“I’m sorry, no more seats Laaahhh!” the local exclaimed. I stared at her blankly grasping my phone out of my backpack pocket. I jotted all the possible ways to get to Hatyai or Krabi but it seems like all of the possible ways via train to get there were jam packed. I took the calling card she gave me before she loses her patience of me asking desperate questions. I was with fellow itchy soles franticly crazy of going somewhere away from Cyberjaya on a CNY holiday. It was supposedly Tioman Island however due to unavailability of Ferry, we discarded it or shall I say Tioman ditched us. So we were down to two beach bummers screaming to get to Krabi without any preparations. I placed my hands on my head along with the receipt from the person claiming they have midnight bus available. I realized we followed a tout as soon as we arrived in Puduraya Station and hopelessly gave in to his offer to Hatyai. I held the receipt while we checked other buses and apparently everything was fully booked. We starred at the receipt and there was no platform number and the fare was twice the normal price. I crossed my fingers the whole time praying it wasn’t a scam.
Thanks to all the saints I called that night it wasn’t a rip-off. And because it was CNY, squeezing in ourselves in a densely overcrowded platform was horrific. It reminded me of people power in Edsa revolution. To be honest, the jostle and the smell tortured me like I’ve been smothered physically slash emotionally captivated into the land of choke. We kept on chasing our bus number until we were totally out of Puduraya Station. If there will be a theme for that night, it would be Alay Lakad in Malaysia 2013. My irritating face cannot be sketch even if you use ten different powerful Mongol Pencils. In my head I told myself that Krabi must be worth it for such anguish trip which hasn’t even started yet.
I seized a deep breath when I finally took the weight off my feet on the window seat. I cleared my mind and I was just about to enjoy the night view of KL, the bus halted. There was oil in the suspension that is causing the squeaking sound so they had to dry it off. Most passengers were crabby and there was this old woman, who was extremely pissed off and she absolutely annoyed the driver along with her talent of never stop talking and complaining. Patience is not really my strong suit too and the situation displeased me but I would never do things that will jeopardize the trip. I just sat there, keep my cool and listen to my playlist. It took them more than half an hour to fix the problem.
There were tons of stop over. It’s like every hour the drivers would take turns. As far as I can remember there were 3 or 4 drivers and most of them were just chit-chatting the whole trip. According to my friend, they even switched the lights off and the air conditioner for them to puff their cigarettes while I was asleep. Then we encountered car crashed which caused traffic jam. It was crazy! After 9 hours we had stop over at Changloon and it turned out that it was the most relevant stop over ever. There were food stalls and one money changer. We then exchange our RM to THB. Looks like the embarkation card wasn’t free, we paid RM0.50 and fill it out.
After for what seems like eternity, we reached the Malaysian border and able to pass through it with no long queues, no delays or whatsoever except for one guy, he wasn’t permitted to exit Malaysia. He took his bag from the bus with a sad face. Not too far from the Malaysian border, the bus traversed within 10 minutes to Thailand Immigration. It was a total opposite, long queues but still acceptable. Again I witnessed few people being declined. The thought of going back to KL is such a waste. I made up my mind that I will go to Langkawi if they decline me.
While waiting for our turn, we had conversation with Meng and Mo, two Chinese-Malaysians who gave us tip to put RM2.00 in our passports. They said they’ve been to Hatyai and the immigration officer normally asks for RM2.0. I had no idea what that was for. I inserted 2RM in my passport and with no questions asked, they stamped it. It was breeze! [Note: When we head back to KL, I intentionally did not put RM2.0 in my passport to see whether it is really needed and yes the Immigration officer asked for it.] Until now, I’m still clueless.
I thought everything was okay until the bus left. Somehow it was 10% scam because they dropped us in Sadao Border and not in Hatyai as what they indicated in our receipt. Before heading to Hatyai, we had brunch near the border pass control along with our newly found Chinese-Malaysian friends. I had spicy chicken and Thai fried rice with sunny side up egg on top of it and a tasty sugarcane juice courtesy of our new friends. They served my order late and considering everyone finished their meal, I hastily chewed and swallowed the food like I was up for a race.
Taxi isn’t rare in Sadao, we reached hatyai after an hour and being first timers in Hatyai, our driver was very helpful and he dropped us at Ranchor near Domestic Terminal where we met Supachai. He arranged our bus ticket. He is nice and very accommodating. We stayed there in his little store while waiting for the bus bound to Krabi. He let us use the toilet and I even charged my phone there. There were some language barriers but he is great! We were surprised that he even called us on our Thai numbers to know where we are, if we are heading to the right track.
I felt the sun kissed on my face on the window side as the bus traversed to Krabi. I did not bother to roll off the window curtain. The lush greeneries along the road were soothing to the eyes and the Thai songs playing on the background sounds like lullabies to my ears. I wished I could understand the lyrics. The bus was screaming in pink. Everything reminds me of my trip to Pattaya 6 years ago. The music, the province like view outside and the smell of the bus made me realized I’ve been longing for that road trip moment. I just knew in my heart that Krabi was all worth it.
How to go to Hatyai?
Take bus from Puduraya Station bound to Hatyai. Available buses are Konsortium Bas Express, Sri Maju, etc. Travel Time is approximately 10 hours.
Trains are available from KL sentral to Hatyai. I suggest you purchase your train tickets early. Travel time is approximately 14 hours.
How to go to Krabi from Hatyai?
Take the bus or mini van from Hat Yai Domestic Terminal or book through Travel Agent. Supachai of Rachatour Service: 085-4760970 / 074-247697
– Don’t buy from touts. Immediately proceed to the bus counter.
– If you want to travel by train, purchase your ticket in advance.
– Bus fare from Hatyai – KL is normally RM45 up depending on the Bus Lines.
– Train ticket is RM 55 one way.
– Looking for a taxi Van Service in Hatyai? Contact Hanif, 084-7477226 / 006684-7477226
– I highly recommend Supachai of Rachatour Service for bus / van bookings to Krabi, Trang, Phuket and more. They also offer bus to KL, Penang and the like. Rachatour Service located at 188 Chotivitayakul 5 Rd, Hatyai Songkhla. Contact#: 085-4760970 / 074-247697. If you are hesitant to buy from a tour service you can just go to the bus terminal and purchase tickets there but beware of touts.
– Fare from Hatyai to Krabi by bus is 200 Baht.
– The bus from Hatyai will not stop in Krabi Terminal. Make sure to inform the bus attendant to drop you off in Krabi. Otherwise you will end up in Phang-Nga or Phuket which is the last town. Bus routes will be “hatyai > Phatthalung > Trang > Krabi > Phang-Nga> Phuket.
– Alternatively if you don’t like the idea that the bus will stop to get and drop passengers off, choose to travel by Van.
– There are no buses in Krabi Terminal because all of the buses are coming from Phuket. So you can either wait in the main highway to take the bus to Hatyai or you can take a mini Van at Krabi Terminal
– There is Free Wifi around Hatyai and even in Trang. You just need to register first and then it’s just free for one hour only but you can keep on registering or save your password so you can connect every hour. Alternatively, you can buy Thai Sim card for THB99 and register for dtac 3G service.