The island of Penang is small enough that most of the sights are within easy reach using local transportation. Whether you just need to get across town or want to reach the mainland, Penang transportation options include buses, taxis, and trains.
Air-conditioned Rapid Penang buses are the most affordable way to get around but contrary to the name are slow and unpredictable. Two good places to catch them are at the Komtar Bus Terminal and the Ferry Terminal. Fares generally cost 4 RM or less, so small change is useful.
Penang International Airport
Although an inexpensive and slow public bus is available from the airport to Komtar, downtown, a taxi may be more convenient if you have luggage, given the favorable exchange rate. Look for the taxi counter and pay here for a voucher to your destination. The voucher then goes to the driver, so you don’t have to worry about being fleeced or paying extra in case of a traffic jam.
For a pleasant and relaxing journey, take the KTM Intercity train to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as well as intermediate towns in between, such as Ipoh, Kampar, and Bukit Mertajam. Overnight sleepers save you both time and money on hotel rooms. The train station is not in Penang but across the straight in Butterworth on the mainland, so you’ll need to take a taxi or bus to go to and from town.
By law, taxis are supposed to use the government-regulated meters to charge you for trips. Nobody pays attention to the law. Instead, before you get in, tell the driver where you want to go and he’ll quote you a price. You can try and bargain with him but this is best done by a local friend who knows what rides cost.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Penang transportation .