Penang, Malaysia Facts

Interesting Malaysia Facts When You're in Penang

Penang is a representation of the finest in Malaysia culture and heritage. It's filled with exotic religious festivals and tradition throughout the whole year, giving you the chance to experience and witness the beautiful golden beaches, sumptuous cuisine, unique festivals and heritage architecture of the modern era.

It's really amazing that the tiny Penang is the third largest economic center in Malaysia after Selangor and Johor contributing significantly to the country wealth, technology advancement and opportunity for all.

Penang is also home to many multinational corporations, international college, centre of medical excellence and world wide exhibition centre.

It's great place to live, to dine and to explore.

In this site, we will talk about the facts of Penang, so that you'll be prepared and know what to expect when you visit this great place.

Let us get the ball rolling with...

Penang, Malaysia Facts - The Population
Penang population currently stood at about 1.5 million. It's the only state in Malaysia
where ethnic Chinese forms the majority. The ethnic composition in 2006 was:
  • Ethnic Chinese: 43.6%
  • Malay: 40%
  • Ethnic Indian: 9.9%
  • Others: 6.5%

Penang, Malaysia Facts - The Weather
Weather in Malaysia are all time hot and dry. With the temperature of about 30 Degree Celsius and occasionally raining. Monsoon season is around the month of November to March. So, if you came from a snowy place, prepare yourself to have a natural sweat - All day long!

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. The Bayan Lepas Regional Meteorological Office is the primary weather forecast facility for northern Peninsular Malaysia.
  • Temperature (day) 27°C-30°C
  • Temperature (night) 22°C-24°C
  • Average annual rainfall 2670 mm
  • Relative humidity 70%-90%

Penang, Malaysia Facts - The Religion
The official state religion is Islam, but freedom of worship is observed. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism and other religions are freely practiced. Muslim mosques, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and Christian churches are commonly found throughout the island. Visitors can expect to be amazed by the diversity and profusion of festivals and other religious celebrations which occur regularly throughout the year.

Penang, Malaysia Facts - Language Spoken
Although Malay is the national language, English is also widely used, particularly in business and the tourism industry. As Penang was (and still is) a meeting point of many cultures, other languages and dialects are also spoken and understood. These includes the various Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien) and Indian (Bengali, Hindu Malayalam, Punjabi and Telegu) dialects, as well as smatterings of Thai, and some European languages. More...

Penang, Malaysia Facts - Travel Documents
Visitors to Malaysia must possess a national passport or other internationally recognized travel documents such as Certificates of Identity and Emergency Certificates of Affidavits. Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of allowed stay in Malaysia. Those who are in possession of passports which are not recognized by Malaysia must apply for a document in lieu of a passport and visa which is issued by Malaysian missions abroad. More on Malaysia visa...

Penang, Malaysia Facts - Customs and Duties
Items such as cameras, watches, pens, lighters, cosmetics, perfume and portable cassette players are duty free in Malaysia. Visitors bringing in dutiable goods such as video equipment may have to pay a deposit of up to 50% of the value for temporary importation, refundable when they leave.

You are advised to carry the receipt of purchase. If you pay any tax or deposit, please ensure that you are given a receipt. For more information please visit the Malaysian Customs and Excise website at

Tourist whose stay in Malaysia in excess of 72 hours is exempted from paying taxes on the following:
  • One quart bottle of liquor.
  • 25 gms of tobacco or 200 sticks of cigarettes.
  • A pair of new shoes.
  • Electrical and battery-operated personal appliances.
  • Foodstuff to the value not exceeding RM 75.00
  • Souvenirs and gifts to the value not exceeding RM 200.00

Penang, Malaysia Facts - Currency Exchange
The currency exchange for the Malaysian Ringgit is no longer pegged with USD. Use the currency converter tool to find out exactly the actual exchange rate. For other currencies, please ask the local money changers or banks. The former offers better rates and are open to negotiations. More on currency...

Penang, Malaysia Facts - Others Info
In general, Malaysian is gentle and conservative people. Other things to take note when visiting Penang will be:
  • Blatant displays of affection like French kissing, groping, fondling, caressing, and etc in public are a definite no-no. What you do in private is entirely up to you.
  • If you visit a mosque or temple that is not usually on the tourist maps, it is a good idea to request permission from the caretaker on the premises. Moreover, their information will be more valuable than what you can find in any tourist book.
  • Most credit cards are accepted at hotels and restaurants, but if you travel away from the cities, you will need cash.
  • Many banks have ATMs that are connected to international networks such as Cirrus and will issue cash in the Malaysian currency (the Ringgit).
  • Smoking is prohibited in air conditioned public places by federal law. You will risk fines of up to RM500.00 (not to mention the ire of non-smokers) if caught.
  • Littering is prohibited and will be fine if get caught.
  • International driving licenses are required should you desire to rent an automobile to drive in Malaysia. However, if you have a Singapore driving license, you are allowed to drive here.
  • Most speed limits in Malaysia are display in Kmh - Kilometer per hour.
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a major offence and can involve steep fines as well as detention.
  • The wearing of seatbelts while driving is compulsory.
  • Crash helmets are compulsory while riding motorbikes.
  • Malaysia's traffic system still consists of "roundabouts" (traffic circles) and they are found almost everywhere.
  • Medical assistance is available in every town and city at clinics, or at local hospitals.
  • Local pharmacies can often provide assistance for minor illness or the proper material needed for minor injuries. You will need a doctor's prescription for any purchase of antibiotics.

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