Pearl of the Orient
The name Penang originated from a Malay word for pinang (betel nut) which grew in abundance here. This beautiful Betel Nut Island is also known as the Pearl of the Orient. Penang was originally part of the Kedah Sultanate which was ceded to Captain Francis Light of the British military protection. It was then established as a major trading port for tea, spices, china, and cloth.
Today Penang is a bustling city with modern technologies while still retaining the good old charms. Comprising of an island and a strip of the mainland, it is strategically located at north-western part of Peninsular Malaysia. The island is connected to the mainland by a 13km bridge, known as Penang Bridge. The capital city of Penang state is George Town where most of the administrative can commercial activities are concentrated. Other than the three main communities of Malay, Chinese and Indian, there are also the baba/nyonya and Eurasians communities that made Penang a melting pot of culture. George Town, the historic capital of Penang was formally designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 7 July 2008 in recognition of its unique architectural and cultural townscape.
Being a very unique state in Malaysia; Penang has an extensive range of attractions for tourism – rich history, diverse culture, fantastic food, bargain shopping, lush nature, fun-filled beaches, cosy resort hotels, etc. indeed we have all the reasons to Visit Penang. To Top it off, readers of the New York Times have chosen Penang as the second best destination among "44 Places To Go in 2009"