Penang, also known as the Pearl of the Orient, has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Malaysia.
The name Penang come's from the word pinang which means betel nut tree in Malaysia.
The island is located on the northwest side Peninsula.
Penang is the only island of Malaysia which is reachable by car. This ensures that Penang is one of the most visited islands. The main attractions are mostly the beautiful beaches, shopping streets, and Penang's mouth-watering delights. . The capital Georgetown is the center of the island which has been recognized by the UNESCO/ world heritage center. Here you will find most hotels, shops and nightlife. Further on the island a wide range of religious temples and wildlife refuges. Penang has a huge mixture of cultures therefore they have a fascinating food scene, as well as to its many places of religious worship, including Chinese clan houses and Hindu temples.
The island was used for centuries as a safe harbor for traders from China, India, Arabia and Europe. British Capt. Francis Rumour has it that the english fired up a cannon filled with coins into the jungle so the locals would clear the ground for the construction of Fort Cornwallis and the founding of George Town (named after King George III), Penang became Britain's first trade camp in Southeast Asia mostly trading rubber, tin and opium which attracted fortune-seekers from all over the world. The island was captured by the Japanese in World War II and became part of the independent state of Malaysia in 1957.
Passenger from the cruise ships arrive at the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal which is the latest terminal in Penang Port having opened in 2010. The cruise season is fairly well timed to coincide with Penang's dryer months of January and February. The equatorial climate keeps it hot year-round (72 to 86 degrees) with fierce sun, so plan accordingly when heading ashore.