There is just one train that travels all the way between Surat Thani in Thailand and Butterworth in Penang Malaysia. The International Express Train (Ekspres Antarabangsa) numbers 35 and 36 make the daily trip and stop in Surat Thani on their way to and from Bangkok.
From Surat Thani railway station you can connect by bus to the the ferry ports, for boats to the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
Malaysian Time (one hour ahead of Time in Thailand)
****Please Note : This service now terminates at the Thai / Malaysia border station of Padang Besar.
The train is scheduled to arrive at the border at 07.55 (Thai time) 08.55 (Malaysian time).
From Padang Besar you will now have to take one of the new KTM Komuter (commuter) Trains to Butterworth.
These services stop at all stations to Butterworth and are actually quicker than the old Thai diesel train.
If you are heading over to George Town on Penang island, the ferry terminal is just a couple of minutes walk away from Butterworth Station.
Boats leave every 15 minutes or so at this time of the day and the trip over to the island takes just 15 minutes.
If you want to continue your journey by bus, the Butterworth bus station is also just a couple of minutes walk away. From here you can get a bus to just about anywhere in Peninsular Malaysia.
****Please Note : This service now originates at the border station of Padang Besar, departing at 17.40 (18.40 Malaysian Time). To get to the border you can take one of the regular KTM Komuter Trains (cheap) or an ETS Train.
Arriving at the train station at Surat Thani you have to connect by bus to the ferry port for boats out to the islands.
There are plenty of travel agents nearby where you can by you boat tickets and most of these will include the bus trip out to the ports.
If you need somewhere to stay there is a cheap hotel / guesthouse just around the corner to the left, as you come out of the station.
The only available tickets for these services are 2nd class Sleeper beds / berths.
This is due to the fact that all other coaches are taken off at Hat Yai Junction station and only two second class coaches make the trip between Hat Yai and Butterworth.
Tickets for these sleeping berths come in two types :
Upper Berths cost - 84.90MYR
Lower Berths cost - 92.90MYR
For the Thai Baht equivalent, just multiple the prices above by 10.
Ticket prices for the Surat Thani Padang Besar Train cost :
Adult Fare :
Lower 722 THB
Upper 632 THB
Child Fare :
Lower 651 THB
Upper 561 THB
A Komuter Train between the border and Butterworth costs : 11.40 MYR
No advance purchase is available - you just turn up and buy a ticket for the next departure.
If trains 35 / 36 are full, you could always travel between Surat Thani and Hat Yai by one of the other Thai Railway services, then continue your journey by minibus between Hat Yai and Penang.
There are no regular bus services between Hat Yai and Butterworth Penang, so you will have to do this sector by minibus.
You can buy your tickets from one of the many agents just outside Hat Yai Railway Station.
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