INTERNATIONAL & DOMESTIC ACCESS TO KOTA BHARU, MALAYSIA


By air
Sultan Ismail Petra Airport is the only airport available in Kota Bharu. The airport offers regular direct flights operated by Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Firefly and Malindo Air to major domestic airports such as KLIA, KLIA2, Subang, Penang, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. From the airport, you can take airport taxi or GrabCar to fetch you to conference venue. For more information on Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, please call +609-7737400 or visit https://www.sultanismailpetra.com

By car
Via route 3: if from Rantau Panjang or Sungai Kolok Thailand, just drive along route 3 for 40km. If from Kuala Terengganu or Kuantan, drive along route 3.
Via route 8: for those from KL and wish to drive here, drive along Karak highway and exit the highway (enter Bentong town) and drive along route 8. End of route 8 is located at KB Mall.

By bus
The state-run SKMK and Transnasional is the largest bus company, and runs all the city and regional buses, as well as most of the long-distance buses. It operates from the central bus station (city and regional buses) and the Langgar bus station (long-distance buses). All the other long-distance bus companies operate from Jalan Hamzah external bus station. On arrival in Kota Bharu some of the buses will drop you at the central bus station, but they don't depart from there. Transnasional is the easiest to deal with, as it has ticket offices at all the bus stations. Long-distance departures are from Langgar bus station but, just to make thing confusing, a few evening buses also go from central bus station. Ask which station your bus departs from when you buy your ticket, and book as far ahead as possible, especially for the Butterworth and Penang buses. There is a local bus from the central bus station to the long-distance bus station (near Tesco). There are several buses to Butterworth (RM30, five or six hours), the buses to Penang (RM41.50 (5/2017), six hours and 15 minutes) with one long stop (60-75 minutes) at Gerik. Buses to Penang leave in the morning at 9.45AM and 10,00PM. There are also regular buses to Kuala Terengganu (RM16, three hours) and Kuantan (RM3, six hours). Apart from that, there are also buses to Kuala Lumpur (RM40, seven hours), Johor Bahru (RM65, 12 hours), Singapore (13-14 hours), Melaka (RM55, 10-11 hours), Seremban (RM48, 10 hours) and Ipoh (RM35, seven hours). Other destinations are Alor Setar, Jerantut, Jitra, Gerik, Temerloh, Dungun, Kemaman, Kangar and Kerteh. The other bus companies cover many of the same routes and are worth trying.

From the Thai Border town of Sungai Kolok, there is a red city liner bus 29 (departs from the central bus station) for RM5.00, which runs the 45km stretch. Just wait along the Malaysian side of the border along the covered walkway and flag it, it seems to depart every 30 mins at 00 and 30 respectively.

By Train
The nearest railway station to Kota Bharu is at Wakaf Bharu, some 6.5 kilometers away from the city center. You can catch public bus No. 19, 27 or 43 (Fare RM 1.60, runs from 7.00AM to 7.00PM) from Kota Bharu Central Bus Terminal to get there or just ask your hotel/guesthouse to arrange a taxi for you. The official taxis at the station have a rate sheet.

Links: https://railtravelstation.com/2016/10/02/cityliner-service-27-kota-bharu-to-wakaf-bharu-by-bus/

Trains run on the Jungle Railway to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. One attraction is the Jungle Train with its Shuttle train service that does stop at almost every station between Tumpat and Gemas, allowing you to enjoy close-up contact with local people as the train travels through the heart of Peninsular Malaysia. The name "Jungle Train" is a misnomer: there is little if any jungle along the route. This is because the jungle has been replaced by palm trees - thousands of them. There are three-day Shuttle trains and one overnight train making stops at Wakaf Bharu Station on their way southbound. For northbound direction, all the services terminate at Tumpat station, just a station beyond Wakaf Bharu. However, it is advisable to check the "KTM" (Malaysian Railways) timetable for any changes on this schedule.

Day Train
  • From Wakaf Bharu station: Two Shuttle trains No. 51 and 57 depart from Wakaf Bharu Station at 4.39AM and 2.19PM respectively take you on board down south to their terminus at Kuala Lipis while another Shuttle train No. 55 departs at 10.18AM only terminate at Dabong.
  • To Wakaf Bharu station: The same train services with different train number may also get you into Kota Bharu through Wakaf Bharu station. Shuttle train No. 52 and 60 that departs from Kuala Lipis, arrives at Wakaf Bharu station at 10.57AM and 9.24PM respectively. Another Shuttle train No. 56 that departs from Dabong, arrives at Wakaf Bharu Station at 5.32PM.

Overnight Train
  • From Wakaf Bharu station: Express train No. 27 (Ekspres Rakyat Timuran) will take you down south to Johor Bahru. This train departs from Wakaf Bharu Station at 07.48PM and reaches JB Sentral Station at 1.00PM on the next day.
  • To Wakaf Bharu station: The same train services with different train number may also get you into Kota Bharu through Wakaf Bharu station. Express train No. 26 (Ekspres Rakyat Timuran) that departs from JB Sentral station in Johor Bahru at 7.00PM, arrives at Wakaf Bharu station at 12.34PM on the next day.

Other trains
  • To Thailand: There are no train services directly into Thailand. You will have to catch bus No. 29 from Kota Bharu Central Bus Terminal to Rantau Panjang and cross the border into Sungai Kolok and proceed from there. The morning train (Special Express) up to Bangkok currently departs Sungai Golok at 11.20AM and the afternoon train (Rapid Express) at 14:20.

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