How to get Indonesian visa in Penang, Malaysia

If you want to stay in Indonesia more than 30 days (what you can do with “Visa on arrival”), you can apply for another visa type, which allows you to stay in Indonesia for 60 days.

If you want to get “Tourist visa” or “Social Budaya visa” you should apply for it outside of Indonesia. Most travelers till August said that the best place for it – Penang island in Malaysia (here is information how to get to Penang). Because of the quick, 2 days, process and possibility to get 60 days visa (in some other countries the visa making takes 7 working days and can be given only for 30 days). Unfortunately after 1st of August, 2017 – things changed:

Some travelers said that in Indonesian embassy in Penang they started to have a quota system. They could issue only a limited number of 60-day visas (per month or per week) – but nobody knows how many or who will get it. Others say, that there is no quota system and is giving 30-day visas for “Tourist visa” or “Social Budaya visa” (only with sponsor letter) if the sponsor is not family. The official seemed to imply that if the sponsor letter is from a spouse or other member of the family then they will get the 60 days. That, and the new RM10 KL + RM2 Penang room tax has we budget travelers giving USD$3.00 per day just in tax.

I didn’t try to make new visa in Penang after the system changed, so correct me, if there is any new changes or another place in any other country with better “conditions”.

Further information is about getting 30 days “Tourist visa”.

So, how to get Indonesian visa in Penang?

Here are some my advice and experience about applying for Indonesian 30-day “Tourist visa” in Penang island (I did such visa already twice but before 1st of August, 2017 and got 60 days visa).

Notice: all information prepared according 08 2017.



How to get to Indonesian Consulate

How to apply

How to fill the application, what to have with you

What to do after applying?

  • If you want to come back to Chinatown you should wait for the same bus 101 in front of “Midlands Park Center” mall.
  • But my advice, after consulate go further to explore Penang island, for example:

Here is official website of buses in Penang: routes, journey planner and etc.


By the way, during two my trips to Penang I stayed in 75 Traveller’s lodge. I found this place quite affordable, with good location and quite good condition. But there are many other places to stay in Penang.


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  • Have you tried to make Indonesian visa in Penang island? How was it?
  • Did you make Indonesian visa in any other country? What was your experience?
  • If you have any update to add, feel free to do it in comments



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The beauty of getting lost in Georgetown, Penang

My trips were good organized before coming to Indonesia. Expression “get lost” wasn’t in my vocabulary or I even couldn’t think that it can happen to me :). But Indonesia changed me and my traveling habit a bit (I believe that many people who stay longer in Indonesia or other South East Asia countries changed at least a little bit).

If you have been in Georgetown, Penang island (Malaysia) or will go there, you will see that get lost there something unbelievable. But it happened to me. I got lost even with a map in my hands. And it was probably the most exciting experience there.

My honest advice, if you are planning to go to Georgetown, Penang – forget anything that you read, marked what you want to see. Just go with the flow and follow the intuition. Because Georgetown so cozy and not big area that each corner, street, place will offer you something inspiring. As well (I believe) even if you let yourself to get lost, you will pass all “must to see” places, just open your eyes, wonder around and enjoy the walk or ride.

Why you should get lost in Georgetown, Penang?

It will get you of the beaten track.

Just let yourself be curious and enter each street, corner, shop that looks interesting for you.

Beauty of getting lost in Georgetown, Penang

Funny, but I was trying to find few street art murals with the map on first day but didn’t manage (like it was a bit hidden from the main road). But when I get lost I found it!

Georgetown, Penang - shoes tree

Getting lost most probably will give you best memories and stories.

Because you will be more open to speak with the strangers, hear their stories, maybe they will show you something unique, hidden.

Gerogetown, Penang - barber shop

Somewhere (like I get lost, so I don’t know exact street :D) I saw very nice barber shop and I ask the worker if I can make a picture. We started to chat and I got a lot of interesting information about Penang.

Getting lost may help you learn how to relax, be flexible and go with the travel flow.


A photo posted by I’m Ria – (@lifeinbigtent) on

When I realize that I get lost I saw one coffee place and decided to take time and think what I will do next. And it was just amazing place.

You can learn more about area where you are.

Just open your eyes widely and you will see things that maybe in other case you would pass.

Georgetown, Penang, island - offering place

Getting lost in Malaysia - bar decoration

I was looking around and trying to remember all the details that I saw, places that I pass in a case if I will make a circle around. And I found little Chinese offering place, some cute decoration in the street and etc.

You can enjoy finding some unique eating places that is far from main street.

Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia-coffee tarik

In this place was the most delicious coffee tarik I have tried during my trip in Penang. As well cheaper, like not a lot of travelers goes through that place.

Getting lost can give you opportunity be more “brave” to try something new.

Getting lost in Georgetown, Penang - ice-cream

Coconut ice-cream with corn, beans and something else (I didn’t identify the taste). Would you try it? Usually I like food combinations that suit together. But this time I just tried my luck and was nicely surprised.

You can see different view of already visited places.

Travel photos from Asia - Penang

Day before getting lost, I was visiting Jetty clan (during daytime). But only because I get lost I saw this beautiful Chinese temple on the water in the evening.


After getting lost in Georgetown, Penang I started to believe that “getting lost is the best part of travel.” Do you agree or disagree? Have you been lost somewhere on purpose or not? How did you find yourself in that situation – enjoyed or felt a bit stressed?

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P.S. we stayed in 75 Travellers Lodge, Central Georgetown. It’s good location, nothing fancy, rooms are quite small but cheap place (dormitory and private rooms). Or you can find any other place to stay:

Interesting? Great! :) You might also like these:

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How to get to Penang island in Malaysia?

There are many options how to get to Penang island in Malaysia. Everything depends on your travel habits, how much time you have and how much money you want to spend. Here are possible options how to get to Penang:


The cheapest and most adventurous way to get to Penang from any other country or any city in Malaysia. But can take some time. Nomad Travellers did that, so you can read about their adventures or ask advice.

AirportBy plane

The quickest way (from Kuala Lumpur to Penang ~1 hour) but as well the most expensive one (comparing with other travel ways).

Penang Bayan Lepas International Airport (IATA: PEN) is ~ 1 hour from George Town. This airport has direct flights with 8 countries.

Flights operated by Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, China Airlines, etc. For cheaper alternatives – Air Asia, Firefly Airlines, SilkAir, Korean Air, Wings Air, etc.

Sometimes you can get cheaper tickets in flight search sites like: 

Usually I check all of those sites (and more) before buying the flight ticket. Yeah, it takes time, but only in this way I can find the cheapest ones. Most often I buy (if long distance flight) one direction from one website, another from another. Sometimes the cheapest ticket price doesn’t mean that you will pay such amount – like in the last “pay” step – some sites put over their service taxes which rise the ticket price higher than possible to buy in another site.

How to go to the city from the airport

TrainBy train

Probably the safest way to get to Penang. But not so quick and not the cheapest way (depends what kind of class seats you will take).

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB), the national train company, serves a daily route to Butterworth from Kuala Lumpur. Daytime train from Kuala Lumpur will take ~6,5 hour, night train – 9,5 hours. If you travel to Penang by train you will need to stop at Butterworth station. From there you can take the connecting ferry (information about it below) to the island. You can also take a taxi at Butterworth train station, but it’s quite expensive. You can book train tickets online and get some discount.

The North south line starts in Singapore and goes all the way to Bangkok in Thailand.

  • More information about how to travel by train between Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang & Bangkok here.
  • Travelers experience using night train from Kuala Lumpur to Penang here.
  • Experience on traveling from Bangkok to Penang by train here.

CarsBy car (or motorbike)

Most flexible traveling way but costs and timing depends on the company with whom you are traveling, traffic on the way.

Most probably you will rent a car/motorbike? There are numerous car rental companies in Kuala Lumpur and also at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. For example you can check Easybook. If you are planning a one-way road trip to Penang, it’s best to find a rental company with an office at Penang. For motorbike you can check here.

The road from Kuala Lumpur to Penang is in very good shape. The North-South highway connects Penang to major cities on the West side of Peninsular Malaysia. Travel by highway can take anywhere from 4-5 hours with toll charges in between.

Once you reach Butterworth, which is the island’s main entry point from the mainland, you may take either the Penang Bridge or the ferry to cross over to the island, which still operates from Butterworth to Weld Quay and will transport your vehicle too at a small charge. Return trips from Penang via the bridge is free of charge.

BusBy bus

One of the cheapest and often quickest way to get from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. The trip by bus usually takes around 5,5 hours. The prices (35 to 60 MYR) depends on which day you leave, at what time and which operator you choose.

Buses depart at the main terminal in Kuala Lumpur, Puduraya bus station (known as well like Pudu Sentral station), to the central bus station Sungai Nibong in Penang (as well known like Express bus station).

There are almost 100 bus operators, offering regular bus services in Malaysia. Here, most of the bus services are operated by the state-run bus company intercontinental that covers wider bus route services in Malaysia. There are a number of renowned agencies that have a large fleet of buses operating on diverse routes on a daily basis. In Malaysia, buses are considered as a quite affordable medium of traveling. You will not only feel comfortable but also reach a particular destination promptly.  The most popular coach operators are Plusliner/Nice, Transnasional, Konsortium and Mutiara. The most luxurious and most expensive operator is Aeroline (but you will travel in a very comfortable manner to Penang).

You can also take the bus from numerous other locations within Peninsular Malaysia to Penang Island. For example there are daily buses from Kota Bharu, Johor Bahru (Singapore) and even Bangkok.
There are minivans/minibuses that drive between many places in Thailand to Penang, same goes for the trip between Penang and Kuala Besut (Perhentian Island). Minibuses are more expensive than regular buses, but offer a direct route to many destinations.

There are a number of online sites which offer e-ticketing. Here, you will get discounts on each booking which save your time as well as money. But you need to keep in mind: first, always book ticket from reputed online web portal for example Easybook (they as well provide car rental and other services), second boarding a bus, do check the current schedule of it, so that you’re late in reaching your preferred destination.

By the way, Sungai Nibong bus station in Penang is about 15 km South of the tourist/accommodation areas. Taxi drivers will try to convince you that the only way to go to downtown only by taxi. It’s not true – there is a local bus stop at platform 1. Bus 401 goes to downtown for 2 MYR. You might have to wait half an hour for one to show up.

My experience going from Kuala Lumpur (KL) to Penang by bus.

FerryBy ferry

Except if you fly, go by car or bus through bridge, to get to Penang island you will need to take a ferry.

Penang Ferry Service is the oldest ferry service in Malaysia. The Ferry operates a fleet of 4 ferries, with the first ferry departure from Butterworth (Sultan Abdul Halim) at 05:20 am, with the last at 00:40 am; and the first departure from Penang island (Raja Tun Uda) at 05:40 am, with the last at 01:00 am. You can reach Penang by ferry in ~15min. and the service runs every 20-30 min. You can buy tickets as well online.

Terminal location on Butterworth side

Terminal location on Penang side

Coming down from the ferry, taxi drivers will offer rides but it’s easy to reach George Town even by walk. Even if  you are going to Batu Feringgi or somewhere else outside Georgetown you can use public buses.

Ferries from Penang International Airport depart in George Town, located ~16 km distance from the airport. A regular bus service operates between the airport and city center locations, as well as the bus terminal in Victoria Street, which is near the main Ferry Weld Quay. More information about ferries from Penang International Airport here.


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  • Which the most convenient way for you to travel?
  • Have you been in Penang island? What was you experience traveling there?
  • If you have been in Malaysia, did you find easy to travel inside the country?


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Some information and pictures used from internet sources.

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

How to get Indonesian visa in Penang
Disappearing and resurgent street art in Penang
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