Days 2-4 of our 13 day, 1233 mile Bangkok to Singapore by Train trip starting in Bangkok, Thailand and going all the way to Singapore.
Regarded as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang has a rich multicultural history dating back to the beginnings of British colonization in the 18th century.
In the morning, the beds were converted back into seats as we continued on toward Butterworth. At Padang Besar, we exited the train with all of our luggage and went through Malaysian passport control and immigration after which we re-boarded and the trip resumed.
Our train arrived in Butterworth around 1:30 PM. We exited Butterworth Railway Station and, following the signs, walked directly to the ferry that goes to Georgetown on Penang Island.
Ferry to Georgetown – The ferry terminal is located just outside the train station and leaves every 15 minutes. It takes 15 minutes to reach Georgetown, which you can see directly across from the ferry terminal.
From the Penang Ferry Terminal, Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda, we took the CAT Free Shuttle Bus to the KOMTAR Bus Interchange. KOMTAR, the main hub for buses in Georgetown, is a good location to stay near to explore the island.
For getting around the island, the local bus service, Rapid Penang, is efficient and economical. They do not give change, so carry exact bus fare.
Checked into Heliconia Hotel (140 MYR / 42 USD per night) – This hotel is a short walk from KOMTAR. It is located on a quiet street and has great meal options nearby.
After settling into our hotel, we explored the area around our hotel by foot. We had a delicious dinner at DeHappy Seafood Restaurant.
Hike at Penang National Park (free) – The entrance to the park is located at the fishing village of Teluk Bahang. Take bus 101 and exit at the Teluk Bahang roundabout. Register before you start your hike at the park entrance.
We hiked to Monkey Beach (Teluk Duyung) and Muka Head Lighthouse. The hike is straight-forward and easy to follow, but you must ford through a small stream during the rainy season at Monkey Beach to continue to the lighthouse. The final hike up to the lighthouse is steep, but the lighthouse at the top makes it worthwhile.
The lighthouse is amazing! You are able to enter and climb the stairs to the top. We were the only ones there and it was very peaceful with spectacular views.
After our hike we caught bus 101 and headed back to Penang to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring more of the area around our hotel.
In the evening we took bus 103 to Gurney Drive to walk along the waterfront and have dinner. We found that there were very few restaurants that interested us and, after a relaxing stroll exploring the area, opted to return to DeHappy Seafood Restaurant!
Fort Cornwallis (3 MYR / 1 USD each) – We walked from our hotel to Fort Cornwallis. The walk is pleasant with many historical buildings to explore along the way.
Fort Cornwallis, built by the British East India Company in the late 1700’s, is one of the most interesting historical landmarks in Georgetown.
After touring Fort Cornwallis, we continued our Georgetown walk by exploring Little India and the various Chinatown areas.
We really enjoyed visiting the Sun Yat Sen Museum (5 MYR / 1.5 USD each) on Armenian Street. Sun Yat Sen, the first president of the Republic of China, is referred to as the founding father of modern China. The museum is located in the house where, in 1910, Sun Yat-sen devised many of his plans to overthrow the Qing Dynasty.
Up Next: Read about Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Time of Year: December 2014
- Length of Stay: 4 Days, 3 Nights
- Malaysia Visa Information: Immigration Department of Malaysia, U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter for stays of 90 days or less. The passport must have at least six months validity remaining to be allowed entry.
GPS Coordinates: Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
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Butterworth Train Station @ 5.393728,100.366533
Butterworth Ferry Terminal @ 5.394530,100.364022
Penang Ferry Terminal @ 5.413635,100.343373
Penang Ferry Bus Station @ 5.414153,100.342119
Komtar Bus Station @ 5.414240,100.330406
Heliconia Hotel @ 5.416286,100.32743
Gurney Drive @ 5.434844,100.314577
Penang National Park – Hike to Monkey Beach/Lighthouse @ 5.46007,100.206177
Penang National Forest Light House @ 5.472609,100.180831
Fort Cornwallis @ 5.420494,100.343875
Sun Yat Sen Museum @5.415787,100.336225
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You can copy and paste the latitude and longitude into Google Earth, your browser, or into your GPS.
*Disclaimer- ALWAYS verify locations, transportation routes, GPS coordinates, etc. Errors are made, routes changed, sometimes we are just plain wrong. No one knows what you like more than you. If the trip is worth doing, it is worth doing right! Do your homework.