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BANGKOK 25 June 2019 00:48
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dolvitius

Visa Run From Hat Yai Airport To Malaysia Border

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I live in Bangkok, and I plan to do the following Visa run :

1. Fly from Bangkok to Hat Yai

2. Travel from Hat Yai airport to the Malaysia border

3. Thailand --> Malaysia --> Thailand

4. Travel from the Malaysia border to Hat Yai city

5. Stay overnight in Hat Yai

6. Travel by bus from Hat Yai to Phuket

7. Stay a few days in Phuket

8. Fly from Phuket back to Bangkok

As I am not used to Hat Yai and the Malaysia border, I need help for #2, #4, and #6.

#2: How to go from Hat Yai airport to the Malaysia border? Any bus? Or do I need to take a taxi? Price I should expect to pay?

#4: Same question than #2 for the Malaysia border to Hat Yai city?

#6: How to travel from Hat Yai to Phuket? Any VIP buses available? Any recommendation for any bus company/service? Price?

I would really appreciate if someone who knows this part of Thailand could help me on this.   :jap:

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As I am not used to Hat Yai and the Malaysia border, I need help for #2, #4, and #6.

#2: How to go from Hat Yai airport to the Malaysia border? Any bus? Or do I need to take a taxi? Price I should expect to pay?

Hatyai airport to taxi/bus/van station where one of the aforementioned of your choosing.... will take you to SarDoaw or DarnNork (the latter meaning outer immigration post in Thai). The round trip taxi from Hatyai to DarnNork and back cost me around 900 baht. However, if you share the ride with others then the cost is proportionately less. But I was used to a little luxury, so I hired the whole taxi for such occasion.

But then at the border checking out of Thai immigration, you also need a ride, motor bike or taxi for hire less than 150 baht, to take you from Thai immigration post to the Malaysian immigration building.... and back again to the Thai immigration to check yourself back to Thailand....

If there are not overwhelming people at the border, it should take you less than an hour to complete your out of Thailand, into Malaysia and back to Thailand.... visa processing.

#4: Same question than #2 for the Malaysia border to Hat Yai city?

You absolutely can not go from Malay border to HatYai directly without first checking yourself into Thai immigration system first.... ok?

#6: How to travel from Hat Yai to Phuket? Any VIP buses available? Any recommendation for any bus company/service? Price?

There are plenty of transport running from HatYai to Phuket.

Tell the taxi driver that you need to go to vip bus/van or whatever, to get to Phuket.

The cost depends on your mode of transport chosen, k?

Usually, the hired driver would take me around.... and as i remembered it....the cost from HatYai to Bkk by vip bus is around 900 baht, so if you half that.... it would probably be not too far off in the cost estimation.... LOL

Have loads of fun.... :D

Edited by mkawish

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mkawish, thank you for your detailed feedback. Really appreciate it !

#2:

I am still unclear about whether there is common transportation (such as buses) from the airport to the border, and from the border to Hat Yai city. I might well do what you did: hire a private car with driver to take me to the border and back. One more question : from what I read on the Net, at this Sadao border, there is a distance of about 1 km between the Thailand and the Malaysian checkpoints. Did your driver take you across the Thai checkpoint all the way to the Malaysian checkpoint (no need to go further, of course !) ? Or did your driver stopped at the Thai checkpoint and then he waited for you there while you did go to the Malaysia checkpoint and back on your own ?

#4:

Of course, I understand what you said. I was just asking if there are buses/vans from the Sadao border to Hat Yai city.

#6:

I think this should not be a problem, especially as I intend to stay overnight at Hat Yai. I plan to book for a seat on a busHat Yai --> Phuket the day before.

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mkawish, thank you for your detailed feedback. Really appreciate it !

#2:

I am still unclear about whether there is common transportation (such as buses) from the airport to the border, and from the border to Hat Yai city. I might well do what you did: hire a private car with driver to take me to the border and back. One more question : from what I read on the Net, at this Sadao border, there is a distance of about 1 km between the Thailand and the Malaysian checkpoints. Did your driver take you across the Thai checkpoint all the way to the Malaysian checkpoint (no need to go further, of course !) ? Or did your driver stopped at the Thai checkpoint and then he waited for you there while you did go to the Malaysia checkpoint and back on your own ? Vehicles registered with a Thai plate would have to stop at the Thai imm. The driver would have to wait for you at the Thai imm., or gets a temporary Malaysian license plate at the cost of about 1,200 baht for a period of 30 days driving privilege into Malaysia....

You then walk thru and check out off Thai imm system....

Then you can either walk the distance to the Malaysian imm which would take about 20 min (I did walk that distance the very first time.... LOL) or have a Malaysian scooter rider, they are waiting for people like us BESIDE the Thai imm checkout hut, takes you to the Malaysian imm for about 150 baht, round trip. They all speak excellent Malaysian English.... not exactly similar to Thailand English nor Indian English.... but nevertheless good English....

Just do remember to settle on the price of service first, ok? Heckle a bit if you are in the mood for economy and see if the rider would go for a little less.... :jap:

#6:

I think this should not be a problem, especially as I intend to stay overnight at Hat Yai. I plan to book for a seat on a busHat Yai --> Phuket the day before.

A regular bus from HaadYai to Phuket...?

Isn't that quite uncomfortable, especially if you are over 6 feet tall....? What would your knees say after the long dusty trip....? :D

Cheers.... and have a safe and enjoyable trip.... also remember to keep your valuables close to you all the time, ok?

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I have always used the Pegan Basar (unsure of spelling) crossing not Sadao.

Many times in the past I used to pre-arrange for a driver from HY airport to take me to the border, this was a all-in package from an agent in Phuket. He would always take me through the border (stopping first to fill in exit/entry cards, last time the Malaysians didn't use them just swiped my passport, but this seems to change).

You can walk between the two although it is a fair walk with no pavement, I did the first time lol. A motorbike to take you across costs 60 baht and is excellent because you bypass most of the queues, and is very quick.

As for bus services, I have never used them but there a service between the border and Hat Yai, not sure about airport to border, doubtful. If I were you and have booked a ticket from an agent in BKK I would ask if they can arrange a taxi to the border, I know you may think this would be expensive but it's then hassle free, he will be waiting for you with your name on a sign, the guy that I used to take me drove a Volvo, spoke good English.

The duty free shop between borders at Pegan Basar is also pretty good for booze, the driver I used always stopped there (he got commission), but the prices where still good.

I don't do this now as I live in Trang and always drive myself to the border, but still take a motorbike taxi, because it's so easy.

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I have always used the Pegan Basar (unsure of spelling) crossing not Sadao.

Many times in the past I used to pre-arrange for a driver from HY airport to take me to the border, this was a all-in package from an agent in Phuket. He would always take me through the border (stopping first to fill in exit/entry cards, last time the Malaysians didn't use them just swiped my passport, but this seems to change).

You can walk between the two although it is a fair walk with no pavement, I did the first time lol. A motorbike to take you across costs 60 baht and is excellent because you bypass most of the queues, and is very quick.

As for bus services, I have never used them but there a service between the border and Hat Yai, not sure about airport to border, doubtful. If I were you and have booked a ticket from an agent in BKK I would ask if they can arrange a taxi to the border, I know you may think this would be expensive but it's then hassle free, he will be waiting for you with your name on a sign, the guy that I used to take me drove a Volvo, spoke good English.

The duty free shop between borders at Pegan Basar is also pretty good for booze, the driver I used always stopped there (he got commission), but the prices where still good.

I don't do this now as I live in Trang and always drive myself to the border, but still take a motorbike taxi, because it's so easy.

I believe the correct border town name is... ParDung Baysar, the way a Thai would pronounce, a small town that the Malaysian and Thai railways use as a border crossing point with immigration posts from both countries available during most day light hour....

There are currently many farang living around the southern part of Thailand but most are just way too laid back and relaxed.... to be too concerned about anything and everything that does not directly concern them or their significant others.... L O L :jap:

You can understand that right.... rightly or wrongly....? ;)

Most are here.... to just relax.... and do.... practically everything that would interest their inner most desires.... :D

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Thanks again, mkawish. And to you too, phuket Mike, for bringing the alternative through the Padang Besar checkpoint (this is apparently the correct spelling, it means 'large field' in Malaysia language). :jap:

Done some more research, and I found 2 interesting forum threads, including one in ThaiVisa, which mention Padang Besar as a possible alternative to Sadao. Reason mentioned is that PB is less crowded. In addition, the distance between the Thai and Malaysian checkpoints is 500 m at PB, while it is about 1 km at Sadao.

http://www.thaivisa....aipadang-besar/

http://www.lonelypla...hreadID=1881090

Looking at the map, it looks like the distance to these 2 checkpoints from Hat Yai is the same. However, PB seems to be on a secondary road, while Sadao is on the the main road which gives access to the North-South Malaysian highway. That could explain why less people at PB.

The more I think at it, the more I feel like going to Hat Yai city first after landing at the airport (my plane is supposed to arrive at Hat Yai at 12:30pm), drop my bags at the hotel. And then, do the visa run to either checkpoint and back to Hat Yai. Distance from Hat Yai to either checkpoint is 60 km (one way). Is it reasonable to say that 3 hours should be enough to complete the whole visa run ? B)

mkawish, do you actually live in Hat Yai ?

Edited by dolvitius

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To the OP, how many days does this give you? as it seems a lot of bother for 15/30 days

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#2: How to go from Hat Yai airport to the Malaysia border? Any bus? Or do I need to take a taxi? Price I should expect to pay?

Thai airways has a minivan service which runs as and when planes arrive. If you contact Thai airways at Had Yai they will give the details. Cost circa THB80 and will leave u in town. They may drop u at the bus station. Local non a/c bus to boarder every 30mins, circa THB40 or take a mini van.

#4: Same question than #2 for the Malaysia border to Hat Yai city?

When u arrive back to Thai soil, cross over the road and wait at the obvious bus shelter or where u see Thai people waiting -- Just hail a mini van or if u want to travel with the locals, the bus as it passes

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Thanks again, mkawish. And to you too, phuket Mike, for bringing the alternative through the Padang Besar checkpoint (this is apparently the correct spelling, it means 'large field' in Malaysia language). :jap:

Done some more research, and I found 2 interesting forum threads, including one in ThaiVisa, which mention Padang Besar as a possible alternative to Sadao. Reason mentioned is that PB is less crowded. In addition, the distance between the Thai and Malaysian checkpoints is 500 m at PB, while it is about 1 km at Sadao.

http://www.thaivisa....aipadang-besar/

http://www.lonelypla...hreadID=1881090

Looking at the map, it looks like the distance to these 2 checkpoints from Hat Yai is the same. However, PB seems to be on a secondary road, while Sadao is on the the main road which gives access to the North-South Malaysian highway. That could explain why less people at PB.

The more I think at it, the more I feel like going to Hat Yai city first after landing at the airport (my plane is supposed to arrive at Hat Yai at 12:30pm), drop my bags at the hotel. And then, do the visa run to either checkpoint and back to Hat Yai. Distance from Hat Yai to either checkpoint is 60 km (one way). Is it reasonable to say that 3 hours should be enough to complete the whole visa run ? B)

mkawish, do you actually live in Hat Yai ?

If decide to lodge in HaadYai....

First choice--Central Novelta โรงแรม เช็นทราน, Lee Garden Plaza (across from Central). There are other less expensive hotels around the tourist areas costing from 350 to 600, whereas Central would cost around 1,400 and Lee--1,100 respectively. Or you might opt for Pink Lady, also very closeby Central, consists of night entertainment and other single person vices.... :blink:

Enjoy....

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To the OP, how many days does this give you? as it seems a lot of bother for 15/30 days

It gives me 90 days, since I have a 1 year multiple non-Imm B visa.

In fact, it's not a bother at all: it is just a way to combine a short holiday trip in the South and a visa run which I have to do any way. And I did not have enough time to plan an overseas trip to a neighbouring country.

Edited by dolvitius

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#2: How to go from Hat Yai airport to the Malaysia border? Any bus? Or do I need to take a taxi? Price I should expect to pay?

Thai airways has a minivan service which runs as and when planes arrive.  If you contact Thai airways at Had Yai they will give the details.  Cost circa THB80 and will leave u in town.  They may drop u at the bus station.  Local non a/c bus to boarder every 30mins, circa THB40 or take a mini van.  

#4: Same question than #2 for the Malaysia border to Hat Yai city?

When u arrive back to Thai soil, cross over the road and wait at the obvious bus shelter or where u see Thai people waiting -- Just hail a mini van or if u want to travel with the locals, the bus as it passes

That's good feedback !  In fact, I think that I have seen those Thai Airways minivans in operation in other provincial towns. I will ask when I arrive. I will fly to Hat Yai with Orient Thai, but I guess it does not matter.

I've also read somewhere that the place in Hat Yai where to find the minivans going to the border (either Sadao or Padang Besar) is near the Clock Tower, on Phetkasem Rd. Can anyone familiar with Hat Yai confirm ?

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#2: How to go from Hat Yai airport to the Malaysia border? Any bus? Or do I need to take a taxi? Price I should expect to pay?

Thai airways has a minivan service which runs as and when planes arrive. If you contact Thai airways at Had Yai they will give the details. Cost circa THB80 and will leave u in town. They may drop u at the bus station. Local non a/c bus to boarder every 30mins, circa THB40 or take a mini van.

#4: Same question than #2 for the Malaysia border to Hat Yai city?

When u arrive back to Thai soil, cross over the road and wait at the obvious bus shelter or where u see Thai people waiting -- Just hail a mini van or if u want to travel with the locals, the bus as it passes

That's good feedback ! In fact, I think that I have seen those Thai Airways minivans in operation in other provincial towns. I will ask when I arrive. I will fly to Hat Yai with Orient Thai, but I guess it does not matter.

I've also read somewhere that the place in Hat Yai where to find the minivans going to the border (either Sadao or Padang Besar) is near the Clock Tower, on Phetkasem Rd. Can anyone familiar with Hat Yai confirm ?

The clock tower is about the same distance from HDY airport to HaadYai city.

The clock tower is situated in front of the new Fresh Market, TarLardMai, and is on the road to SongKhla.

There are several destination minivans to various places.... including ParDaeng BaySar and DarnNork, SarDao....

It is cheaper.... but it won't be as comfortable, especially if you are 6 feet or taller....

If anyone travels cheap.... that is the way to go.... :) Enjoy....

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If decide to lodge in HaadYai....

First choice--Central Novelta โรงแรม เช็นทราน, Lee Garden Plaza (across from Central).  There are other less expensive hotels around the tourist areas costing from 350 to 600, whereas Central would cost around 1,400 and Lee--1,100 respectively.  Or you might opt for Pink Lady, also very closeby Central, consists of night entertainment and other single person vices.... :blink:

Enjoy....

You have anticipated my next question : the hotel in Hat Yai !     What would I do without you ? ....    :D

Yes, I will stay one night in Hat Yai before leaving by VIP bus towards the north. By the way, I have changed my programme: I will not go to Phuket, but decided to spend a few days in Krabi instead, before flying back to Bangkok. Of course, that does not change anything to the visa run issue.

OK, back to the hotel. I could not find any 'Central Novelta'. Did you mean the Novotel Centara ? That seems to be the best hotel in Hat Yai. I like the idea of the Pink Lady.    :blink:  But I think that I will really need a good night sleep after the visa run...

In fact, before reading you, I was considering either the New Season Hotel (they quoted me 1,000 THB per night), the Golden Crown Plaza (950 THB), or the Diamond Plaza (890 THB). Well, if you have any feedback on any of these hotels, don't hesitate ....

In addition, since you seem to know Hat Yai quite well, would you have a suggestion for a good Chinese restaurant where to have dinner ? 

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The clock tower is about the same distance from HDY airport to HaadYai city.

The clock tower is situated in front of the new Fresh Market, TarLardMai, and is on the road to SongKhla.

There are several destination minivans to various places.... including ParDaeng BaySar and DarnNork, SarDao....

It is cheaper.... but it won't be as comfortable, especially if you are 6 feet or taller....

If anyone travels cheap.... that is the way to go.... :)  Enjoy....

No, I am not that tall. Usually, minivans are OK for me, as long as the trip is not too long (~ 1 hour). But I don't think I will opt for the local non AC bus to go to the border.

Anyway, I think I will just go to this clock tower next to the market, see how those vans look like, and subsequently decide either to use them, or to hire a taxi.

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