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Penang state population has more than 1.5 million, nearly half residing on Penang Island. There are a considerably large population of ethnic Chinese, consisting of over two-fifths of the population - about the same proportion as the ethnic Malay. Expatriates consist of over five per cent of the population in the state due to the large number of multinational companies operating here such as AMD, Bosch, Dell, Hitachi, Intel, Motorola and Osram.
Penang state consists of two parts, Penang Island and mainland Province Wellesley (Malay: Seberang Perai), connected by ferry from Butterworth across the 3-kilometre-wide North Channel and by the 13.5-kilometre-long Penang Bridge, the longest in Malaysia. The topography of Seberang Perai, comprising more than half of the land area of Penang, is mostly flat save for Bukit Mertajam, the name of the hillock and the eponymous town at its foot. It has a long coastline, the majority of which is lined with mangrove.
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Batu Ferringhi is a town on the northern coastline of Penang, and is located 10 kilometres west of George Town. There are several hotels located along the main road. On the beach there are possibilities for jet skiing, hang gliding and horse riding amongst other things. In the evening there is a touristic evening market. it is also the location for the Penang Hard Rock Café and Hotel.
The Clan Jetties are a couple of stilt houses, built by several Chinese families. There are several next to each other, but the most visited (and touristic) is the Chew Jetty. There are several tours visiting, and most houses are turned into shops. When visiting please remember that there are actually people living here, so respect their privacy.
Fort Cornwallis was build on the northeastern cape of Penang so that overlooks the northern waters, and the water crossing to Butterworth. Captain Sir Francis Light took possession of the island from the Sultan of Kedah and built the original fort in 1786. A statue of Captain Light, can be found near the entrance. The exhibition is being renewed at this time.
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Young Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic was asked in 2012 to create a number of murals in the center of George Town for the 2012 George Town Festival. They vary from large painting covering the whole side of a house to small pieces of art. When walking around town, you will be sure to come across them. Hopefully the people of George Town take good care of these artworks.
Like the rest of Malaysia, Penang has a hot and humid tropical climate with daytime temperatures mostly around the 30 °C mark while nights are around or above 20 °C. Monsoon rains arrive around November and last until at least March. The climate is very much dictated by the surrounding sea and the wind system. Penang's proximity with Sumatra, Indonesia makes it susceptible to dust particles carried by wind from perennial but transient forest fires, creating a phenomenon known as the haze.
Penang International Airport (PEN) has quite a few international and domestic services. AirAsia flies to/from Hong Kong, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Macau and Singapore. Other airlines serve cities like Taipei, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Langkawi, Medan, Phuket, Jakarta and Bangkok.
Penang is connected to the mainland and the North-South Expressway by the Penang Bridge, one of the longest bridges in Asia, and by the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, commonly called the Penang Second Bridge, which is further south and even longer. There is no toll for vehicles heading to the mainland on either bridge, but vehicles headed to the island must pay a toll as follows: For the First Bridge: motorcycles: RM1.40, cars: RM7, lorries and vans with two axles and four wheels: RM12. For the Second Bridge: motorcycles: RM1.70, cars and other vehicles with two axles and three or four wheels, except buses: RM8.50, vans and other vehicles with two axles and six wheels (except for buses, which are charged RM 26.20): RM 30.50.
Several companies offer bus services to George Town from Kuala Lumpur (5-6 hours), Johor Bahru and Singapore (both around 10 hours) and other cities and towns across the Malaysian Peninsula. There are also minivans services to places in southern Thailand with van/ferry combinations possible, even to the Perhentian Islands.
Car rentals may be a viable option, especially if you are planning to get off the beaten track and explore the western or southern coast of the island. Take note that Penang Island has quite a number of one-way streets and narrow roads. Many Penangites ride motorbikes and a minority of them have disregard for pedestrians, cars, and even their own lives, so you must be very careful when driving on the roads.
Taxis in Penang are equipped with meters and by law they are mandated to use them, but practically all drivers will refuse to turn them on. Always haggle with the taxi driver and agree on a price beforehand.
RapidPenang, the local bus service, features new buses. All bus stations and bus stops which are serviced by the RapidPenang buses are labelled with proper signboards to ensure user-friendliness. Buses are somewhat frequent on the main artery to Batu Ferringhi. Rapid Penang bus 101 bound for Teluk Bahang goes through midtown Pulau Tikus, (northwest end of) Gurney Drive, Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and terminates at the Penang National Park entrance. Avoid so-called 'minibuses' because they usually go as far as Tanjung Bungah and can be poorly maintained.
Trishaws, three-wheeled human-powered vehicles, might be the best idea for a pleasant city tour. One can stop at any point to take a photo or buy souvenirs. Many trishaw riders are also excellent 'tour guides'. Negotiate the fare first before getting on a trishaw; it is advisable to hire them by the hour for extended sightseeing.
Travellers are spoiled for choice when it comes to food in Penang with plenty of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya, local seafood, street food and good old western favourites.
|Baba Guesthouse||52 Batu Ferringhi 11100||Hostel||83|
|ET Budget Guesthouse||47, Batu Ferringhi||Guesthouse||81|
|Hotel Mingood||164 Argyll Road||Hotel||69|
|Huttonlodge||No. 17 Jalan Hutton off Penang Road||Guesthouse||83|
|Love Lane Inn||54 Love Lane George Town||Guesthouse||63|
|Old Penang GuestHouse||53, Love Lane, Georgetown||Hostel||85|
|Oriental Hotel Penang||105 Penang Road Penang||Hotel||-|
|YMCA International Hostel, Penang||211 Jalan Macalister YMCA of Penang||Hostel||81|
|Baan Talay Homestay||515 P Jalan Hashim Tanjong Tokong P.Pinang||Guesthouse||79|
|Vacation Apartment||Jalan Sungai Emas Satu Batu Feringghi||Apartment||-|
|Annie's Bed & Breakfast||No: 7, Jalan Sungai Emas 3, Batu Ferringhi||GUESTHOUSE||83|
|Paramount Hotel||48F, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah Penang||Hotel||-|
|Eden Fairway Condo||11-01-01 Eden Fairway Condo Lorong Emas Batu Feringghi||APARTMENT||-|
|FERRINGHI INN & cafe||3 Jalan Sungai Emas Eden Square||Guesthouse||74|
|Red Inn||55, Love Lane||Guesthouse||75|
|Value Inn Homestay||2725 Lorong Kubur Butterworth, Pulau Pinang||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Sattcle Heritage House||48, Jalan Chow Thye, George Town||Hostel||-|
|Ryokan @ Muntri Street||62 Jalan Muntri Georgetown||Hostel||81|
|Holiday Homestay Penang||Leader Garden Condominium. Jalan Chee Seng 13. Chee Seng Garden||Guesthouse||-|
|Day & Night Guesthouse||319, Chulia Street||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Eden Seaview||eden seaview condominium jalan sungai satu batu ferringhi||Hostel||-|
|Red Inn Heritage||No.15,Love Lane Georgetown||Hostel||79|
|LazyBoys TraveLodge||392 Jalan Batu Ferringhi||Guesthouse||86|
|Chulia Heritage Hotel||No.380, Chulia Street Georgetown||Hotel||77|
|Reggae Penang Love Lane Hostel||57, Love Lane, 10200 Georgetown Penang||Hostel||84|
|Red Inn Penang||55, Love Lane||Guesthouse||-|
|Red Inn Cabana||No.22,Lebuh Leith Georgetown||Hostel||76|
|Cocoa Mews||101, King Street||Hostel||81|
|Red Inn Court||35B & C , Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling Pitt Street||GUESTHOUSE||81|
|Fastbook Hostel||1228L-3, Jalan Paya Terubong In front of Desa Permata swimming poor||HOSTEL||-|
|Malabar||No. 26-28 Lebuh Cintra||HOSTEL||83|
|Roommates Penang||17 B, Lorong Chulia||GUESTHOUSE||82|
|Guest Inn Muntri||No.17 Muntri Street George Town||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Tofu Cafe Beds & Bikes||484, Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street), George Town,||HOSTEL||-|
|The Beach House||547-I /547J Solok Wee Hein Tze||Hostel||-|
|Syok @ Chulia Hostel||458 Chulia Street||HOSTEL||84|
|LYF Lodge||10 Lebuh Sri Genting 1||HOSTEL||-|
|Muntri House||No.48, Muntri Street Georgetown||GUESTHOUSE||73|
|Heritage Lodge||39 Lorong Ceylon George Town||HOSTEL||-|
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