If you want to travel from Taiping to Penang Island (Georgetown), the best way to get there is by taking an ETS or KTM Komuter (commuter) Train to Butterworth, then hop on the ferry to Georgetown, you can go by infrequent bus, or you can drive if you have your own transport.
How far is it to Penang Island from Taiping?
The distance from Taiping to Penang is around 100 km by road.
You have a choice of train services from Taiping to Butterworth.
A direct and fast Electric Train Service.
A cheap Komuter (commuter) Train (via Bukit Mertajam for most departures).
The quickest way to travel by train from Taiping to Penang is on one of the fast ETS services.
These trains are either Gold Services or Platinum Services and take around 55 minutes to get to Butterworth (the last stop on the line).
The price of ETS Train tickets from Taiping to Butterworth is as follows:
ETS Gold Trains: Adult 21 RM - Child 15 RM
Platinum ETS Trains: Adult 26 RM - Child 17 RM
If you want the cheapest way to travel to Penang Island from Taiping, the KTM Komuter (commuter) train services are the way to travel.
Tickets on the commuter services are much cheaper than the ETS services and cost only 7.50 RM (cash price).
Taking a KTM Komuter train to Butterworth from Taiping you will first have to take the train from Taiping railway station to Bukit Mertajam railway station (on the Padang Rengas - Bukit Mertajam Line).
From BM, you can then connect to another Komuter service to Butterworth railway station (on the Padang Besar - Butterworth Line).
Most of the time the connection at BM is just 5 minutes (see links to timetables below).
If you make the best connections, the duration of the trip should be around one hour and 9 minutes.
Please note: There are currently two commuter trains a day that travels directly from Taiping to Butterworth - so if you plan to use these services there is no need to change trains at BM.
Travel by bus from Taiping is not that convenient as the nearest long-distance bus station to the town are located either at Kamunting (6 km away) or Simpang (7km away).
To get to the bus station you will have to take a local RapidKamuting bus (1 RM).
Starmart Express has a very infrequent bus from these bus stations, costing around 13 RM to Butterworth (Penang Sentral).
Best to travel by train!
If you want to travel by car from Taiping to Penang, it is an easy 90 minutes drive along the North-South Expressway (E1), then you can take either of the Penang bridges over to the island (or even the ferry which takes cars right into the heart of the old part of Georgetown).