WELCOME TO PENANG
WELCOME TO PENANG
Penang. The Pearl of the Orient; lies off the northwestern cost of Peninsular Malaysia. The state comprises the island of Penang covering an area of about 285 km. and a narrow strip of approximately 760 sq.km. on the mainland known as Seberang Perai (Province Wellesley). which is separated by a channel 3 km wide at the closet point. They are linked by the Penang Bridge and across-channel ferry service. Its population of more than one million represents a happy mix of the major races found in Malaysia, with the Malays making up 59%, the Chinese 32% and the Indians 7%.
Georgetown. At the northern tip of the Island is the seat of administration and is also the commercial hub of the combines the best of the east and west as seen in its fine old buildings, each bearing the stamp of different foreign influences in its colourful history. Much of its charm also lies in its famous golden beaches and calm warm seas. Penang today ia a resort island in full boom - an idyllic playground for worshippers of the sun and sea. Its multiracial population contributes to a wealth of cultural attractions and festive celebrations for visitors to witness and enjoy.
A Brief History.
Today, Penang bears the mark of its early history of successive foreign influences- from the early Hindu civilization 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 persuaded the Sultan of Kedah to cede "Pulau Pinang" (Betel Nut Island) to the British East India Company. Light landed at the site of the Esplanade and purportedly, fired gold coins into the surrounding jungle to induce his men to clear the area.
Originally named the Prince of Wales Island, the settlement that soon grew was named Georgetown after King George 111. 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 the lucrative tea, spices, china and cloth trade. 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.
By Air - Penang is easyly accessible by air daily flights from major capitals of the region. It has direct links with Singapore, Bangkok, Nagoya, Medan, Xiamen (China) and Madras, through flights operated by Malaysia Airlines. The airline also operated more than 20 flights daily between Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
The Penang International Airport is about 2o km from the city centre. Taxis plying the route follow the coupon system by which fixed fares are charges between the airport and various destinations in Penang. Limousines fares cost slightly higher.
By road - Penang Island is accessible by road via Penang Bridge. A charge of RM 7.00 is levied on all classes of cars using the bridge at the toll plaza in Prai on ther mainland. No payment is required for the rturn trip from the island to the mainland.
By Ferry From Butterworth, visitors can take the ferry to Penang Island. Operated by the Penang Port Commission, the ferry is available for both passengers anf vehicles. Fares for passengers and vehicle charges are collected at the Buttereworth terminal. No payment is required for the return journey. Opening hours - 6.00 am - 1.00 am. Ferry charges - Vehicle RM 7.00 (car), RM 1.40 motorcycle - Passengers RM0.60 cents.
By Rail. The train journey from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth takes approximately 8 hours and affords passengers views of the scenic countryside of Peninsular Malaysia. Comfortable air- conditioned first and second class coaches are available at reasonable rates. Malayan Railway or Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) also operated regular services to Alor Star, Padang Besar, Haadyai and Bangkok from Butterworth.
Penang's public transport system is efficient and getting around by taxis, buses or trishaws may be a fun and inexpensive way of catching the sights.
City Taxis - Most city taxis do not use meter. You may either insist on the meter being turned on or agree on the price before you move off.
City Buses- Most buses use machines to collect fares. The main bus terminals are at Pengkalan Weld (fery terminal) and KOMTAR (groud floor).
Besides the novelty of traveling in this three-wheeled vehicle, trishaws allow visitors the opportunity to enjoy the sights in Penang at a leisurely pace. One can also stop at any point to snap pictures or buy souvenirs. There is no standard fare and it would be wise to agree on the price before you get on the trishaw. For extended sightseeing it is advisable to hire them by day by hour.
Tours/Cruises - There are many facinating tours by air-conditioined coaches to famous landmarks around the island. Check with your hotel details on times and prices.
Round Island Tour - Includes visits to batik factories and fishing villages along Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang. It also covers Balik Pulau, the Snake Termple and Fort Cornwallis.
Hill and Temple Tour - The tour includes a ride up Penang Hill's funicular railway and a visit to Kek Lok Si Temple which houses the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas .
City Tour - Include visits to the Botinical Garden, Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram, the Kapitan Kling Mosque, the Penang
Queensbay Mall with its tagline "It's all happening here" aptly epitomized the "enriched" lifestyles that Queensbay Mall offers - a place which is vibrant and full of activities, one can shop, play, relax, get together, entertain, be entertained. It is a "family lifestyle mall" of international standard catering to households who are looking for good value for money and the latest in design and styles.
Museum and Khoo Kongsi.
Night Tour - Include dinner, a visit to the Pasar Malam or night market and a trishaw ride around Georgetown.
Boat Trips - Most beach hotels offer day trip to the uninhabited island off Batu Feringhi. Round island trips area also available.
Sports/Recreation - Jungle Trekking - Most beach hotels organize early morning treks which take visitors past jungle streams and waterfalls. Food packs are usually provided. Check with your hotel for the time and prices.
Golfing - Golfers may also have a swinging time at the Bukit Jambul Golf and Country Club, Bukit Jawi Golf Resort, Kristal Golf Resort and Pearl Island & Country Club.
Water Sports - Beach hotels provide facilities for a host water sports such as sailing windsurfing, water skiing, parasailing, canoeing and speedboat rides. The uninhabited island of Pulau Bidan, Pulau Telur, and Pulau Song-Song off Batu Ferringhi are ideal for snorkeling and fishing. Trips to these islands can be arranged by the hotels or local tour agents.
PLACES OF INTEREST. (1)
Penang Museum. –
The museum displays historical artifacts highlighting the important periods in Penang's development. There are also maps, charts and memorabilia of the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman. The museum also has some excellent old prints and paintings of Penang tracing the early years of its discovery and development. Opening hours 9.00am – 5.00pm daily except on Fridays. Admission fee : RM1.00 per person.
*Kapitan Keling Mosque
Named after the Indian Muslim merchant, the “Kapitan Keling” (headman) Caudeer Mohudeen who built it in the early 19th century, it features an ochre yellow façade and dome-shaped minaret reflecting Moorish Islamic influence. Visitors must dress appropriately (no shorts or bare shoulders) and remove their shoes before entering. Permission to enter be obtained from mosque officials. Opening hours 9.00 – 5.30 pm. Admission is
Penang War Museum.
Located on Batu Maung Hill, this museum is built around the remnant of an old British fort. The 20 acre War Museum takes the visitors on a journey to the past during WW2, to observe the lifestyle of a typical soldier and his Asian counterparts.
The museum contains several installations above and below ground where old war relics including pillboxes, cannons, armaments, uniforms and cooking equipment are stored. Visitors can weave through a complex to view barracks, old cookhouses, lock-up, tunnels and ventilation shafts. There is also an interactive firing range where visitors can try their hand at the target practice.
* Acheen Street Mosque.
Also known as Masjid Melayu, the mosque was built in 1820 on land donated by Syed Sheriff Tengku Syed Hussain Aidid who came from Acheh in Sumatra. The mosque features a small window halfway up the minaret which is said to have originally been a hole made by cannonball fired during the 1867 triad riots. Visitors must dress appropriately (no shoes or bare shoulders) and remove their shoes before entering. Permission to enter must be obtained from mosque officials. Opening hours 9.00am – 5.30pm. Admission is free.
* Goddess of Marcy Temple.
One of the oldest Chinese temple in Penang the “Kuan Yin Teng” or the Goddess of Mercy Temple was built in 1800 by early immigrant settlers from China. The building is donated with intricately crafted dragons and sculptured stone lions which are said to be its guardians. Devotees flock to the temple all year round especially during the three anniversaries of Kuan Yin which are on the 19th day of the second sixth and ninth lunar months. Opening hours 9.00am – 6.00pm. Admission is free.
* Sri Mariamman Temple
Built in 1883, this Hindu temple features fascinating sculptures of gods and goddesses at its main entrance and façade. Housed within its ornately decorated interior is the priceless statue of Lord Subramaniam embellished with gold, silver, diamonds and emeralds. The statue figures prominently in the annual Thaipusam festival when it is borne on a silver chariot through the city streets to the temple at Jalan Waterfall. Permission to enter must be obtained from temple officials. Opening hours 8.00am – 12.00noon and 4.00pm -9.00pm. Andmission is free.
* Khoo Kongsi. (1)
The elaborate Khoo Kongsi is by far the grandest clan temple on the island. The forefather of the Khoo family who emigrated from South China built it as a clan house for members of the Khoo family. Construction began around 1853 and was completed in 1898. The building was so magnificent that on its completion, the roof caught fire because of its resemblance, some believe, to the Emperor’s palace in China. The building features a magnificent hall embellished with intricate carvings and richly ornamented beams of the finest wood bearing the mark of master craftsmen from Cina. Permission to enter must be obtained from the Kongsi office. Opening hours 9.00am – 5.00pm. Admission fee. RM 5.00 (adult) RM 1.00 (children)
*Penang Peranakan Mansion. (2)
This mansion contains some richly ornate artifacts relating to the history and colourful lifestyle of the Baba Nyonya people of Penang. There are lovely old porcelain pieces, furniture and works of art brought in from China and Europe which were specially commissioned by the Baba and Nyonya families and handed down through the generations. There area also display of their ornate traditional costumes and accessories. Opening hours 9.00am – 6.00pm. Admission fee: RM10.00 (adult). Admission is free (Children below 12 years old).
*City Hall, Esplanade. (2)
The City Hall is another fine example of a well-preserved colonial building from tge heyday of the British empire. A short stroll from this building is the SArt Gallery which is located in Dewan Sri Penang. The Art Gallery contains some fine prints of Penang in the early days. Art Gallery opening hours 9.00am – 5.00pm. Admission is free.
*Fort Cornwallis. (2)
The fort was built on the site of Francis Light’s historic landing in 1786. Originally a wooden stockade, it was replaced by a concrete structure built by convicts in 1804. Today, an open-air amphitheatre, a history gallery, café as handicraft and souvenir centre occupies the interior., It houses the famous Dutch cannon presented to the Sultan of Johor by the Dutch which was brought to Penang after being looted by the Portuguese.
The statue of Sir Francis Light guards this old fort along with some ancient cannons that stand among the ruins. Ushers dressed in old empire-style costumes offer a glimpse of the life and activities at that time. Within the fort there is and old soldier’s tent in a campsite. There are some interactive displays of warfare engaged during the colonial days. Opening hours 8.30am – 6.30pm. Admission fee: RM3.00 (adult) RM2.00 (children)
Situated along Jalan P. Ramlee is the newly restored wooden house, which was built to commemorate the late P.Ramlee, Malaysia’s foremost entertainer. Originally built in 1926 by his father and uncle, the house features the main living areas and also the life history of the late singer, actor, composer and film director. The various exhibits include his personal memorabilia and also items belonging to his family. Opening hours – Tuesday – Sunday 10.00am – 5.00pm, Friday 10.00am – 12.00noon ang 3.00-m – 5.00pm. Closed on Mondays. Admission is free.
The Tun Abul Razak Complex or KOMTAR, a prominent Penang landmark, houses Government departments, commercial offices, department stores, shops and restaurants. Its 65-storey tower dominates the city’s skyline. The complex also contains theatres, squash courts and geodesic dome which serves as a multipurpose hall. The 55th floor offers visitors a panoramic view of the city and on clear days, the distant Gunung Jerai of Kedah Peak on the mainland is visible. Opening hours 10.00am – 10.00pm.
Stretching from Weld Quay to Lebuh Stewart, Lebuh Muntri, Lebuh Campbell and Lebuh King, Chinatown is so large and well-preserved that it provides a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of Chinese immigrant settlers wo came here in the 1800s. Visitors will be intrigued by the many clan houses, shop houses and temples found along these streets.
*Kek Lok Si Temple.(3)
One of the finest Buddhist temples in Southeadst Asia, the Kek Lok Si temple stands majestically on a hill in Ayer Itam. Built in tiers, the temple culminates with the beautifully crafted “Pagoda onTen Thousand Buddhist”. Taking more than 20 years to built, the temple is set against beautiful scenic surroundings. It features a turtle pond, gardens, shrines and beautiful sculptures. Opening hours: 9.00 am – 6.00 pm. Admission fee (pagoda) RM2.00 per person.
*Dharmikarama Burmese Temple. (3)
A pair of elephants guard the entrance to this Burmese temple. Within the pagoda grounds ia a Buddhi tree and a wishing pond. It is the venue of many celebrations held during the water festival in April. Opening hours: 9.00am – 5.30pm. Admission is free.
*State Mosque. (3)
The State Mosque features elegant modern architecture and took four years to complete. It can accommodate 5,000 worshippers for congregational prayers. Visitors must dress appropriately (no shirts or bare shoulders) and remove their shies before entering. Permission to enter must be obtained from the State Religious Department, Lebuh Pantai. Opening hours: 9.00am – 5.30pm. Admission is free.
*University Of Science Malaysia. (3)
USM Museum And Art Gallery.
Located within the grounds of the University, the museum houses a collection of Malay and Baba Nyonya cultural artefacts, textiles, prints, traditional jewellery and Malay daggers. There is one section which devoted to the performing arts. The art gallery has a fine collection of paintings.
Permission to visit should be obtained from the Director of Security Department, at the main gate. Opening hours 9.00am – 4.30pm (Closed on the first and third Sunday of the month). Admission is free.
*Penang Butterfly Farm.
Penang Butterfly Farm
The farm spans 0.8 hectares and is home to 3,000 living specimen of over 50 species of colourful butterflies, frogs, scorpions and other insects. It features a lily pond, rock garden, tunnel, bubbling mud pool and artificial waterfalls. Also within the farm are garden enclosure, breeding area, laboratory, exhibition area, souvenir shop and information centre. Opening hours: 9.00am -5.00pm. Admission fee: RM5.00 (adult) Rm2.00 (children) RM10.00 (adults-foreign) RM5.00 (children-foreign)
Malaysia’s first hill station, Penang Hill is 830 metres (270ft) above sea level. Visitors can ascend to the top by either hiking up or by travelling in the funicular train which has been operational since 1922.
Apart from the cool refreshing climate and the fantastic view at the summit, visitors can also view a beautiful flower garden, bird park and picturesque bungalows. There are bungalows for rent and a hotel for those who want to stay for more than a day. Refreshments and snacks are sold at a convenient tea kiosk located on top of the hill.
*Penang National Park. (4)
Located at the end of the famous Batu Feringghi Road and past the fishing village of Terluk Bahang at Penang’s northern tip, the park offers some excellent trails through the rainforest. To reach the park, visitors can opt for a 30-minute boat ride from Teluk Bahang village or a jungle trek for about 90 minutes from Teluk Bahang.
Attractions at the park include Teluk Duyung, a broad bay protected by the Cape of Muka Head and Pantai Keracut. It is a popular beach also known as Monkey Beach for the large numbers of monkeys found here. The is an old burial ground of Achehnese origin in the area.
Pantai Keracut is a white-sand beach popular as a picnic and camping site. It is also a site where the green turtles come to nest from April to August while the Olive Ridley turtles come in between September and February.
The area contains a meromictic lake about one square kilometer in size, where fresh water from the island’s streams meet sea water. During dry seasons and low tide, the lake is a mudflat and when the tide rises, sea water gradually fills the lake while fresh water remains on top of the denser sea water. Certain fish, birds and reptilia have adapted to living within this unusual environment. Opening hours: 8.30am -630pm.
* Penang Bridge (4)
The Penang Bridge, which links Penang Island and the mainland was officially opened on September 15, 1988. This spectacular bridge spans 13.5 across the channel, offering a beautiful view of the open sea, ships and the sprawling coastline.
*Botanical Garden. (4)
The Botanical Garden is an oasis of peace and tranquility with lush green surroundings, tropical plants and the vibrant colours of Penang’s flora. The 30n hectare garden also feature a waterfall.
Created in 1884 by the British, it was meant as a tribute to Charles Curtis, its first superintendent who collected botanical specimens from the surroundings hills which have since become significant samples in the world’s major herbariums. The gardens are also well known for their Rhesus monkeys. Opening hours: 7.00am – 7.00pm. Admission is free.
*Penang Famed Beaches (4)
* Tropical Spices Garden (4)
* Batu Ferringhi's Sidewalk Bazar (4)
* Bukit Jambul Orchid And Hibiscus Garden (5)
* Balik Pulau Fruit Orchard (5)
* Snake Temple (5)
*Batu Maung Fishing Village (5)
*Penang Bird Park (5)
* Fisheries Department Research Institute Aquarium (5)
* Pulau Aman (5)
Pulau Aman or ‘Island of Peace’ is about 2.5 nautical miles from the mainland, just off the southern coast of Seberang Prai. The nearest town is Bukit Tambun from which a 30-minute boat ride gets one to the island. Boats from Batu Maung and Batu Uban also take passengers to the island on a 45-minute journey. The 288-acre island ia an idyllic fishing village populated by some 300 people who mostly comprise elderly folk and children. Fishing, water sports and jungle trekking are some of the popular activities for holidaymakers. There are some well-appointed chalets on the island and homestays at affordable rates.
*Chap Goh Meh (January/February) (5)
*Penang International Dragon Boat Festival (Jun) (5)
This event is gaining popularity as seen from the increasing number of international teams participating each year. Boats bearing ornate and colourful figureheads resembling dragons and other shapes create a profusion of colour and noise as they power through the waters of the scenic Teluk Bahang Dam to the finishing line. A carnival-like atmosphere pervades the festival as spectators urge on their favourite teams.
* Tropical Fruit Farm. (6)
Tropical Agro Farm (Pg) Sdn. Bhd. (281211-u)
Batu 18, Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050, Penang Malaysia.
Tel: 04-2276223/8665168- Fax 04-8665170.
A place to pamper your taste for fruits.
* Cheong Fatt The Mansion (6)
*Pesta Pulau Pinang (November/December) (6)
Features an annual trade fair exhibition. Carnival rides, band performances, games and cultural shows lend a festive air.
Enjoy your stay in Penang, we also hope that you will discover all the attractions that Penang has to offer!.......