Kuala Lumpur to Penang

Kuala Lumpur to Penang

Loading seats data...
TBS Kuala Lumpur
5h 2m bus ride with Billion Stars Express in VIP
MYR 42 per adult
TBS Kuala Lumpur
5h 2m bus ride with Billion Stars Express in VIP
MYR 42 per adult

From TBS Kuala Lumpur to Penang by bus

TBS Kuala Lumpur
5h 2m bus ride with Billion Stars Express in VIP
MYR 42 per adult
TBS Kuala Lumpur
5h 2m bus ride with Billion Stars Express in VIP
MYR 42 per adult

Kuala Lumpur to Penang Schedule

Kuala Lumpur to Penang Schedule
Transport NameRoute TimePrice
Asian Overland Services Economy Any timeMYR 862.50
Cosmic Express Express 07:25 - 12:27MYR 47.52
Billion Stars Express VIP 09:00 - 14:02MYR 41.80
Billion Stars Express VIP 10:30 - 15:32MYR 41.80
KKKL Express Express 13:30 - 18:32MYR 39.60
Billion Stars Express VIP 14:00 - 19:02MYR 41.80
Billion Stars Express VIP 16:00 - 21:02MYR 41.80
Billion Stars Express VIP 18:00 - 23:02MYR 41.80
Billion Stars Express VIP 20:00 - 01:02MYR 41.80
Super Nice Express Express 20:30 - 01:32MYR 47.20
Cosmic Express Express 20:30 - 01:32MYR 47.52
Billion Stars Express VIP 22:00 - 03:02MYR 41.80

How to get from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth

Though by saying ‘Penang’ many travelers mean Penang Island, the island is only a part of Penang state which has a similar-sized mainland part, called Seberang Perai. Of the two, Penang Island is by no doubt the main draw. Though an island, Penang is by no way a prime beach destination. Do not expect crystal clear waters and fine sand – there are many other places in Malaysia where you can find this combination, but definitely not on Penang. But Penang is the right place to savour the local flavour: a melting pot of Malay, Indian, Chinese and European cultures, Penang will bring your culinary experience at a new level; British colonial architecture blends here with colourful Chinese temples; and the whole wealth of walking itineraries – from exploring natural attractions of the island including a mangrove forest and butterfly farm to visiting churches or browsing the city streets in a traditional rickshaw – assure you will not be bored.

How to get from Kuala Lumpur to Penang

Both buses and trains are a convenient way to get from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. Note trains bring you to Butterworth, a town on the mainland part of Penang state. From there it is a 15-minute ferry ride to Georgetown on Penang island. There is absolutely no reason for spending your time in Butterworth – unless you decide to visit the largest Bird Park in Malaysia, which is located about two km east of the ferry terminal, or have a look at a huge Nine Emperor Gods Temple – but you will find the similar-styled temples in Georgetown, too.

From Kuala Lumpur to Penang by train

Trains from Kuala Lumpur make several stops on the mainland of Penang state, including Bukit Mertajam and Butterworth. If your final destination is Georgetown (which is most probably is the case), go to Butterworth which is located right by the pier from where a shuttle ferry heads to the island part of Penang state.

The distance between the capital of Malaysia and Butterworth is about 350 km. Travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Penang by train is four hours if you go by a high-speed electric train (ETS), while ordinary intercity train #2 takes over five hours to cover the same distance. It leaves Kuala Lumpur Sentral at 4pm daily and arrives to Butterworth at 9.45pm. The main advantage of this intercity train is the price of the tickets which is nearly twice as low as the one of the ETS at MYR34 compared to MYR59.

ETS operates on daily bases and offers 4 trains a day plus the fifth option from Friday to Sunday (#9216 at 5.30pm). There are two morning trains at 9.15am (#9232) and 9.30am (#9208) and two evening trains at 6.35pm (#9210) and at 8pm (#9234).

Note that the last train (#9234) reaches Butterworth at 11.52pm and it is impossible to get to Georgetown by ferry on the same day, as the ferry operates till 11.30pm only. You still can reach Georgetown, though, but you will need to take a taxi instead.

From Butterworth to Georgetown

The easiest way to get from Butterworth to Georgetown is to take the famous Penang ferry. It departs regularly from the Ferry Terminal in Butterworth from 5.30am till 11.30pm every 10 or 20 minutes. You can get to the ferry terminal directly from the train and bus stations in Butterworth – look for covered walkways and indications. The ferry takes just 15 minutes to reach the pier at Weld Quay.

From Kuala Lumpur to Penang by bus

Bus travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang takes from 4½ hours to 5 hours. Taking into consideration a number of departures from different locations in Kuala Lumpur and the cost of the ride (MYR35-MYR40), it is a great alternative to a railway journey.

The main bus terminal in Kuala Lumpur serving Kuala Lumpur–Penang route is TBS, Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, the main transportation terminal in the southern part of Kuala Lumpur. From the city it is easily reachable by KLIA transit, LRT and KTM Komuter. Billion Stars, StarQistna Express and Seasons Express all operate from TBS from as early as 6.30am with the last bus departing a minute before midnight at 11.59pm.

Billion Stars also has rides from One Utama, to the northwest of the capital, and Pudu Raya, located rather centrally between KLCC and Bukit Bintang. The latter is also used by Mayang Sari Express and City Express buses.

The earliest bus of Billion Stars from One Utama leaves at 9.45 am, the last one – at 11.59pm. The first City Express bus from Pudu Raya departs at 10.30 in the morning, the last – at 11.30 in the evening. Some companies also call to Kulim in Kedah on their way to Butterworth, but if your final destination is Georgetown, do not get off at that point.

Note that for the majority of buses Butterworth is not their terminus. After calling to Butterworth they proceed over the famous Penang bridge #1 to the centralised island bus terminal, Sungai Nibong. Note that though travelling to Singai Nibong brings you directly to the island, it is about 10 km to the main tourist area of Georgetown from there. In many cases, Butterworth is the best choice to get off the bus as it is only a 15-minute trip to Georgetown by ferry from there.

Note though, that all buses leaving Kuala Lumpur after 6.30pm, arrive to Butterworth after 11pm_ which means you will not be able to use the ferry from Butterworth to Georgetown immediately after arrival: take a taxi instead.

Getting around

Though as in many other places in Asia, footpaths are narrow or non-existent in Georgetown, it is still a pleasure to go on a stroll around the central part of Georgetown filled with colonial mansions, colorful temples and tasty restaurants. To go further, make use of rather a convenient and well-organized Penang public transport system. Local buses ply several routes which are clearly indicated on maps – look for them at the main bus terminals at Jetty and Komtar Complex. Buses stop picking up passengers after 10pm.Taxis have metres, though flat rates – normally, quite decent – are used for certain destinations. At night-time, taxis add 100% surcharge to the normal rate.

Renting a motorbike is a great way to get around the island. A usual daily rate is about MYR25, and many rental shops require a deposit of MYR200. Helmets are compulsory and traffic is often quite chaotic, but if you have the experience of negotiating streets anywhere in Asia, you will not be lost.

Where to stay

Georgetown has accommodation for all tastes and budgets, but if you are after some serious fancy options, look in Batu Ferringghi close to the beach. Backpackers and flashpackers are well catered for around Chulia and Muntri Streets, as well as in Love Lane area. That said, decent double rooms under USD20 (MYR80) are a rare breed nowadays. Going a step further up (to MYR100) allows you to choose a room in a much more attractive guesthouse which is definitely a worth-doing thing.


Time your visit to see one of the famous festivals – from Chinese New Year in February to Deepavali or Songkran in April to get the real taste of the island’s culture. Since 2010, a month-long Georgetown festival held in June/July brings to the city a blast of art, theatre, dance and music performances.

Sweat your way through the city streets pedalling a tandem bike. Climb to the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia of Kek Lok Si and then pay respect to the oldest Anglican church of the region, St. George’s. Wander fearlessly over the vipers inhabited premises of the Snake Temple and transport yourself to India in the intricately decorated Hindu temple of Sri Mahamariamman. Watch myriads of flying beauties in Penang Butterfly Farm and then head to Upper Penang Road for the best nightlife options.

After you have had enough of the city itself, do some jungle trekking in the Penang National Park with a network of paths cutting through virgin forests or set on for a day boat trip to Pulau Payar Marine Park for snorkelling. You can try some of the north-western coast beaches, too, e.g. Monkey Beach, but do not expect too much.

From Penang to Thailand

The railway station serving Penang is located in Butterworth, on the mainland part of the state. To get to Butterworth from Georgetown, take a ferry, a bus or a taxi. There is a direct train from Butterworth to Bangkok operated by Thai Railways. It leaves daily at 1.15pm and arrives to Bangkok at 10.30am the next morning, the whole journey taking 21 hour. All cars are second class AC sleeper cars and tickets cost THB1430 (MYR170). The train makes all the usual stops en route to Bangkok, including Hat Yai, Suratthani and Chumphon, among others, which allows you to hop off in the middle of the way and explore some of the islands of the Gulf.

Transportation from Kuala Lumpur to Penang

Kuala Lumpur to Penang destination reviews

Bus Express, Nice MY, Mar 16, 2020
Very professional handling from booking to arrival. The seats of the (older) bus were comfortable and provided a lot of legroom. I wished there was an option (a net or similar) for personal items to put in during the trip, but it didn't bother a lot. The multimedia screens at the seats didn't work, but it's not a big deal either ;)
Bus Express, Nice MY, Mar 8, 2020
Happy with the service provided. Bus arrived pretty much bang on time (15 minute delay), made a food / loo stop half way through the journey and the seats were comfortable.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Mar 8, 2020
The picture was not the same as the bus provided.
Bus Business, Transnasional MY, Mar 5, 2020
The bus was clean and comfortable. Everything was fine and the driver drove safely. The bus was approximately on time. On the 5-6 hours trip from KL to Penang we had a lunch/restroom break right after Ipoh. Buying the ticket in 12Go Asia was easy and I got the e-ticet to my email right after finishing the purchase on 12Go site.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Mar 2, 2020
All Perfect, nice driver
Bus Express, Nice MY, Feb 29, 2020
Bus was good but the waiting room needs hell of an improvement .
Bus Express, Nice MY, Feb 10, 2020
The toilets could be cleaner but the journey and coach was nice
Bus Express, Nice MY, Feb 7, 2020
We left on time and arrived close to on time. Bus was a bit old but clean enough.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Feb 4, 2020
But was clean and comfortable. Bus driver was a lunatic. Speed limiter alarm was ringing for the whole journey. Coming down one of the big hills, he was going so fast that if another vehicle had pulled out it would have been game over. Very bad driver
Bus Express, Nice MY, Jan 29, 2020
Travel time is around 6 hours, the bus is old and nobody help in taking luggage on-off
Bus Business, Transnasional MY, Jan 24, 2020
Bus was small. Not all recliners worked but we did arrive 2 hours early!
Bus VIP 24, Sri Maju Group, Jan 21, 2020
Bus is not good , so noisy .
Bus Express, Nice MY, Jan 20, 2020
Very comfortable ride ! Would definitely recommend
Bus Express, Nice MY, Jan 19, 2020
Bus needed cleaning.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Jan 5, 2020
Awesome comfort
Bus Express, Nice MY, Jan 3, 2020
Arrival was ~30 minutes late. Bus was comfortable, but a little dated.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Jan 2, 2020
Great service
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 28, 2019
It was a very relaxed ride from KL to Penang. 5+
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 28, 2019
Very comfy bus ride from KL to Penang. No delay, arrived exactly on time. Good driver. Entertainment didn't work, I think. But who needs it on a bus ride? Better look outside and enjoy landscape. Recommended !!
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 23, 2019
The people were nice, but that’s also the only thing that was pleasant from the trip. The waiting room was very old and uncomfortable. It looked like it was an abandoned house - the toilet was disgusting, the couch was ripped with cracks in it and the room had no ceiling. On the site they said it would take around 4,5 hours to get to the destination. In real it took them more than 8 hours. We could have accepted some delay, but this was almost double the time they said.. very disappointing. Besides that the bus was not clean and comfortable at all. Everywhere were stains of food and drinks from the previous passengers. Also the bus had a bad smell to it. I would not recommend this bus to others. You can better take the plane to spare time.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 22, 2019
Long voayage en bus car beaucoup de bouchons. Mais service correct.
Bus VIP 24, Sri Maju Group, Dec 21, 2019
Bus was comfy, however leaving from a bus station we expected to be dropped off at a bus station instead we were dropped out off by the side of a road with no help at all and no taxis near by. We ended up going into a shop and asking if they minded calling us a taxi as we had no idea where we were.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 18, 2019
Everything in order! The waiting hall need some renovation but the ride was perfect.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 18, 2019
Very comfortable chairs that recline and have USB ports for charging. Easy and comfortable journey.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 17, 2019
A little disappointed. The bus operators office was in very poor condition. The bus was very different from the advertised picture and was generally in poor condition. On the other hand, the ride was comfortable and relatively on schedule.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 15, 2019
Salio el bus a horario pero por tráfico llegamos hora y media tarde al destino. El bus estaba limpio y cómodo. El aire acondicionado muy fuerte (llevar abrigo). Solo ofrecen una parada para ir al baño y comprar snacks.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 5, 2019
It was in time but the bus was sooo dirty! Anyway big seats and confortable bus.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 2, 2019
Everything fine, took a little longer than expected, but there was a lot of traffic, so it wasn’t the drivers fault
Bus Express, Nice MY, Dec 1, 2019
All great. Very funny destroyed boarding lounge
Bus Express, Nice MY, Nov 29, 2019
Booking online went smooth, if you print out your ticket then you're good to go. The Old Railway Station in KL is a bit out of shape, but doesn't really matter. The bus departed on time and despite being a bit out of shape, has comfortable and specious seats, which made the trip pretty pleasant. We stopped once for a toilet/food break and arrived a little later than stated, due to traffic jam outside the city. All and all I would recommend!
Bus Express, Nice MY, Nov 24, 2019
Bus was clean enough and comfortable. Didn't take as long as stated on 12go, but we expected that already. The lobby at KTM railway was in horrible shape, but you only have to wait there for half an hour and it's air-conditioned
Bus Express, Nice MY, Nov 17, 2019
Bus arrived on time, lots of leg room. Only downside was that the bus smelt a bit of urine.
Bus Express, Plusliner, Nov 16, 2019
The bus was the most fanciest bus I have ever been on! Loads of legroom, cup and phone holders, USB charger, foot rests, seat storage, a mixture of leather and fabric seat that recline. It was like the first class travel of coaches and the four hours flew by. I would've given it five stars by the waiting lounge at Nice bus station looks like it's falling apart and the bus was 15 mins late.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Nov 5, 2019
On time leaving, arrival delayed due to road works. Coach comfortable but cold! No real complaints.
Bus Express, Plusliner, Nov 1, 2019
Good airco on the bus. Took us 30mins longer then planned incl. a stop on the way. Ride was comfortable.
Bus Express, Plusliner, Oct 25, 2019
Office location not clear , place of waiting furniture quit old and danage
Bus Express, Nice MY, Oct 19, 2019
Not so clean bus. Power station not working. TV not working. But the seat is rather comfortable enough for me take naps once in a while. Receiving area is soooooo not clean!!! Everything’s broken.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Oct 14, 2019
Very good bus, comfortable. A bit dirty though. We reached the final station before expected, good point. The stop could be more then 10 min.
Bus Express, Nice MY, Sep 30, 2019
Bus left exactly on time Seats were nice and comfortable Price also very good
Bus Express, Plusliner, Sep 25, 2019
comfortable, quick and easy. Great trip to Penang
Bus Express, Nice MY, Sep 22, 2019
Good journey, air con a little too cold
Bus Express, Plusliner, Sep 16, 2019
We enjoyed our bus journey and had a very considerate, helpful bus driver. Good local food and toilets available at 30 minute stop. Air con was set too low and we were cold... you need extra layers of clothing for this bus ride!
flight Economy, AirAsia (AirAsia), Sep 15, 2019
Good and no issues
Bus Express, Plusliner, Sep 12, 2019
Excellent service, friendly staff and clean bus!
Bus Express, Plusliner, Sep 3, 2019
So so easy, driver was great, Counting number of passengers after toilet breaks. Perfectly on time
Bus Express, Plusliner, Sep 2, 2019
Excellent!! Easy to book , find pick up point and hassle free on time trip
Bus Express, Nice MY, Aug 30, 2019
Super comfortable and smooth ride. Would definitely travel with Nice again.
Bus Express, Plusliner, Aug 29, 2019
The bus was old and they are cheaper ASR’s and nicer for the same or less price
Bus Express, Nice MY, Aug 26, 2019
Most comfortable bus trip ever! Seats were very comfy, lots of legroom and the possibility to charge your phone if you bring a usb cable.
Bus Express, Plusliner, Aug 25, 2019
Very good and comfortable service thank you
562 customer reviews