Escorted Rail Tours to Penang
Explore UNESCO-protected George Town
Being separated from the rest of Malaysia, not much is known to Westerners about Penang's early history. But on 12th August 1786, the British East India Company occupied the island, and renamed it Prince of Wales Island in honour of the then Prince of Wales' birthday. The capital was called George Town in honour of King George III. George Town's commercial centre was built on what was originally marshy land that had to be drained and cleared. Yet the port became the hub of this growing trading post, and the island's population rapidly increased. George Town continued to prosper over the years, and in 2008 the historic centre - which remains largely intact - was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.