Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok – By Train

For those who would like to travel by train from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, there is a  connection via Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTMB) and Bangkok Train. From Kuala Lumpur, you need to purchase ticket from KL Sentral to Butterworth. This train is operated by KTMB and the final destination is Butterworth where you need to disembark and wait for another train operated by Thailand train authority. You will depart from KL Sentral around 2300 hrs and will reach Butterworth around 0600 hrs the next day. However, the  train from Butterworth to Bangkok will only depart around 1420 hrs which means that waiting time will be around 8 hours. At the time of writing, Butterworth train station is undergoing renovation works (part of Malaysia double-track system) and there is nothing much you can do here unless you are okay with sleeping on bench or floor! Of course you can take a taxi from the station and go somewhere else (even Penang by ferry) just to kill the time.

The first time I took a train to Bangkok from Kuala Lumpur, I disembarked at Butterworth and I got bored of waiting and too tired to explore the town. The second time I traveled by train, I got ticket to Alor Setar (a city in Malaysian northern state of Kedah) via Senandung Langkawi. This train departs at 2120 hrs from KL Sentral and will reach Alor Setar approximately 0700 hrs the next morning. You can also go to Thailand via Senandung Langkawi but the final station is Hat Yai and you need to take another train to Bangkok. Train to Bangkok from Alor Setar (operated by Thailand authority) will depart from Alor Setar at approximately  1700 hrs. Therefore you have 10 hours waiting time. You can use this time to explore Alor Setar town which is a few minutes walk from the train station.

Traveling by train to Bangkok from Alor Setar takes approximately 18 hours. The immigration check point is in Padang Besar and here you will need to get your passport stamped before boarding the same train and continue the journey. This is the only stop where you will have time to buy food and drinks from the shops located on the second floor. You can also order your dinner from the train staffs and get them when the train reaches Hat Yai (a couple of hours from Padang Besar). It’s a long journey to Bangkok but if you have time and want to see the landscape, why not? The best experience for me was when I woke up at sun rise and enjoy the sea view (near Hua Hin). Hua Lamphong Train Station in Bangkok is the final stop where you can board another train to go to other part of Thailand.

Alor Setar Train Station

*for latest train schedule and ticket price, please check with relevant train operators.

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26 Responses to Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok – By Train

  1. t.on.air says:

    That sounds like a very interesting adventure. Thanks for sharing.

  2. John Gomez says:

    hi, will the train coming from Bangkok stop at Alor star and also ca we get off in Alor star even though we bought our tickets to Butterworth.

    • kopisechawan says:

      Hi John

      Thanks for commenting.

      Yes, the train coming from Bangkok will stop at Alor Setar if there are passengers disembarking or boarding on that station. But to be on the safe side, you need to inform the train attendant that you are disembarking at Alor Setar because you bought tickets to Butterworth and if there’s no one else is disembarking or boarding in Alor Setar (according to the record of the train operator), the train may not stop.

  3. Hakim Ishraf says:

    Do I have to buy the Butterworth-Bangkok ticket at Butterworth station or any KTMB counter (KL Sentral/JB Sentral) ? Thank you.

  4. Michele says:

    Hi, may I know how much for the train fees per way?

  5. moizimran says:

    i need to get help, as im planing to go to Bangkok in October and im a student here in Malaysia so can you help me about telling me how much is the fair of train from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, and as you mentioned two routes 1 alor start n other butter worth, so can you tell me which one is better and which should i take ?

    • kopisechawan says:

      Hello. Thanks for visiting my blog. One way fare from KL Sentral to Bangkok is approximately RM120, if they haven’t increased the price.

      I personally prefer Butterworth instead of Alor Setar because I can go to Penang by ferry while waiting for the train to Bangkok. The waiting time is around 8 hours and Penang is better tgan Alor Setar as there are more things to do there compared to Alor Setar.

  6. Bali Suut says:

    as a Malaysian do I need other documents other than my passport. I thought of going to Bangkok by train from kl sentral. right now is it safe?

    • kopisechawan says:

      Yes u just need your passport to cross border. The train is quite a safe mode of transportation. However, you can check with local authority to see if there’s any travel advice. Hope this helps. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  7. Bali Suut says:

    thanks to you I dared and challenged myself to go to Bangkok by train from Kuala Lumpur. I took the 9.30pm train from KL Sentral and arrived Butterworth at about 5.30am. The train to Bangkok departed at 2.30pm so I got 8 hours to explore Penang. The last time I visited Penang was sometimes in 1988. Nice place maybe I’ll visit there again and spend sometimes. I really enjoyed my train ride. Arrived Bangkok the next day at about 2.00pm. That’s the first time I visit Bangkok and it’s not going to be the only time. My only complaint is that not many people understand and speak English. I accidently discovered Sukhamvit no5 area which I would recommend for Muslims backpacker or those Muslims on the cheap (like myself) becasue there is a kind of Muslim quarters there a lot of Arabs, Pakistani restaurant and foodstall. I stayed at Schillers hotel for only Bhatt1,000. a night. Nice, clean and comfortable place. The train ticket from KL to Butterworth was RM34.00. Butterworth to Bangkok RM103.95. If not for my Bangkok-KL air-ticket I would’ve proceeded to Cambodia and Vietnam even. Thanks to you am able to break out of my comfort zone. By the way I am from Miri, Sarawak, West Borneo, Malaysia. If you should come this part of the world, give me a call and then we can have teh or kopi secawan.

    • kopisechawan says:

      Thanks for visiting my blog and for sharing your observation in BKK. Sounds like you had a great time there. Yes I will be visiting Kuching next month but it will be a really short trip so I guess we will have to find another time to meet. Thanks anyway for the thought…

  8. Teri says:

    This post is worth everyone’s attention. When can I find out more?

  9. Chelsea_21 says:

    Hello. I’m from Miri too. I would like to ask for your help. I’m wondering which train were you using?

  10. Aiman says:

    Hi I am just wondering can we purchase the ticket from Bangkok to Butterworth at Hua Lamphong? Because we havent decide the exact date to return. That why we didnt book online. I also was told that the ticket from Bangkok to Butterworth can only be purchased through online? Is it true? Thank you.

    • kopisechawan says:

      Hi Aiman thaanks for visiting my page. I once bought ticket to Butterworth from Hua Lomphong station counter. So yes you can but ticket there but I suggest you check with Bangkok Train Authority in case they have new directives on this.

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