To get from Padang Besar to Alor Setar you can travel overland by cheap KTM Komuter train, a slightly faster but more expensive ETS train or you can take a bus via Kangar.
By far the best and cheapest way to travel to Alor Setar from the Thailand / Malaysia border at Padang Besar is to take the regular KTM Komuter (commuter) train.
These commuter services operate from early morning until mid-evening and depart from the Malaysian Padang Besar Railway Station every one or two hours apart.
To see the latest Komuter train timetable to Alor Setar click on the following link:
The duration of the journey by KTM Komuter train to Alor Setar from Padang Besar is 43 minutes.
Much more expensive than the KTM Komuter train services (about 3 times the fare), the fast Electric Train Service (ETS) is also another option to take you from the border to Alor Setar.
Departures for these long-distance services are much less frequent but you may arrive at Padang Besar station when the next train leaving is an ETS service.
To see the latest ETS train timetable from Padang Besar click on the following link:
The only advantage of taking an ETS train is that you get a reserved seat number.
You buy your train tickets at the Pdg. Besar station KTM Ticket Counter which is located upstairs.
You will need to pay in Malaysian Ringgit, some bring some with you.
It is possible to travel by bus to Alor Setar, but not recommended (the commuter train is much quicker and cheaper).
There are no direct bus services from Padang Besar, so you will first have to take the MyBas bus from Padang Besar to Kangar Bus Terminal (Terminal Bukit Lagi).
From Kangar, you will find plenty of buses going to the Alor Setar Bus Terminal including cheap (but slow local operators such as MyBas) as well as long-distance coaches that will be stopping at Alor Setar.