Penang To Ipoh

Thinking about making a trip from Penang to Ipoh? Ipoh like Penang, is famous for food and British colonial architecture. But that’s where the similarities end!

Ipoh’s gorgeous limestone hills set it apart in this side of Malaysia. You can see them as you approach Ipoh via the North-South Highway from Penang!

Depending on where you start from in Penang, there are several options when it comes to taking public transport. And that’s what this post will be about!

Table of contents:

Penang To Ipoh By Train

Travelling from Penang to Ipoh by train can be faster than driving to Ipoh! Especially on those busy public holidays!

The trains typically take ~1 hour, 40 minutes and up to 2 hours.

And you will end up right in Ipoh Old Town as the Electric Train Service (ETS) stops at Ipoh Railway Station!

Ipoh Railway Station
Ipoh Railway Station – photo credits to olla.aizu (Instagram)

Type of Tickets, Duration & Price:

Prices for the KTM from Penang to Ipoh may vary according to the train category.

Train CategoryDurationPrice Per AdultPrice Per Child
ETS Platinum (EP)1 hour 40 minutesRM42RM25
ETS Gold (EG)1 hour 40 minutesRM33RM21
ETS Silver (ES)n/an/an/a
Refer to the KTMB website for updated prices!
Note: Prices shown here are subject to changes by the respective train operator

Where To Buy Train Tickets To Ipoh:

Go online to buy tickets. Or head to their physical counter (KTM Office) at the Penang jetty. Which Penang locals often prefer (for convenience) over the KTM counter in the mainland at Butterworth.

KTM Office

Location: 30, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Contact: +604-261 0290

Opening Hours: ~9am to 11am, and again from 12pm to 4pm (On Fridays, the lunch break extends to 2:30pm)

Closed On: Sundays

Note: Try to avoid going to the KTM Office during lunch hours (12pm – 2pm) as their lunch breaks are notoriously irregular.

Butterworth To Ipoh By Train

Because the train is not connected to the island:

The closest station to Penang Island is the Butterworth Railway Station. Which is on the mainland, and not on Penang Island!

So you’ll need to arrange another mode of transport for that! More details further down!

Note: There is a station at Bukit Mertajam (mainland) too

Penang To Ipoh Train Time

The following schedule is applicable starting from 1 Dec, 2019:

Butterworth Bukit Mertajam Nibong Tebal Parit Buntar Taiping Kuala Kangsar Sungai Siput Ipoh
5:15 am 5:26 am n/a 5:43 am 6:12 am 6:28 am n/a 6:57 am
6:05 am 6:16 am n/a 6:33 am 7:02 am 7:18 am n/a 7:47 am
7:30 am 7:41 am 7:53 am 7:57 am 8:26 am 8:42 am 8:54 am 9:12 am
1:10 pm 1:21 pm n/a 1:38 pm 2:07 pm 2:23 pm n/a 2:52 pm
4:00 pm 4:11 pm n/a 4:28 pm 4:57 pm 5:13 pm n/a 5:42 pm
6:33 pm 6:44 pm n/a 7:01 pm 7:30 pm 7:46 pm n/a 8:15 pm

For the latest schedule, head to the main website.

How To Go To Ipoh From Penang Island By Train

As you can see from the schedule, there are less than 10 departures a day from Butterworth Railway Station.

Half of which are in the early morning.

Which leaves you with few after-lunch options unless you don’t mind starting your journey in the early hours of the morning!

KTM ETS To Ipoh

Just remember that you still have to get to Butterworth Train Station from Penang Island!

Consider doing so a day ahead to cut out stress during your trip!

So how do you go about this first leg of the journey (Penang Island to Butterworth)?

Step 1: Take A Taxi Or Ferry From Penang Island To Butterworth Train Station

There are 2 different ways:

  • Taxi – Right from your hotel; costs ~RM30-40 from George Town to Butterworth, 30-40 minutes
  • Penang Fast Ferry20 minutes’ ferry ride for ~RM1 from Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal (10-20 minutes’ walk from George Town) to Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal in Butterworth
Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal (Butterworth)
Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal (Butterworth) – photo credits to arifuddinrahmad (Instagram)

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

Butterworth Railway Station is next to the port for the car ferry. A 10 minutes’ walk actually.

There is an air-conditioned waiting room that you can use while you wait for your train.

Note: It’s not easy to find a place to park your car here!

Maybe you’re thinking that taking the train is too much hassle:

Penang To Ipoh By Bus

Of course, there’s always the option of taking a bus!

There are regular bus services from both Penang Island and Butterworth.

But the buses will drop passengers off at Ipoh AmanJaya Bus Terminal. And not in Ipoh Old Town, where all first-comers should be!

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

Getting to Ipoh Old Town will then require either a 20-minute taxi ride. Or a ride on the local bus from Ipoh AmanJaya Bus Terminal to town.

Price range: ~RM15-30 per person

Book bus tickets on:

  1. easybook.com
  2. busonlineticket.com

Penang Island To Ipoh By Bus

No need to worry about not finding a suitable time to leave. There are plenty of Pick Up Points for direct bus routes from Penang Island to Ipoh!

Departure PointIsland/MainlandFrequency
George TownIsland~10 times/day
KOMTARIsland~20 times/day
Sungai NibongIsland~20 times/day

Different bus operators have different pick up points on Penang Island.

Note: Only Sri Maju Group drops passengers off close to Ipoh Old Town (Drop off point: Jalan Bendahara)
Bus Operators Pick Up Point Drop Off Point
Sri Maju Group Sungai Nibong Ipoh AmanJaya
Ipoh – Jalan Bendahara
Billion Stars Penang Komtar Ipoh AmanJaya
George Town
Sungai Nibong
NEW ASIAN Penang Komtar Ipoh AmanJaya
George Town
Sungai Nibong
Unititi Express Penang Komtar Ipoh AmanJaya
Sungai Nibong
CS Travel Sungai Nibong Ipoh AmanJaya
Perak Transit Sungai Nibong Ipoh AmanJaya

Butterworth To Ipoh By Bus

If you don’t mind hopping on a ferry from George Town to Butterworth:

You can take a shorter bus ride from Butterworth to Ipoh! Buses are more frequent here too.

Departure PointIsland/MainlandFrequency
Chai Leng Park – CaltexMainland<2 times/day
Penang Sentral (Butterworth)Mainland>20 times/day

If you refer to the table below, there is just 1 bus operator (NEW ASIAN) that picks up passengers from Chai Leng Park (Caltex).

Note: Sri Maju Group has an additional drop off point in their route – Jalan Bendahara which is closer to Ipoh Old Town than Ipoh AmanJaya!
Bus Operators Pick Up Point Drop Off Point
Sri Maju Group Penang Sentral Ipoh AmanJaya
Ipoh – Jalan Bendahara
Konsortium Bas Ekspres Penang Sentral Ipoh AmanJaya
NEW ASIAN Chai Leng Park – Caltex Ipoh AmanJaya
Unititi Express Penang Sentral Ipoh AmanJaya
KPB Ekspress Penang Sentral Ipoh AmanJaya
CS Travel Penang Sentral Ipoh AmanJaya
Perak Transit Penang Sentral Ipoh AmanJaya
Express Kesatuan Penang Sentral Ipoh AmanJaya
Transnasional Penang Sentral Ipoh AmanJaya
Cepat & Cekap Express Penang Sentral Ipoh AmanJaya
Jengka Liner Penang Sentral Ipoh AmanJaya

Self-Drive From Penang To Ipoh

If you choose to drive all the way, you’ll have to cross one of the two bridges that connect Penang Island to the mainland.

Regardless which bridge you choose, you will continue the drive via the North-South Highway (E1). Where you can expect 2 to 2.5 hours on the road.

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

Route 1: Old bridge

  • From an industrial site with many factories and workers
  • Avoid during lunch hours and rush hour
  • Shorter bridge crossing
  • More time on the North-South Highway

Route 2: New bridge

  • Longer bridge crossing
  • Bridge toll fee is higher
  • Usually less traffic on this bridge
  • Less time on the North-South Highway
Note: If cost is a concern, either route will have a similar total once you tally up the fuel, highway toll and respective bridge toll fees.

Private Tour From Penang To Ipoh

Want a local’s point of view while you visit Ipoh?

Take a private tour in Ipoh with Travelswithsun/RayTheTour to see:

Ipoh And Cameron Highlands Tour - Raythetour & Travelswithsun

For 4pax to 5pax, we offer the following package:

Day 1: Penang to Ipoh – stop by Taiping Lake Gardens and an orangutan sanctuary

Day 2: Ipoh day tour

Day 3: Cameron Highlands day tour (plus transport from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands)

Day 4: Cameron Highlands to Kuala Lumpur transfer with some sightseeing along the way

Price range:  ~RM2800 (RM180/person/day for 4 pax group) total for transport and sightseeing every day with a private guide!

Note:

  • Our flexible itineraries mean that you can choose where you want to go or just relax and let our experienced local guides show you around their hometown!
  • Prices do not include your meal costs, accommodation costs or any applicable entrance fees and personal expenses

To book, message us on WhatsApp or Facebook!

Penang To Ipoh By Flight

There are currently no flights between Ipoh and Penang. The distance is just not economical for a commercial flight!

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting To Ipoh From Penang

Q1: What is the driving distance from Penang to Ipoh?

A1:  ~124 kilometers.

Q2: Is Ipoh worth visiting?

A2: Yes, Ipoh offers a different scene from Penang. Tin mining history, abundant cave temples among the limestone hills to explore, Kellie’s Castle and, it is the birthplace of Ipoh white coffee!

Q3: What can I buy in Ipoh?

A3: Get Ipoh pastries and white coffee powder fresh while you’re in Ipoh! These make welcome Ipoh souvenirs to bring home!

Q4: What is Ipoh known for?

A4: Ipoh is most famous for Ipoh food. An endless list of commendable hawker centers and kopitiams make it hard to decide which to try first!

Q5: What is there to do in Ipoh at night?

A5: Ipoh nightlife leans towards a slower pace. Have delightful snow beer or a cocktail at one of the new hidden bars around Ipoh Old Town! There are a couple of night clubs too if you really want to dance!


Read more:


Conclusion

Penang is an island and with that in mind, it takes a little more effort to get from Penang to Ipoh via public transport.

Driving is a preferable option as you won’t have to make any unnecessary transits or stops!

Or you can take a tour package that includes the transfer from Penang to Ipoh! Stopping along the way to see an orangutan sanctuary!

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