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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:

• Penang Island
(Pulau Pinang in Malay): an island of 293 square kilometres located in the Straits of Malacca; and

Seberang Perai: a narrow hinterland of 753 square kilometres on the peninsula across a narrow channel whose smallest width is 4 km (2.5 mi). It is bordered by Kedah in the east and north (demarcated by the Muda River), and by Perak in the south.

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 northeastern plains form a triangular promontory where the state capital is situated. This densely populated inner city is the administrative, commercial, and cultural centre of Penang.

• The southeast, once consisting of rice fields and mangroves, has been completely transformed into new townships and industrial areas.

• The northwest consists of a coastal fringe of sandy beaches lined with resort hotels and residences.

• The southwest contains the only large pockets of scenic countryside with fishing villages, fruit orchards, and mangroves.

• 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.

Source: Wikipedia

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