This page contains information on where and how to get the Padang Besar Bus to Kangar, where you can connect to buses to Kuala Perlis Jetty (for boats to Langkawi) or long distance buses to Butterowrth, Penang and Kuala Lumpur (TBS).
From P. Besar there are only a few buses operating, so timing your crossing is quite important if you don't want to be hanging around too long.
Here are the only buses that operate out of Padang Besar Malaysia:
Maraliner operate buses daily from Kangar which is a distance of 35 kilometres south, and has bus connections to most places in peninsular Malaysia from the intercity bus station.
If heading to Langkawi, Maraliner operates a bus from Kangar to Kuala Perlis jetty, which is just 14 kilometres away. Or you can get a taxi for around RM 16.
If heading further south, you could catch a cheap Maraliner Mybus to Alor Setar bus station which leave almost every hour, or there are long distance buses to Butterworth and Kuala Lumpur (TBS Bus Terminal)...
Maraliner MyBas buses now operate more regular services on the Padang Besar - Kangar route:
They take just over an hour to get to P. Besar, then wait around for the trip back to Kangar, waiting just south of the roundabout.
Where to catch the bus?
You can wait just south of the roundabout by the first row of shops or walk down the hill a few hundred metres on your left to the BSN Bank, which is hidden behind a line of trees.
This is the official bus stop. There is a concrete bench by the road!
Another bus company, Plusliner also does two trips a day to Butterworth Penang, via Alor Setar, and one trip to Kuala Lumpur.
I have never caught this bus, but taken from their website they operate from P. Besar at 14:00 and 18:30 taking three and a half hours to Butterworth and cost RM 15.80.
Their bus from Padang Besar to Kuala Lumpur leaves at 11:00 and takes nine and a half hours and costs RM 46.10.
Catching the bus to Hat Yai from the border at Padang Besar is easy.
When you walk out of the border checkpoint, just cross the road and
there is a small bus stop just 50 metres to your right.
There is a bus that runs along this route, taking about an hour and a half to get to the centre of the city from the border. (Update: this bus seems to be running less than it used to do, so taking the minibus would now be a much better option).
The bus is one of
those old, open window types, so don't expect any luxury, but it gets
you to to where you are going without too much hassle, stopping to pick
up every passenger that sticks his or her hand up along the way.
Bus From Hat Yai
This bus operates out of the local bus stop next to the clock tower near the night market close to the centre of the city, or you could catch a minibus from the intercity bus station if you are coming into Hat Yai by long distance bus.
The local bus costs about 44 Baht.
The minibus 50 Baht.
The border control in Padang Besar is just outside the main town, so you will have to get off before you reach the main part of town and the end of the route, otherwise you will have a long walk back!
Show the driver your passport and he will get the idea or where you want to get off.
Or look out for the border on your left hand side (pictured below).
You could also catch a train from Padang Besar heading south and north.
The train station is just to your right as you come out of the border control area on the Malaysian side. Just head up the stairs and cross the tracks to the station.
With the new KTM Komuter trains now operating from Padang Besar, there are now many trains a day heading to Butterworth, Penang.
There are also now new ETS train services for long distance trips to places like Kuala Lumpur.
You can now also take the train north to Hat Yai as there is a new Shuttle service that operates between the border and Hat Yai Junction railway station.
It is only two carriages long here. Many more get added in Hat Yai, plus there are many more choices of train leaving to Bangkok from there.
The other train that passes here, the KL to Hat Yai train, is no longer in operation.