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The best way of getting to Penang International Airport, apart from self-drive by car hire, is to take a bus.
The main bus station in George Town is on Victoria Street and passengers staying in the city’s hotels should make their way to this main bus terminal – beware, George Town has very few footpaths and getting around on foot can be difficult. It is possible to take a trishaw around the city for about RM30 per hour, but the number of these peddled vehicles is dwindling in favour of taxis clogging up the traffic.
The Rapid Penang Bus lines 401, 401A and 401E are a shuttle service running between the airport and Komtar and the Jetty. The busses run every 30 minutes and take around 1 hour to reach their final destination. Bus 401 also goes through south Ekspres Bas terminal, which has connections to mainland cities in Penang. The bus far for one journey per adult is around RM 2.70.
The main bus terminals are based at Jetty and at Komtar Building/Shopping Mall. A map with all the routes is available there. Bus drivers only take the exact fare, they do not have change.
Public busses do not pick up passengers after 10 pm, not even on weekends or public holidays do they flout this rule. Anyone needing transportation after 10 pm must be prepared to pay an additional 100% fee on top of their usual fare for the taxi.
Taxi drivers often try to cheat foreigners and refuse to use the meter. It is best to ask the hotel staff for help, when ordering a taxi and one must either negotiate a fixed price to the airport or insist the driver uses the taxi meter during the journey. The taxi fare to the airport should be around RM38, the official taxi metered fare, and the time for getting to Penang International Airport from George Town city centre is around 45 minutes by cab.
By hired Scooter or Motorbike
It is possible to rent a motorbike or scooter to get around. It is only just over 16 km / 9.9 miles to the airport, so getting to Penang International Airport under one’s own steam on two wheels is possible. The cost for one of these vehicles is around RM25 for 24 hour rental and the deposit is around RM200, so if one is staying with friends who don’t have a car, they can take one on a scooter and take the scooter back to either Chulia Street or Penang Road, where scooter and motorbike hire can be found.
Passengers staying on some on the islets just off Penang Island need to take a ferry to the terminal at Weld Quay (Pengkalan Weld), which is located in the east of George Town. The bus station is close by in Victoria Street.
There are also ferry services between Butterworth and the city centre. Foot passengers have to pay RM 1.20 per person from Butterworth to Penang Island, while motorists go free. There are bus and train stations in Butterworth, connecting to the major cities on the Malaysia Peninsular. Train tickets must be purchased in advance. At Butterworth the ticket counters are situated under the overpass next to the small market area.
For more information about Penang International Airport, please visit the official airport website at http://www.malaysiaairports.com.my