The town of Butterworth is a main stopping off point for people travelling from Thailand to Kuala Lumpur. There is a sleeper train that runs all the way from Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok to Butterworth. Passengers can then change trains at Butterworth station and continue their journey to Kuala Lumpur.
The pretty island of Penang is also located just across the water from Butterworth station and there are regular ferries running between the two ports from 5:30 in the morning until just after midnight.
Although few people give Butterworth more than a fleeting glance, the town does have a few attractions to explore and there are some good places to stay if you arrive too late to catch the train or ferry.
If you do find yourself with a little time to kill in Butterworth, head to the Bird Park, which is just a short bus ride away from the Butterworth Ferry Terminal. Here you will find Malaysia’s largest bird park, which contains a collection of more than 300 species of birds, including the colourful hornbill.
As you wander around Butterworth you will be sure to spot the elaborately decorated Temple of the Ninth Emperor God, situated on Jalan Raja Ud. There is also a lush golf course known as Teluk Air Tawar, where golfers can play a round or two and stop off for refreshments at the bar.
Butterworth even has its own small stretch of sand, and this is a good place to relax for a while, dine on deliciously fresh seafood and perhaps indulge in a cocktail or two.