Malaysia has many islands and destinations to discover and when we couldn’t really choose between traveling to Penang or Langkawi ( decisions, decisions 😉 ) we decided we do both. First up was Penang. The plan was to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang and travel from there to Langkawi and then back to Kuala Lumpur.
How to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang
Almost every possible form of transport is available when want to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. Plane, Train, Bus, Car, Walk, Bike or Boat. Pick your favorite.
Flying would only take an hour from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, but counting the time of travelling to Kuala Lumpur airport, plus waiting at the airport, plus actually getting into and out of the plane, and the fact that we would see much more when we travel over land ( which is our favourite way of travelling anyway ) the plane option was ruled out.
Then we had the option of renting a car, train and bus left. This time, we wanted something relaxed, no hassle with route maps, wrong directions, Kuala Lumpur traffic. Ok, just skip the car. Train? Would be an option, but then we had to go the last bit by ferry and we figured out maybe we could get a little touch of the Cameron Highlights if we travel by bus and stay 2 nights in Ipoh.
Sorted! Travelling by Bus from Kuala Lumpur to Penang it was. Easy and the cheapest way. And really comfy! Most of the Malaysian busses we discovered are modern, super relaxed ( the chairs we had are comparable with a business class airplane seat ) and they are cheap!
Travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang by Bus
From Kuala Lumpur, the buses depart at the main bus terminal which is Puduraya bus station, to Sungai Nibong, which is the main bus station in Penang.
It will take around 5.5 hours and tickets are around 40 RM, depending on bus company and comfort. We traveled with Transnasional, but there are a few more. If you want a really luxurious ride, you should go for Aeroline, the tickets are a bit more expensive, but it`s defo worth it!
Malaysia has a really good bus network to destinations all over the country and also international to Singapore and Bangkok to name a few, and the busses are generally in very really good condition ( absolutely not comparable with most other Asian countries 😉 )
Where to stay in Ipoh & Penang
We decided to split the trip into 2 parts. The first lap would be from traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh, and the 2nd part would be from traveling from Ipoh to Penang.
Ipoh itself was not really special, but from here you can do many trips to discover the surroundings and the Cameron Highlands. We didn’t visit the Cameron Highlands, as the weather had a bad day ( Malaysian weather always sucks when we are there – Read this article 😉 so the Cameron Highlands are still on the bucket list together with Malaysia`s islands on the North Coast.
In Ipoh, we stayed in the Ritz Garden Hotel. Which was a good stop over hotel for 2 nights. Check it out here: Ritz Garden hotel in Ipoh
After Ipoh, it was time for Penang where we stayed for 3 nights in Hotel Flamingo by the Beach in Penang. Hotel Flamingo by the beach has a great location facing Tanjung Bungah`s beach and is located 6 km from the Gurney Drive Seafront promenade, where you can find lots of restaurants and shops.
In the near area of the hotel is not much going on, but taxies are cheap and this is a perfect place to relax and the beach is right in front of the hotel. This hotel was in 2015 one of the most popular properties booked on Agoda. Check it out here: Flamingo by the beach hotel in Penang
If you want to stay in one of Malaysia’s beautiful old heritage houses, Airbnb has some amazing options.