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The fastest way to get there is by the coastal road from Penang Bridge through the Free Industrial Zone. Alternatively, you can get to Batu Maung after Penang International Airport via Bayan Lepas.
The Penang War Museum is at top of the hill in Batu Maung where there was an old war fortification. A must not miss for those into war artefacts and history of World War II.
There is a souvenir shop. It is a long walk up the hill, drive up but walking is not impossible as it is a nice shaded road.
Admission is steep. RM15 for local. More for foreign tourists?
Written Feb 6, 2007
Address: Batu Maung, near town traffic lights, up the hill.
Airport code: "PEN" . Penang International Airport (formerly Bayan Lepas Airport) is two storeys. Some sections has a blue underwater theme.
When you arrive, you pass through a common transit area on the upper floor and then go to the lower floor (ground level) to get your luggage and go through immigration. There is a green line but more often custom officers will ask passengers to open their luggage or go pass through a scanning machine. There is only one exit into the arrival lobby.
There is a limousine taxi counter on your right where you buy coupons at fixed prices. Also there are bank money chancgers. Restrooms are at your far left. There are car rentals and hotel counters on your right. Also a small post office service at limited hours at one of the mini shop. No bus shuttle at the airport.
Upper floor is for departure. There is Coffee Bean, Nandos Chicken. Also a local cheaper coffee shop at outside on the same airport building wher airport staff gets discounted prices..
There is separate departure entrance for domestic and international flights. Common transit area for domestic and international flights. There are more shops in transit area than at departure lobby.
Updated Feb 8, 2007
I was at Penang airport and found following car rental services inside the airport arrival lobby.
In no particular order, information below based on brochures from each car rental counter:
1) Avis www.avis.com.my, 1800 88 1054
2) New Bob Ren-A-Car & Tours - firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Kasina - email@example.com
4) Seraya 604-6448313
5) Orix Car Rentals firstname.lastname@example.org
6) Prac www.iprac.com
7) National Car Rental www.boustead.com.my/national
8) Mayflower Car Rental email@example.com
9) Hertz firstname.lastname@example.org
Written Jul 28, 2006
Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone aka FIZ (formerly FTZ or Free Trade Zone) was a pioneer zone near the airport for mulit-national corporation to set up tax free 100% export electronic commodities on cheaper labor, cheaper engineering and now cheaper design.
Now, there are factories of corporations like Intel, AMD, Fairchild, Renesas, Agilent Technologies, Seagate, Komag, Motorola, Dell, etc operating here. During the heyday before China and Vietnam, Malaysia was a major FDI and world's third largest producers of semiconductor and electronics components after USA and Japan.
If you drive or on the alternate route to the airport, you will still see many of the factories still operating 24 hours with the blue bas (Bas Kilang or Bas Pekerja) ferrying their workforce for day, evening and night shifts.
Updated Mar 23, 2007
Favorite thing: This green color building "Musalla Kampung Bukit" caught my eyes. It is a "Musalla" or "Prayer Hall" for Muslim. "Kampung" is the Malay name for village. "Bukit" is hill.
Bayan Lepas town is surrounded by many Malay traditional houses, mosques ("Masjid) and smaller prayer halls called "Musalla" and "Surau".
Most of the time, Bayan Lepas is known as the airport or the Free Industrial Zone. There are also many Malay restaurants to try out if you explore Bayan Lepas and its surroundings.
Updated Feb 28, 2007