If you want to travel from the Thailand / Malaysia border town of Padang Besar to Ipoh in Perak the easiest and most direct route to take would be to travel by Electric Train Service (ETS).
KTM Berhad (Malaysian Railways) operates a fast train service from the border to Kuala Lumpur with all trains stopping at Ipoh Railway Station.
The duration of the train journey to Ipoh from Padang Besar is around three hours for the fastest Platinum services
To see the latest ETS train schedule, please click on the following link:
If you do want to take one of these trains it is always best to book your tickets in advance to make sure you can get a seat.
If you don't want to book tickets in advance, you will need to bring some Malaysian Ringgit with you from Thailand and go to the KTM ticket office located upstairs at Pdg. Besar station.
If the ETS trains are full, you can still get to Ipoh, but it will take you much longer (see below).
A cheaper way to travel in Malaysia (compared to the ETS train) is to use buses / coaches.
However, the journey from Padang Besar to Ipoh by bus is not that easy as there are no direct bus services.
If you want to go by bus all the way, you will need to get to Kangar Bus Terminal (Terminal Bukit Lagi) first.
To get to Kangar from Padang Besar there is a fairly regular MyBas Perlis bus service that takes around an hour to get to Kangar.
A much better way to travel from Padang Besar to Ipoh cheaply is to use both the train and bus:
KTM Berhad also operates really cheap and regular commuter trains (KTM Komuter Utara) from Padang Besar Railway Station.
If you use these trains you can cut down on your travel expenses.
Here is the best route to take for good connections to buses to Ipoh:
Walk over to the nearby Penang Sentral Bus Terminal (a couple of minutes).
Travelling this way, you could do the whole trip for as little as 30 - 35 RM.
You could take a KTM Komuter train as far south as Taiping (you have to change trains at Bukit Mertajam) then do the last short journey from Taiping to Ipoh by bus but bus connections are not that good.