By far the easiest, quickest and most convenient way to travel from Ipoh to Padang Besar on the Malaysia - Thailand border is to take a KTM Electric Train Service (ETS). However, a cheaper way to get there would be to take a bus via the town of Kangar or Butterworth.
The distance from Ipoh to Padang Besar by road is approximately 305 km.
If you go by the fast train you can go directly to Padang Besar in a little over 3 hours.
Travelling by train to Padang Besar is not the cheapest way to get there (ETS tickets cost between 50 - 66 RM) but is easily the best way to travel for convenience (the train station is easy to walk to from hotels in Ipoh Old Town) and speed (ETS trains travel at 140 km/h).
To see the latest ETS train timetable from Ipoh, click on the following link:
Once you arrive at Padang Besar Railway Station by ETS train (you are still just inside Malaysia) you can continue into Thailand by State Railways of Thailand (SRT) trains to:
There are no direct bus services to Padang Besar from Aman Jaya Bus Terminal in Ipoh, so it will take quite a bit longer to get to Padang Besar by bus.
However, if you travel on a budget, it is a cheap way to go, with the whole trip by bus costing around 36 RM.
A good way to travel by bus is to go via the town of Kangar.
You will find buses operated by both Kesatuan Express and Cepat Express on the Aman Jaya to Kangar (Terminal Bukit Lagi) bus route, with a fairly regular number of departures every day.
A bus from Aman Jaya to Kangar takes around 4 hours and a ticket will cost approximately 30 RM.
From Kangar, you then have to take a local MYBas Perlis bus to Padang Besar (the MyBas bus stops are located just behind the Kangar Bus Terminal building).
For more information, bus fares and timetables:
This bus will drop you off at the roundabout, right outside the entrance to the border crossing.
You can then walk across the border (10 minutes) and take a bus or a minivan into Hat Yai or cross over the footbridge to the Padang Besar Malaysia Railway Station and take a train into Thailand.
Another cheap way to travel from Ipoh to Padang Besar is to use both a bus and a train.
Take the short walk to the Butterworth Train Station, then:
Taking this route can work out even cheaper at around 30 - 35 RM.