Pulau Pangkor to Penang, Malaysia: Taxis, boats, and buses.
When we were planning our trip to Malaysia we originally had planned a stop or two between the island of Pangkor and the state of Penang. Knowing that we’d have to take 2 boat trips and a bus, we thought it would be too much in one day. Of course, plans change when you’re traveling, and we ended up having to go all the way to Penang in one, fairly easy, fairly short day. Here’s the best way to get from Pulau Pangkor to Penang (and also the cheapest).
First off, you’ll need to get from your hotel to Pangkor jetty. If you’re staying in Pangkor town then you can probably walk there. If you’re staying at one of the few hotels in Sungai Pinang Kecil, then you can walk to the SPK jetty. We stayed on the opposite side of the island, where the majority of the budget accommodations are (we recommend Nippah Bay Villa), in Teluk Nipah. From Teluk Nipah you have to take a taxi for 15 ringgit (about $4). It’s a short 15 minute ride.
Then it’s a 30 minute boat ride to Lumut. The boats run from 6:30AM to 8:30PM, about every 30 minutes. Assuming you already took the boat to Pulau Pangkor, you’ve already paid for your ticket. It was 20 ringgit, and you kept your ticket stub, right? If not, you’ll have to pay again.
From the Lumut jetty you can walk to the bus station where you’ll want to find a bus to Butterworth. We caught the 10AM bus. There are a few options, so ask at different windows. Sometimes, the ticket people will lie to you and say that the next bus is at whatever time their bus leaves. We thought we were going to have to wait until 11AM, but the second window we went to had one that was leaving right away. The cost to get to Butterworth is around 46 ringgit and it’s about a 4 hour ride.
After arriving in Butterworth, you have to walk from the bus station to the ferry terminal — watch for signs (they’ll be in the direction of the water, duh). After a bit of a walk up some stairs, you’ll arrive at a gate where you deposit some coins to get a ferry ticket. It’s only 1.20 ringgit, but the machine doesn’t accept newer coins, so you may have to change them at the window. The ticket is for 2 ways, so it includes the ferry back to Butterworth. The ferries go from 6:30AM to 12:30AM, and run every 15 minutes.
When you’re back on dry land you can probably walk to your hotel, or there are many buses that go throughout the city. Google Maps is probably your best source for finding a bus. Here are the buses that stop at the ferry terminal.