Penang: Main Facts

Pearl of the Orient

Penang Main Facts

Geographical Location of Penang

Penang is one of the states of Malaysia, situated on the northwestern coast of the mainland peninsula. It consists of the island of Penang (Pulau Penang) and a coastal strip on the mainland called Province Wellesley (Seberang Prai).

Languages of Penang

Bahasa Malaysia is the official language, but English is widely used in Penang in business and in the tourism industry. Reflecting the multi-racial population, many Asian languages and dialects are spoken in Penang, including Hokkien, Cantonese, Mandarian and Tamil. Also peculiar to Malaysians is ‘Manglish’ or Malaysian English, a strange mixture of all the different languages spoken in Malaysia and English.

Currency of Penang

The currency in Penang is Ringgit Malaysia (RM). Malaysians sometimes call it ‘dollars’, the old name for the country’s currency. Coins in use are 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 sen and RM1. Notes come in RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10, RM50 and RM100. Credit cards are readily accepted for purchases in many establishments, especially Visa and MasterCard. Myabank, Malaysia’s biggest bank, has branches all over Penang and accepts Visa and MasterCard.