There is a daily overnight Penang Bangkok Train if you want to travel from Thailand to Malaysia by train and vice versa.
International Express Train number 36 (Ekspres Antarabangsa) leaves Butterworth train station at 14.20 arriving in Bangkok's Hualamphong train station the next day at 10.30am.
Train number 35 is scheduled to leave Bangkok's Hualamphong train station at 14.45 arriving in Butterworth train station at 13.51am the next day.
These services are operated by SRT (State Railway of Thailand) and not KTMB ( Malaysian Railways).
This is an all 2nd class air conditioned train, where you will have
to purchase a sleeper bed, either lower bed or upper bed. The lower beds
are the best by far and are much bigger than the upper beds.
This means they are the first to sell out, so it's best to book at least a few days in advance, better still at least a week before, especially if you are travelling from Thailand, as the Thai's book up all the good beds to travel down to Hat Yai.
Try to get a bed in the middle of the train as you don't want to be right next to the automatic doors (at either end of the carriage) which will mean you won't get much sleep. Seats / beds numbers 37 - 40 are right by the door to the exit and 1 - 4 are at the toilet end.
To buy tickets for the train from Penang to Bangkok the best thing is to head to the small KTM office on Penang Island.
You can easily find the office as it is located at the Penang - Butterworth ferry terminal (on your right at the end of all the kiosks just before you turn left up to the ferry) or from Butterworth Train Station.
If you are buying train ticket from Thailand to Penang you can purchase your tickets at any railway station in Thailand.
Prices in Malaysian Ringgit - For prices in Thai Baht just multiply by 10 for a rough estimate.
Penang (Butterworth) - Hat Yai RM40 - ( cheaper and faster to go to Hat Yai by minibus!)
Penang - Surat Thani (for Koh Samui) RM84.90 (upper) RM92.90 (lower)
Penang - Hua Hin RM97.90 (upper) RM105.90 (lower)
Penang - Bangkok RM103.90 (upper) RM111.90 (lower)
Wondering how long the train from Butterworth to Bangkok takes. Check out the schedules below, with all the stops along the way.
Recommended Inexpensive Accommodation in Bangkok
The Bangkok to Penang train stops at the border at Padang Besar for passport control. You could be here for anything up to 2 hours!
There is a money changer on the platform and a cafe upstairs which is a good place for breakfast if you are coming from Thailand, but is usually closed if coming from Butterworth.
If you are offered to change money on the train (usually in Hat Yai coming from Thailand) don't do it. You will lose over 10 % on the exchange. Usually a man goes around with the daily paper to show you the official exchange rate, which he gives you. Trouble is, the exchange rate for Malaysian Ringgit by Thai banks are dreadful. Wait until you get to the border or Butterworth station where there are money changers who will give you a much better rate.
The old Butterworth train station has been demolished and replaced with a temporary one.
Visit our Butterworth Railway Station page for more information.
Food is available on the train for dinner and breakfast as well as soft drinks and beer. One of the stewards will come around with a menu. Not the best Thai food I've ever eaten and a bit expensive for what you get!
At Hat Yai you will find lots of Thai ladies getting on the train selling fried chicken and sticky rice as well as fruit or you can head down to the dining car which is added in Hat (Haad) Yai.
Don't forget to change your watches - Thailand is one hour behind Malaysian time.
Bangkok to Langkawi by Train
Recommended Budget Accommodation in George Town
Arriving in Butterworth
If you are travelling over to Penang island you will have to catch the ferry over to the island into Georgetown.The ferry terminal is just a few minutes walk away. Keep to your left when you exit the station and take the covered walkway up the the terminal. Boats leave every 15 minutes and takes around 15 minutes to arrive in Georgetown.
Once you are on the island, it is about 10 minutes walk to the budget hotel area around Chulia Street.
Alternatively you can catch the free, "Freecat Bus" from the main road in front of the ferry terminal. Get off at the Museum stop to be close to Love Lane and the budget hotel area.
Other Pages on our site that may be of interest to you if your travelling from Thailand to Penang.
If you are heading into Thailand on the Penang Bangkok train, you may need some accommodation. Visit one of the following links, where you will be able to find some great deals on a whole range of lodging, from budget hostels to luxury resorts.
Find Accommodation Deals in Thailand
Want to Find the Best Place to Stay on Pulau Pinang?
Budget or Luxury Accommodation, reviewed by real travellers like yourself.