Penang Island is a 15-20 minute ferry ride from mainland Penang on the Malaysian Peninsula. There are two bridges connecting the island to the mainland, namely Penang Bridge and the Second Penang Bridge (Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’Adzam Shah Bridge). Penang International Airport sees incoming flights from many international destinations, such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Langkawi Island is a 2-hour-45-minute ferry ride away or a short 35-minute flight. Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur is a 50-minute flight away, or can alternatively be reached by a 4-hour train or car ride.
As Penang has a tropical climate, it is advisable to wear cool clothing. Although it is generally hot outside, shopping malls and restaurants are equipped with air-conditioning so do carry along a light cover-up. If you are attending a formal function, a western-style suit or a batik shirt for men is permissible. To be safe, check with your host before the event. It is a requirement to dress modestly when visiting places of worship. Mosques will often prepare appropriate cover-ups for tourists. Shoes should also be removed when entering places of worship.
Keep a small umbrella on hand just in case it rains or even to protect yourself from direct sunlight. As it can be dehydrating in the high humidity and heat, remember to bring a bottle of water when engaging in any outdoor activities! Do keep in mind that it is not advisable to drink tap water directly. It would be safer to drink bottled mineral water or boiled tap water.
The Malaysian Immigration laws require that every person entering Malaysia must possess a valid passport with more than six (6) months validity from the date of entry into Malaysia, so do check your passport before you plan your travels.
Fares for visitors
Visitors may notice that there are different prices charged for MyKad holders and foreigners at many tourist destinations, the city tour bus and others. The Malaysian national identity card is called MyKad, and entrance fees and fares for Malaysians are often subsidised. As such, fares for foreign visitors may be higher, with some fare differences being up to two times more. Entrance fees and fares are usually obviously displayed to avoid confusion.
If no prices are displayed, or in cases where there is no standard price available, such as with trishaws or taxis, always check the price before getting on board. It is better to be cautious as there are occasional cases of tourists being charged higher prices.
Service charges are already included in places such as hotels and restaurants, so additional tipping is not required. You may tip as a means of expressing your appreciation when hospitable treatment or help is received.
Police / Ambulance - 999 or 112 from a mobile phone
Fire and Rescue Department - 994 or 112 from a mobile phone
Civil Defence - 991