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Costs in Penang

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Sydney, Australia
posts: 166
reviews: 5
Costs in Penang

Hi everybody,

My wife, son (1.5 years) and I will be in Penang in March 07 staying 11nites at the Bayview Beach. Trying to budget but not sure of costs in Penang. What are typical costs for the following and can you recommend any place/s:



Baby Sitting

Shopping – clothes (T-shirt, Suits), DVD, Gifts/Souvenirs etc

Electrical items

Meals - Restaurant V Hawker food

Drinks & Snacks - Alcoholic drinks, water

Taxi/Transport – Bayview to Georgetown. Trishaws?





Kuala Lumpur...
Destination Expert
for Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Hong Kong
posts: 13,692
1. Re: Costs in Penang

Hi Pino, can help with a few:-

Massages- depending on locality of massage treatment-can range from RM50-RM200/hr. Besides locality, is also type of massage.

Laundry:- Hotel laundry costs will be higher, however, walk out of Bayview, towards Golden Sands Resorts, and opposite, remembering correctly there is a laundrette. E.g dry cleaning a blazer/jacket is around RM7-RM9.

Additional if require express service.

Shopping- T-shirt, around RM15-RM100(for the quality ones). Street traders at Batu Ferringhi-haggle the price, around RM15-RM20/piece.

Electrical items-- be more specific. Though advise here is try to avoid any major purchase-warranty, accessories short changing.

Meals- meal in a restaurant can vary from RM30-RM100 per person, depending on type of food ordered and if alcohol accompanies the meal. Typical Penang hawker fare food costs from RM3-RM5/plate, depending on portion size, and in some, if additional condiments are added.

Drinks & Snacks- a can of beer of 320ml costs in supermarket, around RM5, in Chinese coffee shops, a bottle of beer of 325ml is around RM7-RM8 (in supermarket:- Rm5.60). A bottle of locally produced mineral water of 1.5liters range from RM1.50-RM5.40.

Taxi- a major problem in Penang; though meter are installed, taxi driver refused to charge metered fare. Your hotel do provided complimentary shuttle bus into Komtar area. Use that.

Tours- best to check with tour desk in your hotel or even along the rows of shops fronting Golden Sands. Many travel desks over here.

Broomfield, Colorado
posts: 83
reviews: 64
2. Re: Costs in Penang


Massages: N/A

Laundry: We took ours in the morning to the shop across the street (cyber cafe); laundry services are about 5 MR per kilo, our laundry was ready for pickup that same evening

Babysitting: N/A

Shopping: Saw some suit-making shops in Batu Ferrenghi; the night market is GREAT for gifts and souvenirs--poke around a little and you can find some gems among all the tacky stuff. Things like pretty chopstick sets, table linens, candle holders, figurines, t-shirts. Don't pay full price for anything! Make them an offer and you will get some great bargains. Lots of pirated DVDs for sale if that is your thing.

Electrical items: Not sure what you mean

Meals: In BF there are many restaurants to choose from. We ate at Magic and Ferrenghi Cafe, both excellent food, Ferrenghi Cafe very cheap (about 11 MR for main dish). In the Gurney Drive area we ate at very scary-looking hawker stalls for about 4 MR each, food was amazingly good, we ate at very dodgy-looking places and never got sick our whole trip!

Drinks & snacks: In BF we stopped at Happy Mart every night--nice AC inside and large selection of all your drink/snack needs. It's about mid-way down the main drag in BF.

Taxi/transport: We took taxis everywhere. They are fairly cheap, about 20 MR to Georgetown, but they drive crazy and only a few had working seatbelts in the back. Georgetown is too far from BF to take a trishaw.

Tours/activities: In Penang we did: Tropical Spice Garden (really cool), Tropical Fruit Garden (interesting and excellent tour), Gurney Mall, Buddhist temples in Gurney area, Snake Temple (not worth going out of your way unless you really feel the urge to hold a snake), Komtar, Kek Lok Si (huge beautiful temple worth seeing), Botanical Gardens (walk around the park a bit and have your own private monkey encounters, plus it's free), Fort Cornwallis (beware the free-roaming horses, they are unfriendly and one of them kicked my husband), the Penang museum in Georgetown (very cheap and interesting, well laid out museum), and afternoon tea at the E&O (highly recommended). There are some really cool cemeteries in Penang, a huge Chinese cemetery not too far from Georgetown and also an early Christian cemetery near the E&O, very old and scary-looking, wonderful to walk around, plus it includes the graves of Penang's European "founders".

Internet/telephone: Didn't make many phone calls, would recommend using a phone card though. Cyber cafe across the road from the Bayview was 3 MR for 1/2 hour, got rid of my spare change and checked my e-mail.

Important Tip: Take toilet paper or packets of tissues with you EVERYWHERE. The only bathrooms I used in Penang that had TP were at the E&O and the Bayview. Instead you are expected to use a hose to 'wash' yourself, then how do you dry off? Even the bathrooms in the fancy Gurney mall didn't have TP! Quite a shock if you're not used to that sort of thing.

posts: 314
reviews: 19
3. Re: Costs in Penang

Given the age of your little one, I strongly recommend hiring a car and driver to do your touring. It's very cheap - it actually worked out A LOT cheaper than my family of four paying for the organised coach tours. Even for the two of you and the little one, it would probably be advantageous, as you can combine the best bits of two tours into one.

The big advantage is that you can arrange your own itinerary, the driver/guide will help you sift out the worthwhile from the less so, and arrange a journey which takes in what you want to see. We did not have to say in advance how long we wanted to be, and that was brilliant. On our first trip out, our youngest daughter was overcome by jet lag two thirds of the way through what we'd hoped to see. It was no problem - we could just say enough fo now, and go back to the hotel. On an organised tour, you just don't have that option.

Also, the organised tours tend to take you to shops (thinly disguised as 'factories') Boring, and difficult for your little one, as they stay there for ages. With a driver, the first thing I said was "no factories"! and he honoured that.

The other great advantage was the local knowledge of our driver - he took us to places not on the usual tours - into proper local villages etc, and his conversation and insight added a lot to our trip. We've done one whole day and two half day trips that way, and I'd never go on an organised tour again!

I'm really sorry, I can't remember the exact cost, but we arranged it with our hotel, and the cost was per hour - hence the flexibility.

4. Re: Costs in Penang

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