Penang Bridge and ferry are two of the options available for people arriving by car to Penang.
Using the Penang Bridge
To take the bridge, exit the North-South Expressway at Exit 161, which carries the sign saying "George Town". The toll rate for using the Penang Bridge is RM7.00 for cars and RM1.50 for motorcycles. If you purchase a Touch-n-Go card or SmartTAG from the Penang Bridge office, you enjoy a 20% discount when you use the bridge. The journey by car across the bridge is 13.5 km (8.4 miles). If there is no traffic jam, you should be able to cross the bridge within 10-15 minutes. However, the traffic is usually very heavy at most time of the day, and is prone with massive jams, usually due to accidents but some times due to traffic overload.
Using the Ferry
The alternative to the Penang Bridge is the ferry between Butterworth and George Town. It is actually more expensive, slower, and some times, just as congested, to use the ferry. At Butterworth, follow the sign saying "Feri". It takes about 20 minutes to cross the channel, excluding waiting time, and costs RM7.70 for cars and RM2.00 for motorcycles. As the Touch-n-Go Card is not usable, ferry users do not enjoy discounts. On the other hand, you save on petrol.
You board the ferry at the Sultan Abdul Halim Terminal in Butterworth and disembark at the Raja Tun Uda Terminal in George Town. The benefit of using the ferry is that it takes you right into the heart of the city whereas with the Penang Bridge, you are several miles away. That said, unless you are going into George Town, you might prefer to use the Penang Bridge.
This might sound like a small thrill, but another benefit of taking the ferry is that you can leave your car to enjoy the breeze, perhaps take a photo or two of the approaching island. The view of George Town is quite nice, especially during sunset.
Where to find petrol stations?
To ensure you never have to go hunting for a petrol station in Penang, we have put together this map showing all the places where you can refuel your car.
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What's the best way to see Penang on a budget? Take the bus! In Penang, there are at least 12 absolutely FREE bus routes which cover almost every major neighbourhood on Penang Island and Penang Mainland. All you need to do is hop aboard!
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