Penang is one of thirteen states in the Malaysian Federation. It is located on the western-northern cost of the country and is dotted with attractive beaches. The state of Kedah lies to the eastern and the northern side of the island and the Straits of Malacca and Sumatra are located to the west. The State of Perak lies to the south of the state.
Penang is one of the smallest states of Malaysia and it enjoys an equatorial climate. The weather remains humid and warm at almost all times of the year. There are no particular cold or hot seasons in the state. Rainfall happens throughout the year, but the period from September to November receives the maximum amount of it. The climate is at its best from the months of April to September because of the southwest monsoon. The climate is very much moderated by the wind system and the sea.
Penang is spread over an area of 293 sq KM and is divided into two sections – the Seberang Perai and the Penang Island. The Seberang region is also known by the name of Province Wellesley. Some of the most famous islands in Penag are listed below:
- Tanjung Bungah
- Tanjung Tokong
- Teluk Bahang
- Air Itam
- Batu Ferringhi
- Bayan Lepas
- Sungau Pinang
Penang consists of some famous islets located in the outlying areas of the coast. The biggest islet is the Pulau Jerejak, which is located between the narrow channel of the mainland and the Penang Island. The island was used as a penal and a leper colony for thousands of years, but is now a major tourist attraction. Some of the other islets of Penang are:
- Pulau Aman
- Pulau Rimau
- Pulau Kendi
- Pulau Gedung
When to go there
Penang can be visited throughout the year so deciding on the time is a bit difficult. As mentioned before, it remains hot and humid through out the year but the plenty of rainfall makes up for the warm climate. A great idea is to visit the state during one of its numerous festivals. Some of them are listed below:
- Chinese New Year
This festival is celebrated either in January or at the start of February. It signifies the beginning of the Chinese New Year and is celebrated with great pomp and gusto.
- Chap Goh Meh
Although difficult to pronounce, this festival features a unique ceremony where people throw oranges at each other! It is celebrated every year on the 15th day of the Chinese year first month.
- Wesak Day
This day celebrates the birthday of Lord Buddha and all the temples in the state are fully crowded during this time.
This a festival dedicated to the Hindu god, Lord Subramaniam. The highlight of this festival is the ceremony where all the devotees carry kavadis for fulfilling their promises.
- Saint Anne’s Feast
This festival is celebrated by the Christian community of Penang from the 26th to the 28th day of July. Various mass processions are carried out from all the churches.