About Penang Hat Yai Bus services :
There are no direct public buses from Penang to Hat Yai or Yat Hai to Penang, but in their place, there are plenty of minibus operators that run this route 4 or 5 times a day during the daylight hours.
With so many operators running the same route you can buy a ticket for these minibuses just about anywhere in Penang.
Most of the budget hotels, travel agents and some of the money changers around Chulia Street will sell you a ticket where you have to meet at a certain point, at a certain time, or where you can be picked up from your hotel a little earlier.
Also you can buy tickets from underneath KOMTAR where you will find many of the bus operators ticketing outlets.
The trip to Hat Yai takes about 4 hours once all the passengers are on board and you can ask to be dropped off at the Hat Yai bus station or train station, if your planning to catch a bus or train north or at one of the hotels in the centre of Hat Yai town.
The first van leaves Penang for Hat Yai at 05.00, then at 08.30, 12.00 and the last van at 15.30.
During busy periods such as public holidays, extra departures are often added.
The minibus offices are scattered all over the centre of the city, so it is best to find the closest one to your hotel or arrange a pick up.
If you come in by train you can buy tickets just in front of the station or if you come into Hat Yai main bus station which is about 5 km outside the town centre, there are many places just outside that will sell you a ticket (usually at inflated prices) and then you will be picked up from there.
The first van leaves Hat Yai at 09.30, again at 12.30 and the last one at 15.30.
The trip to Penang is usually a little longer as it often takes more time going through immigration on the way into Malaysia, especially if you catch the first minibuses that leave Hat Yai around 9.30 am, as the border is usually quite busy at this time.
When you arrive in Penang Island, via the Penang Bridge the minibus can drop you off wherever you want in Georgetown, including most hotels in the centre of town.
If you are staying in the old part of Georgetown, you will usually be the last people off, so you can be driving around for quite a while!
If you want to book a hotel or guest house before arriving on the island, you can read 100's of reviews and compare room rates to find the best prices by clicking here
The current fare / ticket price is 35 RM or 350 Baht, although you may be quoted more in some places as they will want to take a little more commission.
This is especially true in Hat Yai where some agents will really try to rip you off. If you are staying the night, ask at your hotel for the nearest reputable agent.
If you want to travel from Hat Yai to Penang cheaply, the best way I know is to catch a local bus from the bus stop / station next to the night market, to the border at Padang Besar (about 40 Baht 1 to 1 1/2 hours), then you can walk over the border and catch the train which leaves at around 10am (Malaysian time - 9 am Thai time) for 12 RM (120 Baht ) - Just make sure you cross the border in time!
Another alternative is to
walk down to the bus stop and catch a bus from Padang
Besar to Kangar and then Alor Star, then another from there to Penang or
Butterworth. You can also catch a direct bus from Kangar to Penang, but
this will mean changing bus stations in Kangar.
This bus route takes you through some really nice rural scenery in Perlis state and you could stop off for a few hours or the night in either Kangar or Alor Setar.
This is also a great and cheap way to get from Hat Yai to Langkawi Island, as Kangar is just 14km from Kuala Perlis ferry terminal and is served by local buses.
If you are interested in doing this route by bus, click here for details of buses and the routes to take from Padang Besar to Penang.
The final way to travel between Hat Yai and Penang is by catching the twice a day train all the way from Butterworth to Hat Yai or vice versa.
It is a bit slower, but a relaxing way to travel.
Minibus from Penang to Hat Yai at Sadao border crossing
Seats inside the minibus
The best way to travel north from Hat Yai to the rest of Thailand is by train. Hat Yai train station is easy to find in the centre of the city and has many departures everyday to Surat Thani and Bangkok and all places in between.
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