Penang, Malaysia

Location:

Penang Port handles some of the largest cruise vessels in the world at Swettenham Pier on Penang Island. This is close to Beach Street, Weld Quay, Clock Tower and Esplanade.

Sightseeing:

Penang (Malay: Pulau Pinang) is an island off the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is also the name of the Malaysian state which is made up of Penang Island and the facing strip of territory on the mainland called Seberang Perai (formerly Province Wellesley).

Penang is one of Malaysia’s main tourist draws. Its beaches are a little lackluster when compared with those in some other Malaysian states, but this is more than compensated by the island’s rich multicultural history which is full of colonial and Chinese influences. Penang is also well known for being the “food paradise” of Malaysia if not the whole of Asia.

Tours/Excursions/Transportation:

The old town is very walkable.

A taxi will cost about 8 euro/hour. They advertise seemingly attractive rates to various destinations, but without volunteering that their minimum charge is for three hours.

Take a funucular railway ride up the Mountain to see the old British Traders gracious homes, and marvel at the coolness, and the views.

Getting around Penang can be a minor hassle, as buses tend to be poorly signposted and infrequent; and taxis uniformly refuse to use the meter. Driving around Penang island can be a nightmare with insufficient signboard and bad driving attitude among local people.

By trishaw: These three-wheeled vehicles might be the best idea for a pleasant city tour. One can stop at any point to take photo or buy souvenirs. Negotiate the fare first before get on the trishaw; it is advisable to hire them by the hour for extended sightseeing.

Shopping and Food:

Food tasting – Penang is popular among Malaysians for a huge variety of local food such as Char Kwey Teow, Penang Laksa and Nasi Kandar, which are found almost practically everywhere in the Island. However, the best place to go “food hopping” would be Macalister Road. For the most well-known Char Kwey Toew, try “Sister’s Chow Koay Teow” at Lorong Selamat.

The three most popular shopping malls in Penang would be Gurney Plaza, Prangin Mall and Queensbay, which houses a full range of fashionable goods and necessity items. If you crave the unusual, head on down to the flea market at Lorong Kulit, which is open from morning until around 2:00pm daily. If mingling with the masses is your idea of fun, check out the pasar malam (night market) along Batu Ferringhi for some inexpensive shopping and dining, gets more interesting during weekends.

Currency:

The Malaysian currency is the ringgit. Ringgits are freely convertible and the exchange rate is US$1 = approx. RM3.

ATMs are widely available in cities, but do stock up on cash if heading out into the smaller islands or the jungle. Credit cards can be used in most shops, restaurants and hotels, although skimming can be a problem in dodgier outlets.

Tipping is not customary in Malaysia. However, hotel porters and taxi drivers will appreciate a small tip if you have been provided with exemplary service. Most expensive restaurants, bars and hotels may indicate prices in the form of RM19++, meaning that sales tax (5%) and service charge (10%) will be added to the bill.

Communication:

The sole official language of Malaysia is Malay (Bahasa Malaysia). English is also taught in schools and widely spoken in the cities although in rural areas a little Malay will come in handy.

Broadband Internet is available in most hotels, internet cafes, and some restaurants and cafes. Both cable broadband and wireless broadband are available.

Emergency numbers All type of emergency 999; From mobile phone – 999 or 112

Opening Hours and Holidays:

In general shops open from 10.30am till 9.30pm in the large cities. They open and close for business earlier in the smaller towns and rural areas.

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Place Categories: Cruise Ports

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