I have an extra 4 days & so I am doing a spur of the moment trip to penang from KL. wondering how long it takes to get there. train vs bus? seems like it would be rather easy to arrange something from a guesthouse? I don't have a malaysia guidebook, so am trying to wing it. any logistical help would be appreciated.
I never have a guidebook with me either so I don't know if this the "best" way but I just went to Puduraya bus station and got on a bus. (Seems Puduraya has just reopened after lengthy renovations).
It took about 5 hours to get to Penang and the buses were extremely comfortable, heaps of leg room, but they usually stop at Sungai Nibong bus terminal, 20 minutes out of Georgetown and you then have to get a taxi or a bus into town.
I did once get a bus FROM Penang to KL that left from near Komtar (central Georgetown). It was a private bus company and I can't remember the name now but it might be worth asking to see if you can't find a bus company that takes you all the way to Georgetown.
Bus would be a better than train, since the train is slower. 5 hours is about right from KL to Penang via bus. However sometimes you can catch pretty cheap air tickets from KL to Penang. By air, its less than an hour flight. You can check out if there are any promotions at the air asia website:
#4 Alec has been a member since 2/6/2011. Posts: 21
I'm not sure any buses are allowed into Georgetown any more; they all stop at the bus terminal 20 minutes outside of Georgetown. But you do not need to get a taxi. The new 'Rapid Penang ' buses will take you to Komtar Center, Liba Cuila, or the Jetty for 2 RM.
In fact, you can a bus to Butterworth & take the ferry to Penang (1,20 RM) and the Rapid Penang buses wait at the ferry exit.
I'd say it would be 5 hours by bus. A few weeks ago I drove from KL to Penang took 4 hours including some cheeky speeding over the 110 limit. I've also done the plane journey between the two places which is also very painless, the flights under 1 hour.
There's no train from Penang island, so you'll need to go to Butterworth to grap the train to KL. One more option, you can give a try is via flight. Frankly the flight fare is getting more competitive esp the low cost carrier. It's really worth investing a bit more & you'll safe lots of time plus the comfort.