City of Butterworth (Penang)

The city of Butterworth is included to the state Penang

Presentation of the destination

Introduction to Butterworth

Butterworth is a town in Malaysia and it is the principal town in the state of Penang.  Butterworth is a town on the mainland side of Penang, a state that is comprised of an island and part of the mainland.  Butterworth grew into a town after it was established as a settlement by Governor William John Butterworth in the mid-19th century as a place to land after crossing the channel from the state’s capital George Town, on the island.  Butterworth today has fewer attractions than other places in Malaysia but it is an important transportation center as well as the place to go to get to the island of Penang.  The population of Butterworth is 107,591 people.  Temperatures in Butterworth remain fairly uniform year round with temperatures ranging between lows of 23 °C (75°F) and highs of 32°C (90°F).  The currency used in Malaysia is the Ringgit and the official language in the country is Malaysian.  Malaysia is an ethnically diverse country with around 50% of the population being Malay, 23% being Chinese, 11% Indigenous, 7% Indian and the rest of the population is other.  The time zone in Malaysia is UTC +8.

Points of interests / things to see

Penang Bird Park

The Penang Bird Park is a park that has more than 300 species of birds on display.  About 150 of the bird species are Malaysian species and the majority of the rest of the birds come from different areas in Southeast Asia.  There are over 3,000 birds in the park.  Some birds on display include parrots, hawks, pheasants, sunbirds and hornbills.  The park was established in 1988 and it is the largest bird park in Malaysia.  The park complex includes two large walk-in aviaries which allow visitors to interact with the birds and visitors also have the opportunity to feed birds by hand.  The park is built in a garden which is also a lovely sight to see with varieties of plants and flowers including bamboo, orchids, hibiscus, palm trees and more.  The landscaping in the park also includes waterfalls and ponds with fish and water lilies which create a natural home for a number of bird species of the park that are allowed to wander freely, such as flamingos, swans, pelicans, storks, herons and more.  In addition to the birds, Penang Bird Park also has a number of deer, fish and reptiles on their grounds.  One species of deer that they have is the smallest deer in the work, the mouse-deer.  There are two bird shows daily at 11:00 and 15:30.  There is also a restaurant in the park that serves both local and Western style food.  Website: Phone number: +60 4 399 1899 Opening hours: Daily 9:00-19:00 Entrance fees: Adults RM 29, Children RM 15, Camera RM 1, Video Camera RM 5

Penang National Park

Penang National Park (or Taman Negara Pulau Pinang) is a national park located on the island portion of the state of Penang, in the northwest corner of the island.  The Penang National Park occupies 1,213 hectares (2,997 acres) of land.  Within the boundaries of the park there are 417 flora species and 143 fauna species.  The park is used by scientists and researchers to learn more about nature in the area.  The park was established with the goal of preserving the wildlife and plant species in the area as well as protecting the different geological, archaeological, ethnological and historical aspects of the area.  Some of the highlights of the park include a mangrove forest, sandy beaches, hill/lowland forests, a lake and land along the coast.  The park has a total of nine beaches and they are considered to be the best beaches in the whole state of Penang, mainly due to their remote location.  Visitors wishing to see the beaches can take walking trails through the park to them.  There are also a number of camping locations throughout the park as well as places to go fishing.  There is also a beach, Teluk Ketapang or Monkey Beach, which is home to a number of monkeys.  This is also one of the most pristine beaches as well as being one of the most remote.  In addition to the hiking trails through the park, there is also a canopy walkway for visitors to walk across to see the forest from a different perspective.  It is also possible to take boats to the beaches from the park entrance as opposed to hiking to them. Entrance fee: Free

Penang Hill

Penang Hill or Bukit Bendera is a hill resort on the island portion of the state of Penang.  Penang Hill is found 6 km (3.7 mi) from George Town, which is across the channel from Butterworth.  The highest point amongst the hills is Western Hill which stands at an elevation of 833 m (2,723 ft) tall.  Due to its altitude, Penang Hill is a popular place to go to escape from the Malay heat as the average temperature is between 20-27°C (68-80°F).  Penang Hill is also known as Flagstaff Hill and is the hill with the most development on it.  Some of the hills are not allowed to be developed as they are to be left in their natural state.  A number of rivers get their start in the hills and are popular picnic places or swimming areas.  To access Penang Hill, visitors can take the Penang Hill Railway which is a funicular to the top of Penang Hill.  The funicular was built between 1906 and 1923.  The journey to the top via funicular takes about 30 minutes.  The funicular runs every 30 minutes from 6:30-21:00 every day.  Another way to access the top is by hiking up a 5.1 km (3.2 mi) road known as the “jeep track.”  Only residents that live on the mountain are permitted to drive on it, but visitors to the park can hike up it.  The climb usually takes between 2 and 3 hours and there are stops along the way for tea and water as well as impressive views of the island.  There are also a number of other hiking trails throughout the hills around Penang Hill. Website: Email address: Phone number: +60 4 828 8880 Entrance fees: Ticket to ride the funicular roundtrip: adults RM 30, children RM 15.

Kek Lok Si Temple

The Kek Lok Si Temple or the “Temple of Supreme Bliss” is a Buddhist temple in the state of Penang, located in the town of Air Itam on the island part of Penang.  Kek Lok Si Temple is one of the best-known temples found on the island of Penang.  It also claims to be the largest Buddhist temple found in all of Southeast Asia.  The temple is a Mahayana Buddhist temple but also embraces Theravada Buddhism.  The building of the temple began in 1893 with the permission of Emperor Guangxu in China.  Emperor Guangxu also gifted a tablet as well as 70,000 volumes of Buddhist Sutras.  Majority of the funding for the temple came from the man Chung Keng Quee who was a millionaire Chinese philanthropist.  One of the most impressive architectural features of the temple is the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas which was completed in 1930.  The pagoda combines three different architectural styles- Chinese at the base, Thai in the middle and Burmese at the top.  There is also a large bronze statue of the deity Kwan Yin (or Guanyin) or the Goddess of Mercy.  The temple continues to be expanded due to large donations from the Chinese community.  A large expansion was completed in 2009.  There are a number of halls in the temple complex for prayer as well as many statues, both Buddhas as well as Chinese gods.  The temple is used as the site for different Chinese festivals throughout the year, especially Chinese New Year.

Penang Botanical Gardens

The Penang Botanical Gardens are found in George Town, across the channel from Butterworth.  The Penang Botanical Gardens are also called the Waterfall Gardens because of a waterfall on the grounds.  Before there were gardens there, the site was the location of an old quarry site.  In 1884, Charles Curtis established the gardens on the site and he went on to become the first superintendent of the gardens.  He was responsible for designing much of the layout and artistry of the park that visitors can see today.  The original goals of the Penang Botanical Gardens when they first opened were to grow commercial plants, inspect local crops and to help the local planting community.  Today the gardens cover an area of 29 hectares (71 acres).  The gardens lay in a valley between hills with jungle and tropical evergreen rain forests.  A stream passes through the grounds as well and at one point makes the waterfall from which the park got its nickname.  The tranquility and nature aspect of the park make it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.  Today the gardens still sell plants to the public as well as the rental of large potted plants for different functions. Address: Jalan Kebun Bunga, 10350, Penang Website: Phone number: +60 4 226 4401

Nine Emperor Gods Temple

The Nine Emperor Gods Temple in Butterworth is a Taoist temple.  The temple is dedicated to the Nine Emperor Gods in Taoism and the temple that stands today was completed in the year 2000 by a group of fifty craftsmen from China.  The temple got its start in 1971 as a small shed on a plot of land and almost 30 years later it was finished.  According to Taoist tradition, the Nine Emperor Gods are the sons of the Father Emperor Zhou Yu Dou Fu Yuan Jun and Mother of the Big Dipper Dou Mu Yuan Jun.  The Nine Emperor Gods reside in the stars.  Every year the temple is decorated for the Nine Emperor Gods festival which occurs in the 9th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Address: Jalan Raja Uda Phone number: +60 4 331 8717

Old Protestant Cemetery

The Old Protestant Cemetery, also known as the Northam Road Cemetery is a Christian cemetery found in George Town on the island part of Penang.  The cemetery is no longer in use and was neglected for about a century.  It was first established in 1789 and was used as a Protestant Cemetery.  Today the cemetery is maintained by the Penang Heritage Trust and has been labeled a heritage site.  The cemetery is located close to a beach.  It is important because of its early establishment date, which predates many of the major cemeteries in Europe including ones in Paris, London, Vienna and other places.  The first person to be buried in the cemetery was in 1789 and the last was in 1892.

Snake Temple

The Snake Temple is a unique temple found in the town of Bayan Lepas in Penang.  Bayan Lepas is located 6 km (3.7 mi) from Georgetown on the island of Penang.  The Snake Temple gets its name from the snakes in the temple.  The temple is home to a variety of pit vipers.  It is believed that the special incense burned at the temple makes the snakes harmless, but they also have had their venom removed.  However they still have fangs and visitors are warned not to pick them up.  It is believed by the temple worshippers that the snakes come there of their own will.  The temple was constructed in the year 1850 in honor of a Buddhist monk, Chor Soo Kong, who was a healer. Opening hours: Daily early morning to late evening

Sri Mahamariamman Temple

The Sri Mahamariamman Temple is located in George Town and it is the oldest Hindu Temple found in all of Malaysia.  The temple has been in its current location for over 200 years and was first opened as a place of worship in 1801.  However there is little known about who started the temple or the people that established it.  As the Indian population grew, so did the need for a proper temple and the shrine grew to accommodate these needs and in 1833 it became a temple.  Prayer sessions are held at 12:00 and 21:00 after which the temple closes.  Visitors are welcome to observe these prayer sessions. Address: Lebuh Queen (Queen Street) Opening hours: Daily 6:30-12:00, 16:30-21:00.

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Time in butterworth

Local time

Local time and timezone in butterworth

Butterworth time
UTC +8:00 (Asia/Kuala_Lumpur)
Summer time UTC +7:00
Winter time UTC +8:00


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Locality :
Administrative area 1 :
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Surrounding towns

  • George Town ~8 km
  • Bukit Mertajam ~11 km
  • Butterworth ~0 km
  • Kulim ~20 km
  • Prai ~7 km
  • Simpang Ampat ~20 km
  • Perai ~7 km
  • Jelutong ~10 km
  • Gelugor ~12 km
  • Air Itam ~13 km

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How to get there ?


The main airport in Malaysia is the Kuala Lumpur Airport (  Another convenient airport for entry into Malaysia is the Singapore Airport ( as it is only a short trip away from Malaysia and it is well connected with Malaysia.  Also, the Singapore Airport has more international connections.  The national airline is Malaysia Airlines.  However cheaper flights can usually be found with the companies Air Asia and Firefly which offer connections between Malaysia and India, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Australia and Europe. It is also possible to cross into peninsular Malaysia from Singapore at the border crossing of the Malaysian city of Johor Bahru or to take a bus from Thailand into Malaysia. Ferry is another option for getting into Malaysia from either Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines or Thailand. For getting around within Malaysia, bus is the best option.  There are a number of both public and private buses.  Private buses usually make the longer trips and public buses do the shorter runs.  They are generally comfortable and affordable. As far as train, there are two main lines in the country.  One runs from Singapore, through Kuala Lumpur, on to Butterworth and then into Thailand.  The other route is known as the Jungle Railways and goes through the interior of Malaysia connecting Taman Negara and Kota Bharu with Kuala Lumpur. Renting a car in Malaysia is also a good way to see the country.  The roads are in good shape and drivers in general are not too reckless, compared to other Southeast Asian countries. In Butterworth, the train station, bus station and ferry terminal are all fairly close together.  There are trains to and from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as well as Thailand.  The bus trip from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth takes about 5 hours.  From the Butterworth Ferry Terminal a regular ferry runs service to George Town on the island.

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