Malaysia is endowed with many tourist attraction sites with plenty of great sights to see and things to do. Penang Island is one of the best places to visit in Malaysia, not only because of its rich cultural heritage but also because it is easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur. There are numerous ways for you to get to Penang that include taking a train, hopping onto a bus, driving by yourself or even taking a flight. On average, the whole journey will set you back 5 to 6 hours to reach the island irrespective of the transport means of choice.
Cheapest option to Penang from Kuala Lumpur
There is no other option that beats traveling by bus in terms of cost and convenience. Taking a bus to Penang is definitely the cheapest transport option. However, if you like taking road trips for fun, then you should rent a car in Kuala Lumpur. There are several attractions to see while enroute to the island from the capital by road such as Ipoh and Taiping.
Travelling by bus
Bus to Penang is a favorite travel option for most tourists visiting the island to enjoy breathtaking views and sights on the island. Buses to the island are boarded at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan bus station- the main terminal in the capital (Kuala Lumpur) and stop at Sungai Nibong- the central bus terminal in Penang. This bus trip takes about 5.5 hours. Ticket prices cost between RM30- RM40, depending on coach operators. Popular coach operators on the island include Transnasional, Mutiara, Nice/Plusliner, and Konsortium. Aeroline is the most luxurious and high-end coach operator with tickets costing about RM60 but these buses are very comfortable and their services are of high quality. These buses operate daily on different schedules.
There are also minibuses and vans that operate from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. However, these vans are more expensive than buses, but have different pick up and drop off points to the convenience of the travelers.
Getting Around Penang
Upon reaching Penang Island, there are several readily available transport forms that you can use to get around the island. Taxis and buses are the best travel option to use on the island as they make it easy to access all attraction sites on the island. Additionally, most key attractions on the island are strategically situated in close proximity with each other, making it easy to hop off and explore on foot.
Buses provide the most convenient means of transport in the island since they are extremely affordable and you can reach almost every point of interest on the island. There are several shopping malls, plazas and complexes along most bus routes and not forgetting the heritage sites. The only set back about using bus transport is that they do not arrive on time in few instances. However, the island’s public bus system has been improved in the past few years and as such; buses are a reliable transport option on the island.
For true explorer, bicycle rental services are all over the island. Georgetown is a small but well connected city, making travelling by bike completely effortless. Most of the bike rental is inclusive of a bicycle helmet, single headlights and various security measures to ensure that your ride is perfectly safe. At only RM10, you can cruise the island for a whole day. What’s more amazing will be at such an affordable rate, you can get your own copy of Georgetown map for free! It is worth noting that riding across the island is very scenic and tourists enjoy breathtaking views.
What does heritage sites have in common? A modern beca or trishaw I would say. A holiday in Penang will never be complete without taking an old fashion ride in one of these trishaw especially if you enjoy exploring the city in a much slower pace. These beca uncles are well familiar with the city and you will be able to cover every nook and corner of Georgetown heritage trails hassle free.
With approximate 200 trishaw on the island, you can easily spot one and hop on to the nostalgic transportation. Scattered around Georgetown, the price of taking trishaw is around RM 20 to RM 30 per hour. Although the price could be less favorable for a budget trip, you will get to visit the sights at a more leisurely pace and occasionally making pit stops to snap pictures or buy souvenir.
Generally, Penang Island is well connected both to the outside world and within Malaysia. Therefore, traveling to the island and getting around to see different attraction sites is quite easy, hassle-less, and convenient.