Butterworth is the main town on the mainland side of Penang state in Malaysia.

Butterworth Docks

Smaller, more industrial and practical, Butterworth does not have any of the atmosphere which George Town across the Penang Straits has. However, it is an important transportation hub for all train and many bus services which do not go directly to Penang Island.

Butterworth is also the mainland terminal for the Penang Ferry.

Get in

By train

Butterworth Railway Station

Butterworth railway station is conveniently located next to the bus and ferry terminal, south of the town centre. It is a major rail terminal for Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Malayan Railways) trains heading south to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and north to Hat Yai in Thailand as well as the State Railways of Thailand's International Express to Bangkok.

By bus

If you are in a rush to get to KL, the bus may be your best bet. The journey time can be half as long. Most of the coaches have air-con, as well as other comforts. Much of the journey is very scenic.
As noted above, the prices are reasonable.
If you are concerned about securing a fair price, just ask a train station agent, most should be happy to give you a rough estimate on how much a bus will cost. Armed with this information, you can walk over to the bus staging area,which is more of a collection of ticket booths mixed in with food and beverage vendors, and find the best price.
Beware of the friendly and helpful touts preying on tourists at the bus station. They aren't selling tickets; they sell a voucher which you later exchange for a ticket. At which stage you'll find you've been overcharged by several ringgit.
The buses, in most cases, do not have restrooms. However, the buses make a number of breaks at rest stops, which have restrooms, food and drinks available. Take note that many of the restrooms do not have toilet paper available.

By boat

Ferries docked at Butterworth

The much-loved Penang ferry departs regularly from the Butterworth Ferry Terminal for George Town. The ferry terminal is conveniently connected with the railway station and bus terminal via covered walkways - a rare example of good public transport planning in Malaysia. Caution when using the toilets. Travellers may want to consider using toilets at their hotels or at restaurants as the ferry toilets are infamous for their overuse and offensive odours.


Temple of the Ninth Emperor God


Hypermarkets such as Carrefour and Tesco Extra can be found in Seberang Jaya. Besides, in Seberang Jaya itself, there is a shopping mall called Sunway Carnival Mall. Other shopping complexes such as Megamal is located in Perai. Jusco Bandar Perda and The Summit can be found in Bukit Mertajam.


Many Chinese restaurants are available along the road to the sea


Butterworth has few hostels and star-rated hotels serving visitors:

Go next

George Town is the obvious place to go next. Taiping and Alor Setar, in the neighbouring states of Perak and Kedah, are just over an hour's drive away.

Routes through Butterworth

Bangkok Padang Besar  N  S  END
Alor Setar  N  S  Taiping

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, November 11, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.