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Located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Penang is famous for its sandy beaches, mountainous jungle and fondly regarded as the food capital of Malaysia.

Nicknamed the Pearl of the Orient, Penang’s long history and kaleidoscope of cultures have made it one of the top picks for expatriates to settle down as their second home. Listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, this little island has no shortage of cultural sights, natural scenery and modern facilities.

Some tips you might want to know about Penang:

Dressing – Penang is a hot and humid place where you will have to wear light but decent clothing throughout the days. On the go to the beach, men will be easier compare to women as some beaches have signs banning swimming suits. For women, take your beachwear cue from those around you to settle on your swimsuit or a more modest wrap.

Language – English is widely spoken. Many locals speak “Manglish” (Malaysian-English), an English-based creole with the grammar structure of the Hokkien Chinese dialect and this might lead some confusion to expats. Some of the wording “lah” or “mah” to the end of sentences for emphasis is a hallmark of Manglish. 

Transportation – Taxis are available in Penang and generally cheap. However, the meter system in Penang is usually not adhered to, so beware when first arriving in Penang. Negotiate the amount you want to pay before you set off on your journey or try to look for a metered taxi. Alternative services such as Grab (ride-hailing through app) are available.

Relocating to a new place can be fun and excited but do not take it lightly if you are moving with your family.

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Settling-in Penang that you need to know

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