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The Ferry Ride

Back when I was a young boy, a trip to Penang from Kepala Batas would mean a trip on the ferry. The First Penang Bridge was only opened in 1985, and since then the ferry was reserved for those who prefer to take a motorcycle or cross by foot. But a tragedy in 1989 when a section of the old Butterworth Jetty fell down due to overcrowding made the ferry ride less popular.

Nowadays, almost everyone - unless you're making the journey on foot - would be using the bridge. We now have two bridges, but traffic was still a problem especially getting on and off the bridge.

When I was in primary school, my parents tended to take us across to Penang on foot as he was not keen to find parking spot and wading through the heavy traffic. We would take either the bus or a taxi from Kepala Batas - still a tiny town then - to Butterworth Jetty. Walk across into the ferry, enjoy the 20 minutes ride before alighting in Georgetown and took another bus to the shopping malls.

On our last trip to Penang, I took my boys on the ferry again. I suspect that there was only a small number of ferry still in service at the wait at the jetty was quite long. The ride took about 15 minutes, and all of us actually got out from our van to enjoy the crossing. It was nice to feel the wind brushing our space, and not to mention the smell of diesel ..... memories ....

Definitely worth a ride if you were not on a rush. Since we took the trip from Georgetown to Butterworth, I was not sure how much the cost of the crossing. You'd have to pay for a single way from the mainland. Not sure how patient I would be if I was short for time.

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