Crossing the Border into Thailand

7th September 2018

After Langkawi it seemed a good idea to spend a few days in Thailand. Hua Hin is a Thai seaside town a few hours south of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand that used to be a favourite holiday spot for the late king of Thailand. I had been there a few years previously and seen all the sights so it seemed a perfect place to go and laze and enjoy the local food.

The Malaysian/Thai Border

The nearest road crossing into Thailand from Malaysia is at Changloon or Sadeo (depending on which side of the border you are on). In the Duty Free zone on the Malaysian side we hired a Thai driver to take us to Hat Yai Railway Station for 700baht ($30).

The whole customs post area is undergoing massive redevelopment and we accidentally bypassed the Malaysian Customs post so had to return on a motorcycle taxi to get our passports stamped properly before being allowed through the Thai immigration.

Hat Yai

The overnight special express to Bangkok doesn’t leave until 6.45pm so there were a few hours to kill. First order of business was to put the cases in the left luggage office and find something to eat as lunchtime had been and gone. There is a Chinese restaurant a short distance from the station which makes a great Chicken Rice.

Hat Yai Chinese RestaurantHat Yai Chicken Rice

We already had our ticket to Hua Hin.

SRT Train Ticket Hat Yai to Hua HinBut, after eating, it was back to the station to buy some tickets for the return journey in a few days time. First the ticket from Hua Hin to Hat Yai, then the shuttle train ticket from Hat Yai to Padang Besar (the rail crossing point into Malaysia) for when we return in a few days time.

SRT Train Ticket Hua Hin to Hat YaiSRT Train Ticket Hat Yai to Pedang Besar

I have been to Hat Yai many times and the train timetable hasn’t changed at all in that time. Having said that, as a timetable it is perhaps more of a suggestion than an actual event but it seems to work. Just be warned – trains are never early.

Hat Yai StationHat Yai StationHat Yai StationHat Yai StationHat Yai Station

The timetable may not have changed but the carriages on the First Class Sleepers certainly have. Previously they were a bit tired and very 1950ish but the new rolling stock is a similar design but quite modern with screens in each compartment offering a GPS view of your progress and some entertainment. The carriage has several toilets and a shower.

SRT 1st Class SleeperSRT 1st Class SleeperSRT 1st Class SleeperSRT 1st Class Sleeper

Dinner on the train wasn’t that bad – Well, not compared to airline food.

SRT 1st Class Sleeper Food

The train arrived in Hua Hin at 6.30am – ie stupid o’clock – but, on the bright side, it was the coolest part of the day and only a short walk to the hotel.

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