Asia > Southeast Asia > Thailand > Southern Thailand > Southern Gulf Coast > Padang Besar (Thailand)
Padang Besa or Padang Besar (ปาดังเบซาร์). Also spelled Padangbesar, Padangbezar and Padangbasar) is a border town in Southern Thailand.
Padang Besa is the only direct rail link between Malaysia and Thailand. It also has a road crossing between the two countries which is a lot less busy than the more direct Sadao-Bukit Kayu Hitam crossing.
Slightly bigger and a lot more ramshackle and sleazy looking than its Malaysian counterpart, Thailand's Padang Besar is often busy with Malaysians crossing the border for shopping and to indulge in the freewheeling entertainment which Thai border towns are infamous for.
For more information on visa requirements for Thailand, see Thailand | Get in.
The Thai side of Padang Besar has a small railway station which should not be confused with the Padang Besar station on the Malaysian side where all Thai and Malaysian immigration formalities are carried out. The station is on the right side of the road leaving town towards Hat Yai.
There are shuttle trains twice daily between Hat Yai and Padang Besar, Malaysia, as well as a daily special express train between Bangkok and Padang Besar. Refer to the State Railways of Thailand's website for schedule and booking.
Malaysia is one hour ahead of Thailand. When it is noon in Thailand, it is 13:00 in Malaysia.
Padang Besar is about 50 km south of Hat Yai. Coming from Hat Yai, you will have to turn right (west) at Sadao. To get to the Malaysian town of Padang Besar, leave town on the road to Hat Yai and the Thai immigration checkpoint is about 1 km away on the right.
The border crossing is open 05:00-23:00 Thai time (06:00-midnight Malaysian time).
Bus to/from Hat Yai: Regular local bus and minivans link Padang Besar and Hat Yai via Sadao. Journey time is about one hour and half. Red coloured local buses leave from the main town square (Clock Tower) every half an hour or so, and can be boarded from bus stops along Phet Kasen Rd and Kanjanavanich Rd ((Hwy 407) as well as at the train station before getting to the Clock Tower. Minivans leave from bus terminal when they get full. If you are just heading to Malaysia, ask driver to drop you off at the border as they continue to go into the town center.
On the other direction from the border, the bus and minivan (if not full) can be caught on the main road across from the Thai immigration complex, although mototaxis try to take you to the town center. Cross the road on the pedestrian overpass and wait for Hat Yai-bound buses. Local buses will stop at bus terminal and train station (but not the other direction), and minivans just go to the bus terminal. Buses stop running around 18:00, so it is advisable to check.
Bus to/from Malaysia: There are no direct buses. From Hat Yai, get off the bus at the Thai immigration complex and walk or take a motorcycle taxi (20 baht or RM2 should be enough). If you choose to walk, remember that the two immigration checkpoints are several hundred metres apart. There is a duty free shopping complex in between the checkpoints on Malaysia territory.
- Wat Tham Khao Rup Chang (วัดถ้ำเขารูปช้าง) (About 13km from Padang Besar market). The temple uses the cave as religious ground. The cave has been partitioned into several rooms with delicate stalactites and stalagmites. The surroundings are peaceful and shaded by trees.
|Routes through Padang Besar|
|Bangkok ← Hat Yai ←||N S||→ Butterworth|