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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 opportunities to experience the diversity of Malaysian culture.


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


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
0.35 Australian Dollar (AUD)
0.22 Euro (EUR)
0.19 British Pound (GBP)
1.88 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
17.08 Indian Rupee (INR)
25.90 Japanese Yen (JPY)
0.37 New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
1.70 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB)
0.33 Singapore Dollar (SGD)
0.24 US Dollar (USD)


A 10% surcharge including government tax is applicable in hotels and restaurants.

The Penang State Government has announced that it will implement a mandatory "Local Government Fee" of MYR 3 per room per night for hotel accommodations that will go into effect on 1 June 2014In addition to the 10% service charge and 0% government tax, this fee will be added to all room bills. 


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. 


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


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

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


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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

1.5 million

English, Malay, Chinese

Time Zone
GMT + 8 hours

Metric System

240 volts

Plug Type

Mobile Phones
GSM 900 / 1800