Sungai Petani

Sungai Petani

As low key as it gets

The tiny town of Sungai Petani stretches along the railway tracks coming up from Butterworth and heading to Thailand. Save one attraction this is a town that features very rarely on a traveller’s itinerary.

More on Sungai Petani

Browse hotels in Sungai Petani on Agoda

Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.

In the colonial days the town was mainly a centre for rice cultivation and rubber production. Not many buildings remain from those days but on Jalan Bank where the old bank building still stands, you can get a sense of how life might have been back then, when rich plantation owners made their weekly deposits here as street vendors, cobblers and merchants advertised their wares in the streets surrounding the clock tower.

Things to do in Sungai Petani are about as low key as it gets: visit the sleepy and worn railway station and spot the town’s clock tower -- a testimony to a time when not everybody had a wrist watch (or mobile phone) -- browse the morning market on Jalan Besar and have a cup of tea in a wild west-looking Chinese area around Jalan Pengalan.

Some travellers do actually come here for a reason -- to make a trip to the fascinating Lembah Bujang Archaeology Museum set on the jungle-clad slopes of Gunung Jerai, where the site of an ancient Hindu civilisation has been unearthed.

The easiest way to get your bearings in Sungai Petani is to look out for the clock tower that stands right in the centre on Jalan Ibrahim, the main road, opposite HSBC Bank.

If you are taking a right from here you’ll pass by Jalan Petri a couple of streets down, where the local bus station is, and another 300 metres down the main road will bring you to Centre Point shopping mall. Heading left instead ends out at an intersection next to a Malay shopping complex where there’s not much to buy other than food and cheap knick-knacks.

Sungai Petani’s train station is right in front of the clock tower, 50 metres in from the main road. Its ticket office is open daily, 11:00-16:00 and 18:00-19:00.

Backing up on Jalan Bank is HSBC Bank, where there’s an ATM and the bank is open weekdays, 09:15-16:30. A small clinic and pharmacy is also located down the road along with local shops to snoop around in. If you could call an area here Chinatown, this would be it.

The town’s second bus station lies on Jalan Basar, which runs parallel to the railway tracks. A morning wet market operates on this street, hence the name basar, meaning market. A couple of shophouses up from the market is Hotel Seri Malaysia, the only hotel within a kilometre of the town centre.

16 other destinations in Peninsular Malaysia

Learn more about Penang

A favourite

Learn more about Taman Negara
Taman Negara

An enormous park

Learn more about Melaka

Cultural tourism

Learn more about Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur

Sprawling metropolis

Learn more about Endau Rompin National Park
Endau Rompin National Park

Escape the cities

Learn more about Kuala Terengganu
Kuala Terengganu

Great seafood, sleepy city

Learn more about Langkawi

Great for families

Learn more about Ipoh

Tin mining boom town

Learn more about Kota Bharu
Kota Bharu

Terrific food

Learn more about Perhentian Islands
Perhentian Islands

Two great island escapes

Learn more about Pangkor Island
Pangkor Island

Popular with Malaysians

Learn more about Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru

Rich history, delicious food

Learn more about Kuantan

A sleepy capital

Learn more about Kangar

The capital of Perlis

Learn more about Kuala Perlis
Kuala Perlis

A small fishing and port town

Learn more about Cherating

Time for a surf?