By the Strait of Malacca on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, lies the majestic, turtle shaped island of Penang. It brings different traditions and a mixture of eastern and western cultural values under one umbrella.
Since the Malaysian Independence in 1957, Penang has most definitely become urbanised by developments in every sector of its economy along with the booming tourism industry. George Town, being the insanely popular capital of Penang, is well known for its cultural heritage, street food and medical tourism making it the most salient features of Penang. Penang has also become one of the main vacation spots for travellers coming here from other cities such as Singapore, due to the thriving tourism industry.
Below are the details you’d need to go through in order to plan your journey via Singapore to Penang train the right way and make it worth your while.
Why Take the Singapore to Penang train?
Train travel is by far the easiest way of travelling to inner and outer cities. Journey via Singapore to Penang train, in particular, is quite straightforward and cheap.
Trains come with their own enjoyment and comfort. With the highly maintained railway stations, tracks and train themselves, passengers are ensured of their safety and recreation while they cover 1984 km approximately from one city to another.
Eastern and Oriental Express
The Eastern and Oriental Express is a luxury train service in Singapore & Malaysia that usually carries passengers travelling between Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. It runs between Singapore’s Woodlands Train Checkpoint, stopping in Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth.
On the Track
While it takes almost 8 hours to travel to Penang by bus, it takes almost 12 hours in addition to the ferry ride and transfer times. Train ensures zero traffic unlike road travel while the cost is also cheaper in comparison.
Woodlands Train Checkpoint in Singapore
Woodlands Train Checkpoint is one of the busiest and most famous railway stations in Singapore. It can be reached via taxi and the MRT service in the city. Keretapi Tanah Melayu is a Malaysian railway operating system which controls the Woodlands Checkpoint. A footbridge links the train to road vehicles like buses and cars for pedestrians.
KTM Butterworth Train Station
The old Butterworth Train station has been demolished and replaced by a new state of transport known as the Penang Sentral, which is also a hub for transport buses. Like all other new stations, KTM Butterworth has been built on the Malaysian Railway Tracks with a gleaming white colour and gloating in the new design. It’s now ready to receive the oncoming High Speed ETS trains.
Drop Off at KTM Butterworth, Penang
If the travellers are headed towards the Penang Ferry to reach GeorgeTown, the capital of Penang Island, they will have to keep to the left side of the Butterworth station and catch the stairs going up to the Butterworth Jetty.
In case of any unforeseen event, there are places to stay near the station, but they’re 15-20 minutes away so passengers might have to hire a taxi. Most people, therefore, prefer heading off to the island on the ferry as there are plenty of accommodations available in George Town.
Booking and Scheduling
Tickets can easily be booked and bought online on the station websites or any other online booking company. Payment is usually made through credit card or online bank transfer. The individuals then receive an e-ticket in advance which they get printed in order to show travel authorities at the station.
On the journey via Singapore to Penang train, people tend to take the night train to Kuala Lumpur first. Which will eventually require to book your ticket in advance.
The prices of Singapore to Penang train are by far most reasonable than a plane. A first class train travelling from Singapore to Penang offers SGD130 compared to SGD60 – SGD80 for 2nd class.
Train fare from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth is SGD25 including the transport to the final destination. Further, a ferry takes passengers from Butterworth to GeorgeTown in about SGD1.
Best Time to Visit Penang
Penang is not suitable for travel all year round like Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Capital. Being an island, the weather conditions have a great impact on the tourism services which determines the right time for a visit to the majestic state. December and January are considered ideal weather-wise since it’s not too hot and not too chilly.
Penang’s major festivities start early in the year and last till late September. Keeping the city’s diverse community in mind, almost every kind of festival is celebrated here. The tourists get to experience the Dragon Dances for instance and shop at the best stores.
An alternate way to travel is to take a Singapore to Penang bus. However, the train ride is more comfortable than the bus. If you have experienced the train ride from Singapore to Penang, do let us know your story by adding comments below.
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Photo Credit: Lucian