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Quick Facts

Get up to speed about the region

Penang, an island just off the northwest coast of Malaysia, forms a part of the Malaysian state of the same name. The capital, George Town, is a showcase of Southeast Asia’s large collection of pre-World War II buildings. The island offers a wealth of tropical beaches, historic sites, and a great opportunity to experience the diversity of Malaysian culture.

Visas

Depending on nationality, visitors may be required to apply for a visa in advance to enter Malaysia at the Malaysian Embassy or representative at their country of origin. 

Visa On Arrival can also be given to visitors who qualify, and is issued at certain international airports in Malaysia. To view entry requirements by country of origin, click on the link below.

Visa information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia


Currency

The Malaysian currency is known as Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) or (RM). Credit cards are accepted in major hotels as well as shopping malls.

Here are the most recent exchange rates for some common currencies.

MYR 1.00 equals:

Exchange Rates Currency
0.33 Australian Dollar (AUD)
0.2 Euro (EUR)
0.18 British Pound (GBP)
1.85 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
17.88 Indian Rupee (INR)
25.19 Japanese Yen (JPY)
0.36 New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
1.66 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB)
0.33 Singapore Dollar (SGD)
0.24 US Dollar (USD)

Taxes

Room rate is subject to 10% service charge and 0% government tax per room per night for stays until 30 June 2021.

The local government fee of MYR 3 per room per night will be exempted for all arrivals from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020. For stays from 1 January 2021 onwards, the prevailing local government fee is not included in your total room cost and will be collected upon check-out.

Tourism Tax of MYR 10, per room per night, for all foreign passport holders is to be collected by the hotel, on behalf of the government, upon check-out and is not included in your total room cost. All Malaysian Nationals and Permanent Residents are exempted. Please be advised that the Tourism Tax will be exempted for all arrivals from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 as announced by the Federal Government.

All prices quoted are inclusive of 10% service charge. 6% government tax is exempted until 30 June 2021.


Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Malaysia.


Business Hours

Bank Hours
10am - 4pm, Monday through Sunday

Office Hours
Though Malaysia is an Islamic country, offices observe a Monday to Friday schedule.
9am - 5pm (Business)
8am - 5pm (Government)

Shop Hours
10am - 10pm, Monday through Sunday


Public Health

Visitors arriving from Yellow Fever Endemic Zones and other affected areas are required to present International Health Certificates showing Yellow Fever vaccinations. This regulation, however, does not apply to children below the age of one.

Cholera vaccination is not required for travellers entering Malaysia. 


Dress

Lightweight clothing is ideal. A suit and tie are normal business attires. Revealing garments for women are not advisable, especially in rural areas.


Weather

Penang’s climate can be described as equatorial, a pleasant mix of warm, sunny days and occasional cooling rain storms, with August through November wetter than other months generally.

Humidity is usually high, and the temperature varies between 21°C and 32°C (70° to 95° Fahrenheit).

Local Climate
Month High Low
Jan 32ºC 24ºC
Feb 32ºC 24ºC
Mar 32ºC 25ºC
Apr 32ºC 25ºC
May 32ºC 25ºC
Jun 32ºC 25ºC
Jul 31ºC 24ºC
Aug 31ºC 24ºC
Sep 30ºC 24ºC
Oct 30ºC 24ºC
Nov 31ºC 24ºC
Dec 31ºC 24ºC
Facts

Population
1.5 million

Language
English, Malay, Chinese

Time Zone
GMT +8 hours

Measures
Metric System

Voltage
240 volts

Plug Type
 

Mobile Phones
GSM 900 / 1800