Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43

Thread: Penang Visa Run

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    20-01-2017 @ 09:01 PM
    Posts
    17

    Penang Visa Run

    I plan to do a visa run to Penang. I used to do them donkey's years ago. Before it was simple, overnight sleeper train direct to Butterworth arriving after midday. Here my memory clouds. I'm sure on arrival I would go to a cafe where there was an indian guy who provided the visa service. He'd take the passport that day and return it next day in time to get the train back to Bangkok. So it was just one night in Georgetown. Anybody remember if that was the case or have I got this wrong?

    Anyhow onto the now. It seems the direct train is no more and I cant see how to get it done in minimum time. Seems to me no way to arrive in time to submit application same day, you have to arrive day before application. AND then with passports being ready for collection next day after 2pm is there time to get to Hat Yai for the Bangkok train back.

    Can somebody please give me the details on the fastest Penang visa run by train?

    btw - what a struggle to find out info. Seems every man and his dog is publishing "How To" webpages but all them out of date (there is no direct train) or miss out on key steps, information and timings. None of the Georgetown visa agents have webpages (with details). The Thai railway site talks about buses not trains, has broken links or crashes. Even this site doesn't have a sticky with full visa run details. The page says ..............

    There is a train that leaves from Bangkoks Hua Lamphong train station every afternoon at 2.45pm, this arrives at Padang Besar on the Malaysian Border early the next morning and carries onto Butterworth, the train arrives there at lunchtime,

    Is there a train?

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    17,452
    fly there with Air Asia, its only around 4,500 baht if you book a month in advance. Stay for 2 nights, there's loads of cheap accomodation there or sleep on the street or beach, its warm enough. The return flight is 17.30 so you should make it with ease

  3. #3
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Roiet
    Posts
    25,677
    Quote Originally Posted by DenDee
    It seems the direct train is no more and I cant see how to get it done in minimum time.
    Seems you are correct. Unless it must be Penang alternative is Vientiane.

    Train from Bangkok to Udon Thani Schedules and Fares

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat aging one's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:46 PM
    Posts
    14,494
    I get this same departure and arrival before noon. 2:45pm departure, 11:55am arrival. Fly though its a long haul... Not much more if any when you include food and beverages.. Take dill's advice.

    http://www.thairailways.com/img/south.gif

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    20-01-2017 @ 09:01 PM
    Posts
    17
    @aging one - The schedule you linked to is dated 2008. There is no Bangkok-Butterworth train.

    As regards flying, I'm aware that's an option but it avoids rather than answers my question. Same applies to Vientiane.

    Nonetheless I appreciate Dillinger, Norton and your responses.

  6. #6
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Roiet
    Posts
    25,677
    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    17,452
    Quote Originally Posted by DenDee
    Is there a train?
    No...The reason there is no train is, I believe, due to all the floods down South which has damaged the lines



    You've probably seen this page through your search

    Bangkok to Malaysia by Train and Forward to Penang

    but the first comment tells you the lines are down in Prachuap Kiri Khan

    Shirley Campbell4 days ago Planning on doing this same trip in March, but just informed that the rail is down in Prachuap Khiri Khan, so need to make alternate plans. Is there any other way other than fly?. Also if the rail is open, can we book 1st class cabins?
    Thank you
    So a google search for Prachuap Kiri Khan lines down leads to this which is a week old



    and the week old article from the Bangkok Post

    No train services south of Prachuap Khiri Khan | Bangkok Post: news

  8. #8
    lom
    lom is online now
    we have guns and shit lom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:45 PM
    Location
    Trapped in an old mans body
    Posts
    7,538
    Quote Originally Posted by DenDee
    There is no Bangkok-Butterworth train.
    No direct train, you have to change in Pedang Besar.

  9. #9
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    20-01-2017 @ 09:01 PM
    Posts
    17
    @Dillinger - You missed my point. I asked somewhat sarcastically "Is there a train" because there is NO train service Bangkok->Butterworth. There used to be but the service no longer exists. I was talking about how there are countless websites with travel advice but how information is either omitted or out of date. I quoted the Teak Door sticky post as example.

    Thank you for reminding me, I need to check if and when normal service is resumed on the southern rail.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:07 AM
    Posts
    11,261
    There is a train from Bkk to Butterworth but one must change at Hat Yai and Padang Besar. Still doable as far as I can see. The service from Besar to Butterworth is a stopping route which I should imagine would be fucking tedious in the extreme.
    Are you doing this for a bet?

  11. #11
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    20-01-2017 @ 09:01 PM
    Posts
    17
    @Seekingaslyum - Its a leap of the English language to say there is a train somewhere when in fact you mean its possible to get there by train. Its no doubt possible to get to Calais from Bangkok by train but you would not say there is a Bangkok-Calais rail service.

    I should imagine would be fucking tedious in the extreme. Are you doing this for a bet?
    This is it. You "imagine" you don't know. I was hoping people here would know. Perhaps somebody would advise taking the minibus and tell me if I did that I could submit visa application in time. This is why I posted.

    The service is a modern commuter train. It should be clean and comfortable. If spending 2 hours sitting with a laptop looking out the window at Malaysian countryside and perchance chatting to the local sitting opposite is "tedious" how the hell do folk manage to endure being stuffed like sardines into a train to London and sit at their workdesks all morning.

    Patience, empty your mind, fill your belly with beer, smile at pretty girl opposite as you sneak a peek ather tits and daydream. Inhale the natural beauty outside you. Consider whether it will be chicken vindaloo or meat masala for dinner tonight. Think about those poor bastards freezing their nuts off back in England. Chat with the farang you met on the train sitting next to you.

    This grasshopper, is how you endure 2 hours on the train from Pedang Besar to Butterworth !

  12. #12
    Member ch1ldofthemoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:21 AM
    Location
    London,England
    Posts
    713

  13. #13
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    20-01-2017 @ 09:01 PM
    Posts
    17
    @ch1ldofthemoon - This is part of my problem and reason I posted here. Firstly the site you link to is not an official site. One look at the site style tells me its outdated. I could never take anything from there at face value. I would have to double check info which then beggars the question whats the point of info that cannot be relied on without corroboration.

    Secondly, if I look at the relevant schedule on that page it lists just ONE BKK train connecting to Pedang Besar. The train arriving at 7.35. But there is a train arriving 6.45. AND from another rail site (TeakDoor wont let me post links yet) there is a train 171 that arrives at 5.52 which is NOT listed on your site.

    Elswhere I see several Hat Yai - Pedang Besar trains. And there is bus and minibus from Hat Yai to Pedang Besar. It may be possible through earlier train, bus, minibus etc to get to Penang in time to submit visa. I dont know and all the information I've found or been given is unreliable, incomplete, inaccurate. Hence my posting here hoping somebody knew from having done it.

    Thanks for trying to help.

  14. #14
    Suspended from News & Speakers Corner
    Chico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 07:13 AM
    Location
    I'm Dead
    Posts
    2,606
    how about learning Thai and ringing them up then, or get a Thai to do for you.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat aging one's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:46 PM
    Posts
    14,494
    The problem is Malaysia has upgraded their trains to nicer, newer, faster and electric. Hence no connection is possible.

    This seems to be the way now, at least as of 4 months ago.

    Bangkok to Malaysia by Train and Forward to Penang

  16. #16
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    20-01-2017 @ 09:01 PM
    Posts
    17
    @Chico - I do speak Thai. I will go to my local train station and will confirm train availability, connections and times. BUT the guy at the train station won't be able to tell me that if I get the earlier train to Hat Yai and walk down the road to the bus I will have time to get the earlier Malaysian train to get to Penang in time to submit visa. And he won't be able to tell me that if I go to Fred on Chulia Street before 2am he can submit the visa to his pal at the consulate who he gives money under the table to.

    You get the picture? I was hoping somebody here knew the trail. This site has an entire section dedicated to visa runs but so far I've had ...

    • go by air
    • go to Vientianne
    • go by a train that doesn't run there any more
    • learn thai and phone "them"


    Come on lads, I appreciate folks are trying to help but perhaps the best answer is "Sorry mate, don't know".

    One thing I have learned in Thailand is don't necessarily trust what the Thai at the end of the phone tells you. I put more trust in the Farang who has been there, done it, got the Tshirt but it seems nobody here has the Tshirt.

    Its no big deal. I've been to Penang many times in the past. I'll simply do a bit of path and fact finding and then when I return I will have an up to date Tshirt. Easy Peasy !!

  17. #17
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    20-01-2017 @ 09:01 PM
    Posts
    17
    @aging one - I saw that site but its not a "How to do a Penang Visa Run" site. Its a "This is how I went to Penang" page. Its his travel blog. This is what I meant when I spoke of every man and his dog posting travel guides that fall short of the mark. He talks about there being one train a day. Not true. And he gives no info on Thai visa application and return to Thailand.

    The pain is these guys promote their sites so they comes high in the google rankings such that the really informative sites (if any) are buried on page 2,378.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    17,452
    Quote Originally Posted by DenDee
    Come on lads, I appreciate folks are trying to help but perhaps the best answer is "Sorry mate, don't know".
    No, the best answer is; Get the plane you cheap bastard and spend the time that you've saved sitting outside Bora Bora sipping cocktails on Batu Feringhi beach or in the Gurney Hotel banging Chinese brass or trekking to Monkey or Turtle Beach and hire a cheap scooter and go round the island.

    Anything but sit on a train with a bunch of stinkin backpackers


    Quote Originally Posted by DenDee
    if I go to Fred on Chulia Street before 2am he can submit the visa to his pal at the consulate who he gives money under the table to.
    That's all stopped now..All visas have to be applied for in person now.

    What visa are you going for btw? There's no more double entries issued there now

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat aging one's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:46 PM
    Posts
    14,494
    Dee visa runs or not its the fastest way. He stresses that and gives the cost of every train type. It cant be done by rail anymore. Shared taxi's are right there so jump in one then wait until it gets full.

    Dill once again has said it best. Mom mom god bless her would have called you "persnickety". You really know the answer.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    17,452

    • Quote Originally Posted by DenDee
      He talks about there being one train a day. Not true. And he gives no info on Thai visa application and return to Thailand.
    Why don't you talk to the guy in his comment section, he has responded to that woman's question already

    • Shirley Campbell5 days ago Planning on doing this same trip in March, but just informed that the rail is down in Prachuap Khiri Khan, so need to make alternate plans. Is there any other way other than fly?. Also if the rail is open, can we book 1st class cabins?
      Thank you




      <li class="voting" data-role="voting"> 2 <li class="bullet">• <li class="reply" data-role="reply-link"> Reply <li class="bullet">• <li class="comment__share"> Share ›
  21. <li class="comment__share"> <li class="realtime" data-role="realtime-notification:3098861843">



    • Allan Wilson Mod Shirley Campbella day ago The trains should be fine by then and first class cabins are normally the last to be booked. Otherwise there should be similar busses from Bangkok's southern bus terminal. But long haul busses are not fun at all. I only use them out of desperation. Best of luck




      <li class="voting" data-role="voting">
      <li class="bullet">• <li class="reply" data-role="reply-link"> Reply <li class="bullet">• <li class="comment__share"> Share ›
    <li class="facebook">
    <li class="comment__share"> <li class="realtime" data-role="realtime-notification:3105816653">


Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  • #21
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    20-01-2017 @ 09:01 PM
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    No, the best answer is; Get the plane you cheap bastard
    There is no need to be so aggressive and offensive.

    The answer to the question how to go by rail from A to B is not fly there. That answer is outside the parameter of the question.

    I may end up flying there. I like to get the details on all options then make a decision. I don't make plans on the basis that somebody I don't know cannot provide the relevant details for one option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    and hire a cheap scooter
    Don't tell me you're a cheap bastard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    Anything but sit on a train with a bunch of stinkin backpackers
    I have met all sorts on the Penang train. People who were friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and polite. Nobody on the train has ever called me a cheap bastard. It seems the people who do that are the ones who fly with cheap airlines and ride cheap scooters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    That's all stopped now. .All visas have to be applied for in person now.
    It may be true, maybe not but you have hardly shown yourself to be a credible source of information.

  • #22
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    17,452
    Quote Originally Posted by DenDee
    Nobody on the train has ever called me a cheap bastard. It seems the people who do that are the ones who fly with cheap airlines and ride cheap scooters.





  • #23
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    20-01-2017 @ 09:01 PM
    Posts
    17
    @ageing one - Yes I am "persnickety". Is that a bad thing. If I took your information at face value I could be stood on a platform waiting for a non-existant train. Thailand has taught me to look under the pizza topping to make sure the sauce really is there.

    There are so many sites and people seeking to present themselves as Thailand experts. The information they give and the manner in which they present it influences the confidence that can be attached to what they say. If I get inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information I am mistrustful. I dont want to discuss individual people or sites but that generic principle should be seen as sensible not persnickety.

    A forum is like a doctor's waiting room. Everybody is an expert. There is truth, half truth and untruth. One would to be wise to be cautious, to be persnickety else you take the advice of the man who told you to apply leeches. But sometimes there is one there who has had what you have and it becomes blatantly clear he knows what he is talking about.

    And it becomes blatantly clear who is the comedian in the room.

  • #24
    Thailand Expat aging one's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:46 PM
    Posts
    14,494
    Quote Originally Posted by DenDee
    @ageing one - Yes I am "persnickety". Is that a bad thing. If I took your information at face value I could be stood on a platform waiting for a non-existant train. Thailand has taught me to look under the pizza topping to make sure the sauce really is there.
    Did you see my corrected post and explanation?

    Then you write: "A forum is like a doctor's waiting room. Everybody is an expert. There is truth, half truth and untruth. One would to be wise to be cautious, to be persnickety else you take the advice of the man who told you to apply leeches. But sometimes there is one there who has had what you have and it becomes blatantly clear he knows what he is talking about.

    And it becomes blatantly clear who is the comedian in the room."




    You came on here with questions. You were given answers you took great delight in disregarding. In the end what was you aim?

    Some kind of freaking holier than now nutter preaching on how to answer a question. Do FO...

  • #25
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    4,142
    Quote Originally Posted by DenDee
    And it becomes blatantly clear who is the comedian
    agree: I find ao mildly diverting if I have absolutely nothing else on earth to do...

  • Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

    Thread Information

    Users Browsing this Thread

    There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •