Everything You Need To Know
As someone who have lived over 20 years in Penang, I will share some of the facts about this place.
Here’s the list of what you’ll be going through the post:
- 1. Historical Facts about “Penang”
- 2. Where is Penang?
- 3. Getting to Penang
- 4. Types of “Accomodation” available in Penang
- 5. The “Food Heaven”
- 6. Places of Attraction
- 7. Public Transport
1. Historical Facts about Penang
Penang island was part of the state of Kedah before Penang got its own government. Kedah mainly known for trade centre mainly consists of Indian merchants. These merchants already came to Peninsular Malaysia before the 1st century. Trading goods such as herbs, spices and gold were the main attraction for the merchants. As time goes by, Hinduism and Buddhism were religion being introduced in Penang
By the time around 9th century, Muslims merchants set foot in Penang. They all mainly come from India and Middle East. Unlike the Chinese and Indian merchants, Muslim merchants also spread their Islamic religion besides trading. Soon the religion spread quickly across the rest of the Malaysia peninsula.
In 15th century, Penang was discovered by Chinese merchants. That was also the time the island was first charted. The name was later changed to Penang which means areca nut in the native language. Under Cheng-Ho administration, China become an important trading partner in Penang. He named the island Ping-Lang-Seu.
Chinese merchants were interested in goods and materials. In exchange, the merchants brought their own goods and techniques to Penang and to the rest of Malaysian peninsula.
European merchants began to set food on Penang around 14th century. Portugese were the first ones to arrive and they had monopoly in Southeast Asia by keeping the map as secret. The Dutch (VOC) arrived in Southeast Asia in 1595 and followed by the English.
The Englishman Sir Francis Light was the one who convinced Sultan of Kedah to handover Penang to the British-East-India Company. Today’s Georgetown was founded by Francis Light after the English board was introduced.
According to old documents, Francis Light came up with a solution to make Penang accessible by firing a cannon filled with silver coins into the jungle. Penang was pretty much a dense jungle at that time and he used this as a way to motivate the labourers. By 20th century, merchants mostly came to Penang for the merchandise and this is how Penang got it’s name as ‘Pearl of the Orient’.