George Town, Penang

George Town is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Penang. George Town is Malaysia's third most populous city with 708,127 inhabitants as of 2010, while Greater Penang, with a population of 2,412,616, is the second largest conurbation in the country after Greater Kuala Lumpur.[6][7][8] The historical core of George Town has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.[9]

George Town
City of Penang Island
Bandaraya Pulau Pinang
Other transcription(s)
  Jawiجورج تاون
  Chinese乔治市 (Simplified)
喬治市 (Traditional)
  Hokkien坡底 / 喬治市
Pho-té / Kiâu-tī-tshī (Tâi-lô)
  Tamilசார்ச்சு இடவுன்
Cārc iḍavuṉ (Transliteration)
From top, left to right:
The Penang Bridge, the Penang Eastern and Oriental Hotel, the Jubilee Clock Tower, downtown skyline with view of the Komtar Tower, and the Penang City Hall.
Pearl of the Orient[1]
Leading We Serve
(Malay: Memimpin Sambil Berkhidmat)
George Town
   George Town in    Malaysia
George Town
George Town (Asia)
George Town
George Town (Earth)
Coordinates: 05°24′52″N 100°19′45″E
Country Malaysia
State Penang
Administrative Areas
Founded11 August 1786
British crown colony1 April 1867 – 31 August 1957
Japanese occupation19 December 1941 – 3 September 1945
City status1 January 1957[2]
  Local governmentPenang Island City Council
  MayorYew Tung Seang
  City and state capital305.77 km2 (118.06 sq mi)
2,563.15 km2 (989.64 sq mi)
Elevation14 m (46 ft)
  City and state capital708,127 (3rd)
  Density2,372/km2 (6,140/sq mi)
2,412,616 (2nd)
Time zoneUTC+8 (MST)
  Summer (DST)Not observed
Postal code
100xx to 108xx
111xx to 118xx
Area code(s)+6042
Vehicle registrationP
Part ofMelaka and George Town, the Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca
CriteriaCultural: ii, iii, iv
Inscription2008 (32nd Session)
Area109.38 ha
Buffer zone150.04 ha

Established as an entrepôt by Francis Light of the East India Company in 1786, George Town was the first British settlement in Southeast Asia.[10] Together with Singapore and Malacca, George Town formed part of the Straits Settlements, which became a British crown colony in 1867. It was subjugated by Japan during World War II, before being recaptured by the British at war's end. Shortly before Malaya attained independence from the British in 1957, George Town was declared a city by Queen Elizabeth II, making it the first city in the country's modern history.

Due to the intermingling of the various ethnicities and religions that arrived on its shores, George Town acquired a large eclectic assortment of colonial and Asian architectural styles.[11] It also gained a reputation as Malaysia's gastronomic capital for its distinct and ubiquitous street food.[12][13][14] Moreover, the city hosts unique cultural heritage, such as the Peranakans, whose legacies are still visible on Penang's architecture and cuisine.

The city of George Town includes the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, a high-tech manufacturing hub regarded as the "Silicon Valley of the East".[15][16] The city also serves as the financial centre of northern Malaysia and the nation's most vital medical tourism hub.[17][18][19] Logistically, the Penang International Airport links George Town with several major regional cities, while a ferry service, the Penang Bridge and the Second Penang Bridge connect the city with the rest of Peninsular Malaysia. Meanwhile, George Town's Swettenham Pier has emerged as the busiest port of call in Malaysia for cruise ships.[20][21]