One of the best ways to stay on your budget and for exploring Penang is to walk whenever possible. Start out early in the morning and remember to wear light clothes all the time. Penang has a hot and humid climate and many people do not realize just how hot it can get during the period from noon to 3 pm. Apply a lot of sun-screen and set out on your mission of seeing Penang. Remember to look at both the sides while crossing a road. Do not forget to do that even when the street is marked as a “one way street”.
Now let us talk about the best public transportation that is available in Penang. The Rapid Penang bus service is very popular with tourists and has a great fleet of new buses. All the stops and stations that are serviced by their buses are clearly marked for avoiding any confusion. Buses are quite frequent in all the cities of Penang, especially in Batu Ferringhi. The Bus number 101 goes to Teluk Bahang from Batu Ferringhi via Pulau Tikus. It also stops at Gurney Drive, Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Tokong. The bus finally finishes its journey at the airport entrance. The Penang Shuttle Bus is another great service for exploring Georgetown. It is totally free and takes you to some of the most popular attractions of the city. Always avoid the “minibuses” because they are usually in poor shape and do not cover a lot of stops and stations.
Always hand over the exact fare while riding the bus because most of the time the drivers do not have any change on them. You will end up paying more for nothing or you will have to look for change. So for example, if you are arriving at the Georgwtown from some other country, then you will have to pay RM 2.70 for a ride to Komtar (the tallest building and a popular tourist attraction). Having a RM 50 note with you will not help you with getting a bus at all. Buy some food items or some water as soon as you come out of the airport for gathering changes. Another great idea is to get a pass known as “Rapid Passport” for just RM 30. It gives you the benefit of travelling to unlimited destinations on all buses run by Rapid Penang.
These are powered by humans and have three wheels. They are a good for taking a calm and quiet tour of Penang. You can stop anywhere for buying souvenirs and gifts or for taking photos. Many of the trishaw drivers also offer you a lot of information and that makes them kind of like a tourist guide with lots of knowledge. Always decide the fare before hopping on the vehicle or you may have to pay extra later on.
Cars are a viable choice for exploring Penang, especially if you want to visit the southern or the western coast of the island. The island consists of a lot of narrow lanes and one-way roads so keep a careful eye on the road signs. Avoid driving from 7:30 to 9:30 am in the morning, as the roads are busiest during that time.