Day two in Malaysia we made the journey from Kuala Lumpur to the Northern Island of Penang. You can take a bus or a train to make this journey, we opted for the train. We purchased our tickets for the train before we left Canada using the website 12goasia.com , which we used before to purchase our train tickets from Laos to Thailand (https://bumblingtourist.com/2017/02/01/laos-to-thailand-by-train/)
The tickets cost us roughly $20 Canadian each for the one way ticket (or 61 Malaysian ringgit). When you purchase the tickets online, you get an email right away confirming your tickets. You need to print this off and use it as your train ticket for boarding. The train trip took about 4 hours in total.
The ride was pretty comfortable, and they even provided snacks and water in a little lunchbox. Our seats were facing backwards, which was a bit difficult for me, because I got pretty motion sick. When we booked the tickets, there was a space for special requests. If you get motion sick, you could try requesting forward facing seats, but no guarantees this would work. (Our return trip to Kuala Lumpur, we also had backwards facing seats!!)
Once we arrived in Butterworth station (this is where you want to book your train tickets too), we took a shuttle bus to the ferry terminal. There was construction going on and we were unable to walk to the ferry terminal like you usually are able to. Be aware that there were quite a few people with cabs trying to convince us that we needed a cab ride to the ferry port, the bus shuttle is a free service.
The ferry service to Penang island cost us 1.2 ringgit or approx $0.39 cad. The return ferry from Penang to Butterworth is free. The ferries leave approximately every 30 minutes.
From the ferry arrival terminal, it is a very short walk to get to the centre of the old town on Georgetown. The walk to our hostel was a bit longer, and incredibly hot in the humid 40 degree sun! We dropped our bags off at our hotel (which was a story in itself…but I will detail that in the next blog post) and set off in search of a beer to cool down with!!