Padang Besar (Malaysia)

Padang Besar is a border town in the north of Perlis, the northern-most state in Malaysia.

The Padang Besar border crossing is the only direct rail link between Malaysia and Thailand, and a quieter and less direct road crossing than Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah.

The town on the Thai side of the border, in Songkhla province, is also called Padang Besar - however Malaysians differentiate between the two by calling the Thai town "Pekan Siam" or "Siamese Town".

Much more tame and sanitized than its Thai counterpart, Malaysia's Padang Besar still attracts many Malaysians who come to shop for items imported from Thailand which are available in abundance at lower prices.

A Thai 2nd-class sleeper car on the platform at the Padang Besar Railway Station, on its way to Butterworth

Get in

See Malaysia | Get In for details of Malaysian immigration requirements. The Malaysian immigration/customs checkpoint is situated near the town centre and is several hundred metres from the actual border and the Thai immigration complex.

By train

Padang Besar is served by Keretapi Tanah Melayu's (Malayan Railway) Senandung Langkawi which runs daily between Kuala Lumpur and Hat Yai via Butterworth in Penang. Trains for Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth depart at 16:45 while trains for Hat Yai leave at 09:47.

State Railway of Thailand's daily International Express between Bangkok and Butterworth via Hat Yai also passes through Padang Besar. It leaves Padang Besar for Bangkok at 18:18, and for Butterworth at 08:55.

Padang Besar railway station - located behind the row of shops on the main road - has both Malaysian and Thai immigration facilities. Passengers must leave the train and go through the respective immigration procedures before re-boarding the train.

Please note that Thailand is one hour behind Malaysia. When it is noon in Malaysia, it is 11:00 in Thailand.

By bus

Direct express buses linking Padang Besar directly with Kuala Lumpur and Penang or Butterworth are operated by Plusliner Bus Services and perhaps Transnasional (though it's not one of the towns on the Transnational website). Express buses depart from Jalan Masjid in Padang Besar. Local buses connect Padang Besar and Kangar.

By road

Padang Besar is about 35km north of Kangar, the capital of Perlis. Federal Route 7 links Kangar with Padang Besar and driving time is about half hour to 40 minutes.

To Thailand

The Malaysian immigration checkpoint is located at the edge of town. It is quite easy to drive from Thailand into Malaysia or vice-versa. Just make sure your insurance is in order. There is a distance of several hundred metres between the Malaysian and Thai checkpoints, with a duty free shopping complex in Malaysian territory in between. Most people do not walk but catch motorcycle taxis (RM3) which can be found in abundance in town and will bring you through the two checkpoints into the centre of Thai Padang Besar.

See the page for the Thai town of Padang Besar for details on how to cross the border from the Thai side.

Get around

Padang Besar town is small enough to get around on foot.


Near the fire department there is the Padang Bazaar where you can shop duty free.


After the roundabout there are several eateries on each side of the main street.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, March 18, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.