If you want to travel from Sungai Petani to Alor Setar by far the easiest, cheapest and most convenient way to get there is to take a train rather than a bus.
The train stations in both Sungai Petani and Alor Setar are located just a short walk to the centre of town.
The bus station in Sungai Petani is also close to the train station. However, the bus station in Alor Setar is located a few kilometres out of the centre, requiring a local bus trip or taxi to get into town.
There are two types of train that you can take to Alor Setar from SP:
1) KTM Komuter (commuter) train.
2) KTM ETS Electric Train Service.
For most people, taking the Komuter train is easily the best option as they have far more frequent departures and they are really cheap.
The duration of the commuter train journey to Alor Setar from Sg. Petani is just 34 minutes and tickets cost only RM 5.00.
To see the latest KTM Komuter train schedule, click on the following link:
KTM Komuter trains in Malaysia are very much like Subway or Tube trains in the west with seating along the sides of the carriages and a wide central aisle for standing passengers.
The only problem with the commuter train is you do not get a reserved seat and may find you have to stand for all or part of the journey.
If you need a seat, you should take one of the fast ETS train services (30 minute journey time).
They are much more expensive, but the only way to guarantee a seat.
If you want to see the latest ETS train timetable, click on the following link:
All ETS services (both Gold and Platinum) stop in both Sungai Petani and Alor Setar on their way to the Thailand border at Padang Besar.
Booking Train Tickets:
If you travel on the Komuter trains, you just turn up at the station and buy your tickets for the next departure (no advance booking is available).
If you want to take an ETS train, you can and should book your seats in advance.
You can make advance seat reservations at the train station ticket counter.
If for some reason you want to travel by bus, the distance by road from SP to Alor Setar is around 55 km and the journey will take at least twice as long as the train (even on a good traffic day).
The Sungai Petani Express Bus Terminal is located down the same road as the train station, less than 5 minutes walk to the south.