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Visa run to Penang: fly from Hua Hin to Hat Yai, then bus?


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Me and my partner need to do a visa run because our 30-day exemption expires. We want to get the 60-day tourist visa in Penang, leaving from Hua Hin. Because the train takes such a long time, I was looking into other alternatives. Found a cheap flight from Hua Hin to Hat Yai. From there we can take a minivan or bus to Penang. Anyone experience with this one? Or any other advice that might be helpful? Thanks in advance!

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The mini bus frm Hat Yai to Penang is 300 Baht and is quite painless. The roads in Malaysia are very good and compared to bus journeys in Thailand fairly stress free

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Overnight on the train is quite pleasant.

Agreed that the train is quite pleasant. However, spring for a first class cabin for the two of you unless you enjoy the cacophony of cell phones ringing all through the night and the owners feeling obligated to conduct conversations -- "Can you hear me now?" -- at all hours.

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Overnight on the train is very pleasant. There is usually a sort of Disco, music and dancing and quite a lot of fun. I have never heard what WPcoe is talking about. The sleeping carriages are very quiet. I have been doing this CM-Bk-Penang return for something like 10 years. I know most of the resto crowd. Take the train from Hat Yai, but of course then the Thais leave and so does the Resto car. From then you are in Malay hands (no alcohol and no fun). If you ever take it from B'kok, don't let them charge you more than 120Baht for a large Chang. They are very careful never to show you the drink menu. If you are with a crowd, then the prices go up. As I say I know most of them so well - they try, but give in rather gracefully when I refuse. But it is fun. I once did it with Air Asia - what a pain and my memories of Penang airport a nightmare. Just not civilised.

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I pay B'kok - Penang 1100baht ish 2nd class aircon. Wpcoe is talking through his hat. It's not necessary 1st class costs a fortune.

Edited by Gillyflower
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An alternative would be to fly from Bangkok Dong Muang direct to Penang with AirAsia.

I don't think there is any direct flight from BKK to PEN on Air Asia.

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If you do want the van from Hat Yai, realize that vans from Thailand currently aren't crossing the border. I went to two places this morning and was told that there aren't any vans running at all. I did manage to find a company but what they did was take us all to the border and we changed vans there. Same price, but it took about 7 hours instead of 4. But we had van troubles so I think that took about two hours. I really wish I could tell you the name of the company, but I can't remember and can't find the card. Darn. It's way out of the way, way over by Diana department store. Tell a motorcycle taxi driver to take you to the van company out by Diana departement store, that ought'a do it. Cost me 30 baht for the taxi to the van place. 400 baht. Friendly and very pleasant lady at the desk.

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did visa run last year,,,Air Asia Bangkok to Penang,,,,no problems and was there in no time

The airport must have improved as I had no problems either way

city bus right in to center of Penang from airport was about 30 Baht,,,maybe just a little more

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The mini bus frm Hat Yai to Penang is 300 Baht and is quite painless. The roads in Malaysia are very good and compared to bus journeys in Thailand fairly stress free

minivan HDY > PNG >HDY is having problems with Malaysian Min of Transport, has not been running recently. You can take the train to Butterworth from Had Yai and back again, or return on a coach, leaves Komtar 08:30, tickets from booking agents in Penang.

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An alternative would be to fly from Bangkok Dong Muang direct to Penang with AirAsia.

I don't think there is any direct flight from BKK to PEN on Air Asia.

There is a daily direct flight between Dong Muang and Penang.

Sent from my iPad using Thaivisa Connect Thailand

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The OP is a she... name is Diana... Well, ok this is Thailand so you never know, but then he's still a she ;)

Plane lands at 5pm in Hat Yai so no way we can get to Penang the same day. Need a night over in Hat Yai. Then we might as well take the train.Went to the railway station this morning to check for tickets. Upcoming days everything full. The lady at the ticketbooth told me to come back at 12o'clock Sunday (the first day we'd like to leave, otherwise Monday) because she always gets cancellations and we can be squeezed in. Also went to the airport to see if the ticketprice would be different when buying there: nope, still 1065B. It's a bit of a gamble with the train but if we can't get on it on Sunday or Monday, we can still go by plane Monday. The bus in Hat Yai will be more of a hassle then... As Troysantos said, find the agency close to Diana (nice name...) Departmentstore and change van at the border. Doesn't sound that bad. As long as there are vans, we'll get to Penang. :)

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The mini vans are Thai........don't forget that when you get to Penang you don't have to go through the hassle of going to the Consulate. Most hotels will do it for you and you get it in a few hours. This year I arrived on a Monday late and left on the Wednesday. The 60 day will cost you 110RM (1100 baht) and 30RM for their work. It's far cheaper than to take 4 taxis. On Chulia there are travel agents who do it too. I have been going there for years and I still don't know where the Consulate is. Don't want to either. Sometimes I don't even fill in the form that we have in the beginning. I just sign it and I suppose someone else fills it in from the one that I completed originally.

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THANKS FOR ALL THE REPLYS BY THE WAY! !wai2.gif Also the ones about the train. It made us think more positive about that option.

I just came back from Penang a few days ago on the train,its not too bad. We actually went from Hua Hin to Butterworth and then back to Bangkok. It leaves Hua Hin at 18.45 and gets to Butterworth at mid day Thai time, about 17 hours. There is no first class to Butterworth, they only go as far as Hat Yai. It is best to get a lower berth as when we got on at Hua Hin the beds had been made, on the bottom you can sit on the bed, not a choice if you are on the upper.

It is only a short walk from the platform at Butterworth to the ferry and only a few baht to get across. I would advise a bit of caution around Butterworth station, there was a handbag snatch right outside the station when I was waiting on the train back.

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Another reason to take a lower berth. It is more expensive, but you have the curtain from the upper berth to pull over the curtain of the lower which means that you are in darkness. In the upper berth you have the lights (on all night) shining in on you. Plus you don't have to cope with the ladder to climb up and down. It is only a 2 carriage train. They must have improved the walk to the ferry because I find it bloody long, uphill and all. There were STILL in full renovation when I was there in January well over a year.

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I have never known this train to be on time. Every so often the Malaysians go on strike because the Thais are so late. How any times have I seen it get in about 10-15 mins. before it is to start again. It is the same at the border. The Thai immigration wait until the train is in before they come, where as the Malaysian side is ready waiting.

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I'm in Penang now. Always like this place. If I hadn't already decided I'm gonna live in Thailand, boy, this would have to be the place. Even Georgetown is really cool. Tons of gorgeous old trees, and I love big fat trees :)) Friendly, helpful people. Cultural diversity brings lots of things to keep the senses stimulated ;))

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I'd love to go to Penang again to do a visa run.
My situation:
Australian, got 30 day tourist visa on arrival in Chiang Mai then went to Mae Sai which only got me 14 days extension so need another extension by the 9th of May.
Is there any way to get a 60 day tourist visa by flying to Penang, or would it be just 30 and do I have to visit immigration office there to arrange it all?
Thanks

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You got a new visa exempt entry (it is not a VOA or a tourist visa) not an extension. The 15 day entry you got is normal for most people at a border crossing.

You can apply for a single entry tourist visa in Penang that will give you a 60 day entry that can be extended for 30 days at immigration.

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You got a new visa exempt entry (it is not a VOA or a tourist visa) not an extension. The 15 day entry you got is normal for most people at a border crossing.

You can apply for a single entry tourist visa in Penang that will give you a 60 day entry that can be extended for 30 days at immigration.

Thanks ubonjoe,

Just wanted to be perfectly clear because I messed up this Burma extension so royally that I don't wan't any more headaches hence the request to explain it to me like a 7 year old child:

1. Fly to Penang

2. Visit the Thai embassy in Penang

3. Apply for a single entry tourist visa at Thai embassy in Penang

4. Fly back to Chiang Mai

5. After 60 days visit Thai embassy in Chiang Mai and extend for another 30 days

Thank you for your patience.....

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In Penang you don't even have to go to the consulate. Most people use an agent.

There is no embassy in Chiang Mai you go to the immigration office for the 30 day extension.

If you are planning on staying longer that the total 90 days you can get from a single entry visa you might want to consider a trip to Vientiane for a 2 entry visa. Nok Air has flights to Udon Thani from CM and from there it is a short trip to the bridge in Nong Kai. The also offer a fly/ride service to Vientiane via Udon.

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Just ask when you check into the hotel they will have their own or call you one.

One is at the Banana guest house.

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Fatboi, there is no way to miss the visa agents in Penang, j either ask in your hotel or take a walk down chukka street and just look out for all the signs saying 'thai visa's', impossible to miss as there must be 7 or 8+ agents down there. I haven't. Been back since 2009 but nothing will have changed. Good luck on your trip.

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Just ask when you check into the hotel they will have their own or call you one.

One is at the Banana guest house.

Banana Guest House sorting it out for me, tell you what I'll be a lot more relaxed when the visa is approved given the current state of play.

Wonder if I should fly back to Chiang Mai to be safe, I sure do love a good train trip though....

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