Penang, Malaysia » City Info » Travel Tips

Penang is a Malaysian state and a part of the island situated on the northwest coast of Peninsula Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It's the eighth most densely inhabited and the second smallest state in Malaysia. Because of its thriving urbanisation and industrialisation, Penang has become one of the most developed and economically stable states in the country. Emerging as a favourite tourist destination, it has a well-deserved culture, ethnicity, religion and language, which everybody loves.

Getting Around in Penang

Penang is well connected by different modes of transport, such as bus, taxis, rail and car rental. Major highways are directly linked to main towns. Therefore, it is convenient for those interested in visiting different sites. Old rail routes are well maintained to provide additional privileges to visitors. Taxis are rigidly available, and one can rent a car in Penang to explore various sites by own convenience. Travelling in Penang is a bit inexpensive if you hire motorcycles, tricycles and bicycles. The state is served by a fleet of aeroplanes. The Penang International Airport stays busy because of thousands of travellers.

Bus System

Buses are the most common form of pubic transport in Penang. After the launch of Rapid Penang, the latest bus service, it has totally transformed Penang public transportation system. The bus system is highly improved because of easy to read signboard, appropriate route maps and helpful drivers. Because of booming tourism, Rapid Penang has launched the Tourist Passport, which is billed at once but stays active for a week, and it provides access to all Rapid Penang buses. Penangites enjoy a bus service and a free shuttle bus known as Rapid Penang CAT (Central Area Transport).


Taxis in Penang are fitted with metres, which provide accurate rending for the distance covered. Most drivers avoid using metres and charge fixed fares. Therefore, tourists should stay agile while handling taxi drivers. It is always better if you fix prices before boarding onto taxis. One can also board onto shared taxis, which charge low fares.


The state is served by 34.9km of rail track within its border. The Butterworth railway station is served by the Keretapi Tanah Melayu. There are many daily trains from Hat Yai, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Booking a ticket in the Oriental Express (from Bangkok to Butterworth) is the most luxurious travelling experience. Butterworth is a major station for trains coming from Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. The International Express runs daily between Butterworth and Bangkok.

Car Rental

The journey becomes more enjoyable when you rent a car in Penang. Car rental is relatively inexpensive in the city. Just hire a comfortable car sitting five people at affordable rates and get total freedom and flexibility in the expedition. Before driving on your own, you must know basic traffic rules. Penang has the right-hand side of driving. The speed limit varies from 60km on the normal road to 110km on the highways and expressways. The city has well-managed parking areas.


When you visit Penang, enjoy everything, including foods, cultures and attractions, but be careful with your belongings while travelling around Penang Island and walking through love lane and amelian lane. During your trip, avoid handbags, backpacks and other valuables as snatch robbers are waiting for their prey. Keep your valuables in your pocket, but never spoil your journey with unnecessary fear. Using ATMs is a safer option than carrying cash. Note down hotel phone numbers and addresses and carry travel insurance contact numbers and bank & credit cards numbers. In case of emergency, dial 112 and contact the police. (112 is a European emergency number).


Tipping isn't customary in Malaysia, but who doesn't want to receive it. Of course, extra bucks make anyone happy. You need to pay a service charge of 10% in many restaurants charged on your bill. Some travellers and locals leave the coins when a waiter returns the charge for the bill. Sometimes, it's great to tip waiter or waitress at clubs, bars and pubs to get better services. By tipping bellhop, who carries luggage to your hotel room, you show some respect and kindness.

Communication in Penang

Because of increasing popularity, Penang is growing as the most lovable holiday destination in the world. The state has a full range of wireless mobile phone coverage. Maxis, Digi and Celcom provide both 3G and GSM services in Penang. There are internet cafes located in various localities. The Edge is an English-language financial newspaper. The Star, the New Straits Times and the Sun are the mainstream newspapers in Penang. Mutiara FM, Perak FM and Kedah FM are popular radio stations operating in Penang.

When to Go to Penang

Penang has a tropical rainforest climate throughout the year. It has sunny and warm weather along with plentiful rainfall because of the Southwest Monsoon, which stays from April to September. Its climate is deeply influenced by the wind system and surrounding sea. Any time of the year is a great time to visit Penang, but November is the best time because of the dry season and excellent weather conditions.

Emergency Contacts

Fire Brigade 994
Police & Ambulance999
Rescue 991

Important Phrases

Welcome to MalaysiaSelamat datang Ke Malaysia
Please sit downSila duduk
Please come inSila masuk
Excuse meSila beri jalan
Thank youTerima kasih
Good morningSelamat Pagi
Good eveningSelamat petang
Good nightSelamat malam
Good byeSelamat tinggal
Excuse meSila beri jalan
My name isNama saya ialah
I come fromSaya dating dari
Can you speak Bahasa MalaysiaBoleh cakap Melayu
Where are you goingPergi ke mana
I like it hereSaya suka berada di sini
Turn rightBelok kanan
Turn leftBelok kiri
Please stop hereSila berhenti di sini
How muchBerapa harga
Can you reduce the priceBoleh kurang?
That's too expensiveMahal sangat
I would like to change moneySaya hendak tukar duit/wang
Wait a minuteTunggu sekejap
Where is the toiletDi mana tandas...?
In the backdi belakang
What time does the bus leavePukul berapa bas bertolak
What time is itJam berapa
One thirty or half past onePukul satu setengah