Ever wondered how to go to Thailand from Kuala Lumpur by bus? Well, you’re in the right post! I want to share my experience of crossing the border of Malaysia; from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand by bus. 😀
It was Chinese New Year holiday. I got four and a half days-off here in Kuala Lumpur including the weekend. Considering I’m not from Malaysia (so I have no relatives to visit) and I’m not Chinese (so I can’t come to a random house asking for ang pao), spending Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur, I think, is not a good idea so I decided to
grab some random man’s hands and get in a journey to … THAILAND! 😀
Getting to Thailand by plane is a mainstream way of transporting yourself, we – two hipsters
who don’t want to spend RM600 for an airfare – chose to do the un-mainstream way; go to Thailand using bus! 😛
For you who know me personally, I know you’ll laugh hard reading I went there using bus. I never like taking bus or doing any roadtrip. And I never think I would survive the supposed-to-be 10hours Kuala Lumpur – Hat Yai bus trip also! It was a new experience for me and I must say, if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t mind. 😀
Malaysia (the peninsula) and Thailand is connected on land through several different borders. The one I got through is Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah, Malaysia and Ban Dan Nok in Sadao District, Songkhla province, Thailand. This is the common border you will get through if you’re using bus. Other transportation option is by train, in which I really want to try but sadly no seat available on the date that I want due to the long weekend holiday.
* Kuala Lumpur – Hat Yai Bus Ticket Booking
There are many websites for bus ticket booking in Malaysia. The first ticket (Kuala Lumpur – Hat Yai), was booked via Easybook while the return ticket (Hat Yai – Kuala Lumpur) booked via BusOnlineTicket. Payment are made via credit card. Check on their website if they accept other payment. And no, you can’t pay by love. :’)
Thing to note: the online booking confirmation email IS NOT CONSIDERED AS A TICKET. It must be changed with the real ticket at the selected counter; both in Kuala Lumpur and in Hat Yai. And man, that changing process was not a smooth one. Prepare to spend at least half an hour to wait at the counter in Puduraya because frankly speaking, they don’t want to do it fast. They can, but they just don’t want. 🙁 Ticket changing process in Hat Yai was much simpler because we went to the representative office directly.
In both routes, having the tickets, sadly, doesn’t mean your spot is save. For Kuala Lumpur – Hat Yai, Avnish – my tripmate slash number one fan (hihihi), had chosen the seat but by the time we got on to the bus, our seats were taken. When we asked, the official said it’s a free-seat so we were free to sit wherever we want to. D’uh! Why bother putting the seat selection on the web, ah?
I was a bit cranky with the Hat Yai – Kuala Lumpur bus. They change the bus to a smaller one and in result, our seat – which was supposed to be side by side – changed to a front and back. And they told us about it only twenty minutes before the bus scheduled to depart while we already changed the ticket one day before and our seat number was clearly written there. RAWR! Plus, this ticket was much more expensive than the Kuala Lumpur – Hat Yai ticket! Blah! I said to Avnish, if those people don’t care to let us know in advance, then I make my point, I don’t care what they’re doing, I want a side by side seats! PERIOD! – And yes, we got it finally. Hihihi. Lalalala. *pat Avnish’s back*
*Kuala Lumpur – Hat Yai Bus
Bus Kuala Lumpur – Hat Yai was by Swarna Bumi (but the bus we hopped on to has no Swarna Bumi written on the side, don’t ask me why). The seat was big enough in size till I could curl myself up when sleeping. It was comfortable. There was no entertainment but maybe it was because we took the late-night trip so everyone prefer to sleep than listen to some music. The driver drove carefully and never hit a sudden brake. We stopped two times. One for short toilet time and another for quite a long time (toilet time, eat, arrival card printing).
Bus Hat Yai – Kuala Lumpur was by Alisan Hat Yai. Bus was rather old and the seat was not as comfortable as the Swarna Bumi bus. The air conditioning was somehow not really cold in the afternoon and really cold with a swoosh wind at night. Icing on the cake: the AC grid couldn’t be set so it was either open big or tightly closed. Hihihi. The driver was okay. Entertainment was available with some old Indian song. Hahaha. We stopped three times. One was a long time one and the other two was short time ones.
* Crossing Malaysia – Thailand Border
Many people ask this. How do we cross the border? What should we do? Should we just sit and the immigration officer will get into the bus collecting our passport?
When we got into Bukit Kayu Hitam border, there was a long queue and the bus was stuck in a massive jam. We decided to hop off and walked to the counter (with our backpack, yes) and got out of Malaysia via the ‘walk-in counter’; not the bus counter. After passing the counter, we then waited for our bus to come, but considering Avnish is an Indian citizen and he needs to apply for VOA to get inside Thailand (one happy time when FINALLY a green passport holder can just wave while someone needs to apply for VOA :P), we decided to just take a motorbike transport (ojeg in Indonesia) to get to Sadao – the border of Thailand.
For Indonesian passport holder, we just have to queue in any counter available. Avnish, on the other hand, needs to apply VOA at a special office. Hehehe.
After that process, all done!
Welcome to Thailand! Easy peasy, right!
Traveling to Hat Yai from Kuala Lumpur (or the other way around) is pretty easy. It’s a good option for a short getaway outside Malaysia. Plus side, it’s not costly! I’m still curious about taking the train there though. Maybe I should go again. Whaddayasay?