Penang Spotlight: Penang Ferry

I’m in the middle of studying for A.I. test this coming Thursday, and it’s been more boring than I thought, so after half an hour I usually get distracted either to sit on the computer or lay down in bed reading yet another novel or totally doze off. Yeah yeah I so much love multitasking :)) and I am very good at it!!! *proud* Okay okay multitasking, procrastinating, whichever you feel like calling (v_v;), but anyway, out of nowhere I feel obligated to make another post for Penang Spotlight, and now let me introduce you to our old school Penang Ferry!

No offense, but seriously, they are really old I just couldn’t believe that they never upgrade, probably ever since Penang ferry began its service in the 1920s to ship people from Butterworth Pier in the mainland to Port Swettenham, downtown Georgetown in Penang island back and forth. The ferry service used to be the only way of communicating before the Penang Bridge was built in 1987 (a post about Penang Bridge coming up later on, maybe next month :P). And before 1920’s, I have no idea what people had used to cross the straits.

It makes sense that the ferry route takes the nearest distance between Penang island and Malaysia Peninsula mainland. Each ferry ride takes 15 minute to reach the other side. Good for recreation or sightseeing.

Now take a closer look.. can you see those tiny ferries?? :)

Despite the ancient look, the ferry service remains a crucial means for crossing the straits, given that Penang bridge isn’t that convenient as you may guess. Like traffic jams that can trap you bumper-to-bumper, or if you want to cross between nothern part to northern part, or when you’re a pedestrian/with bicycle, or when no public transport really crosses the bridge at all! Like, from my place or even Butterworth in the mainland, there’s no bus to cross by bridge, can you believe that?? Therefore you have to take the ferry. Unless you take USM shuttle bus from Engineering campus in Nibong Tebal to the main campus in Gelugor, then again it only serves during weekdays (two trips a day back and forth, morning and evening). THAT answers why I never really went to Penang island in previous semester before I got the Kelisa back to me! Anyways. I’m meaning to talk about ferry now. Back to ferry again, there are currently 8 ferries in service, they’re named after islands in Malaysia like Pulau Payar, Pulau Angsa, Pulau Kapas, Pulau Rimau, etc. Rates are as follows:

Pedestrian: Adult RM1.20, Children (between 5 to 12 years old) RM0.60
Vehicles: Bicycle: RM1.40, Motorcycle): RM2.00, Trishaw: RM3.00, Car: RM6.50, Small Lorry:RM13.20

The rates are only charged if you’re heading to Penang island. Going back to the mainland anyhow, is free of charge :) There are also monthly passes, student passes and free disable people passes for your convenience.

Pedestrian in upper deck.

Vehcles in lower deck.

On a side note to my Postcrosser friends who read this, I have a couple of Penang ferry postcards for grab. Let me know if you fancy one for your collection! :)

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