SE Hotel 2 is a budget hotel located an easy bus ride from Butterworth train station, from where you can take long-distance trains north to Thailand and south to Kuala Lumpur. I wanted a cheap place to stay for one night as I stopped over in this small Malaysian town.
My single room was very small, but well-designed so it didn’t actually feel cramped. There was no window but there was air-conditioning, a TV and a private, reasonably sized bathroom. The room was clean and the bed was fine for one night. Noise travelled easily along the hotel corridors and it was easy to hear people talking outside my room, but I had a pleasant night’s sleep.
The staff were helpful when I needed information about buses and places to eat near the hotel. Across the road from the hotel was a bus stop from which it was easy to get the bus to the train station.
Overall, SE Hotel 2 is nothing special, but it is straightforward, simple, budget accommodation in Butterworth, in walking distance of public transport and places to eat.
“Why don’t you just go straight to Kuala Lumpur?” asked my taxi driver when I arrived by train in Butterworth. “Because I want to see Butterworth,” I replied. “This is Butterworth,” said the driver, “this is it.” Butterworth is the coastal town from which you can travel to Penang island, where trains from Thailand and northern Malaysia stop, and trains to Kuala Lumpur start. Most people travel straight through this little backwater, but I had already visited Penang and I wanted to be somewhere “normal and boring” before I continued my journey to Kuala Lumpur.
There really isn’t much of interest for tourists in Butterworth, but I wanted to experience everyday life in Malaysia, sipping teh tarik in street corner coffee shops, and eating at hawker centres. And Butterworth is great for that. There are few tourists there, and eating and drinking are so cheap compared to Penang, KL, Malacca and the other more touristy places I have visited in Malaysia. So if you are travelling through, consider a stopover in Butterworth, and experience real life, Malaysian style.