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home > Malaysia and Singapore > Malaysia  

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How to travel from Bangkok Thailand to Malaysia and Singapore

Learn from mymalaysiabooks how to travel by air, road, rail or sea; airports and airlines; major Thai - Malaysia checkpoints to cross; visa and customs regulations.


If you are in Bangkok or any part of Thailand, its easy to travel into peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) by air, rail, road or sea.

Bangkok - Bangkok to Malaysia by myMalaysiabooks

From South Thailand or Bangkok

Bangkok is linked to Malaysia by roads, rails and air.

From Bangkok or south Thailand, travel by road if you want to go to the Malaysian border states of Kedah, Perlis or Kelantan. Border crossing and checkpoint by way of Perlis is through Wang Kelian and Padang Besar, Kedah through Bukit Kayu Hitam and Kelantan through Rantau Panjang. You can also cross by ferry from Satun to Langkawi (Kedah). There are also other minor border crossings. Visitors should use the major crossings, as minor crossing are usually for locals and you may have difficulty getting transportation to continue your journey.

    The border crossings at Padang Besar and Bukit Kayu Hitam are open from 6am to 12midnight (Malaysia Time) [12 midnight is 11pm Thai time]. Other crossing closes at 7pm or 10 pm.

Thai-Malaysia border crossings and checkpoints




mode of transport

Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah




Langkawi island, Kedah




Padang Besar, Perlis



road and rail

Wang Kelian, Perlis




Rantau Panjang, Kelantan


Sungai Kolok  


Pengkalan Kubor, Kelantan


Tak Bai             


Pengkalan Hulu, Perak




Note: * denotes major checkpoint or crossing, most convenient for travellers through the Thai - Malaysia border.

Before you cross the border be sure to check out the customs and immigration requirements in both countries.

Malaysia and Singapore immigration and checkpoint

Thai Customs and   Thai Immigration (external link)

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By Air

If you are in Bangkok or north Thailand, a quick way to reach Malaysia or Singapore is to fly.

To Malaysia: Fly into Malaysia if you want to go to Kuala Lumpur or to the many international airports in peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) or to East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak). You can fly from Bangkok daily and directly to KLIA (near Kuala Lumpur) or Penang Island (northern part of W. Malaysia). There are also flights from Bangkok to Johor Bahru (Johor is just a causeway from Singapore)

The best options to fly into Malaysia are by Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Thai International and Singapore Airlines - these airlines have more flights. The northern airports are at Alor Setar, Langkawi Island (Kedah) and Penang (Pulau Pinang). Firefly operates daily from Penang to Phuket and Koh Samui.

Malaysia’s airline companies: Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Berjaya Air, Firefly


To Singapore: There are daily flights by Malaysia Airlines (vis KLIA), Singapore airlines, Thai Airways, Air Asia and other airlines that takes you from Bangkok (and other airlines) into Singapore. 

Check details of airlines and airports at our

Malaysia Air transport

Asia Airports and Airlines transport 

Malaysia to Singapore

Hotels in Asia - Thailand and Malaysia


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Travellers can travel by Malaysia Airlines or Air Asia to Bangkok and get connected to Malaysia

Latest: AirAsia will introduce a new international route from Bangkok to Taipei on Sept 25, 2009 announcements HERE


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By Road

Roads from Thailand link to Malaysian roads and is the fastest way to enter Malaysia.

    The most economical and convenient means of transport is by bus or coach. Buses, taxis and private vehicles crosses the border daily at Padang Besar (Perlis), Bukit Kayu Hitam (Kedah) and Rantau Panjang (Kelantan). There are other minor crossing used mainly by locals on foot or private vehicles or boat - Pengkalan Hulu (Perak) and Pengkalan Kubor (Kelantan).

By Bus    There are daily express buses from Hat Yai (Haadyai), Thailand that goes to Alor Star or other major towns in Malaysia.

     If you are in the border towns of Padang Besar or Bukit Kayu Hitam (Malaysia), take a taxi or bus to Kangar (capital of Perlis) or to Alor Setar, Kedah where you have many travel options to continue your journey. Most express coaches or buses in Kedah or Perlis leave from Kangar (Perlis), Alor Setar (Kedah) or Sungai Petani (Kedah). Travel to these major towns to take a coach as there are more bus services available daily from these towns. Express buses takes you to Sungai Petani, Penang, Butterworth, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Seramban, Malacca, Johor Bahru and Singapore. You can get connecting buses to the east coast of the peninsular from major towns, especially from Kuala Lumpur - to Kota Bahru, Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu.


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Driving    If you are driving from South Thailand, to go onto Malaysian road, travel to Sadao (Thailand). From there you can go to Padang Besar (state of Perlis) or Bukit Kayu Hitam (Kedah). To go straight into the Malaysian expressway (North-south expressway), travel to Bukit Kayu Hitam - this toll expressway cuts the length of peninsular Malaysia and is the most convenient and fastest route. You can travel this route up to Johor and then into Singapore.  Before you drive to Malaysia, be prepared with an International, Malaysia, Thai or Singapore driver's licence. Vehicles must have insurance, proof of ownership, etc - check with the Malaysian and Thai Customs.  Driving into Malaysia is easy but be aware that foreign vehicles will find it difficult to go into Singapore (Check details of how to drive to Singapore)

Taxi    Taxi services (much more expensive than buses) are usually available from the border towns at Padang Besar (Perlis), Bukit Kayu Hitam (Kedah) or Rantau Panjang (Kelantan) that takes you to the major towns, such as Kangar (Perlis), Alor Setar (Kedah) and Kota Bahru (Kelantan), where you have more transport options.

 ...more about Malaysia transport and travelling by bus in Malaysia

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By Sea

Travel by ferry from Satun (Thailand) to Langkawi Island (Kedah). There are three ferry services that takes you daily to Pulau Langkawi. If you travel here... be sure to spend a few nights on Langkawi it is a great island destination. From Pulau Langkawi you can cross by ferry to mainland Kedah, where loads link you all parts of Peninsular Malaysia.

Ferry terminals for travel between Thailand and Malaysia:

1) Tak Bai, south Thailand to Pengkalan Kubur in Kelantan, East coast of West Malaysia.

2) Satun, Thailand to Langkawi island (Kedah) - the best option as there are easier access to other parts of West Malaysia and more transport options.


By Rail

To see the countryside of Thailand and Malaysia, travel slowly by train from Bangkok, Haadyai (Hat Yai), Thailand into Malaysia.

Thailand:     The International Express (or Ekspress Antarabangsa), operated by the Thailand Railways is a daily express train that runs (once a day only) between Butterworth (Pulau Pinang, Malaysia) and Bangkok, through the state of Kedah. This train offers only first and second class tickets, has a restaurant car, first class sleeping car and additional second class sleepers. This is the only direct train service into Thailand and BE WARN! you cannot buy a return ticket from Malaysia (you can only buy a ticket to Thailand) 

In Malaysia:   The Malayan Railways or KTMB line that cuts the length of West Malaysia, starts at Hat Yai (Express Langkawi) and Padang Besar on the Malaysia-Thai border ends in Johor and goes into Singapore. However there are only two train services each day that takes you from the northern states into the rest of West Malaysia.

    If you travel by Thai trains from Hat Yai (Express Langkawi) and ends in Padang Besar, you can catch the train to Kuala Lumpur (KL). However there are few train services (only one train to KL which leaves in the afternoon). It may be easier to travel by bus or taxi to your destinations in Malaysia. The most convenient and cheapest option is to travel to the nearby major town such as Kangar (state of Perlis) or Alor Setar (Kedah) to catch express buses to other parts of Malaysia.

Other services: The luxurious Oriental Express also takes you from Bangkok into Penang, Malaysia. 

More on travelling by rail in Malaysia here.

Trains by Thai Railways: Thai Railways (official site)

About Train in Bangkok: Bangkok Metro   *  Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA)


Other transport links

For detail check out these pages:

Transport in Malaysia

How to travel from Malaysia to Singapore

Asia Links - asia travel, airlines, news on Asia

Hotel accommodation and special tours

Travel guidebook with maps

Langkawi - from Satun, Thailand by ferry

Kedah - state at Thai Malaysia border

Perak - state at Thai Malaysia border

Penang - nearby state

My Penang

My Penang

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