hi travel fish, my boyfriend and i are trying to figure out a way to spend the month of january traveling around Thailand (at this point, focusing just on southern thailand / islands). we are flying from Chengdu to KL, and debating trying to get by rail up into Thailand ending up at the ferry to Ko Samui . We could fly into Phuket from KL for a reasonable price, but Ko Samui and the surrounding islands are more appealing to us than phuket. has anyone done this by train or know if it's a good idea? i'd love any / all suggestions and alternatives - we are very flexible and our only criteria is experiencing as much of thailand (and maybe malaysia?) as possible, while sticking to a modest budget.
thanks in advance!
#1 ginger1 has been a member since 22/12/2010. Posts: 6
There are 2 options for taking the train from KL into Thailand. The first is to get a train from KL to Hat Yai. From there you then take a bus or mini-bus (faster than train) to Surat Thani .
Second option is to go from KL to Penang . Then take an overnight train from Buttersworth to Surat Thani. If you want to see a bit of Malaysia then this may be a good option for you. Penang is a great place to stop for a couple of days on route.
It is very easy to get from Phuket to Surat Thani if you choose to fly. There are regular buses between the two.
#2 guava_girl has been a member since 21/10/2010. Posts: 252
The train is a good option; I've done the route BKK to Penang several times. 2nd class sleeper is great. You have normal seats till around 21:00 and then the guy comes around & turns them all into single beds! You may find however, that the fare to Surat Thani is the same as to BKK. We tried once to get the train from KL to Hat Yai and it was about tupence cheaper than BKK!
I agree with Guava_girl and would make a stop in Penang (bus from KL) and have a few days there. Probably the cheapest & best curries you're likely to get in this part of the world!
Beware - trains have to be booked in advance.
I have booked a train travelling from KL to Hat Yai and then have to get another to Sura Tani but the train ride just to Hat Yai is 12 - 14 hours long!! I have heard that the buses are only 8-9 hours long? Can anyone give me infomation about the buses going into Thailand? Or any infomation at all that would help!
#4 imredimred1124 has been a member since 12/3/2012. Posts: 1
re imred: You are hi-jacking a thread-start a new one for proper response. the buses are 12 mtr long. The ride is indeed much shorter-as its all tollway and mostly nonstop. Simply go on the day you want to go to Puduraya stesyen Bas and open yoiur eyes-find the booking hall and ask/look/buy. All buses are also overnight. The tren is overnight and book a sleeper-so thats not as bad as your ungrounded fears. Hyai buses have a bad rep. in MY.
When in Hyai do not follow all those train-promoters-as daytime trains are very slow, bad. Go to any of the dozens of tr-agents or ask further for the stand for the minibuses to Surat-if you want to go str8 on.
That train from BTW passes Surat around midnight-if not too late-shouts for the night ferry to PangAn can still be heard.
#6 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472