Coming to Penang

Old Jun 23rd 2018, 11:46 am
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Default Coming to Penang

We are so excited to finally begin the MM2H process as well as planning a trip to Penang.
1st- I assume you need to rent a car to see various areas to find an area you like and see some flats.
2nd- Is it better to rent the car in Penang? Sometimes we've received a better deal renting the car from Europe. It might be better to reserve the car before you come to insure availability.
3rd- We will arrive in KL, since we're only staying 1 wk, I'm guessing we should fly to Penang? I've heard the train takes 6 or 7 hours? Is the flight from KL to Penang expensive or often full in summer?
4th- We are going to rent first, does anyone have an estate agent they recommend?

Many thanks for all the responses, it really does help!
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Old Jun 23rd 2018, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Coming to Penang

We've rented cars in Penang many times.
Usually do it when we are there. Don't check the price against what you can hire from elsewhere.
Personally I have no problem with Malaysian drivers although some do. Just drive properly.

You can hire from the airport or in town or Batu Feringhee

Taxi from the airport to town used to be MR50 iirc which is good value. Buy a taxi coupon from the taxi desk rather than get a taxi through a tout.
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Old Jun 23rd 2018, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Coming to Penang

You might consider using the "Grab" App on your phone, its a bit like Uber in UK but so much cheaper. It opened up the island for us. Not having to bargain with the taxi drivers who will charge 300% extra as you are from the west.
Our cheapest short trip was 6rm. = £1.20p! I found the cars to be of a good standard and the drivers to be competent.
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Old Jun 24th 2018, 6:51 am
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Thumbs up Re: Coming to Penang

Originally Posted by jonboy
You might consider using the "Grab" App on your phone, its a bit like Uber in UK but so much cheaper. It opened up the island for us. Not having to bargain with the taxi drivers who will charge 300% extra as you are from the west.
Our cheapest short trip was 6rm. = £1.20p! I found the cars to be of a good standard and the drivers to be competent.
Thank you so much, that's a great tip.
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Old Jun 24th 2018, 9:29 am
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Default Re: Coming to Penang

Miramar,
There are about a half dozen daily flights from KL to Penang (AirAsia, Malaysian Air) every 2 - 3 hours. Depending on your arrival time, you could actually catch a connection flight with only a brief layover, or late night airport hotel stay at the terminal. 1 hour flight time.
Taking the train to Penang (Butterworth) from Kuala Lumpur (city) is about 4 - 5 hours, then take a ferry to Penang island once you arrive at Butterworth station. It's a nice scenic trip, but if you are carrying heavy luggage it can be challenging (bit of a walk, and stairs).
Make sure you pickup a Malaysian cell phone chip at the airport, for calls and internet.
Although Malaysian drivers aren't the worst... It does take a bit of getting used too. A taxi or Grab car are readily available, You also might ask the driver if they would be willing to give you a special rate if you were to book them all day.
I went with Sam Kam (Reapfield Property) as a rental agent. He was able to pick me up and drive me around to a few different places. I was also on a bit of a tight schedule, and he had no problem showing me a couple different places each day when I told him what I was specifically looking for in Penang.
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Old Jun 24th 2018, 9:31 am
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Default Re: Coming to Penang

Yeah Grab works well when I used it. Airport to Gurney RM23 at the time.

I've hired a car using my air miles from the airport, might be an option if you have enough, seemed a better deal than flights since there's no admin/tax charges. If you get a car then you'll also want some parking coupons available all over from shops, coffee shops and wandering sellers and touch & go card is needed if you cross the bridges or venture onto the motorways. Not sure if the hire companies can provide or not, it needs to be loaded with money, most petrol stations and some CIMB ATM (maybe others too).

Originally Posted by miramar
We will arrive in KL, since we're only staying 1 wk, I'm guessing we should fly to Penang? I've heard the train takes 6 or 7 hours? Is the flight from KL to Penang expensive or often full in summer?
Checkout the Aeroline bus, takes around 5 hours cost RM60, I've used it a few times in the past, friends are off to KL tomorrow and Mrs B uses it on her tod rather than drive sometimes.
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Old Jun 24th 2018, 10:17 am
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Default Re: Coming to Penang

When travelling from KL to Penang (and v.v.) I use a plane, in most cases AirAsia, and use Grab to get to the Penang airport from home. Be aware that AirAsia uses a different terminal building in KL than the international airlines. You will need extra time for your transfer and you may have to pick up your luggage and check it in again if you are arriving from abroad. Taking the train from KL is rather cumbersome, especially if you have luggage and need to be on the island (the train doesn't go all the way to the island).
If you visit Penang to do house hunting you may want to make appointments in advance with a few agents. And have them show several units to you so that you get an overall picture of the housing market. These agents will pick you up from your hotel and drive you around. You won't need your own car. Use websites such as www.propertyguru.com.my to make a rough selection and find some agents to write to. Be prepared that not all of them will respond to your inquiry though. It makes sense to write to four or five of them and expect one or two replies. You will be able to view around three units/houses in half a day. So after about two or three days will you have a rather complete picture of the housing market.
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Old Jun 24th 2018, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: Coming to Penang

Thank you everyone for the responses, you have already saved us time and money (and frustration). Looking forward to meeting fellow MM2hers.
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Old Jun 26th 2018, 4:36 am
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Default Re: Coming to Penang

Originally Posted by miramar
We are so excited to finally begin the MM2H process as well as planning a trip to Penang.
1st- I assume you need to rent a car to see various areas to find an area you like and see some flats.
2nd- Is it better to rent the car in Penang? Sometimes we've received a better deal renting the car from Europe. It might be better to reserve the car before you come to insure availability.
3rd- We will arrive in KL, since we're only staying 1 wk, I'm guessing we should fly to Penang? I've heard the train takes 6 or 7 hours? Is the flight from KL to Penang expensive or often full in summer?
4th- We are going to rent first, does anyone have an estate agent they recommend?

Many thanks for all the responses, it really does help!
Questions 1 & 2 I would use a combination of buses and Grab. Buses can get you almost anywhere (costs around RM3 a trip) while Grab can be used if you don't want to wait for a bus.
Question 3: The train takes around 4 hours if using the fast trains and costs around RM80. It only takes you as far as Butterworth, so if coming to Penang island you then need to get to the ferry (about 1.5km walk away from Butterworth train station) and catch the ferry to Georgetown. From there you will need to get to your hotel. If flying the flight is around 1 hour and if you are flexible with the time you leave and book far enough ahead you can get fares of around RM100. You need to get to KL airport, and from Penang airport to your hotel which both add time and money. I've done both and would probably travel by train if I don't have too much luggage and if I am staying close to the departure station in KL as the traveling to and from airports can be a pain sometimes traffic wise.
Question 4. I don't know whether it is common here but in my case the agent involved got it to the lease signing stage and after that I deal with the owner directly, so the quality of the owner is more important to me than the real estate agent.
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Old Jun 26th 2018, 6:53 am
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Default Re: Coming to Penang

Thank you Simon, for the helpful information. Appreciate you taking the time to respond.
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