Alternative Travel: From Singapore to Thailand on Land

“Little by Little,

One Travels Far”

Apart from flying, another alternative and fun way is to travel by train! Not only you can get off at any city/town you would like to explore, you also get to catch beautiful scenery of the countryside. Unlike airfares, train prices are quite standard and you do not need to worry about your over-sized backpack at all!

On my most recent trip, I had decided to travel to Thailand from Malaysia by train and fell in love with it. I ended up commuting around Thailand via railways for two weeks 🚂🚂🚂

There are actually a few ways to cross Malaysia-Thailand border by train raging from luxurious price to backpacker price:

  1. Eastern and Oriental Express: runs twice a month from Singapore to Bangkok for 3-days 2-night. Price ranges from £2,792 (~USD3,500) for solo traveller 😱
  2. Johor Bahru —> Gemas —> Kuala Lumpur —> Penang —> Padang Besar —> Hatyai: about 19-hours (excluding transferring and waiting), total cost SGD48 (~USD35)
  3. Johor Bahru —> Gemas —> Padang Besar —> Hatyai: about 19-hours (excluding transferring and waiting), total cost SGD48 (~USD35)
  4. Johor Bahru —> Pasir Mas —> Rantau Panjang —> Sungei Kolok —> Hatyai: almost 24hrs, total cost SGD28 (~USD20)

And needless to say, I chose the cheapest way to start my adventure!😅

My initial plan was to take the shuttle bus from Woodlands Train Checkpoint to Johor Bahru. However, due to weekends, the tickets were sold out completely even though I was 3-hours early to get a ticket (’cause they don’t sell it online anymore🙄). The queues for public buses entering JB were horrendous! 😫 and so decided to squeeze into a blue bus meant for factory workers. This helped me skipped the horrible long queue and only cost me RM2.

look out for this blue bus if you ever want to get out of checkpoint during peak period

After clearing in JB checkpoint, just follow signage towards JB Sentral to get train ticket to Pasir Mas!

Note that there is only one train leaving daily at 1900hrs from JB to Pasir Mas.

Train ticket: RM55 (USD12)

The whole journey took about 18-hours. There are several long stops in between enough time for you to get down the train to buy food or smoke.

From Pasir Mas train station, it’s only a less than 10-minutes walk to bus station.

The counter is only for inter-city buses, but you can approach the staff to ask for bus number to Rantau Panjang

There will be a destination signage in front of the bus. Fare: RM3.30, about 45-minutes ride

it’s a local bus and they are kind to tell you where to get off (=

Malaysia Checkpoint (to be stamped out of Malaysia)

Leaving Malaysia~~~

and crossing the bridge to enter THAILAND! 🤗

Random thoughts: does one side belong to Malaysia and the other belong to Thailand? 🤔

Thailand Checkpoint

At this point of time I don’t understand why I still chose to walk the 80o-meters to Sungei Kolok Railway Station under the hot sun at 1400hrs 😥😥😥 

A sign of relief~

Train ticket: 323 Bhat (USD9) Journey: ~3.5hrs

Windowless seat! 😇

local business

And this is how I spent my 24-hours commuting across 3 countries, enjoying every moment of it!! 😎😎😎

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