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From Malaysia-Thailand by rail

Travel Forums Asia From Malaysia-Thailand by rail

1. Posted by syoon1217 (Budding Member 4 posts) 5y

H guys, i m planning to take train from Penang to Thailand(may be just stop at Koh Sah mui) and from Koh Sah mui island to Phuket. I m thinking some time between early of Dec-20th Dec. I m flexible about the time. I am going to have my big Birthday this year and thinking about doing something special or myself. I am a solo woman traveler, i have been backpacking around some places in US, Europe and Africa as well. This will be my 1st trip start my own country, Malaysia and cross border to Thailand. I hope i can find some same-minded person who just love adventure and island(sun, beach, relax) and explore places.I m looking forward to hear from you guys!

Anyone who wanna travel in Malaysia, and need advices can contact me too...i would love to explore my country a bit more too...

SinYoon

2. Posted by danimalweb (Budding Member 7 posts) 5y

I'm current travelling around Australia and planning my SE Asia trip for when my visa expires. I am also going to be catching the train through Malaysia and across the border to Thailand.

I've been advised to be very careful through the Malaysia to Thai border and to avoid at all costs the Sungai Kolok -> Hat Yai route due to the civil unrest/political tension. I plan to go from Singapore -> KL -> Penang -> Hat Yai -> Phuket.

Can you shed any light on what its like crossing the border overland from Malaysia to Thailand? Any advice?

Thanks.

3. Posted by syoon1217 (Budding Member 4 posts) 5y

Oh well, i have heard sometimes the politic at the south part of Thailand is not that stable. So far i haven't heard any bad news about tourist was bombed or killed on the train or something. For me its quite safe and that's why i will take the train from Penang to somewhere in Thailand, havent decided where to stop yet, may be not to Bangkok this time as i wanna some different traveling other than visit the capital;), i might just stop somewhere and just travel there until i end up in Phuket meeting my friend there. I hope its help.

4. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1593 posts) 5y

Quoting danimalweb

I'm current travelling around Australia and planning my SE Asia trip for when my visa expires. I am also going to be catching the train through Malaysia and across the border to Thailand.

I've been advised to be very careful through the Malaysia to Thai border and to avoid at all costs the Sungai Kolok -> Hat Yai route due to the civil unrest/political tension. I plan to go from Singapore -> KL -> Penang -> Hat Yai -> Phuket.

Can you shed any light on what its like crossing the border overland from Malaysia to Thailand? Any advice?

Thanks.

I have taken the train from Bangkok to Singapore through Malaysia and in and out of that area a few times. There are some problems with Muslim separatists but thousands and thousands of people use the trains every month. From Penang to Hat Yai that train ride is not too long anyway. You would have to be awfully unlucky to be on the only train in years to have problems with terrorists. You are probably more likely to get hit by a car or bus than be a victim of terrorism. Anything can happen - anywhere though!

The train in Penang really leaves from nearby Butterworth station.

Your choices of where to go in Thailand by train are a little limited - the train has to follow where the tracks are laid. Hat Yai is a major city in Southern Thailand. There is a major train station there. From Hat Yai you can get transportation to other areas in Thailand. In Hat Yai the Kings Hotel is close to the train station. Across from that hotel is a good travel agency who arranges rides to other areas in Thailand.
http://www.kingshatyai.com/

From Penang there are bus/van rides to Hat Yai too. A long time ago I used the van/bus method to get to Penang from Bangkok. I do prefer the train though.

Check your visa/entry requirements. Entering Thailand overland is different than flying in to Bangkok.
http://www.mfa.go.th/web/2482.php?id=2490

Good luck.

5. Posted by danimalweb (Budding Member 7 posts) 4y

Checking back in....

I went from Butterworth overland to Bangkok in early June 2011. No problems on the train and the most comfortable SE Asian train I went on.

Armed guards did get on the train near the boarder and stayed on the train until sometime in the morning.

The border crossing was straight forward and easy, off the train (Allowed to leave our luggage on the train) in to immigration, moments later back on the train. Like karazyal mentioned you only get a two week visa entering Thailand overland.

Based on the overall experience I'd happily do this route again. But always check what the situation is like before getting tickets. Ideally check with other traveler coming the other way, or local guesthouse/hostel staff.