Getting Here & Around
Penang is made up of two parts. Seberang Perai, part of the mainland, has few tourist attractions and is primarily a stepping ground to reaching turtle-shape Penang Island in the Straits of Malacca. A ferry operates 24 hours across the channel, bringing passengers to the capital city of Georgetown, on the northeastern corner of the island. The city is compact, filled with a labyrinth of narrow lanes, and it's easy to explore on foot or by hopping onto one of the many trishaws waiting to pick up tourists. Make sure to agree on a fare before getting on one of these bicycle rickshaws; taxis are also available, and while most have meters, drivers often refuse to use them. Renting a car or motorbike can be the best way to explore the rest of the island. About 65 km (40 miles) around, Penang has a number of key highlights: Penang Hill, northwest of Georgetown, for picturesque views from above; Batu Ferringhi, on the north coast, with white sandy beaches and luxury hotels; and the quiet fishing village of Teluk Bahang, on the northwestern tip, where you can visit the Tropical Spice Garden. Penang International Airport has flights from many cities around Asia and is located about 16 km (10 miles) south of Georgetown. A taxi counter in the arrivals hall issues coupons with prices set according to the destination. The trip to Georgetown costs around RM38 and takes about 45 minutes. A 50% surcharge is added between midnight and 6 am. Public transport is another option—visit the bus counter for tickets (RM2–RM3); the ride takes a little over an hour.
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