is a scenic drive via
Hat Yai and the border crossing is at Sadao and Padang Besar, this is about 13 hours
on good roads. Down
to the border takes about 8
hours, after the border it takes
about 7 hours on a good motorway,
actually the KL motorway starts
after a couple of kilometers
before the exit to Langkawi. On
the road are Butterworth with a
turn to Penang via
or the ferry.
After the drive passes Ipoh and
Kuala Lumpur from the
north. The excessive time is
mostly on the Thai side because
the bus stop every couple of km
to take passengers, on the Thai
side it functions like a local
bus they don't know how to
handle long haul buses. On this
trip it is always necessary to
change the bus at Hat Yai.
There is one direct bus
connection from the capita to Padang Besar, but there
also is a change, the alternative is a flight.
Trains are available on this
route they runs along the
eastern side of southern
Thailand and take
longer than bus.
what's written here is the same
as for south to Singapore. If
you start there on the way back
use the public transport to the Malaysian border,
they start every half hour, move
through Singapore immigration
(extremely slow) and custom, go
through Malaysian passport check
(very fast) and take any
transportation to the downtown
long distance terminal, all this
is clearly marked. From there
they have plenty possibilities to Melaka
and KL. There are vehicles with 3
seats in a row and other with 4. All are amazingly
comfortable, similar to the old airline business class
Phuket to KL by air
The fastest way to do the trip is take a Air Asia, Firefly
or Malaysian Airlines flight, they
do it twice a day and its just
about 1 hour time, the bus is the
if you want to do this in slow
motion get to Surat Thani, or check at
Station or at
Hat Yai. A typical
route could be to
Hat Yai, after to Langkawi, stay
some days, move on
to Penang by ferry, stay there a few days
and continuo to Kuala Lumpur.
there and if
fine, you run
Rent a Car in Phuket, in general if you rent a car in Thailand and drive to Malaysia
there is no
paperwork for the vehicle it will take some days because all car papers must be translated.
no insurance. The insurance offices at the
Thai - Malaysian border are only open from about 8 am
to about 6 pm. Use a insurance office before the border on the Thai side, there are small
helter skelter on the roads. If a accident happens on your drive in both countries they will always blame the foreigner to be responsible. It wont matter what actually happen even if it absolute and 100%
responsible. They will bend and twist and come up with some strange excuses to make you responsible.
Between Krabi and Trang James Bond Island
drive to Phang
the city and
Island", Ko Panyi
to Hat Yai is between
Ao Nang will
islands, the name came because the limestone formation looks like a gigantic chicken, this is a
top Krabi sightseeing spot attracting several hundred
visitors per day.
Krabi fossil shell slabs are about 80 million
years old and have been layered with
shell fossils over time. Today a
flat platform of slabs from compacted
fossils is along the shore. About
40 million years ago
today's Ban Laem Pho Cape in
shell beach is here. From time to time take a turn from the main road towards the coast, there are beautiful beaches.
Railay Beach Front seen from the water
Next sector is Trang and Pak Meng Beach
At the waterfront
are miles of fine sandy beaches along the coast and on the islands of the archipelago. There are plenty of island beach resorts.
The best non island beach
resort in Trang Thailand is at the southern part of Pak Meng, its the Amari Trang Hotel, this is quite a isolated location but it is the best hotel around.
This Trang beach resort is
very popular by guys from Bangkok who go for a weekend with
their girlfriends without being seen. On the islands
are all kind of other hotels and resorts.
More on Trang is here. Probably the most famous attraction in the archipelago is the
Morakot or emerald cave use the link above for more info.
From Trang to Patthalung is a ride through a mountain range with breathtaking views and lush tropical jungle. Behind the mountain range is Patthalung and at the first intersection we meet the Thailand north south highway.
A side trip to Songkhla City makes sense since this is the most interesting city in the deep south with even some history, a fishing harbor and an old town. There is moderate nightlife at Songkhla and some museums showing what happen in the past.
Songkhla, that's around Baht 1000,- per night.
Songkhla has a interesting old city and is the main fishing harbor in south Thailand on the west coast of the gulf. The other harbor is Ranong at the west coast of southern Thailand bordering Myanmar.
After Hat Yai, Sadao on the border is the destination.
All the way down
its just a flat piece of land with
Arriving at the border,
the border crossing is closed from 11pm to 5 am, if you get stranded enjoy
the great nightlife at this remote Thai village, its unbelievable what energy sexy business can unfold bringing hundreds of good paid jobs, especially to Thai bar girls who come from all over the country to make money in the nightlife businessThere are plenty of discos, nightclubs, bars and pubs, everything is dedicated to all kind of fun mainly for the guys. This is a typical small Thai city, is quite chaotic but as long as it is the private sector it works quite, in the country the problem always starts when the state is involved because there most jobs are not distributed via qualification. It's a bit confusing, no straight line through and long slow cues, just as Bangkok Airport. At the other side its very well planned and organized, you go through in 2 minutes. The charge money for going through when coming with a car, be aware that they sometimes ask the foreigner a much higher price as they are allowed, especially when you pay in Baht.
several buses leave for Satun every day.
Traveling down from Trang on the
west coast is a good option
since there are plenty of
beaches and islands, but for the
west coast travel it makes sense
to rent a scooter or car maybe
at Trang or further south and
move around since it needs
frequent stops which the bus
naturally wont do on demand,
actually they stop everywhere
you like but only for exit after
they are gone.
small town of
Pak Para is the gateway to
Ko Lipe and more.
ferry to Langkawi, but no
regular. This is a nice coastal
area with plenty of beaches and
interesting scenery although
it's finally always the same, be
careful when you buy boat
tickets that they don't cheat
Hat Yai Bus, usually this buses run every two hours from around 9 am to 6 pm. KL Hat Yai Bus Station, this is the bus interchange between Thailand and Malaysia, but its not the only one, there are two more. One bus company has a office at a other place, they use buses which are in size just between the bus at the left pics and the one on the right side. Another bus station is a bit to the east from this one. A alternative is to go to a travel agent in down town and let them handle it, they charge more or less the same price but they only put you into a bus who give them a higher commission, means you wont get the fastest connection and have to wait. Considering this the best is do the trip to the terminal after no need to ask Hat Yai where to go and search around for the KL Hat Yai bus.
Hat Yai Bus
Every long haul Thailand bus is quite comfortable and has some service and a functioning toilet on board. Most seats are even better than some old business class seats in the airplane. From here you also can travel to Langkawi by road and ferry.
A train to Kuala Lumpur starts at least once per day from the Hat Yai station. Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur train connects via Padang Besar and all the way down to the south reaching finally Singapore.
Interchange is not coordinated and it's not possible to make reservations out of Bangkok beyond the border.
Downtown stands for shopping, fun and nightclubs, the city is mainly frequented by Malaysians and specially the guys, its sex business and entertainment.
KL Hat Yai Bus
Here are the long haul buses for Kuala Lumpur and Penang. There are three terminals one for the big buses, another one for the small and another one where one company serves Phuket and Krabi only, actually that's the best northwards bound. It is a little bit off down town, take a motor bike taxi, or tuk-tuk to go there.
Hat Yai Bus Station, this minibuses serve destinations parallel to the big busses, usually the minibus is around 25% faster and casts marginally more. Hat Yai Downtown, this is the bustling center of southern Thailand in Songkhla province. The city is the third biggest and the majority of people seems to be Chinese who came into when the tin mining and rubber planting started. Its a nightlife and shopping town without any history. Some historic data can be found in the Songkhla Museum. Songkhla also has a very interesting fishing harbor. At the area around the fishery harbor the guys are unloading the catch, repairing nets and more.
Between Hat Yai and Sadao
If you are with a car and coming from Trang, just keep on driving the motorway towards Pattani, the road signs are very confusing and not thought through. If you see a road sign indicating Sadao, its not marked orderly, drive to the left and turn under the bridge to the right after its only straight on. The problem with this routing is, this part of the road to runs from one town into the next. Actually after leaving the highway that's the worst part of the whole journey. There is one traffic light after the other and all are switched in a way that you will get red at every intersection. Its the usual nightmare when people do something and don't think first about what they are doing.
Arriving at the border,
the border crossing is closed from 11pm to 5 am, if you get stranded enjoy the great nightlife at this remote Thai village, its unbelievable what energy sexy business can unfold bringing hundreds of good paid jobs, especially to Thai bar girls who come from all over the country to make money in the nightlife business.
There are plenty of discos, nightclubs, bars and pubs, everything is dedicated to all kind of fun mainly for the guys. This is a typical small Thai city, is quite chaotic but as long as it is the private sector it works quite, in the country the problem always starts when the state is involved because there most jobs are not distributed via qualification.
Sadao karaoke nightlife with plenty of girls
After a couple of kilometers on the road to Kuala Lumpur, behind the border there is a four lane road highway merging into a toll way. Petrol is much cheaper on the Malaysian side but if you didn't already change money it might be a problem to get money since the first ATM at the Petronas Station is manipulated in a way only allowing you to take Ringit 50,-and this is for sure not enough to fill your tank.
Anyway enjoy your drive to the south and the fact that the Malaysians obey at least a little bit traffic rules and also not driving all the time on the overtake lane, as it is usual in Thailand, the whole is a little bit more civilized.
Leave the car and take the ferry, this is only for passengers, the only way to do a trip with the car is to drive to Penang first and take the ferry to Langkawi there.
Its a puzzle why they wont offer a car service from the border area since there probably would be enough traffic, this is better organized in Thailand where even small islands such a Ko Lanta have full passenger and vehicles service, they just use smaller ships. Anyway its a great destination only the weather is not always the best, if you drive there check the weather first.
The trip to Penang is popular for the "visa run" since there is a Thai consulate in Penang and they can handle all visa types, the embassy / consulate is in KL.
Its about 3 hours drive from the border. Try to avoid coming in via the bridge in the morning between 7 am and around 9 am since the ride over the Penang Bridge is a traffic nightmare at that time. It is also very difficult to find the way
to the ferry, means better use the road over the bridge for inbound.
When leaving its better to use the ferry since there is no problem to find the way from that side.
Now its a flat out run to KL on the motorway. A very interesting side trip is to visit Taman Negara, that's one of the best National Parks in the country, it's more or less on the way, it just needs a drive to the east around half way.
Its a kind of a jungle adventure trip there, rent a boat or just hike around, the place looks real great a ideal setting for some good shots with a tele lens. There are a few more places like that notable at Sarawak up the Rajang River at Sibu. When the intention is to drive all the way down to Singapore with a car leave the car at Johor Bahru, driving in Singapore is a nightmare because of their road tax system and no parking spaces unless putting the car into one of the high rise car park buildings which are very complicated to enter expensive.
There is no need for all of that since from the border there is a public bus directly to downtown and the best to do there is take the SMRT Singapore light train system, its the fastest way to move around on the island, unfortunately the ticket machines are often not working and most of the time the train is totally overcrowded. Tweet