How To Get To Cameron Highlands From Penang

Whether you’re looking for the best way to get from Penang to Cameron Highlands or Butterworth to Cameron Highlands:

There’re pros and cons to each mode of transport – bus, train, car or ferry. Or a combination!

So for your reference, we have listed these together with all the important logistic details. Including commonly asked questions about traveling to Cameron Highlands!

Table Of Contents:

  1. Penang To Cameron Highlands By Car
  2. Penang To Cameron Highlands By Bus
  3. Penang To Cameron Highlands By Train
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Penang To Cameron Highlands By Car

Although there are 2 roads to Cameron Highlands, it’s more worthwhile to take the newer route through Simpang Pulai if you’re starting from Penang.

The old road is known as the Tapah road and it has certainly seen better days.

1.1. Driving From George Town To Cameron Highlands

Driving time is close to 4 hours from Penang Island to Cameron Highlands. Many people will stop at Ipoh for lunch and a mid-way break point in the long drive.

Enroute to Ipoh
Enroute to Ipoh – photo credits to faez_guest (Instagram)

Distance: ~248km

Duration: ~3 Hours, 45 minutes

PLUS Toll Fee: RM18.6 + RM7 (Penang Bridge Toll) for Class 2 vehicles

1.2. Driving From Butterworth To Cameron Highlands

And of course, if you stay in the mainland, the driving time is slightly less since you won’t have to use the Penang Bridge.

Driving Up To Cameron Highlands
Driving Up To Cameron Highlands

Distance: ~240km

Duration: ~3 Hours, 35 minutes

Plus Toll Fee: RM18.6

2. Penang To Cameron Highlands Bus

Riding a bus from Penang to Cameron Highlands typically adds an extra 30 minutes to the journey. And you can’t stop wherever and whenever you want.

CS Travel Bus From Penang To Cameron Highlands
CS Travel Bus From Penang To Cameron Highlands

Buses do have a reputation for being risky during the rainy season which is usually towards the end of the year.

First Bus: 7:15am

Last Bus: 4pm

Distance: ~247km

Average Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Price Range: RM32 to RM48 per adult, RM26.25 per child (Only applicable for Perak Transit)

Unititi Express Bus From Penang To Cameron Highlands
Unititi Express Bus From Penang To Cameron Highlands

2.1. Penang To Cameron Highlands Bus Operators

There are several bus operators that run the route between Penang and Cameron Highlands.

Popular pick-up locations include Penang Komtar, George Town and Sungai Nibong. But all buses will terminate their journey at Tanah Rata Bus Terminal in Cameron Highlands.

OperatorPickupDropoffPrice
Billion Stars
  • Penang Komtar
  • George Town
  • Sungai Nibong
Tanah Rata Bus TerminalRM48
New Asian
  • Penang Komtar
  • George Town
  • Sungai Nibong
Tanah Rata Bus TerminalRM48
CS Travel
  • Sungai Nibong
Tanah Rata Bus TerminalRM32
Perak Transit
  • Sungai Nibong
  • Penang Sentral (Butterworth)
Tanah Rata Bus TerminalAdult: RM35
Child: RM26
Unititi Express
  • Penang Komtar
  • Sungai Nibong
  • Penang Sentral (Butterworth)
Tanah Rata Bus TerminalRM32

Note: Prices shown here are subject to change by the respective bus operators.

3. Penang To Cameron Highlands Train

Trains present another way to travel from Penang to Cameron Highlands. The train stops in Ipoh Railway Station. With a usual duration of 1 hour, 40 minutes up to 2 hours.

Ipoh Railway Station - taking the ETS
Ipoh Railway Station – taking the ETS – photo credits to eekhor (Instagram)

From Ipoh Railway Station, you’ll have to find another mode of transport to get up to Cameron Highlands. We’ll go by your available options further down this post!

Step 1: Get To Butterworth Train Station

To board the ETS train from Penang, you first have to get to KTM Butterworth Train Station.

Aside from taking the RapidPenang bus, a taxi or Grab:

You can hop on a ferry from Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal in George Town, Weld Quay (also known as Penang Jetty or Jeti Pulau Pinang) over to the mainland (Butterworth).

Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal (Butterworth)
Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal (Butterworth) – photo credits to arifuddinrahmad (Instagram)

It only costs less than RM3 two-way for the ferry per adult!

Ferry From Penang Island To Butterworth

First Departure: 5:20am

Last Departure: 12:40am

Intervals: 20-30 minutes and after 10pm

Ferry Crossing Duration: 15-20 minutes

See the latest RapidFerry schedule (and rates).

The Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal in Butterworth is conveniently just next to the train station, KTM Butterworth.

Step 2: Take Train (ETS) From Butterworth To Ipoh

Regular daily departures from Butterworth to Ipoh provide tourists who don’t want to take the bus or drive, another way of traveling from Penang to Ipoh.

KTM ETS To Ipoh

ETS Train From Butterworth To Ipoh

First Train: 5:15am
Last Train: 6:33pm

Check latest ETS timetable

Step 3: Ipoh To Cameron Highlands

Once you’ve made it to Ipoh, you can try some Ipoh food before the last leg of your journey – Ipoh to Cameron Highlands!

Option 1: Take Bus From Ipoh To Cameron Highlands

It is troublesome to take the bus from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands. Because the main bus station (Terminal Amanjaya) is not walking distance from Ipoh Old Town or Ipoh Railway Station.

AmanJaya Bus Terminal
AmanJaya Bus Terminal at Ipoh – photo credits to thestar.com.my

You can take a shuttle bus to Terminal Amanjaya from a smaller bus station (Sri Maju Bus Station) that is 22 minutes’ walk or 6 minutes’ drive from Ipoh Railway Station.

Ipoh Railway Station
Ipoh Railway Station – photo credits to reikotherainbowgirl (Instagram)

Not the most convenient, but the rates are cheap at ~RM20 per adult!

Option 2: Take Grab From Ipoh To Cameron Highlands

This used to be the best way for couples or solo travelers to get up to Cameron Highlands from Ipoh, aside from taking the bus.

But now, rates for Grab are higher at ~RM250 per car for a one-way journey!

Option 3: Take A Private Car/ Tour From Ipoh To Cameron Highlands

Want to save the hassle of booking different modes of transportation just to get from Penang to Cameron Highlands?

Our private tour service (RayTheTour) offers the following services:

  • Comfortable transport from Penang to Ipoh and Cameron Highlands, including pick-up from your hotel in Penang (or Ipoh)!
  • A flexible itinerary from morning to evening – stop at Taiping or Kuala Kangsar if you want!
  • Valuable local insight from our experienced guides

Got a question for us? Find us on WhatsApp or Facebook!

Read more: 4 Best Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation

4. Frequently Asked Questions About Getting To Cameron Highlands From Penang

Q1. How far is Penang from Cameron Highlands?

A1. ~256km from George Town and 240km from Butterworth, Penang.

Q2. What is the average travel time from Penang to Cameron Highlands?

A2. ~4.5 hours (bus/coach/train) or ~3-4 hours by car.

Q3. What is the best time to visit Cameron Highlands?

A3. Avoid going to Cameron Highlands on weekends, the eve of or on public holidays and schooldays.

Q4. Where is the nearest city to Cameron Highlands?

A4. Ipoh is about ~86km from Cameron Highlands. This underrated historical city is famous for food, Concubine Lane, limestone cave temples and Lost World of Tambun.

Q5. What transport is available at Cameron Highlands?

A5. The public bus and taxis are available from Tanah Rata. Hotels may have their own shuttles. Or you may be able to rent scooters from some hostels. A private tour service is another option.

Q6. How safe is Cameron Highlands?

A6. Do not go jungle-trekking alone in case you get robbed or lost. Do not drive or take transport to or from Cameron Highlands after sunset or storm.

Read more: Cameron Highlands Itinerary: Cameron One Day Trip, 2D1N & 3D2N

Conclusion

It’s natural for first-timer visitors to leave Penang to Cameron Highlands, passing through Ipoh. Especially with readily available public or private transport!

Your choice of transport will depend on the time you have, budget and what you want to see on the way to Cameron Highlands from Penang!

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