Hatyai Trip: Land border crossing first timers

8:40 31/8/2012 The moment Senandung Langkawi (our train)  halted on the long platform  of Padang Besar Railway Station when we sneaked from the train window. We couldn’t stop pondering what would happen in the next few minutes or hours during the Malaysia-Thailand land border crossing. Our thought were over shadowed with travel mishaps and those shitty story of profiling due to increasing numbers of drug couriers in Thailand-Malaysia border. But this would not deterred us from entering Sawadee land. We know we ain’t doing nothing wrong and would never do or try any stupidest thing in this trip.
When we’re told to leave our baggage in the train coach, without hesitation we complied. But noticed some of the passengers brought their own belongings going outside from the coach, so we decided to do the same. Carrying our backpacks and  braving ourselves as we stepped on the stairs going to the Immigration.
Our hearts pounded so fast like never before upon entering Padang Besar Malaysia – Thailand Immigration Building. We took 5 minutes of walking from the Train going to the Malaysian Immigration Counter for the exit . We usually take the lead and head to the counter as fast as we can to avoid the queue. It was a breeze and got our exit chopped in less than 10 minutes.
Then we asked the MY immigration staff where to go for Thailand Immigration. Pointing to a counter which is few paces away from Malaysian counterpart. We thought of literally crossing the land or walking to the Thai Immigration  but this wasn’t the case. The two immigration counters we’re just 20 paces or less. How convenient is that? Since no one got a problem exiting Malaysia so all the crowd were now in Thai counter. The usual routine of filling the Embarkation card makes the whole process  draggy and time consuming especially for those who didn’t bring their pens.  But got no choice and had spent 30 minutes on the queue. The more we got closer to the counter the more we felt those butterflies in our stomach. Sheez, the nervousness of being first time in Land border crossing tormented us. We kept our composure and think this ordeal is nothing compared to a delayed flight.

We just noticed we’re the only maroon passport holders entering Thailand through Padang Besar during that time. Are we intimidated? not in our vocabulary. We’re even elated and feel proud  being a Filipino. When our turn comes for the image capture we can’t help but showed  our best Pinoy smile to the Thai immigration officer. Then he chopped our passport with 14 Days stamp.  We thought that helps speeding up the process. We felt ecstatic and all those anxieties were now completely gone. 

Since other passengers we’re still lining up for Thai stamp entry we take advantage of the time and head to the Immigration Cafeteria. We buy some refreshment and light snacks to combat our morning hunger pang. We decided to carry what we bought and took it at the long bench near our train coach. 

Walking from the overpass, we clearly saw from the above how close was Malaysia-Thailand counter. We could now really tell why people lean on the sleeper train  over the bus for  border crossing. The Padang Besar Immigration checkpoint of Malaysian-Thailand border is by far the hassle free land border crossing we had experienced.

We did also take time inspecting the Padang Besar Railway station and observed the multiple tracks laid on this border. Judging from what we had saw, this border station can accommodate larger traffic in the future. Aside from Immigration checkpoint, it also serves as inland dryport of Malaysia and Thailand which houses hundreds of container vans adjacent to the station. Cool it is!

When we reach the platform near our coach, the train had just left without a warning. We’re kinda puzzled and asked “What the heck was happening” . No one had explained and we’re completely clueless. 

It’s 9:30 AM Malaysia time and the train left us and thought we’re the only passenger’s behind. It turns out that all of us we’re waiting in vain and there were no signs of an incoming train or what so ever.

There are so many things came up to our mind and we’re on the boundary of exhaustion and hysteria. Summer got already tired of waiting and make her self busy looking that can make her eye have interest. Nothing else we can do but to wait for our train. After 2 hours, the wait was over and it  went back with some cargoes attached to it. That’s explain why it took so long. 
Though we reached Hatyai lag for two hours but it didn’t steal the spotlight of our epic first land border crossing. The whole experience of Land Border crossing in Padang Besar were truly remarkable and good way to start for more in the future.
First timers,
Sky and Summer
Facebook Comments

46 Replies to “Hatyai Trip: Land border crossing first timers”

  1. Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com says: Reply

    It would have been worse if it was only the two of you who were left behind! But this is why whenever I cross the border, I never leave my bags behind. +1 for traveling light! (Btw, link exchange tayo?)

  2. We're so paranoid, because we really thought we'd been left, hindi kasi namin nakita ibang kasama sa coach. Yeah, learning from travel blogger's experience, we never let our backpacks stay away from our sight 🙂

    Link Exchange (ex. inserting your link on my post right?) never ko pa na tried.

  3. Riz || Lamyerda.com says: Reply

    may mga gnung eksena pla ang train na babalik for cargo. 😀 kng ako din anjan sasabog tlga aq sa nerbiyos haha. buti na lng bumalik 😀 never ko pa na try overland to hatyai. mukhang exciting na nakakaba xa.

  4. Haha nakakanerbyos naman. I have yet to try crossing the border by land. Hopefully Cambodia + Thailand next year. #crossingfingers

  5. Yes Riz, at least pag nag train ka for Hatyai hindi ka ma shoshock kung mawawala ang train for 2 hours. You'll surely enjoy the scenery lalo na pag may mga kasama ka. 🙂

  6. Ganun cguro talaga, first time jitters. We also planned Vietnam+Cambodia+Thailand land border crossing by next year 🙂

  7. i havent been on a train in a long time. i have been a couple of times when i was little, and on a eurail pass in europe, and a couple of excursions to LA. it is interesting. we just enjoy our view passing by us as we watch the locals go about doing their daily chores.

  8. Nothing beats the screeching sound of train, the scenic views along the route when travelling with train. The train misses you Fifi Leigh! 🙂

  9. Jerwel De Perio says: Reply

    Goof experience for your first time. Ganyan talaga pag first time. At least you did your best not to panik. 😀

  10. There will always be a first time for everything … if i were in your position i might got the AMALAYER phenomenon knowing i got left by my train . wonder when i can do the border jumping activity just like you did …hmmmm

  11. Summer was on the brink of sanity and almost went to Amalayer mode if the train didn't come back of our expected time of arrival.

  12. Panic is not our option and we don't want to ruin the first time experience of Land Border crossing.

  13. lol …i think am afraid to do the amalayer thing in the border .. they might take back the passes to the other side…get ejected instantly .lol

  14. Nice experience ok lang yan first time namn eh and did you enjoy namn dba 🙂

  15. Thanks Bryan. Yep, first time jitters it is. and we had so much fun 🙂

  16. Wala ng bawian, me tatak na eh, hahaha but it would be scary kung IO ka amalayer mo.

  17. All part of the experience. At least, should the two of you come back, you know what to do and expect. ~ http://www.theurbanwalker.net/

  18. I just crossed the Cambodia – Vietnam border and it was like being in 2 places in one time especially there's a neutral territory in between. The Malaysia – Thailand border would also be interesting to cross.

  19. Yes it's interesting, if you're travelling by train you'll passed to their common town known as Padang Besar, a name and place shared by two countries. 🙂

  20. It really cool to be in two places in the shortest amount of time. 😀

  21. I can only guess what was going on your mind when the train left the station in a haste, leaving all its passengers. you are then in a man's land. What if the Malaysian border personnel sudeenly have a changed of heart and refuse to accommodate you back or the Thai ones refuse you entry. Hayz, kakatakot siguro.

  22. Train rides are enjoyable. Good if you're with a buddy. 🙂

  23. Awww, left behind by the train. Summer only looks sleepy, not pissed naman so okay lang yan. Haha. Charge it ti experience.

  24. Tess Chancellor says: Reply

    Long Train rides going from one place to another is enjoyable.Time flies so fast without you knowing it .Just by looking at the places and taking pictures is relaxing

  25. Justin Queyquep says: Reply

    Very interesting! Thank you for sharing your experience with the train from Malaysia-Thailand border and the hassle that we might encounter with Padang Besar railway. Makes me wanna go now ang experience it too!

  26. Well done on that best Pinoy smile 🙂
    I've always wondered how it is like to cross a border and get the feeling of one foot in one country and the other foot in the other country. Lol silly me.

  27. Teresa Martinez says: Reply

    I've never really thought about this kind of emotions in relation to traveling. Being a non-traveler, I've always imagined traveling to be fun all the way. Good read.

  28. Ive never been in Malaysia! and I've read that there are really great places to visit there. Like they said, "there is always first time for everything".

  29. being in another country is a little bit scary… but as long as your not doing something wrong, there's nothing to be afraid of. hope you enjoyed your stay there, guys. Yahweh bless.

  30. Yes, it is very fulfilling and one should have tried it once.

  31. If that would happen Papaleng, that would be worst nightmare we'll be ever experience. Knock on Woods 🙂

  32. So True, having a companion on a train ride not only have someone to look after for you but someone you can talk to when boredom strikes especially for a long haul ride.

  33. She's sleepy and tired 🙂 An experience worth to be shared, so other people will be heads up if in case they go through with Train ride going to Hatyai.

  34. Agree Ms Tess! It is fun looking the scenic views especially when the train passed by at rural areas.

  35. You're Welcome Justin! sharing this experience will keep an eye out if someone will try going to Hatyai by train.

  36. Thanks Michelle! 🙂 Should have try it, it's really fun!

  37. Having all the fun in travelling is really ideal, but in reality it's more beyond that.

  38. As SEA no.1 country destination, what you can see in Asia is all in Malaysia. 🙂

  39. I'm sure you and Summer had a great time with your first land border crossing experience .. good read here keep the stories coming.. 🙂

  40. Indeed, it's one of a kind experience that a traveller should experience. More of Hatyai Trip stories soon. Thanks

  41. I'd been to Malaysia. Side trip lang from SG. Bon voyage 🙂

  42. Traveling is always an adventure of a lifetime… new experiences, bad or good teach you something about life and your epic first land border crossing is now one of them.

  43. Mye, thanks for leaving a comment.

  44. I'm malaysian and live in Kuala Lumpur (the capital), and I have done the train crossing @ Padang Besar (PB) once. Tomorrow night I will be travelling north again into Thailand, this time, by car… I am also planning to cross the border (by car) @ PB…my first time by car…should be an interesting one…
    Nice reading though…

  45. It's bit late, but Thanks Azra! Hope you had enjoy your land border crossing as well 🙂

Leave a Reply