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Padang Besar city

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.

The town on the Malaysian side of the border, in Perlis, is also called Padang Besar. Malaysians usually refer to the town on the Thai side as "Pekan Siam" or "Siamese Town".

Slightly bigger and a lot more ramshackle 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 for which Thai border towns are infamous.

Get in[edit]


Travel Warning WARNING: No visa run (as of 2024)
Note that same-day exit from and re-entry back into Thailand is not possible at this border crossing. Local border guards here claim that in this region you can only re-enter the next day and have to stay at least one night in Malaysia. Some rumors also state 3 days.

However, leaving Thailand at Padang and re-entering the same day at the 22 km away Wang Kelian border crossing (which is a different district) worked as of Feb 2024 with a little bit of playing dumb — but best not to mention the fact that you just left Thailand at Padang. The Thai border guards at Wang Kelian seem to be less concerned about the same day issue and might oversee the date of the Thai exit stamp — in Padang however they are very attentive.

Hitch-hiking to Wang Kelian from Padang is possible.

For more information on visa requirements for Thailand, see Thailand | Get in.

By train[edit]

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.

By bus[edit]

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 the main bus terminal (platform 24) when they get full. As of 2020 the price is 50 baht. 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 Malaysian territory.

By car[edit]

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).

Get around[edit]


  • 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.






Go next[edit]

Trains go direct to Hat Yai.

If travelling into Malaysia, trains from the Malaysian side go directly to Alor Setar, Sungai Petani, and Butterworth for George Town.

Routes through Padang Besar
BangkokHat Yai  N  S  Butterworth

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