Never take a bus to Alor Setar to cross border from Thailand… unless you are pretty confident of things.
You do not get a satisfactory or complete answer however hard you try to find on net, in forums, twitter and everywhere else about taking a bus from Hat Yai to Alor Setar, a comparatively less popular place in northern Malaysia. Try in Hat Yai. Go to bus station (also known as Bor Kor So)….
No direct bus for Alor Setar. Even though the place is big enough to have an airport, a railway station and is quite a developed town of Malaysia. Bigger than Ipoh for all practical purposes.
Do not get carried away if in Thailand they promise to drop you at Alor Setar. Because in reality no one knows anything about it. It’s in a different country, you see.
From southern Thailand, if you want to cross border overland by bus into Malaysia, the better known destinations are Penang, Butterworth and Padang Besar.
Padang Besar is just at the border and other two a little inside on west coast. Every 2-3 hours there are buses plying to Penang and Butterworth from different towns of Thailand.
And Alor Setar is on the way to these two towns.
Even then if you insist to give it a try, the buses going to Penang or Butterworth will take you there at the same cost but will drop you at the Highway/expressway near the toll outside the city.
Once there, you find yourself stranded. You don’t know how far is the town from that place, so walking down is definitely ruled out. I was told there would be some taxis available but then they know how badly you want to reach the town before it gets dark.
And if you are traveling alone with heavy bags, not booked your hotel yet; you are definitely in soup.
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Great post! I love the way you’ve painted a dark picture of Hat Yai. Its in the middle of the back of nowhere, but yet, you’ve been there !
Okay- I want to know if this was written as a result of you taking the bus and being stranded- having to make your way- OR if you realized it was a bad decision and took the bus to Butterworth instead? Are you going to be stopping by Taiping?
Hi Nisha! Now I understand what a bad experience means…
Blogtrotter Two is having a MED break; a nice experience… 😉
Enjoy and have a great week!!
I was very scared when I had reached there from Malaysia. First unknown place for me when I was absolutely alone without any plans or address to go.
But later on my way back, I had gained confidence and could handle the situation better. 🙂
I was about to take the said bus… had booked ticket and all and suddenly just before getting in I realized I could try something else and luck favoured me. 🙂
This is to guide other fellow passengers. Had I not been alone, I would have tried this route too. 🙂
No, did not stop at Taipei. I should leave something for next time. 🙂
Some things teach us to be more vigilant. 🙂