In autumn, 2022 we living on Samui island, and wanted to get a new 45-days stamp to our passports. We have 135cc motorbike Yamaha Spark, so we decided to run on it to the border and back.
First is Seatran Ferry to Donsak peer:
Before starting the trip and while on board, I tried to find actual information on which border is better for our journey. Few years ago, before covid, we used Sadao to border crossing, and it always was pretty smooth, without any problems about our own motorbike (last time they did not asked any documents related to motorbike). But for now, I found success reports only about Satun checkpoint (but everybody told what they had paid money for stamps, around 1500 - 2500 thb per person).
At this time, as the first option, we desided to drive to Padang Besar checkpoint. There was not so many people in the line at Thailand side. All local people get stamped very quickly. But when we came to the officer, she asked us to go to the separate room on left from the booths for an "additional check".
In that room, a very friendly woman, explained to us, that as foreign people, we will not be allowed to just cross the border and came back to Thailand. We have to stay in Malaysia for 2-3 days before returning. On question can we take our motorbike to Malaysia, she suggested to park it somewhere on Thailand side.
Actually, that is not so bad option. If you came to Padang Besar by public transport or on motorbike (and parked it there), you can cross the border on foot and you will find a small town on the Malaysian side, with hotels, ATMs, and everything for living. Thai Dtac will offer an internet roaming package for a week just for 99 baht.
But we sat on our motorbike, and ran to Satun checkpoint. It looks close on the map, but by road it is around 120 kilometers. But all the roads are scenic and pretty:
Satun is only border point, where border-runs from Phuket and Samui coming. If you wand to seat in minibus running 150-180 km/h from 4 am till 7pm - that's the option :)
We showed our passports to officer on Thai side in Satun. He asked - are we with a company (No), and for how long time we going to Malaysia (just there and back). Same, he said that first, we should go at "that window" (another building after thai border checkpoint). After a small discussion between 2 thai immigration officers (where we listen a 2500 number), they told us what we must pay 2000 baht for each, 4000 for both. Ok, we paid to thai man with black wears (not an immigration form), and he assured us that now we will get stamps "100% exactly". And really, without any questions, we got stamps "departed" in Thailand, "arrived" in Malaysia, "departed" in Malaysia in the next window one meter from "arrival", and went back to Thai border checkpoint. Another officer with big "POLICE" letters on his back asked us "where are you going?", then confirmed what we paid from another immigration officers, came into "arrival" booth, and put stamps on our passports, without any questions, just fingerprints was scanned and photo made.
Totally happy, we went back across scenic views and beautiful nature around
Resume. If you want to do border-run to Malaysia without "a company", and want to do that in one day by the ground - you have to use Satun (Wang Prachan) checkpoint. But remember to prepare 2000-2500 baht "for a service".
The Thailand-Malaysia border has around 6 checkpoints. But, if you will use Sadao on your feet, you will be warned that you can return to Thailand only after 3 days, but will be found on the Malaysian side just the road, and will have only one option - to take a taxi (then better to take a bus at Hat Yai to somewhere in Malaysia, instead of going to Sadao).
If you want to visit Malaysia for a few days and do it maximum cheaply, probably the best option will Padang Besar (see the map by the link) because people on this border looks so friendly, and main - after you will cross the border, at Malaysia you will found a town with hotels, ATMs, shops, train station - you will have all necessary for a comfortable visit.
Regarding other checkpoints (Yala, Pattani provinces) - they are harder to reach, and they are placed in not-quiet districts. For me was enough to read reviews of them on Google Maps (man with guns, "everybody corrupted", "everything for money", "checks are very strict"), and we had no desire to go there.
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