Was originally planning to fly into Hanoi then travel through Asia and out of Kuala Lumpur.
Have since read several forum posts about the Southern Thailand - Malaysia border being unsafe.
Does anyone have any up to date information on this as am hoping to book flights soon...
Are there any safer borders?
No worries. If you take train, you will go through Padang Besar checkpoint. And if you take bus, you will go through Sadao checkpoint. These 2 checkpoints are much safer than the other 2 at the East side (Sungai Kolok, Tak Bai & Buketa Checkpoints). Just try to avoid provinces like Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani as there are series of bombings and shootings. Sadao and Padang Besas checkpoints are in Songkla province. Although they are neighbours, but they are much safer than the others. Many travellers travel by train. You can see them at the Padang Besar checkpoint everyday at the train station.
Thanks a lot for your reply - very helpful.
I think I'm going to go ahead and book a flight out of Kuala Lumpur.
I'm just thinking if the situation is bad when we're there and we do need to avoid Songkla. What are the Plan B options?
I've looked into flying to Kuala Lumpur from Phuket which is fairly expensive (about $300). Are there any other options? E.g. boat?
I am travelling from Singapore up through Malaysia and into Thailand so I have the same reservations as you about this border, I have looked into it in detail and although there is trouble in this region no tourists have ever been targeted and if you keep as far West as you can like Opospa has said you should be fine. Lot's of people travel this way all the time with no problems.
I'm going to cross the border by train but I'll do a final check when in KL and if things have changed for the worse try and get a last minute flight to Phuket
I live in Malaysia. It's true that south Thailand has attracted a lot of negative news lately relating to safety. But it should not deter you from coming to the south. Take a train it will be safe to cross the border on a train.
If you traveling by bus, you will go through the Sadao checkpoint as mentioned by opospa and I can guarantee you it's really safe. I have travelled many times by bus using this route. It's cheap, safe and you get to see the malaysian/thailand landscape. I have also seen many backpackers in these buses too.
you can also fly using Air Asia from Hatyai/Bangkok/Phuket to KL if taking a flight is what you want. have fun.
This is the latest news about Southern Thailand....Sungai Kolok Bombings
I too am a little apprehensive about this leg of my trip next year.
Have been looking into the option of flying from KL to Bangkok on air asia, one way ticket with decent times including taxes is £26 that was for an August flight.
If it is all going off down there its a good backup plan!
Well happy with £26, thought it would be loads more than that so I would be more inclined to do that at the slightest hint of trouble
It would be a shame to miss out on such a big part of SEA though