Butterworth To Bangkok Overnight Train – New Friends To Be Made!

Our second overnight train journey of this trip was from Butterworth, Penang to Bangkok.  Unlike the first journey, where we encountered a grizzly bear, on this journey me made FRIENDS!!

When you travel Butterworth to Bangkok you need to get to the ferry station and THEN get the train.

First we got a taxi (because we are big babies who didn’t feel like carrying our bags) to the ferry station.  The taxi driver was awesome and filled us in on a few fun things to do in Bangkok.  It was so nice to get tips first hand!

Then we spent the last of our Malaysian cash at the ferry station buying a few little nibblies for the train and some snacks to eat straight away.  We did well.  We left Malaysia with just 35 Sen (about 10 cents Australian!)

On the ferry we plonked down next to a lovely English couple who were returning to Singapore on the train.  We all got to chatting and we gave them our website details!  They’ve invited us for a cup of tea when we finally get to England and visit Stonehenge!!  People you meet while travelling are just so NICE!!

The train was about an hour late leaving the station (completely normal we are told) but finally we were on our way!!  I have to say my bag felt a bit lighter while my day pack felt heavier – wierd because I was carrying the exact same stuff I arrived with!!  Here’s a picture of me looking like a real backpacker!!

Scary huh?

The first part of the train journey to the Thai border allows any random to purchase an unreserved ticket.  This means you can’t get cosy in your seat just yet as you’ll end up sharing it with someone else.  I knew this but may have forgotten to pass it on to the kids and they were less than impressed with the outcome!!

In order for us to fit in all our backpacks had to go on one seat for now!!

This Norwegian gentleman sat across from us.  He told us there were smugglers on the train!!  But that was after he polished off a 6 pack of beer so we took it with a grain of salt!!  He was nice enough and even gave Jono a can of diet coke!  Then we discovered that he and Gert could understand each other and we left them to it!!

But as well as the annoying passengers, there was a great guy that sat next to Gert and started to explain what some of the things we were seeing out the window were!  It made the journey to the border go so much quicker and we were able to learn something too!  His name was Saw Shen Yee (first name Shen for us westerners!) and he is now our facebook friend!  We’ve invited him to stay if he ever comes to Australia!!  And here he is in all his glory….

When we reached the border we had to all tumble off the train and go through immigration.  It was pretty amusing – out of Malaysia – through no man’s land – and into Thailand – then back on the train.

Everyone else seemed to get back on the train with goodies from the shop – we were jealous that we missed that opportunity as there wasn’t much to be had on the train – water or coke to be precise!!  But we had ordered dinner and breakfast and it would turn out to be served on a little temporary table right in our seats/bed!!

When it was time for bed, an attendant set everything up for us.  Here’s some pics of our beds….

And our brekky – 6 bucks each!!

After all that we safely arrived in Bangkok, had the obligatory domestic about which direction to head and then set off to get our immunisations.

Wait until you see the pictures from that outing!!


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Butterworth To Bangkok Overnight Train – New Friends To Be Made! — 7 Comments

  1. I’m currently in Penang and will be getting on the afternoon train to Bangkok. Thanks for prepping me for the journey 🙂 Btw I think you meant to say you were left with 10 AUD before leaving Butter worth right ? 😉

    • Oohh. Glad you’re now prepared!! You’re right – we actually left with 35 Sen, so still 10 cents Australian!!

  2. hi there! i stumbled upon your blog because apparently i’m searching how to travel by train from butterworth to bangkok. may i ask from someone who had been through that experience, the duration of the train ride from butterworth all the way to bkk? how much did it cost you?

    your response will be so appreciated.
    and btw, you can visit my site too. thanks! 🙂
    docgelo recently posted..DEVOURING PENANG ASSAM LAKSA!My Profile

    • Hi There – thanks for stopping by. Our train left around 2.30pm in the afternoon and got into bangkok around 10am. From memory it was around $35 each for a 2nd class sleeper. We bought our tickets at the ferry terminal a couple of days before leaving. They have child prices but they are determined by height! Over 100cm will be adult fare!! If you get 2nd class sleepers, the top sleepers have less room so put kids on top and adults on the bottom if you want a good sleep. There is an amazing train resource for you to use – The man in seat 61’s website. Any train journey for the world is covered here! I’ve included the link for you here with the page that has Butterworth to Bangkok on it. http://seat61.com/Thailand.htm#Singapore It’s a little hard to navigate at first but read it carefully and you will have everything you need! We use this for every single train query we have! Great photos on your website – reminded me of all the places we had visited!

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