A Comprehensive Guide to Traveling from Singapore to Thailand by Train

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In Southeast Asia, traveling on the Thai railways is easy, comfortable and fun. It’s a safe, exciting and inexpensive way to travel from Singapore or Malaysia to Thailand or any part of the country. The overnight Thai trains from Hat Yai to Padang Besar and Butterworth (Penang) are cheap, comfortable and safe. Unscheduled delays may occur but, on the majority of occasions, transfers from the Thai domestic to the Malaysian train service will proceed without a hitch. Between the countries, the rail network is relatively efficient and passes through a variety of towns and villages never seen by tourists. However, some trains halt in the middle of nowhere, while the border formalities take place, thereby exposing the passengers to unwanted attention from curious and sometimes over-enthusiastic traders. If you leave the train, a momentary peace may return to your carriage.

Train travel is a prevalent form of transportation in many parts of the world. Traveling by train often gives you panoramic views of the countryside that you can’t see from a plane or car. It also often provides a much better atmosphere between travelers who relax, talk, and meet new friends. From Singapore to Thailand, there are a total of eight trains running back and forth between the two countries. The journey can take from 24-48 hours, depending on the route and the train. On the positive side, a train journey allows you to see the landmarks easily without the need for a car rental and driving. If you are a prepared traveler and careful about booking your tickets as much in advance as possible, you are sure to benefit greatly from train travel.

Overview of the Singapore to Thailand Train Route

The Singapore to Thailand train route is indeed an adventurous one. Years back, this route from Singapore would take you up to the Malaysian-Thai border town of Pedang Besar where one would then have to take a cross-border train into Thailand to continue their trip. In recent times, KTMB (Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad) Malaysian railway has introduced a new international train service – unfortunately, it doesn’t operate straight to the heart of Bangkok city. To catch this train from Singapore, you would have to travel by bus up to the last station called Pedang Besar and then catch a train from there. On the other end, there is both a normal and a more expensive overnight train service to Bangkok called the “Eastern and Oriental Express”. We suggest the overnight train service for its lower prices and the experience of traveling in a regular train. And we would be detailing out exclusively about this service in this travel guide post.

Looking to travel from Singapore to Thailand by train? Southeast Asia is a beautiful part of the world. With a traveler-friendly railway network connecting many cities and countries, it’s a great way to explore around here. If you are planning a visit to this region, one popular route is catching a train from Singapore to Thailand. In this guide, we’ll be covering the trains, how to get tickets, train timetables, and the travel experience.

Different Train Options

There are 3 main train options: First of all, travelers must board the train to Malaysia at Woodlands Railway station on the KTM Intercity line. From here, you will take an overnight sleeper train to Kuala Lumpur (and beyond to Padang Besar & Thailand). There is also an option to cross the border and catch a train from JB Sentral. From there, check out the train services to Thailand. There are also two East Coastal cities in Malaysia, also known as the jungle line (Gua Musang-Tumpat) and two city options serving the northern part of the peninsula (Butterworth and Padang Besar both go to Hat Yai).

In this section, we will provide a brief overview of the different train options when one decides to travel from Singapore to Thailand by train. There are many ways to reach Thailand, and the fastest is by air, of course. However, for travelers who enjoy the journey as part of their vacation but would like to skip the traffic jams, train travel between Singapore and Thailand is the alternative to consider, especially if it involves overnight sleeper services.

Popular Stops along the Route

The easiest way to travel from Singapore to Thailand by train is to take a direct bus from Singapore’s ticketing office to Malaysia’s Johor Bahru Sentral train station. Or take a taxi from Singapore city to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint, take the Malaysian Express bus to Johor Bahru Sentral Train Station, and take a free Malaysian Ringgit shuttle bus to ensure. After entering the Johor train terminal, go to the train. Upon arrival in Bangkok, Thailand, get off the train at Thailand’s Hulamphong Railway Station. If this is early in the morning after 10:30 a.m. and you can get off at the Phetchabun station, which includes an additional stop from May to October.

The train’s major stops include Malaysia’s capital and largest city, Kuala Lumpur. The train also stops at the famous Ipoh junction, home to a number of historic buildings and transportation options for traveling to attractions such as the Cameron Highlands and Taman Negara. The border town of Padang Besar is the place where the Malaysian immigration service screening takes place. Alor Setar, a state of north Malaysia, is situated on the Malaysian-Thai border. For tourists who want to travel to the south of Thailand, there is a luxury bus service to multiple city options. Island fanatics can extend their journey by stopping at the train station near Hat Yai, the city known as the gateway to the paradise island, surrounded by attractions. Finally, the southernmost stop is at the railway station in the border town of Padang Besar.

Booking Tickets and Reservations

Booking train tickets in Malaysia The journey from Malaysia to Thailand takes approximately 20 hours, and the train either arrives in sight of the Malaysian-Thai border or it terminates in Thailand. The border crossing has recently changed from one train going from one side to passengers crossing by foot, and subsequently this easily confuses travelers. The immigration process occurs on the train and lasts a few minutes. The process does not require the traveler to join a ticket purchase queue, and its necessity is never stated to the passengers. Once it is known what train to take, tickets from KL Sentral to Thailand’s destinations need to be bought from the station. It is recommended to purchase as early as possible because the trains fill up and little space is allotted to the tickets available to be bought with seat reservations.

Booking train tickets in Singapore Tickets from Singapore take approximately 24 hours and transport travelers by night between Malaysia and Thailand. Booking the tickets can be done as soon as 30 days beforehand. Tickets are available at KL Sentral, but it is not recommended to wait that long. To potentially save time and unnecessary lines at the counter in Singapore, a Swiss passport was accepted while booking through KTM, but the website was not allowing the purchase from Singapore. Instead, it is more simply achieved through a different website. The passport and physical credit card used during the booking must be shown at the counter in order to obtain the tickets. It is important to bring identification and the credit card used to book the tickets, as otherwise complications could arise.

Online Booking Platforms

Now, everyone can book ETS and KTM Intercity train tickets from the comfort of home using the easy-to-navigate, user-friendly online booking platforms. Simply click the Buy Now or Book Now button when you are ready, and you will find the ticket prices, book your preferred seat, and receive confirmation of your purchase in your email after successful credit card payment. The train’s departure and arrival are both color-coded to help you understand when the trains are scheduled to leave. Different classes are color-coded and labeled in various sizes. Programmatically, the ticket classes booking button also brings customers into the specific ETS-KTM redONE booking system to help you book seats for travel. View the website’s simple instructions to purchase tickets and reach out for assistance when facing any difficulties while performing the allocation process.

Traveling from Singapore to Thailand by train is a thrilling adventure offering visitors traces of nostalgia as it snakes through the Malay Peninsula’s rustic towns, palm plantations, and evergreen forests. The enchanting vacation on the gleaming blue and yellow locomotives’ relatively pristine carriages offers an exquisite scenic escape back to the colonial era splendor of cross-border passenger rail travel. Travelers will experience cultural diversity in Thailand as they visit historical heritage sites found in cities, towns, and rural areas. Everyone can now book ETS and KTM Intercity train tickets from the convenience of home using the easy-to-navigate, user-friendly online booking platforms. With the touch of a button, you will find the ticket prices, book your preferred seat, and receive confirmation of your purchase in your email.

Ticket Prices and Class Options

The last time I accessed the website’s FAQs, KL Sentral was the only Malaysian station offering either e-ticket delivery or loyalty points. The other options were to receive bcm at a registered address, or to print out and validate the e-ticket at the various stations. Since then, automated ticket validation windows have been set up across the causeway. This gives travelers who have their tickets in print or e-mail access to a greater choice of Malaysian stations at which to disembark or board, and it also eliminates Malaysian immigration processing of passengers seated in Dayang or Langkapuri Express for the sole purpose of validating or printing future tickets.

These ceiling prices are slightly cheaper when bought at the originating station, which is a good reason for departing from Woodlands CIQ. Tickets that are booked online and paid for with a credit card entitle travelers to free and immediate e-mail of e-ticket confirming all details, which will allow checked luggage to be deposited during opening hours. Tickets purchased across the counter will be slightly more expensive and bear no proof of purchase.

Tickets are not immediately available for purchase, at least not from visitors abroad, but they can usually be purchased at least 80 days in advance through an agency in your current location. Prices for the entire route between Singapore and Bangkok are set at a very reasonable step together by both KTMB between Singapore and Padang Besar and SRT from the Thai border to Bangkok. Tickets for each stretch can also be bought from the respective train companies, and they are easily comparable.

Preparing for the Journey

What to bring: Traveling by train offers the most with its generous baggage allowance of 50 kg per adult passenger – which is strewn across the two neatly folded mattress sheets you also get as part of your ticket. Extra baggage is charged at extra per kilo at the end of the trip if required. Train compartments are rather spacious and the beds are even more comfortable when you can share the extra few kilograms with your fellow passengers too. Snack stalls are available onboard the train for in-between meals so travelers won’t go hungry throughout the journey. A good book or some company for the long journey should keep you entertained throughout the trip and available power plugs in a few of the compartments can be used to charge electronic devices while enjoying the view while sipping coffee and munching on snacks. Feel free to ask for more pillows or blankets if you find sleeping without them uncomfortable or if extra beds require extra charges.

Packing Essentials

A travel charger with wet air in advance, some batteries in flight, and at your air conditioning, you are likely to want to plug in your traveling charger and use it as an extra battery.

Reusable Meal Container and Reusable Bottle by Columbia to minimize waste. Water can be picked up easily at sites and dining cars during multiple stops in the train so that you can refill and purify it at drinking stations using your reusable glass.

As a rule, travelers can carry no more than 20,000 Thai Baht worth of any of the Thai currency on both inward and outward journeys to and from the country, without prior disclosure. While at the border, make sure that you have rigorous exit and entry requirements, and check with the customs authorities about the latest regulations to prevent potential penalties. It finally acts as a replacement passport should you fail your original!

Money: As you pass through the border, we suggest carrying more Singaporean dollars because the transition fee for local currency can appear unjustifiable. This is really important to keep in mind. Every traveler can convey no more than 20,000 Thai Baht worth of any of the Thai currency on both inward and outward journeys to and from the country, but no more than 10 million Baht in total, without prior disclosure.

Power bank: Note yourself of the power bank! You don’t want the power to be gone to capture and make memories.

Compact Camera. Spare camera battery or charger. A mobile phone is helpful for communication and is also a camera, map, of course, and if you have an appropriate sim card, your translator. As the train often runs low on batteries, an electric port is also useful.

Traveler bag: A handbag or reasonable fanny pack is important for your passport, tickets, cards, and money!

Tiny backpack: No more than 20 liters is recommended. A rain cover is also necessary as your back becomes a rain shelter if you’re walking around.

Visa Requirements

The immigration and customs pretty much go hand-in-hand, and it’s easier to change a rule than change a sticker. You might cross over the border without having the visa stamp checked in a packed out train. What happens if you do? There are no rail ticket checks either, so technically, you could ride all the way from Singapore to Bangkok without coming across any officials. Why would you want to take the risk, given the hefty fines for overstay? Because you can’t leave Thailand without returning the arrival card to the Immigration Office at passport control, you will almost certainly be pinged when you do. If official temporary citizens, you may even ask to show your entry stamp when checking into a hotel.

In recent years, visa requirements have often been enforced very strictly depending on the point of entry. Most overland travelers are unlikely to be troubled; Malaysians and Singaporeans continue to be able to cross more or less at will, but foreigners arriving via the Padang Besar checkpoint in the north are currently given a two-week stamp only, although the bulge of Songkhla and the surrounding provinces is officially exempt. If you approach at a less prominent point, by rail, you may be given a stamp for the duration of your visa, which is on average more like a month, unless you’re from a country that has been selected for a strict two-week limit. This is a typically unpredictable, not to say illogical, regulation that is not enforced uniformly.

Tips for a Smooth and Enjoyable Train Journey

Create a routine: It’s easy to spin into a black hole of train chaos. To avoid this, try to maintain a semblance of your daily routine. For example, if you work out first thing in the morning, set your alarm and work out in the private lounge before enjoying a trendy and popular train breakfast. This said, don’t use your routine as an excuse not to do anything new. Hike up rolling hills, nap in the drawing-room car, and gaze at the stunning views around you. Just make sure your travel companions can handle awake-you post-new experiences!

Use technology to your advantage: Technology not only helps you stay connected but also makes planning for your next trip a breeze. While you may love technology, others may love the lack of it. Just because you have access doesn’t mean others want to hear you yelling into your phone or indulging in a loud video marathon. Enjoy nature’s music instead. If you are traveling with others, be courteous and share it with them.

Get comfortable: Major travel discomfort happens when you feel like you’ve forgotten something. Lay out your clothes the night before to reduce pre-travel anxiety. Head over to our Comfort Tips section for additional ideas on how you can make the most of your trip.

Look after your health: Take care of your health and work with what you’ve got. While you can’t change the world around you, you can alter your habits and attitudes in response to it. Traveling by train can be tough, so if you find your sleep to be disturbed, try to catch up on sleep during the day.

Pack early: Even the most experienced travelers forget some essentials. Avoid flying into a frenzy by packing your bags in advance. For a smooth travel day, ensure you keep your travel documents, medication, and important valuables in a separate carry-on bag.