whose crystal clear depths are some of the most fascinating attractions of the underwater world.

Horse Racing
The Penang Turf Club at Jalan Batu Gantung is the scene of exciting races held on two consecutive weekends once every two months. On other weekends when the races are held at Ipoh, Kula Lumpur and Singapore, the turf club is open for 'off-course' betting.

Kuala Lumpur  l  Johor Bahru  l  Penang
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