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Asia > Southeast Asia > Malaysia > West Coast (Malaysia) > Penang > Butterworth
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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.

  • To/from Kuala Lumpur - from Kuala Lumpur the Senandung Langkawi arrives at Butterworth at 05:40 and then departs for Hat Yai. In the other direction, the train from Hat Yai arrives at Butterworth at 22:30 and departs for Kuala Lumpur. The Ekspres Sinaran runs on Sundays between Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth. It departs Kuala Lumpur at 08:10 and arrives at Butterworth at 15:50. From Butterworth, trains leave at 08:00 and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 16:05.
  • From Bangkok - an overnight train departs Bangkok daily at 14:45 (Thai time). It is scheduled to arrive at Butterworth at 12:55 (Malaysian time) but normally gets there late, usually around 14:00-14:30. Fares vary depending on the type of berth and carriage; an air-con upper berth costs THB1,120 (as at April 2007). The surcharge for a bicycle is THB104 to the border; a further small freight charge may be made by KTMB for the border-Butterworth leg.

By bus

  • To/from Kuala Lumpur - almost hourly, journey takes 5 hours and costs around 25 ringgit. The bus station is just a few metres from the train station, located under the highway overpass. Any train station representative can point you in the direction of the bus stop.
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.
  • Most regional cities can be reached by bus. Frequencies vary widely, though. Kuala Perlis (50 ringgit), for example, is connected three times per day.
  • Rapid Penang - bus services cover entire Penang state.

By road

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.

Get around


Temple of the Ninth Emperor God
  • Bird Park, Jl Todak, Seberang Jaya, Perai, +60 4 399-1899, fax: +60 4 399-1899, . Daily 09:00-19:00. Twice bird shows daily (11:30 and 15:30). This is the first and the largest bird park of its kind in Malaysia, houses more than 300 species of birds from throughout the world, of which about half are of Malaysian species. Experience hand-feeding birds in the geodesic domes and two giant-sized walk-in-aviaries, or take a bus either from KOMTAR or Butterworth Ferry Terminal. RM29 for adult and RM15 for children below 12 year-old.
  • Temple of the Ninth Emperor God, Jl Raja Uda, Butterworth, +60 4 331-8717. This temple will be decorated for the annual Nine Emperor Gods (Kew Ong Yeah) festival on every 9th month of Chinese Lunar Calendar. This is a very beautiful temple. The building architecture is impressive. The sculptures and carvings are very neat and nice! The temple was constructed in 2000 by about 50 craftsmen from China. It has three grand prayer halls, replacing an older temple that was built next to it in 1971.


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.


  • Various cafes in Bandar Sunway. Old Town Kopitiam, Swenz, Sri Wan, etc are just the few. A very popular hangout for the locals

Many Chinese restaurants are available along the road to the sea

  • Pantai Bersih Seafood Restaurants. Once a nice stretch of beach for locals to relax. Since the emergence of the stupid BORR highway, only a patch of the beach survives. Currently there are several very good and cheap seafood restaurants there..
  • Jalan Raja Uda. Used to be the longest road in Malaysia. Along this road there are various hawker centers and most of the Penang food can be found here. There are at least two main morning markets along this road as well, one is off to Jalan Ong Yi How and another one is further up north and more popularly known as 'Apollo'. New development along the south of Raja Uda is known as 'Wooly Avenue' and this houses new shoplots and restaurants.
  • Bukit Tambun (Seberang Perai Selatan). 6PM-? daily. Famous for its relatively low-price fresh seafood.
  • Prawn Village.
  • Times Moving Cafe, Jalan Ong Yi How (Chung Ling High School). M-Sa 11AM-7PM. Famous for its relatively low-price fresh wafer and French Fried. You can try the nice taste wafer with many difference flavour and special French Fried with cheese, BBQ and chocolate at there. It is easily found by its sharp pink coloured van.
  • Sweet Paradise Dim Sum. Very popular dim sum restaurant. Serving probably the best and largest variety of dim sum in the region.
  • 'Heap Hoe Hin {協和興}, 6743, Jl Raja Uda, Butterworth. ☎ +60 4 3239812. The shop sells more than 450 kinds of biscuits. Open since 1949.



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

  • Butterworth Travel Lodge, 1, Lrg Bagan Luar 1, Bagan Luar, +60 4 333-3399. From Penang Bridge, it takes about 15 to 30 min for you to get to these hotels, depends on the traffic conditions.
  • De' Garden Hotel, Lorong Cempa (Off Jl Telaga Air), +60 4 332-2000. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12noon. 10-15 min driving distance from Butterworth Ferry & Bus Terminal. 5 min driving distance from Raja Uda Food enclave. 123 Units of well furnished rooms and complete amenities. A/C, cableTV, coffee/tea maker, internet, and a mini-bar. Business centre, laundry service, and safe deposit boxes. RM138.00 Nett.
  • Ecotel Hotel, 1, Lorong Jermal Indah, Taman Jermal Indah, +60 4 324-8899. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Affordable hotel with quality services and facilities.
  • Hotel Palm Inn, 4802, Jl Bagan Luar, Bagan Luar, +60 4 331-7532, +60 4 332-7532. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms, hot water, televisions, private bathrooms - yet no toilet paper, at least not in twin rooms. RM105 for a twin share room.
  • Sunway Hotel, 11, Lebuh Tenggiri Dua, Seberang Jaya. George Town

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
BangkokPadang Besar  N SRT Southern Line.png S  END
Alor Setar  N Mes-e1.png S  Taiping

This city travel guide to Butterworth is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.