Prai (GPS: 5.38778, 100.38162), (Traditional Chinese: 北賴; Simplified Chinese: 北赖; Pinyin: Běilài; Penang Hokkien: Koay1 Kang4) also written Perai in Malay, is a township that gave its name to Seberang Perai. Located in Seberang Perai Tengah, Perai is a settlement along the southern bank of the Perai River. In old 19th century maps, the settlement is spelled Prye.
Perai has been settled even earlier than Penang Island. When Francis Light eyed Penang with interest, Chinese traders and farmers who were in Perai were gearing to move across the channel once the settlement is established. When Province Wellesley was originally formed, the border between it and Kedah was the Prai River, which is why going acros the Prai River from Kedah is going to "seberang Perai" in Malay, and "koay1 kang4" in Hokkien.
The settlement of Perai was named after the Perai River. The area which is defined as Perai is located around the estuary of the river. Much of it is mangrove swamp with large tracts having been cleared and developed.
Today Perai is best known for its industrial estate, which is the largest in northern Malaysia.
View of Perai at the approach of the Sungai Prai Bridge (15 April, 2006)
Exit the North-South Expressway at Exit 160 (Juru Interchange) to reach Perai. Alternatively, Exit 161 (Penang Bridge Interchange) and Exit 162 (Perai Interchange) will also get you there, depending on which part of Perai you are heading to.
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