"Penang" Penang by Twan

Penang Travel Guide: 2,478 reviews and 5,340 photos

Penang, known as "Pearl of the Orient" lies off the northwest coast of the Malay Peninsula. Originally colonized by Ragam, a trader from Sumatra. He named the island "Pulau Berstau. Reportedly, the current airport in Penang, Bayan Lepas ("free parakeet ') built on the spot where once Ragam some parakeets left free. Later the island was discovered by the Portuguese, who were looking for new colonies and spices. They called it 'Pulo Pinaom, the betelnootpalm (betel nut in Malay) that was common here.

Captain Francis Light in 1771 sailed from the British East India Company to Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula to a location for a trading post to search. After negotiations with the Sultan of Kedah in 1786 founded the Company a base on the island. Immediately Francis Light hoisted the British flag in the name of King George III and named the island to the Prince of Wales. As this Light was turned into a formal treaty, the Sultan was furious and tried to oust the British. His army was no match for the forces of Captain Light. The sultan withdrew and in 1791 signed a treaty with the British. As compensation for the occupation of the island the British paid him an annual fee. The provincial government of Penang still keeps that promise, and so will the Sultan of Kedah each year an amount of RM 10,000.

When the British occupied the island, there were about a thousand people, mostly Malay fishermen. Francis Light reportedly shot with a gun Spanish silver dollars in the underbrush to the men in this way to convert a path to jobs through the jungle. Soon the trees were cut down and there were trails through the forest there were also cabins with wooden fence erected. Light called the island into a free port and promoted trade by country also available. Immigrants (mainly Chinese) flocked in large numbers to order on the island of Penang to settle and became increasingly prosperous, thanks to the natural harbor, where every year more ships moored. It was even for a short time the capital of the British colonies in the Malacca Strait (Straights Settlements): Malacca, Penang and Singapore itself. Penang was later eclipsed by Singapore. This was not at the expense of prosperity: the mid 19th century there were tinvooraden discovered on the mainland near the island and early 20th century, large sums were earned with the rubber industry. Some of the beautiful houses of that time are still visible.

In 1800, an area on the mainland, the Province Wellesley, Penang to be added. This is now a bridge connected the island. When Malaysia became independent on 31 August 1957, Penang was one of the states of Peninsular Malaysia.

Places on Penang island

• Georgetown
Fort Cornwallis
• Penang Museum and Gallery
• The home of Cheong Fatt Tze
The temples of Georgetown
• Khoo kongsi
• Penang Hill
• Kek Lok Si Temple
• The Thai temple Wat Chayamangkalaram
• The Snake Temple
• The beaches of Penang


Georgetown is the capital of the Malaysian state of Penang. She is named after King George III, and located in the northeast of the island of Penang. Including the suburbs, the city has 400,000 inhabitants (220,000 without the suburbs). Most of it is of Chinese descent. The city has in 2008 received the UNESCO protection.

The airport is Penang International Airport.

  • Last visit to Penang: May 2008
  • Intro Updated Aug 1, 2012
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (6)




Online Now


Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 1 9 1 1
Forum Rank:
0 3 6 7 2

Badges & Stats in Penang

  • 6 Reviews
  • 27 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 176PageViews

Have you been to Penang?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Penang

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)