Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Special Express Sleeper to Butterworth

Thursday 16 September: This time I enjoy lunch at Hua Lampong station, take some photographs and board the 2:45pm 'International Express' to Butterworth, Malaysia. I opt for a forward-facing window seat and a wider, more-expensive, lower berth. There is no restaurant car just a galley-kitchen that will be unhooked at the Malaysia border, so meals are served at your table. Dinner is simple - soup, chicken with cashew nuts, mixed vegetables with rice, plus pineapple slices as desert. It's good but beer is expensive.
Friday 17: I wake at 6:30am but my breakfast has already arrived - orange juice, ham sandwiches, cold French-fries and pineapple slices, hot tea arrives a little later. This is okay.
The border crossing is reasonably painless and my passport has a free ninety-day Malaysia visa stamped in the corner - quick and simple. The engines are changed, carriages unhooked and we continue to Butterworth arriving at 3:30pm where the handy ferry takes me to the island of Panang, and Georgetown. The whole journey, including the berth, food and one beer costs 1,620 baht (around
Photos, for train-spotters and the like, of the Special Express to Butterworth.

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