How to Travel by Land from Thailand to Malaysia (A Backpacker’s Guide)

By Lyza Paloma February 9th, 2021 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, DIY Travel, Travel Blog, Travel Guides No comments

Malaysia and Thailand are two interesting and large nations in South East Asia. You can travel to and from these countries by plane, boat, train, or bus. However, if you want an adventure and to see more sites at a lower price, land travel is recommended. Here is a guide on how to travel from Thailand to Malaysia.

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From this article, you will know how to travel from Thailand to Malaysia. This is by capital to capital via bus or train. We also included spots like Phuket and Penang, since they are famous tourist spots that are just near the borders. Happy reading!

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Bangkok, Thailand to Padang Besar

Padang Besar is a border town where that’s near the immigration office of Thailand as well as Malaysia. It’s the southern part of Thailand and the usual gateway for travelers who want to cross borders.

  • Go to Hua Lamphon Railway Station to catch a train ride to Padang Besar
  • It will usually be a sleeper train (#45 / #37), #37 However stops only at Sungai Kolok, which is a border town in Thailand
  • Departure time from Bangkok is at 3:10 PM; it will stop at Hat Yai (a south Thai city) at almost 7:30 AM
  • At almost 8 AM, you will be departing to Padang Besar
  • Travel time is about 18 hours
  • Fare is about USD THB 850 – 1000, depending on if you are on the upper or lower bunk

Another option:

  • If you want to stop at Hat Yai Junction to tour a bit, you can ride a train to Padang Besar at 2:05 PM rather than 7:30 PM
  • This is via Express 949

Phuket, Thailand to Padang Besar

If you are already in the southern part of Thailand, enjoying white sand and beach, then there’s no need to go back to the capital to get a train ride to Padang Besar. Check out how you can travel to this border town.

  • There’s no railway station in Phuket
  • Go to Phuket Bus Terminal Station 2 by Sri Trang
  • You can get a bus or minivan to Hat Yai Junction
  • Travel Time is 7 – 9 hours
  • Costs about THB 350 – 400

Departure Time

  • 7:30 AM
  • 8:30 AM
  • 9:30 AM
  • 11:30 AM
  • 12:30 PM
  • 7:30 PM
  • 9:30 PM

Hat Yai to Padang Besar

  • From Hat Yai, board a train to Padang Besar
  • Departure Time: 7:30 AM and 2:05 PM
  • It will cost about THB 50

Padang Besar To Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  • After going through the immigration, you can book a ride to Kuala Lumpur
  • You may book in advance
  • Travel time is about 5.5 –6.5 hours
  • You may pay from RM 75 – RM 105, depending on the type as well as the stop

Check out the schedule:How to Travel by Land from Thailand to Malaysia (A Backpacker’s Guide) 01

Padang Besar to Penang

Penang is also one of the best places to visit in Malaysia. With colonial buildings and many foreign influences, you will surely enjoy a stop in this part of the country.

  • The train station is just near the immigration office
  • Buy a train ticket to Butterworth via KTM Komuter
  • It will cost about MYR 10 – 12

Here are the schedules:How to Travel by Land from Thailand to Malaysia (A Backpacker’s Guide) 02

  • If you want to proceed to the Capital of Penang, you can ride a ferry to George Town
  • You can walk from Butterworth to the dock
  • A ferry will cost about MYR 1-2
  • From Butterworth, you can also catch a train ride to Kuala Lumpur

Travel Tips for your Land travel from Thailand to Malaysia

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  • During the weekend, it might be very busy as locals from Thailand and Malaysia usually cross borders to spend some time there
  • Some trains may have free snacks or a store inside, but to be sure, you can buy snacks before you travel in case you get hungry
  • Exchange money to Malaysian Currency, as they may not accept Thai Baht
  • Wear comfortable clothes during travel
  • Check if you need a visa before traveling

Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

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Now, you know how to travel by land from Thailand to Malaysia. Trains are a very fast and convenient way to travel. It’s also cost-saving as planes can be quite expensive. I hope this will help you in your future travel to Thailand and Malaysia. Both are very interesting countries; you will surely enjoy it!

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About the Writer

Lyza Paloma

Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I’m aiming to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, photography, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.

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Written by Lyza Paloma

Lyza is a native of Leyte who spent 10 years studying and working in Cebu before working for Two Monkeys Travel. She decided to stop daydreaming and started to pursue her dreams of traveling to the Philippines and the world. She has already been to 4 countries in Asia and 18 provinces in the Philippines. She’s flexible and can travel solo, with friends, or family. Besides traveling, she loves organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends.

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