Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south.
Penang is often known as "The Pearl of the Orient" and Pulau Pinang Pulau Mutiara (Penang, Island of Pearls).
The state is geographically divided into two sections:
The body of water between Penang Island and Seberang Perai consists of the North Channel to the north of George Town and the South Channel to the south of it. Penang Island is irregularly shaped, with a granitic, hilly and mostly forested interior. The coastal plains are narrow, the most extensive of which is in the northeast. In general, the island can be distinguished into five areas:
• The northwest consists of a coastal fringe of sandy beaches lined with resort hotels and residences.
• The central hill range, with the highest point being Western Hill (part of Penang Hill) at 830 metres above sea level, is an important forested catchment area.
The topography of Seberang Perai, comprising more than half of the land area of Penang, is mostly flat save for Bukit Mertajam, the name of the hillock and the eponymous town at its foot. It has a long coastline, the majority of which is lined with mangrove. Butterworth, the main town in Seberang Perai, lies along the Perai River estuary and faces George Town at a distance of 3 km (1.9 mi) across the channel to the east.In general, the mainland or Seberang Perai can be distinguished into three districts:
• The Northern Seberang Perai District
• The Central Seberang Perai District
• The Southern Seberang Perai District
Due to the lack of land for development in Penang, a few land reclamation projects had been undertaken to provide suitable low-lying land in high-demand areas such as Tanjung Tokong, Jelutong (construction of Jelutong Expressway) and Queensbay. These projects had been implicated in the change of tidal flow along coastal areas of Penang Island and were postulated to have caused the silting of Gurney Drive after the Tanjung Tokong reclamation.
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