Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Train to Thailand

Train Tickets to the Border

Bus Ticket to Penang

We researched everything there was to know about taking the train to Bangkok.  First step is to walk to the bus station in Lumut.  Then take the bus to Butterworth, Penang.  From there we take the 'Komuter' train to Pedang Besar on the Thai border.  There we would clear out of Malaysia and into Thailand, board the train at the Pedang Besar station and be in Bangkok 17 hours later.

The Late Train
Well, the best-laid plans of mice, men, and cruisers always go awry.   

The bus ride was long but got us to the train in time.  The train to the Thai border was late and immigration was closed when we arrived at the Pedang Besar station.  Since we hadn't cleared-out, the train left without us.  Train tickets wasted!  Plan B was to clear-out at the road crossing and take a shuttle bus to the next up-line station, Hat Yai, about an hour away.  This would allow us to board the waiting train.

Shuttle Tickets to Hat Yai
In an ideal world, we could have caught the train at the Hat Yai station and been on our way.  

However, Immigration was crowded and it took a half hour to clear-in to Thailand.  We arrived an hour after the train departed.  Plan C:  Get a hotel and book the train for the next day.  There are 5 daily trains but only 1 has sleeper cars.  17 hours is too long to sit in a train seat so we killed the day in Hat Yai and took the 24 hour delay in stride.  

It doesn't get any easier than staying at The Train Hotel

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