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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Visit Malaysia- Penang ~ The Pearl Of Orient~


Penang or better known as Pulau Pinang (Penang Island) is a state in Malaysia. Penang is an island in South East Asia, located on the Northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The name Pulau Pinang is the Malay name for Penang which literally means "Island of the Betel Nut Tree". By other name, Penang is also known as Pearl of the Orient.

The island and the mainland are linked by the Penang Bridge, which is once the third longest bridge in the world. The consturction of bridge was completed in 1985 and officially opened to traffic on 14 September 1985. The Malaysian Federal Goverment has approved the proposal of Penang Second bridge and the construction began in November 2008 and the targeted completion year of construction would be in Year 2012.

Initially, Penang was part of the sultanate of Kedah state and the island was known as "Pulau Ka-satu" (First Island). Until 1786, Captain Francis Light, (founder of of the British Colony of Penang) sailed to Penang and built a fort at Georgetown and ceded the island to the British East India Company. Then, together with Malacca and Singapore, the island becomes one of the British Straits Settlement.

In 1786, the island was renamed to the "Prince of Wales Island" to celebrate the Prince of Wales birthday. But, the name was soon forgotten and the new town was to be known as Georgetown (named in honour of King George III)- the capital City of Penang.

Today, Penang being a state rich in culture and colourful history has prospered into a popular holiday destination over the years. Besides exploring the diverse culture and historical attractions, Penang is also popular with it's white sandy beaches and beautiful scenery.

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