In the airport is a taxi coupon counter, 300 or more Baht.
There is also a counter selling integrated tickets to Ko Lipe and other places, probably quite a bit more expensive the doing it in stages.
The cheapest way from the airport is by Songthaw (roofed pickup), 40 Baht. When you leave the airport cross the parkinglot to the mainroad, there is a roofed waitingarea there (the Songthaw might be allready waiting on the other side of the street the driver in the waitingarea in the shade). You should know allready where you want to go, it did drive to a minibus station, the bus terminal, close of the train station (and there if you want to go there) and the university campus. It might drive you also to your hotel if is on the way.
Travel agents in Penang, Butterworth and Alor Setar organise regular trips to Hat Yai as Hat Yai is a famous tourism spot for Malaysian from North Malaysia. Following the tour group is cheaper than self travelling but you have to follow their schedule.
Malaysian from Perak, Kedah and Penang normally drive their car until Changlun and park their vehicles overnight at the travel agent office at Changlun. There are many of them, they will wave their welcoming hands for business. The services they provide are car parking, hotel vouchers, and taxi service to Malaysia / Thailand border at Bukit Kayu Hitam. You can also park your vehicles at the open air but gated parking lot in the compound of Bukit Kayu Hitam Duty Free Shopping Complex and take the Thailand taxi for Hat Yai.
During this trip ( August 2012 ), I drive to Changlun. On way way facing north, I decided to have a quick rest at Gurun Rest and Recreation Area. For those who drive for long distance, it is always a good idea to rest for a while to refresh yourself. At Gurun R&R, there are food court, prayers hall, clean and well ventilated wash room and ample car park.
Soon, I continue to drive for Changlun. I parked my car at Changlun travel agent office. I paid RM15 for 3D2N parking, 2 ways taxi service Changlun - BKH : RM25 x 2 and return Thailand taxi Bukit Kayu Hitam - Hat Yai : RM70 and 700 Baht. As I have pre=booked the hotel, I only use the service to exchange Thai Baht. All the services were done easily.
During this trip to Hat Yai ( August 2012 ), I chose to take a Thailand Taxi at Bukit Kayu Hitam border. I paid RM70 for a taxi without a taxi sign and this is already a common practice and the service is arrange by the travel agent. If you have free time, you may wait and have some bargain as some Thai passenger car would take tourist to earn income. Other cheaper taxi is motorcycle taxi.
Sritrang Tours, has one 24 seater bus at 19.30 (you will arrive at a stupid time in Phuket) and eight 41 seater buses at 08:00, 08:30, 09.30, 10.30, 11.45, 13.00, 18.00 and 21.30, takes 7.30 hours, 344 (535) Baht.
I took the train about two years ago, It was the express from Bangkok to Butterworth with my wife and mom. It was a interesting trip as the duty free shops on the border were so cheap for cigerettes that I had to buy a carton. There are two trains daily, but at the train station there are many tour agency that can put you on a bus/minivan to Penang also. I do not know if the local train does cross the border though as I took a express and rememeber that when we stop for the passport control, there was a dutyfree shop, got stamp and re-enter the train within thirty minutes. I looked up the schedule and will post it from the web site...it goes as follow:::::::::::::::::
Hat Yai- Local Transfer Information
Hat Yai is the Southern Bus and Minivan Hub for all other destinations in Southern Thailand and Malaysia. There are Travel Agencies everywhere around the City Center to help you with onward travel, including one right across from Hat Yai Station. From Hat Yai Train Station you simply walk into a nearby travel agency and buy a ticket for the next bus or minivan Service going to your desired destination. Common road destinations from Hat Yai include the Dannok (Thailand) / Sadao (Malaysia) Border Crossing, the Padang Besar (Both Thailand and Malaysia) Border Crossing, Pak Bara (for Ko Tarutao or Ko Lipe Islands, 2 1/2 hours) and Satun (for Langkawi and Ko Tarutao Islands, 2 hours). Hat Yai Station is much closer to the city center than either its Bus or Minivan Hubs. See also Visa-Run Section - Satun and Beaches Section
Quick Facts on Hat Yai Train Service
Many Daily Intercity Express Trains stop at Hat Yai daily, including the 'Thaksin Express' (Bangkok - Sungai Golok) and the Bangkok-Yala Express Diesel Rail Cars.
International Rail Services stopping at Hat Yai Station include SRT's 'International Express' (Bangkok - Butterworth) and KTM's 'Langkawi Express' (Hat Yai - Kuala Lumpur). Both Services have one train per day in each direction.
Five trains run daily between Hat Yai Station and Bangkok in each direction.
7 trains per day go to Sungai Kolok (Southeast Branch on Thai / Malay Border).
Hat Yai Railway Station handles 28 passenger trains per day (26 Thai Railwaays Trains and 2 Malaysian Railways 'Ekspres Langkawi' Trains)
Train Services to/from Hat Yai Station
To/from Bangkok: Five trains daily
--Express trains depart at 16:16, 17:34 and 18:05
--Rapid trains depart at 14:18 and 15:26. Trains go via Surat Thani, Chumphon, Hua Hin etc.
To/from Sungai Kolok: Two trains to Sungai Kolok daily departing at 05:36 and 07:18.
To/from Malaysia: The Thai Railways 'International Express' between Hat Yai and Butterworth (Malaysia) via Padang Besar.
'International Express' Hat Yai-Pedang Besar-Butterowrth (Malaysia)
*'International Express' Trains to Butterworth depart daily at 05:50.
*International Express' Trains from Butterworth (Malaysia) to Hat Yai depart at 13:15 (There is continuing service onto Bangkok).
Malayan Railways (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) The 'Senandung Langkawi' (Langkawi Express) between Hat Yai and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)via Padang Besar.
'Senandung Langkawi' Hat Yai-Padang Besar-Butterworth (Malaysia)-Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
*'Senandung Langkawi' to Kuala Lumpur departs Hat Yai daily at 14:50
*'Senandung Langkawi' from Kuala Lumpur departs from Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station daily at 20:45
Please note that Malaysian time is one hour ahead of Thai time.
Hat Yai - How To get to Hat Yai By Thai Railways
Take an Overnight Train on Thai Railways Southern Train Line from Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station to Hat Yai Train Station. Hat Yai is the 'Southern Hub' for all trains going into / coming from Malaysia via Padang Besar, Malaysia. At Hat Yai Station, The Southern Line splits into two South-bound Branches. One goes Southeast via Songkla, Yala, Pattani to Sungai Kolok on the Thai / Malay Border. The other Branch goes Southwest to Padang Besar and destinations South into in Malaysia. There is a rail link at Sungai Kolok (last station on the Thai Railways Southeast Branch) across the Golok River to Rantau Panjang (in Malaysia), but there are no cross-border passenger train services there. Thailand Railways 'International Express' (Bangkok to Butterworth, Malaysia) and Malayan Railways 'Senandung Langkawi' (Hat Yai to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) both travel via Padang Besar (on the Thai/Malay Border). (See 'Visa-Run' Section and 'International Train Service' Section )
I hope that your trip goes well, but i would not worry too much....there are many tour agency that can help you when you arrive at Hat Yai.....Have a great trip.....wish I can go and adventure again.....
cheers tommy x
Hi there, i went to hatyai last month and so far a photocopy of your vehicle registration card is good enough. But to be on safe side, and if you have the original copy then it would be better.
Just make a copy and bring it along.
FYI I was fortunate that I left hatyai before the area was flood. So ask around first before heading there.
And top up fuel before going in as fuel is more costly there.
Travelling time depends on how you drive. 2-3hrs should get you to bukit kayu Hitam.
Happy traveling and drive safe.
Another method, where you can easily book coach ticket online for bus travelling from KL to Hatyai. Recently Alisan Golden Coach has launched their online booking. You can book their ticket online from www.busonlineticket.com. The departure point is at Pasar Raya KL, you can call their counter for booking also. +603 2032 2273
1) Transport from KL to Hatyai- You can't find a more suitable "travel from" center than KL. There're multiple VERY VERY comfortable buses from KL central bus station. Just go to Pudu Raya (everybody knows where it is) and seek out counters with Hatyai. Ask for VIP buses. VIP buses have 3 seats in a row seats. Loosely translated to Business class buses.
They usually take off at night like 10-11pm, with one stop at 1.5 hours in a town north of KL (stop for drinks/refreshments/food/toilets) then they proceed without stop to the Thai border. Reach roughly around 6am Malaysian time, anoher stop at M'sian side of the Thai border where they collect your passports and fill in immigration forms, then proceed to take the 40 min or so drive right into downtown Hat Yai.
Re: Self Drive-Try not to, our road signs are not too good, unless you're familliar, you may end up as frustrated as some Amazing Race participants when they get a sh#tty cab driver.
Trains should be fine as they have medium to high grade sleepers, but take a much longer time.
Therefore I think a VIP bus is most comfy.
If you are entering Hat Yai for a stop over for an onward travel, the bus driver will usually drop you at a travel agency before proceeding to the bus terminal. It is important to note that there are no bus tickets sold at the bus terminal. The bus terminal generally caters to the parking of buses only. All bus and minibus or van tickets are sold in the travel agencies which abound in the city. Then the bus comes around to fetch you at the office of the travel agency at designated time of departure. You should be around at least 15 minutes before departure time. Some minivans do not leave unless they are full especially for long distance travels to the north like Bangkok. The travel agencies are organized so that their clients can board together in one trip. A bus scheduled to leave at a certain time have to go around the travel agencies to pick up customers leaving at the same time.
Hatyai Bus Terminal is located south of the city. Since Hatyai is the transportation hub for the south, you can get buses from Hatyai Bus Terminal to go to Bangkok (13 hours journey), Phuket (6-7 hours), Krabi (4 hours), Trang, Phattalung, Pattani, etc. However, at all the travel agencies in Hatyai town, you can get minivan to the same destinations and various cities in Malaysia.
VIP (25 Seater) bus is the most common way to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Hatyai. Buses leave from Puduraya or just outside the bus terminal in K.L. Tickets can be bought at the ticket counters along 7-11 opposite Puduraya. Each ticket costs RM40. But expect to pay up to RM70 during high peak holiday season (i.e. Chinese New Year in February, etc). Morning buses that leave KL at around 9:30am arrive Hatyai at about 5pm Thai time (6pm Malaysian time). Night buses leave between 10 and 11pm arrive Hatyai at about 8am Thai time (9 am Malaysian time). There are more buses leaving at night than in the morning. All buses will collect all passengers' passports at the rest stop before the border to fill out Thai immigration forms for free of charge. Queue at the immigration is usually longer in the morning than it is in the afternoon.
There are plenty of buses that run between Hatyai and Kuala Lumpur. Many of them leave in the morning from 9:30am onwards. Travel time from Hatyai to KL takes at least 9 hours or more depending on if the drivers stop at other towns to pick up more passengers. If you board the morning bus, you will arrive KL earliest at about 7pm. Another option is to take the evening bus that leaves Hatyai at 6pm and arrive KL at 4am in the morning. Persoanlly, I don't recomend it because 4am at the Puduraya bus terminal is not the safest place to be. Bus tickets costs 400Baht.
If you are driving to Hat Yai from Malaysia, you need to have your car registration documents. If you are not the car owner, you need to have a letter of authorization for you to drive the car.
You have to go to the last booth at the Thai Immigration to have your documentations done. You also need to purchase car insurance for your car to be in Thailand.
Important point to note is that when you go back, you have to report to the customs too, so that they update their system. If not, they next time you drive, you will have to pay a fine of 2,000 Baht as your car is considered as over stay.
Flying in from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar, we were taken (by a friend) to a Changlun travel agent where we book a taxi to Hatyai... At the same time, we also book our hotel accommodation in Hatyai... at the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel...
We were then transfer to the Thai taxi stand at the Duty Free Complex... and off we go, passing the Sadao immigration check-point... It is about 60km to Hatyai on a good seal road and depending on traffic condition, the road journey will take about 45 to 60 mins...
The Sadao immigration (although it is at the border town of Danok) is opened from 6.00am to 12.00midnight... You will need to pay MYR1.00 or BHT10 as administration fee when you have your passport cleared at this check-point... Please give exact amount and no changes will be given if you are generous enough to give notes of bigger denomination...
The journey is un-eventful as we passed thru the countryside and occasional small towns on the way... There are also industrial estates and we were told that some of the investors are from Malaysia...