To travel from Alor Setar to Penang Sentral or to Georgetown on Penang Island (Pulau Pinang) using public transport, you can choose to take a cheap train to Butterworth Railway Station or a bus from Shahab Perdana Bus Terminal to Butterworth Bus Terminal (Penang Sentral).
Keretapi ke Pinang dari Stesen Keretapi Alor Setar
If you are looking for the quickest and cheapest way to travel to Penang from Alor Setar, taking the train is by far the best way to go.
Malaysian Railways Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (usually known as the much shorter KTM or KTMB) operates regular commuter (komuter) train services from Alor Setar Railway Station (located just a short walk away from the city centre) to Butterworth Railway Station (located just a short walk away from the Penang Sentral Terminal).
To see the latest KTM commuter train timetable from Alor Setar to Penang (Jadual KTM Komuter Alor Setar ke Penang), click on the link below:
The train journey from Alor Setar to Butterworth KTM Station takes one hour and 8 minutes.
Once you arrive at the station platform at Butterworth, you will have to exit the station by going upstairs through the waiting area / ticket hall, then downstairs again for the exit (there are also lifts available for those that need them).
After the station exit, you will then have to follow the signs to the Ferry.
There is still some building work going on around the new Penang Sentral Terminal building, so just follow these signs into the terminal and you will end up at the jetty after around 5 minutes walk.
From here you can then take one of the regular boats that travel the short distance over to Georgetown on Penang Island.
Bas Alor Setar ke Pinang
The only advantage of taking a bus to Penang from Alor Setar (bas ke Penang dari Alor Setar) is that it is usually a more comfortable journey (you get a seat on a bus while on the commuter train seating is on a first-come, first-served basis so you may find that you will have to stand for part of the journey until a seat becomes available).
The disadvantages of taking the bus is that:
Shahab Perdana Bus Terminal in Alor Setar (Terminal Bas Shahab Perdana) is located a few kilometres away from the centre of the city where most people will be staying.
To get to Alor Setar bus terminal you will have to take a taxi or wait around for one of the old city buses to take you there.
The journey time by bus from Shahab Perdana to Penang Sentral is longer than the train at around one and a half hours.
It will also cost you a little more with bus tickets prices (harga tiket) at RM 10 - 11.
If you do still want to take a bus: