Smaller, more industrial and practical, Butterworth does not have any of the atmosphere which Georgetown across the Penang Straits has. It is however an important transportation hub for all train and many bus services which do not go directly to Penang island.
Butterworth is also the mainland terminal for the Penang ferry.
Butterworth railway station is conveniently located next to the bus and ferry terminal, south of the town centre. It is a major rail terminal for Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Malayan Railways) trains heading south to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and north to Hat Yai in Thailand as well as the State Railways of Thailand's International Express to Bangkok.
- To/from Kuala Lumpur - from Kuala Lumpur the Senandung Langkawi arrives at Butterworth at 05:40 and then departs for Hat Yai. In the other direction, the train from Hat Yai arrives at Butterworth at 22:30 and departs for Kuala Lumpur. The Ekspres Sinaran runs on Sundays between Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth. It departs Kuala Lumpur at 08:10 and arrives at Butterworth at 15:50. From Butterworth, trains leave at 08:00 and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 16:05.
- From Bangkok - an overnight train departs Bangkok daily at 14:45 (Thai time). It is scheduled to arrive at Butterworth at 12:55 (Malaysian time) but normally gets there late, usually around 14:00-14:30. Fares vary depending on the type of berth and carriage; an air-con upper berth costs 1,120 baht (as at April 2007). The surcharge for a bicycle is 104 baht to the border; a further small freight charge may be made by KTMB for the border-Butterworth leg.
- To Bangkok - the International Express leaves Butterworth daily at 13:15, going via Hat Yai, Surat Thani (for Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao), Chumphon, Hua Hin, etc.
- To/from Kuala Lumpur - almost hourly, journey takes 5 hours and costs around 25 ringgit. The bus station, is just a few yards from the train station, located under the highway overpass. Any train station representative can point you in the direction of the bus stop.
If you are in a rush to get to KL, the bus may be your best bet. The journey time can be half as long. Most of the coaches have AC, as well as other comforts. Much of the journey is very scenic.
As noted above, the prices are reasonable.
If you are concerned about securing a fair price, just ask a train station agent, most should be happy to give you a rough estimate on how much a bus will cost. Armed with this information, you can walk over to the bus staging area,which is more of a collection of ticket booths mixed in with food and beverage vendors, and find the best price.
The buses, in most cases, do not have restrooms, but, the buses make a number of breaks at rest stops, which have restrooms, and food/drink. Take note, many of the restrooms did not have toilet paper.
- Rapid Penang - bus services cover entire Penang state
The much-loved Penang ferry departs regularly from the Butterworth Ferry Terminal for George Town. The ferry terminal is conveniently connected with the railway station and bus terminal via covered walkways - a rare example of good public transport planning in Malaysia. Caution when using the toilets. Travellers may want to consider using toilets at their hotels or at restaurants as the ferry toilets are infamous for their overuse and offensive odours.
- Bird Park, Jalan Todak, Seberang Jaya, Perai, Phone:+60 4 399-1899 Fax:+60 4 399-1899 , . Every day, 9AM-7PM. This is the first and the largest bird park of its kind in Malaysia, houses more than 300 species of birds from throughout the world, of which about half are of Malaysian species. Experience hand-feeding birds in the geodesic domes and two giant-sized walk-in-aviaries, or take a bus either from KOMTAR or Butterworth Ferry Terminal. RM15 for adult and RM7.50 for children (below 12 year-old); additional charge of RM1 for camera.
- Temple of the "Ninth Emperor God", at Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth, Phone: +604-331 8717. This temple will be decorated for the annual Nine Emperor Gods (Kew Ong Yeah) festival on every 9th month of Chinese Lunar Calendar. This is a very beautiful temple. The building architecture is impressive. The sculptures and carvings are very neat and nice! The temple was constructed in 2000 by about 50 craftsmen from China which has three grand prayer halls, replaces an older temple that was built next to it in 1971. Website: www.towbookong.org.my
- Various cafes in Bandar Sunway Old Town Kopitiam, Swenz, Sri Wan, etc are just the few. A very popular hangout for the locals
Many Chinese restaurants are available along the road to the sea
- Pantai Bersih Seafood Restaurants Once a nice stretch of beach for locals to relax. Since the emergence of the stupid BORR highway, only a patch of the beach survives. Currently there are several very good and cheap seafood restaurants there.Northern Coastal Seafood (http://www.northerncoastal.com] etc....
- Jalan Raja Uda used to be the longest road in Malaysia. Along this road there are various hawker centers and most of the Penang food can be found here. There are at least two main morning markets along this road as well, one if off to Jalan Ong Yi How and another one is further up north and more popularly known as 'Apollo'. New development along the south of Raja Uda is known as 'Wooly Avenue' and this houses new shoplots and restaurants.
- Bukit Tambun Seberang Perai Selatan 6PM-? daily Famous for its relatively low-price fresh seafood.
- Prawn Village
- Times Moving Cafe Jalan Ong Yi How Chung Ling High School M-Sa 11AM-7PM Famous for its relatively low-price fresh wafer and French Fried. You can try the nice taste wafer with many difference flavor and special French Fried with cheese, BBQ and chocolate at there. It is easily found by its sharp pink colored van.
- Sweet Paradise Dim Sum Very popular dim sum restaurant. Serving probably the best and most variety of dim sum in the region.
Shopping Mall such as Carrefour, Tesco Extra, Jusco Bandar Perda, Sunway Carnival Mall, Megamall, The Summit can be found in Bukit Mertajam.
Butterworth has few hostels and star-rated hotels serving visitors:
- Pearl View Hotel in Chai Leng Park, No. 2933, Jln Baru, Phone: 04-398 9888.
- Beach Garden Hotel Sdn Bhd, No. 4835, Jln Pantai, Phone: 04-332 2845.
- Hotel Palm Inn  Sdn Bhd, No. 4802, Jln Bagan Luar, Bagan Luar. Phone: 04-331 7532, 332 7532. Free wifi in all rooms, hot water, televisions, private bathrooms - yet no toilet paper, at least not in twin rooms. 105 RM for a twin share room.
- Butterworth Travel Lodge Sdn Bhd, No. 1, Lrg Bagan Luar 1, Bagan Luar, Phone: 04-333 3399. From Penang Bridge, it takes about 15 to 30 minutes for you to get to these hotels, depends on the traffic conditions.
- Ecotel Hotel 1, Lorong Jermal Indah, Taman Jermal Indah, 12300, Buttwerworth, Penang. 04-3248899 http://www.ecotel.com.my 2.00PM 12.00PM Affordable hotel with quality services and facilities.
- Sunway Hotel 11, Lebuh Tenggiri Dua, Seberang Jaya, 13700 Prai, Penang. www.butterworthhotels.com
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