Train from KL to Butterworth by backpackies

One of the popular ways to get from Kuala Lumpur to Penang and onwards to Hatyai , Thailand is by Train. We at backpackies also favor the Train more than the express buses. Mainly because we can book a sleeper and just sleep through the whole night.

This website is pretty handy in letting you know the train time tables onwards to Thailand and Singapore>>  Seat 61
For further information on trains in Thailand>> ThaiRailways

The Malaysian Train website is really confusing. Have a look >> KTMB

Here is a simple review on taking a midnight train from KL to Penang.
Firstly, we think that these signs should be on the train. Some passengers do book bunker seats and have their own little hanky panky business there. We shall not get into that. But if you are one of them, or know anyone like that. We say: Go ahead and enjoy yourself, but please keep the noise down. We trying to sleep! 😉

Penang train to Kl

These signs should be up on the train

Trains from Kl depart from KL Sentral (Main station) You can purchase your train tickets here as well.

train from KL to butterworth

Crowd watching the game between the Malayan Tigers Football team play against Liverpool

As we bought tickets for the 11pm night train from KL to Penang, we didn’t want to stay around the silly KL Central waiting the whole day for the train. Because by 12pm, you would already have checked out from your hotel. Wandering around the city with your backpacks will tire you in no time. There are baggage storage services near the ticketing counters. Alternative, similar services are also found on the second floor. If you walk pass Mc Donald’s on your right, just go straight towards the toilets. The lockers are over there.

baggage storage at KL sentral

Baggage storage counter at KL Sentral

There is a common waiting area on the KFC level. But the seats are just average. You are not allowed to go down to the departure level until the train has arrived. Quite a bummer actually, so you need to roam around to find a nice comfortable seat to wait for the train.
** Take note that the train leaves pretty punctual. So please be on time.

 KL sentral train

Queing up for the train

train from kl to penang

train from KL to butterworth
Walking to the train to look for your proper seats or in this case beds.

train from KL to butterworth


Bunks will cost you around RM 38 for the top bunk and RM 48 for the bottom bunk.

inside the sleeping carriage

It can get pretty cold at night. You will be given a simple pillow and a thin piece of cloth that is supposed to be your blanket.

We suggest you bring along your warm clothing’s before you board. Just like our German friend commented “It’s colder than Winter in Munich”.

sleeper bunk

Beds are a bit too short for me (Im 6ft tall) So if you are as tall as me, you might need to sleep diagonally. When you buy your sleeper tickets. Please please, make sure you specify that you want bunks in the middle of the carriage. Most of the doors are already buggered. So you will get plenty of noise with people moving in and out and talking. Trust us, you wont be able to sleep well.

train from kl to penang

toilet sink

The toilets are an improvement since the last we used it. There is now a soap dispenser in it. But the size is still the same- cramped as hell.

train from kl to penang

toilet bowl

Most of the time, the trains are on time. There are occasional cases where during heavy rain or landslides that the train service gets interrupted.

All in all, the train experience was a good one. A sleeper is about RM 10 more than a bus ticket, and is about 5 hours slower than the bus. But we end up in Penang fully rested. But that’s just our two cents. We arrived at Penang around 6am. After that we had to take a ferry from Buterworth to Penang Island. Ferry fare was RM 1.20.

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Have a safe and fun holiday you all! 😀



Filed under backpacking, Backpacking Kuala Lumpur, Penang

10 responses to “Train from KL to Butterworth by backpackies

  1. Pingback: Penang Ferry across the Penang Chanel by backpackies | Backpacking – Who says, NO money cannot have fun?

  2. Konstantine Choo

    the fare difference between a bottom bunk and an upper bunk on KTM 2nd class air-conditioned sleeper cars is RM6.00. ie. RM39 for upper bunk; RM45 for lower bunk.

    • I think you got that right. Konstantine.
      Not much difference.
      But what ever you do. Please please get the bunk as far away from the door as possible. It is noisy as hell.
      Better the middle of the carriage! Have a safe trip!

  3. Nyain

    Thanks! this was useful 🙂 are there good beaches in penang or do i have to go all the way to langkawi for this?

    • Hi there Nyain.
      Well the good beaches are up at Batu Feringghi and along Teluk Bahang. Teluk Bahang is more secluded.
      You will need to hike there which takes about 1-2 hours in to Penang national park to reach beaches like Monkey Beach and Kerachut Beach.
      Its almost comparable to Langkawi. Although Langkawi might be more relaxed because you might be able to find your own secluded beach as Langkawi is made up of 99 islands.
      Join us on Facebook at backpackies! 😀

  4. Steve

    How much was the train roughly from kl to buterworth overnight will be travelling in December 2 x adults and three children and would you suggest we all have bunk ? cheers

    • Hi Steve the latest price we got was RM 45 for the bottom bunk and RM 42 for the top bunk. (Something like that) Because its hard to keep track as they do not have a reliable website. This price was taken a month ago.
      Depends on how old your children are Steve. If your kids are still small, maybe 1 of them can share the bunk with you. And another with your wife maybe?
      Or what you can try is, try to ask about the 1st class cabin. It will be more private that way and you can fit 5 of you there.
      It might be more expensive, like around RM 120. roughly.

  5. Sallam

    Is there 1st class in this train or modern train from kuala lumpur to Penang
    And if there is how does it cost?
    And is monkey park in Penang ?

  6. tanin indrajinda

    below is the answer i had asked the ktm call center:

    Sentral Kuala Lumpur – Butterworth

    SM22 Senandung Mutiara
    Departure 2300hrs – Arrival 0630hrs

    ADNFD – 1st class sleeper cabin deluxe coach
    double decker bed for 2 person
    television and shower room inclusive
    supper and breakfast provided
    MYR138.00-lower bed / MYR117.00-upper bed

    ADNS – 2nd class sleeper coach
    double decker bed for 40 people (domitry style)
    separate by curtains
    MYR46.00-lower bed / MYR40.00-upper bed

    AFC – 1st class seater / MYR67.00

    ASC – 2nd class seater / MYR34.00

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