It is not possible to travel all the way by train from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket in Thailand because the railway line does not go to Phuket.
However, you can travel part of the way by train and then transfer to a bus or minibus.
There are a couple of ways you can go about this:
Probably the easiest way to travel to Phuket from KL using a train is to catch an ETS high-speed Electric Train Service to the Malasia/Thailand border station of Padang Besar, then take a Shuttle Train to the southern Thai city of Hat Yai.
For more information, departure times and ticket prices please see our:
KL to Hat Yai Train page by clicking here >
Once you arrive in Hat Yai, just outside the railway station there are a number of travel agencies selling minibus tickets to most places in Southern Thailand, such as Krabi, Phi Phi Islands and Phuket.
Alternatively, you can get a songthaew or motorbike taxi out to the Hat Yai bus station which is located around 4 to 5 kilometres away from the railway station and catch a regular bus to Phuket from there.
You can of course continue further north by train from Hat Yai and then catch a bus from any other town in Southern Thailand to Phuket.
The furthest station you want to go to is Surat Thani station.
From here there are buses that leave from Surat Thani railway station directly to Phuket, Krabi and Phi Phi islands (see below).
Another option for travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket by train is to first catch one of the ETS Trains that leave KL Sentral for Butterworth.
For time and fares please see our:
KL to Butterworth Trains page here >
You can then catch the International Express train in the afternoon from Butterworth into Thailand or continue by ferry boat (see below).
Please Note: The international Express is no longer travelling to Butterworth and now originates from the Malaysia / Thai border station at Padang Besar.
From Butterworth you will now have to take a KTM Komuter train to Pdg. Besar.
This train travels overnight all the way up to Bangkok and stops in Hat Yai, Phatthalung, Thung Song Junction and Surat Thani.
You could take this train to any of these destinations, then continue by bus to Phuket.
For more information, times and fares please see our:
Butterworth to Surat Thani Train page here >
Butterworth to Hat Yai Train page >
Probably the easiest way is to get off at either Hat Yai or Surat Thani as you can get transport from right outside these stations.
The only problem you will encounter if you go to Surat Thani, is that the first bus to Phuket from the Surat Thani train station does not leave until 07:00.
There is a cheap hotel close to the station where you can get a few hours sleep if you don't want to be hanging around the station.
For more about buses from Surat Thani railway station click here >
It is not possible to travel all the way to Phuket by ferry boat from KL, but there is a way to make a good part of the journey by sea.
1) Take a train to Butterworth from KL.
2) Take the ferry over to George Town, Penang Island.
3) Take a ferry from Penang to Langkawi.
4) Take a ferry from Langkawi to Koh Lipe.
5) Take a ferry from Koh Lipe to Phuket, or go via Koh Lanta or Krabi....
To book ferry tickets from Penang to Langkawi to Koh Lipe click here >
To book ferries within Thailand click here >
(please note : some ferries in Southern Thailand only operate during the high season)
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