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Guide To Travelling From Malaysia To Thailand – Travel Procedures, Costs & Requirements 

Travel to Thailand from Malaysia

We love our country, for sure. But that doesn’t mean we can’t also plan trips to neighbouring countries to discover more lip-smacking food and jaw-dropping malls.

A destination that we would make repeat trips to is Thailand – for more reasons than one. With all the food markets, bargain shopping, and buzzing nightlife, we’ll happily spend all our baht in the Land of Smiles. Not to mention, it’s pretty easy to get there too.

If you’re wondering “yes meh?”, here’s a guide on how to travel from Malaysia to Thailand in 2024.

– Travelling to Thailand –

Before you start packing your bags and baht, there are a couple of things to do before beginning your travel to Thailand. It includes pre-departure and upon-arrival requirements – read on to find out what they are.

Before departure

Is Thailand visa-free for Malaysians?

As with any trip beyond our country’s borders, the first thing to check is the visa requirements of the travel destination. Fortunately for Malaysians travelling to Thailand for pleasure, we can enjoy visa-free travel for up to 30 days as a tourist.

Though a visa is not required, you’ll still need to have a passport with at least 6-month validity, ticket for a return flight, and proof of funds and accommodation prior to making your trip. Upon arrival in Thailand, you’ll receive a Visa Exemption stamp in your passport if all these are in order.

travelling from malaysia to thailand 2024 - passport
Image credit: Ashhry Atan via Facebook 

For longer stays beyond the Visa Exemption period, the Thailand government allows the extension of visa-free travels from 30 to 60 days for 93 countries, including Malaysia.

To apply, visit a local Thai Embassy or Consulate in Malaysia, which can be found in KL, Penang, and Kota Bharu. Alternatively, you can head to an Immigration Bureau office in Thailand, located at popular destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

travelling from malaysia to thailand 2024 - application visa form
An application for visa form.

Image credit: Royal Thai Embassy, Kuala Lumpur via website

There are two kinds of Tourist Visas (TR): Single Entry with 3-month validity, and Multiple Entry with 1-year validity that’s also called a Non-Immigrant Visa for Long Stay.

To apply for these TRs, you’ll need to bring along the following documents on your visit to the Thai Embassy:

  • Valid passport with at least 6-month validity and 2 blank visa pages
  • Completed application form with 2 passport-size photos
  • Round-trip transport ticket, or vehicle registration and driving license for travel by land
  • Proof of financial means and accommodation booking

For Multiple-Entry visas, you’ll also need to provide proof of permanent residency in Malaysia, bank statement, medical certificate, certified criminal record, and health insurance.

What is the minimum cash requirement for Malaysians to enter Thailand?

travelling from malaysia to thailand 2024 - baht
Image credit: Karn Bulsuk via Flickr

You’re likely already planning a trip to a local money changer to get baht notes to splurge during your trip in Thailand. But you’ll also want to take note of the minimum cash requirement for all foreign travellers to Thailand, regardless of origin.

Recently, the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok issued an advisory for tourists to carry adequate cash for the duration of their stay in Thailand. While this is not new rule, it’s a good reminder that the Thai authorities conduct checks at random and have the right to refuse entry to tourists who cannot show proof of this.

According to the Royal Thai Embassy website, travellers entering the country on a Visa Exemption status must carry at least THB20,000 (~RM2,573) per person or THB40,000 (~RM5,147) per family.

Upon arrival

Do I need to fill out a T.M.6 form?

If you’ve travelled to Thailand before, whether by land or by air, you might recall filling up a T.M.6 Immigration Form, otherwise known as Tor Mor 6. The mandatory form must be filled and shown at Thailand checkpoints.

The form is split into two parts – arrival and departure. Key details such as personal information, flight or vehicle number, and purpose of visit must be included on it.

travelling from malaysia to thailand 2024 - tm6
Image credit: Royal Thai Embassy, Kuala Lumpur via website

You’ll need to keep the form safe too, as it’ll be returned to you after immigration checks and used again upon departure from Thailand. Failure to show it at checkpoints can result in hefty fines by Thai authorities.

On 9th April, it was announced that Malaysians travelling to Thailand via land by private vehicle can temporarily skip filling up the T.M.6 form, as shared by Thai Prime Minister in a statement. The temporary suspension of T.M.6 for motorists is between 15th April and 15th October 2024.

Are there any Covid-19 entry requirements?

With the surge of Covid-19 cases now behind us, Thailand no longer requires tourists to provide Covid-19 related documents such as Covid-19 vaccination certification, test results, or insurance coverage upon arrival since 1st October 2022.

That being said, foreign travellers need not apply for Thailand Pass or Certificate of Entry (COE) either. This was previously a must for arrivals in Thailand to help ease travel during the pandemic, which required info such as proof of vaccination and insurance.

How to get a special border pass in Malaysia?

travelling from malaysia to thailand 2024 - border pass
Image credit: Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia via website

Malaysians also have the option to apply for a border pass. This pass is issued to Malaysian citizens who were born or have been residing for more than one year in Perlis, Kelantan, Kedah, and the Hulu Perak District, as validated by the address on their Identity Card.

For the uninitiated, the purpose of this border pass is to allow for ease of travel from border states to southern Thailand, specifically Songkhla, Yala, Pattani, and Satun Province. It has a 1-year validity period from the date of issue, and permits multiple entries.

There are 8 main overland border crossings between Malaysia and Thailand:

  • Wang Kelian, Perlis – Wang Prachan
  • Padang Besar, Perlis – Padang Besa
  • Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah – Sadao
  • Kota Putra, Terengganu – Ban Prakob
  • Pengkalan Hulu, Hulu Perak District – Betong
  • Bukit Bunga, Kelantan – Buket
  • Rantau Panjang, Kelantan – Sungai Kolok
  • Pengkalan Kubor, Kelantan – Tak Bai

The following documents are required to apply for the border pass:

  • Two passport-size photos on white background
  • Application form
  • Proof of residence in the eligible states
  • Birth certificate and parental consent Form A1/B1, if under 12 years old

There’s also a small application fee of RM10. For more detailed information on the required documentation for specific applicants, you can refer to the Government of Malaysia’s official website.

You can head to any Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia (JIM) or UTC branch to apply for the pass.

– Transportation to Thailand –

When it comes to getting to Thailand from Malaysia, you can opt to travel by land or by air. While hopping on a flight is the most convenient and reliable way to travel to Thailand, there are other ways to get there too.

By train

travelling from malaysia to thailand 2024 - train
Image credit: @heng_anirut via Instagram

For those who appreciate slow travels, start your journey to Thailand in KL via train. While there’s no direct train from KL to Thailand, the most convenient option is to take the KTM train from KL Sentral, KL, to Padang Besar, Perlis, which typically takes around 6 hours.

The cost for a train ticket to Padang Besar is approximately RM80 per adult.

travelling from malaysia to thailand 2024 - train
Image credit: @hazwanhfiz via Instagram

From Padang Besar, you’ll need to queue up at the immigration checkpoint to validate your passport. The procedure involves unloading your luggage and belongings for inspection by the Immigration and Customs Department, which typically takes around 10 minutes.

However, the wait time in line can vary, depending on the time of year you travel. Plan for about an hour for this process, and ensure you have your passport and necessary travel documents ready.

Once you’re through the immigration checkpoint, hop on the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) train that’ll take you to Hat Yai. This 1-hour train rides costs around RM9 per adult.

On another note, KTMB recently introduced a limited-schedule train MySawasdee, featuring standard carriage seats priced at RM95 per adult.

By flight

If air travel is your preferred mode of travel, there are multiple direct and daily flights from KLIA, Senai Airport, and Penang International Airport to Thailand. A one-way ticket typically costs around RM300 per traveller, depending on when you travel and which airlines you opt for – Malaysian Airlines, AirAsia, and Thai Airways are some popular ones.

By bus

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There are restaurants and convenience stores at TBS, if you’re feeling peckish while waiting for your bus journey.

Image credit: Daain

There are several bus services available from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS), a central bus terminal, in KL.

Alisan Golden Coach Express takes passengers here to Danok, Hat Yai, Bukit Hitam, and Changloon, while Suasana Tony Coach takes passengers from TBS, as well as Kajang Bus Terminal, Klang Sentral, Hentian Duta, and Seremban, to Hat Yai.

You can purchase tickets at TBS, or explore various bus options online at Easybook here.

The bus journey typically lasts between 7 to 18 hours, depending on the number of stops along the way from KL to Thailand. Likewise, tickets are typically priced around RM80/pax, depending on your seating preference and bus service.

By car

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Image credit: @dellamifti via Instagram 

If you want to travel around Thailand in the comfort of your own vehicle, you can opt to hit the road and travel to Thailand overland via car or motorcycle.

One popular route starts from KL to Hat Yai via the Bukit Kayu Hitam/Sadao border crossing, which takes approximately 5 hours. The second option begins in Penang and ends in Phuket via the Bukit Kayu Hitam-Sadao and Wang Kelian-Wang Prachan border crossings. Prepare for a journey of over a thousand kilometres on the latter, which typically takes around 19 hours.

Before you start your journey, you’ll need to have the following documents:

  • Valid passport with at least 6-month validity
  • Valid Malaysia-issued driver’s license, recognised in Thailand
  • TM.2 form
  • TM.3 passenger list form, if you’re driving with passengers
  • Vehicle registration card and insurance
  • Letter of Authorisation (LOA), if the vehicle is not registered under your name
  • Physical road tax, recommended

Car insurance is essential and typically costs around RM1,000. 

Travelling to Thailand from Malaysia in 2024 

Many of us yearn for travel experiences, but hectic schedules and the demands of everyday life can often get in the way. However, all hope is not lost when neighbouring countries like Thailand is just a short trip away.

Here’s to safe travels ahead!

Cover image adapted from: Pinterest, MySumber TV, @hazwanhfiz via Instagram