Penang - Pearl of the Orient

Penang is one of the most-visited states in Malaysia. Known also as the Pearl Of The Orient, this state consists of the island as well as a narrow strip of the mainland coast known as Seberang Perai (Province Wellesley). The population of 1.3 million people has been enjoying a time of economic growth in the past decades as many multinational companies have built their factories here.

A second bridge linking the mainland Batu Kawan to the island Batu Maung is now available for vehicles to use. Try using it if you haven't and you will enjoy a scenic journey along this 24km bridge. If you do not have your own transport, you can take the Penang buses which are quite regular and reliable.

Many foreigners have chosen this state for their retirement under Malaysia My Second Home programme as they can find plenty of good food at reasonable price, beautiful beaches are there for them to unwind, hills to sweat it out and not to mention the hospitality of the people.

The historical city of Georgetown, the capital of the state was inscripted as historical cities under Unesco's World Heritage Sites (WHS) in July 2008. Many of the residential and commercial buildings that were built in the 18th century during the British era are still in existence today. The areas that have been given this status are:

  • Fort Cornwallis, Weld Quay, Beach Street, the Esplanade and the harbour area. Fort Cornwallis is the location where Captain Francis Light first landed on this island.

  • Historical commercial centre include the ethnic streets such as the Bishop Street, Church Street, China Street, Chulia Street and Little India.

  • Mosque and wakaf enclave of Acheen Street and Kapitan Keling mosques.

  • Chinese clans houses such as the Khoo Kongsi, Cheah Kongsi, Tan Kongsi, Lim Kongsi, Yap Kongsi and Yeoh Kongsi. These clan houses were built by the respective clan after they have settled on this island.

 

In 2019, the Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Chow Kon Yeow, launched the Penang 2030 vision "A Family Focused Green and Smart State to inspire the Nation". Penang2030 is innovative in that it dares to call for the involvement of various levels of stakeholders in pushing, not only for economic and infrastructural development in Penang, but also for the cultural development of society as a whole.​

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