Hatyai Trip: 15 Hours Journey to Sawadee Land

21:20 30/8/2012 The aversion of weather daunted us and thrilled, reminding our preoccupied brain that a chance of missing the 15-hour train ride is highly possible. We can’t afford to miss it but the slim chance has unlikely grown. Sky was off for the 9-6 routine and we tried catching up to get a cab the soonest . We disembark to nearest LRT station thinking it’s a  wise decision and expecting the cabs were just waiting. But we had waited long enough and our subconscious mind dictates us to leave the place or else we’re doomed. We’re running like a mad and all we could hope was a good cab driver that will drop us to our abode, pick up our things then zoom to the train station. Apparently, the first driver we approached was a crook, he tried to ripped us off for triple of the normal rate. We could use all profanity words we’d known but we’d rather kept our composure and look out for another one. Yet, we have to decide quickly as time was running out and it’s almost 7PM, two hours more before our departure. We drag ourselves and get the prepaid coupon for a taxi to ensure the cab drivers will not demand an extra fare. The queue was too long and  was able to finish 2 chapters of John Grisham novel before we hopped into our taxi. A sigh of relief when taxi driver senses our urgency to reach the destination as quick as he can. He was not over speeding but he had that traffic skills if you know what I mean. When we reached our condo, all the office clothes were thrown out to laundry bin then took a quick shower followed before we head back to KL Sentral.

It’s almost 8PM and we’re still in our room, double checking and make sure our travel documents were complete and ready. Then we hailed a cab and agreed on metered taxi fare, which is the standard. Normally when heavy rain comes, all the passengers we’ll race each other to get a cab. An opportunity for the scoundrel to overcharge the helpless commuters and made them agreed on a hefty fare. Though they wouldn’t force you but it will make you no choice  especially when you’re   beating the clock. We consider our selves lucky as he didn’t bother to cajole but instead gave us a friendly waive for safe travel. God bless his Soul. 

We’re  paranoid and rushed to train platform as we heard of a train departure announcement. After we realized it wasn’t our train, we asked the staff if we’re on the right platform so we could stay behind. He blithely informed us that we’re too early for the boarding call. So we still have the time to fill our grumbling stomach  at a fancy restaurant near the waiting area. 

21:00 All the passengers had been called and instructed to queue on Gate A bound for Hatyai, Thailand. Tickets had been carefully inspected and the moment we stride on the escalator, excitement filled our hearts on what will happen on the 15-hour journey to Sawadee Land.

Oh, so this is Senandung Langkawi, our beloved train. We’re rushing to look for our assigned coach and the staff happily point the way. L8 , the sleeper coach was on the farthest end of the train, good luck. This will be our moving temporary abode for the next 15 hours of our dear life. For starters, there are only two coaches bound for Hatyai one is a sleeper and another one will intend for seating and the rest of the coaches will be detached before reaching the border. 

We’d found our own bunks, dislodge our baggage and familiarize the sleeper coach. It’s important to know where’s the  loo  and the exit in case of emergency. Then returned to our designated crib. Both of us occupied the upper bunks provided with a pillow, newly machine wash bed cover/ blanket. And curtains that’s been helpful to conceal from noise and light coming to the coach. 

21:20 The engine had started to roll  and few minutes the train left KL Sentral bound for Hatyai. It runs so slow comparable to that of KTM, but we’re not complaining. Why? Because it showed us a spectacular view of KL at night. Even though we’re living in this metropolis for more than a year , the cityscape at night never failed to amaze us and KL is indeed, the garden city of lights.

The train had started to accelerate, I sprawl like a dissected frog and contemplating on an unfinished itinerary.  I’m heavily dependent on online information. I usually start searching things to do, places to go, tourist spots as my primary keywords. Though I found a bunch of helpful information about Hatyai but my half brain thought  the other way. My eyes shut then I lost track of time.

01:00 The train come to halt somewhere in the state of Perak, can barely recall the exact town. I heard a buzz of people alighting and next thing I knew the train was moving fast. I felt like a baby being swayed in a hammock. I want to doze a bit and hope to catch up Summer on dreamland.The constant shaking ddrivesme nuts and send me to oblivion. I’m bitter and found my self helpless after doing all the things that can make me snooze.

01:45 I gave up and I need to do something that can make me occupied . I just remembered I downloaded some travel movies recommended by no other than Gay of Pinay Travel Junkie. I watched Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mother Too) and was enthralled by Mexico’s scenic view. A nice choice eh, for those who had not seen it.  The movie is a story of friendship, travel, lust, and finding your self. I would suggest to watch with a pair of headset and of course with english subtitle. Movie+Dawn+cold+alone these combination were lethal, if you know what I mean. It’s been past 3AM, I close my eyes, and will be dreaming of Boca del Cielo (Heaven’s Mouth).

05:55 I woke up not because the train stops but the direction of train was kinda weird.  It was heading on the opposite way after some 7 hours. Maybe, we haven’t notice the shift of train tracks or could be going back to KL. Hoping it’s not. My doubt had been answered when the train halted in Sungai Petani, a town in state of Kedah, Malaysia. So we’re going to Hatyai then. 

07:05 A beautiful morning greeted me when our train disembark some passengers in Alor Setar,  Kedah. With the short stop over, I buy the time, sneak my head out and took a deep breathe. The serene and tranquil atmosphere of this laid back town just like in Malacca. My affection to retire and live in a rural town grow more.

08:00 The Sun showed up, brighten  the green paddy fields of the rice granary state. Whatever side I look on to, I only see green and rice fields. Once I was dreaming like this somewhere in Nueva Ecija, Philippines and never expected to fulfilled it in Malaysia. 

I was hoping to see farmers cultivating the paddies but haven’t seen one. Maybe all of them took an off since it’s Merdeka (Independence Day). For half an hour, my eyes was delighted to see the vast agricultural land in Perlis, Malaysia.

I forgot I need to fulfilled my obligation as prince charming to sleeping beauty. Oops to late, she had already woke up when I pass to her bunk. Then the train staff reminded us to prepare our passport as we’re near to the border.

8:40 So far we had to pass the states of Selangor, Pahang, Kedah , and Perlis, Malaysia. We’re now in Padang Besar border town of Malaysia and Thailand. After obtaining the exit stamp of Malaysia and entry stamp of Thailand, we took a snack break in the cafeteria before heading back to the train. We had waited for more than two hours before the train left the border and entered Thailand.

11:30 Few minutes passed the border, all we could see were shrubs and tall grasses. A typical scene when you pass by to a province. We saw ladies riding on motorcycle, patiently waiting on the intersection and will zoom off once the last coach pass on them.

We’re kinda surprised after seeing some shacks in Thailand same like in the Philippines. But one that really caught our attention was the satellite dish mounted on their shanties. Wow, pretty sure they’re enjoying watching premium channels through those parabolic antennae. Anyhow, we waited not long enough and few minutes we’ll be greeted by the warm and friendly Thai people.

12:25 The train staff reminded us to be ready since we’re nearer to Hatyai Train Station. Officially we set foot on Sawadee Land after 15 long hours of the journey instead of 13. Our first sleeper train and the land border crossing were indeed epic. But the adventure doesn’t stop here, it just gets started. 

On the succeeding entries, we’ll share why we got stuck in Malaysia-Thailand border for two hours, and our temple hopping and gastronomical adventure in Hatyai, Thailand


First Timers,

Sky and Summer

Facebook Comments

0 Replies to “Hatyai Trip: 15 Hours Journey to Sawadee Land”

  1. amazing race ang dating when catching the train. it would be difficult if you got left behind.

    does the train have electrical sockets? I long for the day when my laptop would reach at least 4 hours on battery mode.


  2. 15 hours on a train. that is a very long and tiring journey. Pero on the side note, you have all the time na magmuni-muni sa buhay and catch a glimpse of new things and places.

  3. 15 hours is such a long ride but the train look comfortable for the long haul.

  4. Finally, thanks for a detailed account of a KTM Intercity trip. Been to the one from Johor Bahru to KL, but not yet northwards. I think I'll skip this one. That's too long a trip, so I'll just take the overnight bus. Malaysia's long distance buses are comfortable anyway. 🙂

  5. It's a such a long, tedious travel. It's really fun. Isn't it? I was quite shock upon seeing that shanties in one of your posted photos here. Yep! It looks like the Philippine setting. But it is too different the way you describe it. The parabolic antenna defies the actual scene. Hhhmmm!

  6. This post made me miss travel blogging all of a sudden. Great details you have here. I've always wished to try-out this kind of train ride but I've never had a chance. Hopefully, I'll get my chance someday.

    Happy travels you two 😀

  7. I haven't been to any train ride.. since I was a little kid!!! and would be nice to visit Malaysia and Thailand too!

  8. 15 hours is a beater. Of all the travels that I've been to, my longest was like 5 hours or so. Your trip maybe long but I am sure it paid you off with the experiences and fun.

    dimaks | The Urban Walker

  9. Gosh! 15hrs!! You got a lot of patience. But the place is worth the travel and the wait.

  10. Travelling for 15 hours via train seems exhausting but I want to do it especially if I have a good company with me. Also, it's sad that some taxi drivers take advantage of people who are in need. Tsk.

  11. Wow, I've never done a train trip from MAS to Thailand. I've done land via car, and your post makes me want to do it your way this time. Looks pretty good, adventure-wise 🙂


  12. Such a long trip. It is like a trip from Japan to US. I experienced a lot of long trip and connecting flight as an OFW but mine was all air flight and by land here in the US. But I guess that is a p rt of our lives as traveller.

  13. Such a long and tiring trip! 15 hrs. wow!
    I do watched the video, the views somehow looks like to Manila, too.
    Anyway, I would love to visit Thailand and Malaysia, too. =)

  14. Hmm, I could put this on my list but since it does resemble the Philippines, medyo nasa Top 50 ko na lang to.

  15. What a long trip but it seems you still enjoyed it.
    So… there are also abusive taxi drivers in Malaysia! tsk tsk..

  16. 15 hours is so long inside a train. then again so is 15 hours in a plane.

  17. You definitely had an adventurous trip but I have one question though. Do the train bunks feel claustrophobic?

  18. Love that part about sleeping beauty and her prince charming 🙂 It's best to go places with a loved one 🙂

  19. What a long travel you have there, time to time you really documented it. Most people have a limited amount of time to travel, good for you though you have so many things to consider you still have manage it all the way.

  20. Thanks for leaving a comment Drew. We miss reading your travel stories 🙂

    Should try one, it's really fun!

  21. If we're unable to hold the lost two tickets of the train, we're going with Comfortable Buses to Hatyai. Although the train had longer trip than Buses, it's one of a kind of experience that shouldn't be miss by travellers if had a lot of time.

    Lloyd thanks for dropping by.

  22. It was comfortable enough and was able to sleep spread like an eagle. 🙂

  23. Somehow had wasted some time just for the train journey. But it was all worth it, and did some reflections during this journey.

  24. It would be disastrous Ed, we don't have any backup plan in case we're lft by the train.

    I was expecting for a socket, but there's NONE. Only small lamp goor reading at night inside the crib 🙂

  25. Thanks, It'd breathable and never felt we're enclosed in a can of sardines. 🙂

  26. You bet Sir Gil, it was really fun and exciting. I recall it was 6 out of 10, shanties we passed by have satellite dishes mounted on their homes. I'm guessing that they prefer parabolic antennas rather the normal ones 🙂

  27. Well, that was a smooth trip regardless of the time. I actually want to experience a sleeper train, and might actually get on one soon (as we have something similar to that now back here in the Philippines). Anyway, I do hope to meet you both, should my beau and I find ourselves in KL. 🙂

  28. Indeed Jason! I would highly recommended to do the same and now we're looking forward for a much long distance travel by train up to BKK 🙂

  29. We don't feel tired, it's just dragging 🙂 Yeah tag along with friends when taking a ride it's lotta more fun.

    Although not all taxi drivers doing the same, but it's so sad they're doing it bluntly.

  30. Yes Nessie! 15 hours and it's all worth it 🙂

  31. You Nailed it Dimaks! We could have take the plane or bus but we really opted to ride a sleeper train since it's our first. We want to experience what to be real traveller. 🙂

  32. Same with Manila +Petronas and Kl Towers 🙂

    Thailand and Malaysia are definitely worth to visit! ^_^

  33. We really intend to go by train, we knew there's a lot of stories to tell and deviate us from traditional bus or airplain travel which is boring and predictable 🙂

  34. It was Ms Tess and it's filled of excitement and good source of stories to tell for travel blogging 🙂

  35. Is it the train going to Bicol right? Hope to experience that as well.

    Give us a holler when you visit in KL we love to meet you as well Mai and your beau! ^_^

  36. nice one. i havent tried this before. i mean ung sobrang tagal na travel sa train.

  37. Do visit Malaysia and Thailand, you felt like visiting the whole asia already 🙂

  38. A traveler doesn't really cares if it take hours to travel because it's satisfying when you get there… right?!

  39. Should try Ms. Airra, as long meron kayong kasama 🙂

  40. Absolutely Right! not unless if you have time constraint itinerary then good luck.

  41. If summer was still sleeping, I wouldn't mind to give her a morning kiss, total wala naman makakakita. 🙂

  42. Not really, yung shanties pareho but Hatyai is far different from Manila 🙂 We can tell.

  43. Yup, we enjoy every single of it. No regrets. 15 hours is piece of cake. 🙂

    Yeah, too many to mention abusive cab drivers.

  44. quite an adventure eh! im glad all went as planned…I would love to experience a long train ride with my loved one someday, its something new for us.Yahweh bless

  45. It all went smoothly as planned but we alter some plan and do spontaneous.

    You should tried it Ralph, its really fun 🙂

  46. expecting more travel experiences from you both, the travel loversbloggers, read quite number of articles already! God Bless!

  47. I like the way you tell the story… very detailed but I started to imagine how tired and exhausted your entire body was when you stated this and I quote…

    "Though I found bunch of helpful information about Hatyai but my half brain thought the other way. My eyes shut then I lost track of time."

    You've found a place of oblivion where you would not worry for a while.

  48. Muchas Gracias Mimidear, andami pa naming backlogs and incoming travel. Goodluck samin 🙂

  49. Both of us just came from work and our body was already tired and during that time we're both hoping to get baby sleep. But too bad for me, only Summer had mastered sleeping in vehicle.

  50. Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are really travel destinations eh? Your destination is quite nice!~

    I also wonder how people in those countries think of travelling in the Philippines. Hehe

  51. Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the issues.
    It was really informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Many thanks for sharing!

    Also visit my web-site – Chiang Mai Luxury accommodation

  52. Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will
    be waiting for your next post thanks once again.

    Here is my homepage :: Pattaya Exhibition

  53. Wonderful article! We will be linking to this particularly
    great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.

    Feel free to visit my web blog :: pattaya sailing

Leave a Reply