During my recent visit to the amazing Thailand, I decided to travel by road. In the finishing stages when I reached the border city Hat Yai of Songkhla province in Thailand, I decided to go to Malaysia via border. This was my first border crossing experience in Southeast Asia. It ended up very smoothly and I had a lot of fun and adventure on the way to Kuala Lumpur. I want to share my this (Hat Yai to Kuala Lumpur) travel experience with you via this post.
Hat Yai is Beautiful but Silent
I arrived with my friend in Hat Yai city from Krabi, it took us four hours by bus to reach the city it the evening time, we took a “Tuk Tuk” which left us at our guest house which we already booked online. After spending an hour at our guest house, we came out and were surprised to see the city, which was almost silent after 9’o clock at night. Unlike the rest of the Thailand, this city is very quite and silent, but it’s clean.
We went to find some places like restaurants, hotels, booking agencies etc, but were not successful, because most of the properties were closed. However, we found McDonald in a busy market in near by area, and that was the only market open at that time. We took burgers there, and then came back to find some agency people who could book bus tickets for us from Hat Yai to Kuala Lumpur, because we wanted to go to Kuala Lumpur the next morning.
Problems We Were Told
We found two travel agencies there, the one was a lady who told us that bus fare for one person is 450 Thai baht, and bus will depart in the morning at 8’o clock. However, she gave us a strange advice, which was to go by AIR. She said foreigners can’t go to Malaysia via border. We got confused, because we did not book any flight, and we want to go the next morning, so time was short.
We found another travel agency near by, and the guy repeated the same thing that foreigners such as Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi can not go from Thailand to Malaysia via this border which is called Padang Besar on the Malaysian Peninsula. We were holding Pakistani passports. We got more confused, but we decided to go back to our guest house and consult with the lady at the reception in our guest house who were also arranging bus tickets.
We told the lady about the situation and our passports, she phoned someone and discussed the matter with him, and then told us that she can confirm the bus tickets for us, and the rest will be our responsibility. Finally, we booked two tickets for 900 Thai baht from Hat Yai to Kuala Lumpur. We were told that the journey will be 8 hours long including the time spend at the immigration check points at the border.
Hat Yai to Kaula Lumpur by Bus
Next morning at 8:30’o clock, we’re ready to be picked up by the bus. And started journey towards Kuala Lumpur. The famous border “Padang Besar” which is located in the Perlis state of Malaysia is just an hour away from Hat Yai, we reached there exactly after an hour. We were also afraid that we might not be able to cross the border as we were told by the agencies last night. But amazingly, everything was fine on the border. Our passports were stamped first by Thailand immigration, and then by Malaysian immigration.
The bus waits for all passengers at the border, and the luggage is also checked for security purpose. At the immigration counter, there is a separate line for foreigners and separate line for locals who hold permanent border cards. Anyways, the process was just easy and smooth, and it took around 30 minutes to get cleared from both the Thai and Malaysian immigration check points.
Padang Besar to Kuala Lumpur
After entering Malaysia, the bus driver took a stop for lunch in Malaysia, and there was a great restaurant with buffet and self service. It was not so expensive, we just did our complete lunch for 15 RM (Malaysian Ringgits) for two persons. The rest of the journey was amazing, because we saw a lot of scenes. On the way to Kuala Lumpur, you’ll see Ipoh and Penang, and all the way, you’ll see green places, hills, mountains and beautiful rivers, roads are also very clean and smooth.
Note: while going to Malaysia from Thailand, we already had Malaysia visa on our passport, that we obtained from the Malaysian consulate in Karachi. I’m not sure about visa on arrival for any country, so you should check that before trying to cross the border.
Have you been through this border ever? if so then do share your story in the comments. Thanks for reading!