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Steve

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Visited Penang in August 2018 for 3 days

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Asia > Malaysia > Penang > Useful Info
Updated on Feb 09, 2019 Useful Info

How to take the Hop On Hop Off Bus in Penang

February 2019 update

  • Since October 2018, Penang Hop On Hop Off Bus has stopped offering actual hop on hop off service, even though its name remains the same, which is confusing
  • It's now a 3-times-a-day tour operator that requires:
  • Minimum 2 people per booking (so solo travellers cannot use this anymore)
  • 1 day advance booking (so no buying tickets on the bus)
  • 115 ringgit -$30 USD - for the fare (much more expensive than before when it used to be 42 ringgit)
  • You can see its most recent reviews on Tripadvisor and see that it's no longer a useful transportation option for getting around Penang
  • Now, it runs 3.5-hour tours at 10am, 2pm, and 6:30pm everyday
  • The best alternative is the free CAT Bus (Central Area Transit) that goes in a loop around George Town's heritage and central area. Here's a guide to how to use the CAT bus as the hop on hop off bus to get around central George Town


Old information about the Penang HOHO bus that's no longer applicable (I wrote this back in August 2018):

  • Similar to how the Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) buses work elsewhere in the world: the bus runs in a loop of many major tourist sites on a set schedule. You buy a pass for a certain amount of time (24 hours - 72 hours), and within this time you can take the bus as many times as you want, getting on and off at any of the stops on the loop
  • For Penang, the HOHO bus has 2 routes:
  1. City route: goes around the city of George Town, and hit up the top sites there like the KOMTAR, the UNESCO Heritage Site old city, the Clan Jetties, Kek Lok Si, etc.
  2. Beach route: goes along the coast to the beach resort town of Batu Ferringhi and Penang National Park
  • Note: the HOHO bus in Penang is not that well-reviewed, as you can see from Tripadvisor (just 3 stars). The main gripe people have with it is that their bus breaks down from time to time and because of that they skip some scheduled times
  • Here's the route map from their official website (green is beach route and red is city route):User submitted photo of Penang
  • The price was 45 ringgit ($12 US) for a 24-hour pass, and 55 ringgit ($14) for a 72-hour pass, so still pretty cheap. No need to buy in advance
  • How to buy tickets:
  • You can buy the pass at their main stop (#01 in the map) from a booth. Google Maps link, coordinates 5.439061, 100.309899. 5-min walk north of the big Gurney Paragon mall. Cash only when I went
  • Or, you can also buy the ticket on the bus directly with cash, and you can just get on the bus at any of the stops. This is probably the most convenient
  • In theory you can buy the ticket online from their website, but as of today it's still in maintenance mode
  • If you're staying in a hotel, check with your hotel as well, as some hotels are re-sellers for the HOHO bus
  • Schedule: their website doesn't show the schedule for some reason. But during the day it's pretty frequent, like 2 per hour for the city route and 1 per hour for beach route. Just go to any of the stops specified in the map and you shouldn't have to wait too long. The first bus starts at 9am and last bus is at 7pm for most stops.
  • Official website: http://www.myhoponhopoff.com provides the GPS coordinates of all their stops


HOHO bus in the day, close to Gurney Drive

HOHO bus at sunset, around Batu Ferringhi