How to cross the border of Malaysia-Thailand by train.

by - 1:32 AM

The cheapest and enjoyable way to go to Thailand from Malaysia is by catching a train. I've never crossed a country by train before and doing this was totally a memorable experience. Be aware that if you enter Thailand by train you will only get a 15 day visa. Don't worry about your safety, long gone were the days when crossing the border of Malaysia and Thailand was dangerous. Trains now have Malaysian and Thai police officers roaming around for your safety. Here's a guide on how you could cross the border of Malaysia and Thailand by train.

Travel time can take up to 15 hours, a good time to catch up on sleep.

Clean and well maintained trains.

How to get to Thailand by train?

1. Starting point is Kuala Lumpur. Take a train (no reservation needed) from KL Sentral to Butterworth, a small town near Georgetown, Penang. 

2. Hop on another train at Butterworth. Train tickets can be purchased in advance on this website using your credit card.

3. All trains will stop at Hat Yai Station (border of Malaysia and Thailand) to have everyone process their visa's and travel documents. Be ready with your passport and filled out immigration forms. (forms to be given by the train staff)

Remember: If you are a Filipino, you don't need a visa to enter Thailand.

5. Go down at Hua Lampong Station, take a cab going to Bangkok. It is only 15 mins away and the cab fare is pretty cheap.

Where to buy the tickets?

Telephone Number: +662 638 1600
Fax Number: +662 652 1033

Seats are converted to beds at around 9pm.

How much did I spend?

If you are looking to save money on the train, then a second class berth will do the trick, it is very safe and comfortable! Here is how much I spent for my train ticket:

Train from KL Sentral to Butterworth: 35 RM

Class: 2nd Class Sleeping Berth with a/c
Fares: Lower Berth THB1,210 per person x 1 = THB1.210
Handling Fee: THB200 per person x 1 = THB200
Delivery Fee : THB700 via DPEX to Philippines
Credit Card Surcharge 3.5%: THB123
Total : THB2233

-For Payment Options:

1. Payment by Fax Authorization Form
2. Payment online by KBANK Payment Gateway (credit card)
3. Payment by Paypal (with 5% charging)

-Ticket Delivery :

1. Free Of Charge For Hotel in Thailand
2. THB300 for Hua Lampong Train Station, Thailand (an hour before departure time)
3. Overseas (courier fare is upon destination zoning)

-You may give your delivery address to the ticketing staff and they will send your train tickets to you via priority (3 days) mail.

Tips and Suggestions:

-Buy the tickets weeks before your trip to make sure. Bunks get filled out easily. You may try to buy the ticket once your in Butterworth but again I can't promise that you'll get the best bunk. 

-Lower bunks has more space but costs a little more compared to the upper bunks.

-Request for the bunks at the middle of the train, away from the toilets and doors to avoid any unnecessary smell and noise.

-Bring your own food and drinks for the overnight trip as the train selection is pricey and not particularly good quality.

-The time on your ticket is Thailand time, so If you are coming from Malaysia you need to adjust your clock 1 hour backwards.

-Be ready with some Thai Baht. In case you want to buy anything along the way, plus the money changers in 
Bangkok Terminal do not offer pretty good rates.

-Travel time is around 12-15 Hours.

All in all, the train from Butterworth to Bangkok is a nice little overland adventure. Give it a try, save money and enjoy the experience!

You can check out more pictures of my South East Asian Trip here: iPhoneography Asia or watch out for my upcoming posts.

Breakaway! :)

Jan Ashlee

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