International Express: Butterworth and Hat Yai to Bangkok

The International Express no longer serves the Malaysian sector between Padang Besar and Butterworth.

Please visit the dedicated International Express page for more information.

The International Express is a daily service to Bangkok from Butterworth via Hat Yai and vice versa. Departing from Butterworth, the train uses 2 second class sleeper coaches, with up to 7 more such coaches attached from Hat Yai to Bangkok, and 1 first class sleeper coach.

Butterworth is the terminus for the International Express. From here, you can get to and from Penang Island via the Penang Ferry.

The train uses KTM locomotives to haul the train within Malaysia. The locomotives will change at Padang Besar station.

The new platforms at Butterworth and all northern sector KTM stations are raised to fit the new generation electric trains, and on the same level as normal KTM Intercity coaches. For the Thai coaches with steps in-built into the coach, please mind the gap!

The interior of the train in daytime configuration.

The line from Butterworth to Padang Besar looks like this now, which makes it a comfortable but boring journey.

On arrival at Padang Besar, you have to alight for immigration and customs clearance. Malaysian and Thai immigration are co-located in the same building. Get your passport stamped at the Malaysian counter before proceeding to the Thai counter just after it. You need not bring your baggage along for the northern journey, at the time of this post.

Between Butterworth and Padang Besar, a Padang Besar-based caterer will be on board. You will be able to purchase drinks during the journey even when the restaurant car is not attached yet. Dinner is also available, it will be served at your seat after you clear immigration at Padang Besar.

Meals typically include a fried vegetable, fried chicken and steamed rice, with a fruit and drink to go along with it. 170 baht or RM19 for this dinner set.

Tom Yam soup is also available to share. 120 baht.

They will clear your table just before the train departs from Padang Besar. You will have around 1 hour to have your meal.

A Thai locomotive will be attached at Padang Besar to bring the train all the way to Bangkok. This locomotive will work on the Senandung Langkawi from Hat Yai to Padang Besar first, before turning around with the International Express.

The driver receiving the token for the authority to depart.

Along with the Thai locomotive, the restaurant car will be attached too. The waiters will go around the train taking orders after the train departs the station.

Both English and Thai menus are available. Meals are freshly cooked on board.

This is the Seafood Fried Rice, or ข้าวผัดทะเล (khao pad talay). 110 baht for a set with a soup and juice. It has an oriental taste, not much seafood is found inside but still fills you up. Does not contain pork.

And the Railway Fried Rice, or ข้าวผัดรถไฟ (khao pad rotfai). 110 baht for a set with a soup and juice. Similar to American Fried Rice without the sides. Tomato-based. Contains pork.

The restaurant car also serves drinks. You can choose to have it at your seat or head over to the restaurant car itself. Hot drinks like tea, coffee and milo go for 30 baht.

First Class cabins are available from Hat Yai to Bangkok. Each compartment accomodates 2 people, and can connect to the next room. A sink is available within the compartment, but toilets are shared among all passengers at the end of the coach.

Even in second class, the attendant will come by to make your beds. Linens are fresh, and it takes the attendant less than a minute to convert each upper and lower set of 2 beds.

Breakfast is also available from the restaurant car. This is the American Breakfast, or you can just say eggs to the waiter. 130 baht.

If you are wheelchair-bound, fret not. A new modified JR West 14 Series coach is attached on board, fitted with all necessary facilities. Tickets are sold as second class seats, thought seats are in a 2+1 configuration. Wheelchair-bound passengers get 50% off tickets on this coach.

Wheelchair lifts are installed at new additional doors of the coach.

Toilets are also specially fitted.

The empty single spaces are for wheelchair parking.

If you are feeling peckish at around lunch time, food vendors at stations will come up to the train to sell their food.

This is the rice vermicelli or ก๋วยเตี๋ยว (kuai tiao) from Petchaburi station. 10 baht.

And the holy basil pork with rice from Nakhon Pathom station. 50 baht.

The train will arrive at Bangkok Hua Lamphong railway station where you can continue your journey via the MRT or by taxis.

The International Express no longer serves the Malaysian sector between Padang Besar and Butterworth.

Please visit the dedicated International Express page for more information.


  1. Hi there, can you tell me how to booked a train to Bangkok?, are there any ticket counter that sell tickets to Bangkok in butterworth, or sungai petani stesen?

      1. One more question, if I wanna buy tickets without booked it first, are there any chances I got seat?, thx bro

        1. Meaning buying tickets on the day of departure? If you are travelling between Bangkok and Hat Yai, maybe there will still be places available. For Bangkok to Butterworth, it is highly unlikely that you will get a ticket.

  2. Hi, I wanna go Bangkok from Butterworth by International Express but unfortunately tickets sold out so I just able to bought ticket from Butterworth to Padang Besar only by train. May I know how to get to Bangkok from Padang Besar?

    1. I hope you did not buy a timed ticket to Padang Besar. You need to take a Komuter train to connect with the Padang Besar – Hat Yai Shuttle Train. From Hat Yai, there are 5 trains daily to Bangkok.

  3. Hi, I’ve found this blog really helpful. We’re planning to go to Bangkok via Padang Besar by the end of July.
    1. Can we buy train tickets from Malaysia that go directly to Bangkok? Or do we have to book them once we reach Padang Besar?
    2. Can we buy tickets even during weekends?
    Looking forward to your response. Thanks!

  4. Hi I would like enquiry is it have train from butterworth to Padang Besar after that from Padang Besar to Hatyai?

  5. can please send me the link for purchase train ticket?
    because I try search from online but can’t get it

    Thank you

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