On 25 February 2016, JOM NAIK KERETAPI embarked on a trip around the Malay Peninsular from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Hat Yai, Thailand with the northbound journey via Sungai Golok on the eastern side of the Malay Peninsular, and the southbound journey via Padang Besar, on the western side of the Malay Peninsular.
After exploring the new Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station, I headed back south to Malaysia via the Padang Besar land checkpoint.
The walking path I took from station to station.
The first landmark was a sign saying “Welcome to Padang” on the main road adjacent to the railway crossing. The actual town of Padang Besar, Thailand was past this post, which I did not explore.
Make a right turn away from Padang Besar town to the checkpoint. You will cross this railway crossing.
The bend after the railway crossing indicates you are on the right road.
Just continue straight from here. If you’re feeling hungry or thirsty, you can find some stalls on the sides of this stretch of road.
Approaching the heavy vehicle checkpoint.
You will come across this fork where heavy vehicles heading to Malaysia turn in. Do not follow them, continue straight.
You will pass by this sign saying “Padang Besar Customs House” with the flags of ASEAN nations above it. Enter the main gate with cars and buses after this. Bus passengers will have to alight and queue for immigration, together with pedestrians.
IMPORTANT: At Padang Besar Checkpoint, you have to prepare RM1 or 10 baht for entry AND exit of the checkpoint. ie. RM1 to enter Thailand and another RM1 to exit Thailand.
For arrivals into Thailand, before heading for immigration, an “assistant” will be located at a side table with the immigration cards. If you do not already have one with you (from previous visits or obtaining it from other checkpoints), hand over your passport and money to the “assistant” for him to fill up your details into the immigration card. Once you have signed your immigration card, proceed to clear immigration as per normal.
For departures from Thailand, hand your money directly to the immigration officer.
After you exit the checkpoint into no-man’s land, you will cross the true border between Thailand and Malaysia.
A symbolic arch, however, is built on the Malaysian side, slightly south of the true border.
In between the 2 checkpoints, you can visit The ZON Duty Free Complex.
This is the true duty free shopping complex at Padang Besar, and not Arked Niaga which is commonly referred to as “Duty Free” by name.
Entering the Padang Besar Immigration Complex in Malaysia.
Follow the signs to the bus and van checkpoint.
After turning left, follow the pedestrian lane. There will be a dedicated singular immigration counter for pedestrians.
After clearing immigration, follow the signs out of the immigration complex into Malaysia.
You will approach this roundabout, the central landmark of Padang Besar.
If you are heading to Arked Niaga or the Bus and Taxi Station, turn left and follow the signs.
Arked Niaga (“Duty Free” – it’s not actually, just a local namesake) will be located up the stairs where the Yeo’s sign is in the previous picture, and then straight past the shophouses on the right.
If you are heading to Padang Besar Railway Station, turn right and re-enter the vehicle checkpoint towards Thailand.
The linkway to the station will be on the left where motorcycle taxis to Padang Besar, Thailand are sometimes waiting.
After a late lunch, I joined back with the group at Arked Niaga before boarding the 21dn Ekspres Peninsular back to JB Sentral later in the evening.