The time had come to leave one island to go to another. Pulau Pangkor was relaxing and beautiful but it was time for the high life of Pulau Penang. It was time to pack our one bag each with everything we owned and set sail... literally.
Getting from Pulau Pangkor to Pulau Pinang (Penang) is easy yet time consuming. Make sure you have a good book or solitaire on your iphone to keep you amused for a few hours.
Also, if you need to go from Penang to Pangkor instead of from Pangkor to Penang you will just need to reverse these steps.
- 0.1 Leg 1: Taxi from Nipah Bay to Pulau Pangkor Jetty
- 0.2 Leg 2: Pulau Pangkor Jetty to Lumut Jetty by ferry
- 0.3 Leg 3: Lumut ferry terminal to Lumut Bus Terminal
- 0.4 Leg 4: Lumut Bus Station to Butterworth Bus Station
- 0.5 Leg 5: Butterworth Bus Station to Butterworth Ferry Terminal
- 0.6 Leg 6: Penang ferry from Butterworth to Georgetown, Penang
- 0.7 Leg 7: Georgetown Ferry Terminal to your accommodation
- 1 Where To Stay In Penang
- 2 Where to Stay in Pangkor
Leg 1: Taxi from Nipah Bay to Pulau Pangkor Jetty
The flamboyant pink taxis on Pulau Pangkor have set prices to go to certain places on the island. The ferry from Nipah Bay sets you back RM 15.00 for two people, RM 20.00 for four people, and so on.
It takes just under 30 minutes to get from Nipah Bay to the ferry terminal. To ensure you arrive on time at the ferry terminal to then catch the next leg of travel to Lumut it is best to catch the 9:00am ferry. This means that you have to leave your guesthouse by 8:30am. Its an early start for someone supposed to be on holiday!
Leg 2: Pulau Pangkor Jetty to Lumut Jetty by ferry
Catching the ferry from Pulau Pangkor to Lumut is lovely. The views are spectacular as there are many fishing villages, fishing boats and little islands that you pass. Its one of the few transport legs that we actually wanted to go on a little longer.
Hopefully you remembered to keep your ferry ticket from when you purchased your ferry ticket on the way over from Lumut to Pulau Pangkor as the return trip is free with that ticket. If not, then it will cost you another RM 10.00 to jump on the ferry (so we are told, may be RM 5.00 per ticket).
The ferry ride from Pulau Pangkor to Lumut took about 30 minutes to arrive on the mainland and starts, depending on seasons, from 6:30am with the last ferry at 8:30pm.
Leg 3: Lumut ferry terminal to Lumut Bus Terminal
The easiest part of the while trip getting from Pulau Pangkor to Penang. Walking out of the ferry terminal, pretty much straight in front of you is the Lumut bus terminal. Walk fairly quickly and go straight to the ticket counter to purchase the tickets for the next leg of your journey from Lumut to Butterworth.
Leg 4: Lumut Bus Station to Butterworth Bus Station
There are many buses that leave Lumut to arrive in Butterworth daily. Times of the buses vary starting from 8:30am with the last one at 6:30pm at a cost of about RM 19.00 each.
If you left Nipah Bay on Pulau Pangkor by 8:30am, caught the ferry from Pangkor to Lumut at 9am, walked over to the Lumut bus station straight away and bought your ticket to Butterworth, you would have just made it for the 10:00am. This schedule allows time for the obligatory, and not so bad this time, toilet stop at a bus station. Bus station toilets can be horrible in any country but these ones aren't too bad.
As usual, Malaysian buses do not have toilets on board however the bus driver did stop half way from Lumut to Butterworth at a truck stop that had glorious toilets. Yes, we couldn't believe it either. Soap AND toilet paper!
The bus ride from Lumut to Butteworth took 3 1/2 to 4 hours in total. It was very comfortable with seats that went back and air conditioning.
Leg 5: Butterworth Bus Station to Butterworth Ferry Terminal
Butterworth bus station, ferry terminal and train station are all in the one place. Arriving in Butterworth to have all these amenities in the one place was delightful!
Hop off the bus, walk 5 minutes following the very clear signs above the walkways to the ferry terminal to queue for the ferry. Couldn't be simpler. The cost to catch the ferry from Butterworth to Pulau Pinang (Penang) was RM 1.20 each. It is apparently free on the way back from Penang to Butterworth.
To pay the fare for the ferry, you need the exact RM1.20 in coins. If you don't have that amount in coins there is a man in a box who will give you the change you require. Best not to give a RM10.00 note or more though as you will probably receive the change in coins only (if you get it all). Place the exact amount in the coin operated turn-style and walk through to the next queue.
Leg 6: Penang ferry from Butterworth to Georgetown, Penang
Catching the ferry from Butterworth to Georetown in Penang was seriously awesome! The ferry we caught was from the 1950s at least. I am unsure of this historical fact but I say this from the furnishings on the ferry. In an up and coming Penang video, you will see the very cool chairs that are on the ferry, as well as other parts of the ride including the view.
The ride on the ferry, which carries both passengers and vehicles, took about 15 minutes. During this time, you could purchase a snack or two, look at the view of Penang or Butterworth, the Penang Bridge, or just relax on the comfy chairs.
Traveling on the Penang Ferry showed how many people rely on this service on a daily basis. Many local Malays live in Butterworth or surrounding areas, then either bus or drive their scooter or car to the Penang Ferry and then take the ferry over to Penang for their daily work schedule. Because of this, the Penang Ferry runs from 5:30am until just after midnight every day.
The Penang Ferry was a real delight.
Leg 7: Georgetown Ferry Terminal to your accommodation
There are certainly a lot of transport options waiting for you as you arrive in Georgetown from the ferry from the mainland. One big pointer that we can give you is that there is a free public bus that does a circle route around the UNESCO heritage site of Georgetown. To catch the free CAT bus that says "Hop On, Hop Off", walk out of the ferry terminal, walk straight ahead until you see the main road. There is a bus stop that will say "Bus Stop Number 1". Save the map below to your iPhone so you can see where you are going on the bus route.
Where To Stay In Penang
We stayed at the Red Inn Heritage Guesthouse twice. Its comfortable, the staff were friendly, the rooms are pleasant and the location is great for exploring Georgetown. If possible try to get a room towards the back as the front rooms sometimes have people clomping past their door during the night.
Read our full review of the Red Inn Heritage Guesthouse
Click here to get current prices and deals
Where to Stay in Pangkor
We stayed at Ombak Guesthouse which consists of a group of bungalows a short walk from the beach. Although they are basic it is comfortable enough. The breakfast was surprisingly good with people staying at other places coming to Ombak for the breakfast. Click here to read our full review of Ombak