Faces of
Malaysia
Pulau Kapas

Pulau Kapas is a small island located only about 6km off Marang in the east coast state of Terengganu (about 1h north of Kuala Terengganu). It has quite and relaxed atmosphere because it is bypassed by the majority of the backpacker circuit looking for a more remote place like the Perhentian Islands. Pulau Kapas only get fairly busy on the weekends when locals come to island. There are a few good snorkeling spots around the island. All accommodations and beach are on the west coast facing the mainland. The west coast is the weather side has no sand beach, only rocks - it can be reached after a short walk through the jungle. Pulau Kapas shuts down during the monsoon season between November and February.

Ipoh

Ipoh is the apital of the state of Perak and the fourth largest city of peninsular Malaysia with a population of 760,000 (Metro area: 1.4 Mil). It is scenically located amoung karst limestone hills in the Kinta Valley, about 2 1/2 hours north of Kuala Lumpur. The city is somehow forgotten by most travellers in Malaysia, however it has a lot to offer with many colonial buildings and shophouses (it used to be a very rich city around the turn of the 19th century due to tin mining) and the nature (hills, caves) around. Among Malaysians it is known for good food like the popular Ipoh Chicken Rice.

Fruit Seller

Kuala Lumpur - Hat Yai

How to go from Kuala Lumpur up north to Thailand by bus or train.

Kuala Lumpur - Hat Yai (Thailand)

Hat Yai (also Haadyai) is the first big city in Thailand's south after passing the border from Malaysia. From here travellers can transit to destinations like Krabi, Phuket, Bangkok or to Ko Sumai or Ko Phangan.


distance: ca. 540km
total travel time: about 8 hours
departure in KL from: TBS Bus Terminal

 

 

 

Bus Connections KL - Hat Yai

The buses heading up to the Thai border at Bukit Kayu Hitam are using the North–South Expressway (E1) passing Ipoh, Butterworth / Penang and Alor Setar.

Bus Tickets Online:
Kuala Lumpur - Hat Yai
Hat Yai - Kuala Lumpur

 

 


 

Train Connection KL - Hat Yai

There was a popular option to use the overnight sleeper train from KL to Hat Yai but these service unfortunately had been cancelled. Now you would take the train on the modern Electric Train Service (ETS, opened in 2010) to Padang Besar (border town to Thailand) and from there catch another train to Hatyai or in case the transit time too long, you might also also just walk across the border and take a minivan from there.

 

Train Kuala Lumpur - Padang Besar (Malaysian town at the Thai border)

travel time: about 5h 30min
ticket prices: from RM 76
departure from KL (KL Sentral) / arrival Padang Besar:
6.45am / 12.08pm
9.44am / 3.05pm
11.40am / 5.03pm
6.17pm / 0.49am
11.27pm / 5.01am

 

Shuttle Train Padang Besar - Hatyai (Thailand)

travel time: 1h
ticket prices: 70 Thai Baht or RM 10
departure: 9.55am, 3.40pm

Most people use taxis (expensive) or minivans to go to Hatyai from the border instead since the shuttle train is slow and the connection times are inconvenient. Be careful of the touts the stations and try not to get ripped off.

more information:
www.train36.com/train-from-kuala-lumpur-to-hat-yai
www.train36.com/padang-besar-hat-yai-shuttle-train
detailed blog report of the experience of taking the train from Padang Besar to Hatyai:
wildabouttravel.boardingarea.com/2017/02/rail-journey-asia-2-across-malaysiathai-border

 

 

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