Penang to Cameron Highlands

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How to get from Penang to Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands is a picturesque hill-station in Pahang, which has a cooler climate than most states in Malaysia. As the temperature almost never surpasses 30 degrees, it’s a favourite weekend and summer destination for locals.

Lush tea plantations cover its landscape, providing a back-to-nature escape from city life. Its temperate climate also makes for beautiful flora as well as continental fruits and vegetables. (Tip: Try out their strawberries!) It can be very touristy on weekends, so try to go on a weekday if you can.

4 ways to get from Penang to Cameron Highlands

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Direct Bus4.5 hours34 MYR ($7)Check Bus Tickets
Indirect Bus via Butterworth5.5 hours63 MYR ($13.50)Check Bus Tickets
Taxi3.5 hours600 MYR ($125)Read article for more info
Train5 hours118 MYR ($25)Check Train Tickets

There are 3 ways to travel the 250 km distance from Penang to Cameron Highlands: by bus for 4.5 hours; by taxi for 3.5 hours, and by train for 5 hours. Fares range from 34 MYR ($7) to 600 MYR ($125).

The bus is the cheapest option with fares from 34 MYR ($7). You can take either a direct bus from George Town or an indirect bus from Butterworth. Travel time is between 4.5 to 5.5 hours.

If you prefer a private and faster ride for your journey from Penang to Cameron Highlands, you can also get a taxi. Travel time is only 3.5 hours and fares start from 600 MYR ($125).

Both Penang and Cameron Highlands do not have their own train station. This means travelling by train involves several transfers. You’ll need to take a ferry, a train, and a bus! Are you up for that adventure? Combined fares start from 118 MYR ($25).

Itinerary from Penang to Cameron Highlands

Penang to Cameron Highlands by Bus

Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: 34 MYR ($7)
Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: 34 MYR ($7)

There are several direct buses operating from the city centre of Penang to Cameron Highlands daily. However, many of them “drop by” Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal (located 10 km south of George Town) to pick up passengers before continuing to Cameron Highlands.

Past passengers say this adds about an hour to the travel time. If that’s the case, then you might want to consider taking the indirect bus option instead.

Penang to Cameron Highlands by Direct Bus

Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: 34 MYR ($7)
Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: 34 MYR ($7)

Most buses travelling from George Town to Cameron Highlands depart from Komtar Terminal, within walking distance from many accommodations in town. Bus ticket prices start from 34 MYR ($7) for the 4.5-hour ride.

You can buy your ticket at the bus terminal, or if you prefer to book your ticket beforehand, there are 2 trips available for online booking:

Bus Schedule from Penang to Cameron Highlands

Bus CompanyScheduleCosts
Unititi Express07:30-12:0034 MYR ($7)
Check Bus Tickets
New Asian Travel (VIP)13:00-18:0047 MYR ($10)
Check Bus Tickets

Unititi Express departs from Komtar Terminal, while New Asia Travel departs from its office located just beside Komtar.

Make sure to ask the driver beforehand whether they are going straight to Cameron Highlands or dropping by Sungai Nibong on the way!

Penang to Cameron Highlands by Indirect Bus

Duration: 5.5 hours
Cost: 63 MYR ($13.50)
Duration: 5.5 hours
Cost: 63 MYR ($13.50)

If you decide to take a bus from Butterworth, the advantage of this is that there shouldn’t be any stops along the way to Cameron Highlands. The only downside is that to get to this bus, you’ll first have to take a ferry from Penang Island to the mainland where Butterworth is located.

Step 1: Penang to Butterworth by Ferry

Duration: 10 – 20 minutes
Cost: 3 MYR ($0.60) + 13 MYR ($2.80)
Duration: 10 – 20 minutes
Cost: 3 MYR ($0.60) + 13 MYR ($2.80)

From George Town, you’ll need to take a 5-minute taxi or a 20-minute bus (Line 101) to Weld Quay. Fares start from 13 MYR ($2.80) and 4.50 MYR ($0.95), respectively.

At Weld Quay, you’ll transfer to a ferry. This will take you across to Butterworth in 10 to 20 minutes. Ferries operate from 05:20 to 22:00, with a 20 to 30-minute interval. And then every 40 minutes until its last trip at 00:40. A ferry ticket costs 3 MYR ($0.60).

The ferry docks at Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal, where Penang Sentral is connected then by a walkway.

Step 2: Butterworth to Cameron Highlands by Bus

Duration: 5 hours
Cost: 47 MYR ($10)
Duration: 5 hours
Cost: 47 MYR ($10)

Perak Transit and Unititi Express offer several trips from Penang Sentral to Cameron Highlands. You can buy your tickets at the bus station.

If you’re travelling on a weekend or during busy season, make sure you book online beforehand to secure a seat. Here are the bus trips available online via BookAway:

Bus Schedule from Butterworth to Cameron Highlands

Bus CompanyScheduleCosts
Perak Transit09:30-14:00
10:30-15:00
14:30-19:00
16:00-20:30
47 MYR ($10)
Check Bus Tickets
Unititi Express13:45-18:05
14:00-18:20
43 MYR ($9)
Check Bus Tickets

At your destination, the buses arrive at Tanah Rata Bus Terminal in Cameron Highlands city centre.

Penang to Cameron Highlands by Taxi

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 600 MYR ($125)684 MYR ($145)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 600 MYR ($125)684 MYR ($145)

As this is a long-distance trip, we recommend that you ask your hotel for taxi recommendations. Drivers on the island are known for overpricing fares, so it would be good to have a local help you in haggling.

Fares range from 600 MYR ($125) to 684 MYR ($145) for the 3.5-hour journey from Penang to Cameron Highlands.

Penang to Cameron Highlands by Train

Duration: 5 hours
Cost: 118 MYR ($25)
Duration: 5 hours
Cost: 118 MYR ($25)

Travelling by train from Penang to Cameron Highlands involves 3 transfers. It’s not very convenient, considering there are direct buses available, but if you’re determined to travel by rail rather than road, read on for the details.

Step 1: Penang to Butterworth by Ferry

Duration: 10 – 20 minutes
Cost: 3 MYR ($0.60) + 13 MYR ($2.80) 
Duration: 10 – 20 minutes
Cost: 3 MYR ($0.60) + 13 MYR ($2.80) 

As with the indirect bus option, you’ll first have to travel by ferry from Penang Island to Butterworth on the mainland.

The port (Weld Quay) is located some 2 km from George Town. To reach it, you can take a 5-minute taxi for around 13 MYR ($2.80) or a 20-minute bus (Line 101) for 4.50 MYR ($0.95).

Then you’ll take a ferry for 3 MYR ($0.60). This docks at Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal, which is connected to Butterworth Train Station by a walkway.

Step 2: Butterworth to Ipoh by Train

Duration: 1hr 40m
Cost: 42 MYR ($9)
Duration: 1hr 40m
Cost: 42 MYR ($9)

There are 3 trains operating from Butterworth to Ipoh, a city 150 km south, on weekdays and 5 on weekends. Ticket prices change daily, although they normally cost around 42 MYR ($9).

You can easily book online via Baolau.

Bus Schedule from Butterworth to Ipoh

Train #ScheduleDurationCosts
EP9371Departs every day from 08:00-09:411 hour 41 minutes42 MYR ($9)
Check Train Tickets
EP9173Departs every day from 13:10-14:511 hour 41 minutes41 MYR ($8.50)
Check Train Tickets
EP9107Departs every day from 16:00-17:411 hour 41 minutes41 MYR ($8.50)
Check Train Tickets
EG9127Departure every Friday to Sunday from
18:45-20:25
1 hour 40 minutes34 MYR ($7)
Check Train Tickets
EP9371Departure every Friday to Sunday from
08:00-09:41
1 hour 41 minutes46 MYR ($9.50)
Check Train Tickets

Step 3: Ipoh to Cameron Highlands by Bus

Duration: 2hrs 45m
Cost: 30 MYR ($6) + 30 MYR ($6)
Duration: 2hrs 45m
Cost: 30 MYR ($6) + 30 MYR ($6)

From Ipoh Train Station, you’ll first need to get to Amanjaya Terminal, which is some 10 km away. To do that, you can either take a 30-minute taxi or a 50-minute bus. Fares start from 30 MYR ($6) and 4.30 MYR ($0.90), respectively.

There are buses operating from Amanjaya to Cameron Highlands from 08:00-18:30 every day. You can choose from 3 companies: Perak Transit, CS Travel, and Unititi Express. Tickets are available at the terminal from 22 MYR ($4.75).

Perak Transit and Unititi can be booked online on BookAway for 30 MYR ($6). If you’re travelling during busy season, it’s really worth spending that extra $2 for a guaranteed seat!

Check Bus Tickets with BookAway

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