I have been planning this road trip for a couple of months already. Read through the various blogs of ppl who have done the same road trip. Also find out what is the current procedure to cross the Thai border at Sadao. Booked the hotels, printed and filled the necessary forms to cross into Thailand by car. Arranged with my brother to come along with me for the drive up to Bangkok, then he flies home from Bangkok. My wife will fly into Bangkok and join me on the trip back to Singapore. So its basically chiong all the way up and take the scenic route back while enjoying the drive.
SG -> Hatyai -> Surat Thani -> Hua Hin -> BKK -> Hua Hin -> Surat Thani -> Hatyai -> Ipoh -> KL -> SG
The day before the set off, filled the car to the brim and took photo of my odometer as this is going to be a very long road trip.
6th July 2019 (Saturday)
Kiss and hug my wife goodbye and set off at 4am to pickup my brother. I didn’t want to set off so early but my brother wana avoid the causeway jam. There were indeed no jams at all and we are into NSHW. I took the first drive. Stopped over at Pagoh Reststop for pee and topped up TNG card. We switched drivers, my brother took over the drive. Next stop was Tapah Reststop as the sun begin to rise. Fuel the car to the brim and I drove now. Our initial plan was to stop at Alor Setar and enter Thailand the next day. But since we are so early, might as well try to enter it the same day.
By 1pm, we arrived at Changlun town. It is the last town in MY before reaching the border. It is only 10km to the border. We went to the Petronas station for fuel and to get our 3rd party Thai insurance and white card. Then drove further ahead to a coffeeshop for lunch, our first meal of the day. We had bak kut the and was pretty disappointed as there is no pork ribs. Owner said the ppl here are stingy and not willing to pay so cannot cook pork rib. So funny. Anyway, just fill the tummy and move on.
Arriving at Bukit Kayu Hitam, MY side is a new custom and immigration building. No tolls/road charge/VEP to be paid. Just stamp passport and we are off, same as SG/MY crossing. However as we exited the building, we are stuck in the jam already. Traffic has built up from the Thai side till MY custom. Inching forward every few 5-10mins, it was painful.
When we were near the Thai immigration checkpoint, the police ask my brother, the passenger to alight and go through the normal walk-in immigration. He did the same for cars around me, asking passengers to alight. When I was just four cars away from the counter, I messaged my brother to check where he is in the human queue. Alamak, he still queuing at the outside of the building, not yet even enter it. So I did what everyone in front of me did, I called my brother to come over to my car and we will clear immigration together.
The process is very weird. You drive up to the counter, everyone alights from the vehicle and stand in front of the counter to clear immigration. The immigration officer don’t care how many ppl in the vehicle, he will just process your documents. So thatz what everyone did, calling their passengers to join them at the counter. The human queuing also has those tour buses passenger so would take longer time.
After having my passport stamped, I proceeded to the counter in the next building to “import” my car into Thailand. There was no queue at all here. I walked up and let the officer process the documents. He printed out the importation form and told me to let officer sign and remember to return it once I exited Thailand. As I begin to walk away, the officer shouted at me to come back. He kept saying let officer sign and point to his back, the other guy seating behind him. I tot I was to drive the car up and there is an officer at the gate to sign it. So I handed the form to the officer to sign and he also reminded me to return the form upon leaving Thailand, otherwise 10,000 baht fine.
By then, there was a guy walking to me and told me that my car has breakdown as my brother was unable to start the car. Therefore there was a jam at my lane. Oops, went back and saw my brother trying to start the car to no avail. Then spare remote I passed to him got no more battery juice and he don’t know how to start it manually. Faster start and drove off!!! Took us a total of 2 hours to clear this Thai immigration.
Woohooo, we are in Thailand. As we were stuck in the jam, I quickly made an online booking with The Regency at Hatyai for the night. We gave up our hotel in Alor Setar and went straight into Hatyai. Hatyai is 50km away from Sadao border, the drive there was smooth. Not much traffic jams. Using Waze to guide us there. The Regency has underground private carpark and it is in the night street stalls area, just opposite Lee Gardens Plaza hotel. Very well known area.
The hotel room was dated, like in the 80’s feel. We rested in the hotel room till dinner time and proceeded to take a tuk tuk to Greenway market for dinner. After that we came back to the hotel area and walked the street stalls. Then we rest for the night.
Makan photo here : https://www.mycarfor...land/?p=6711758
Edited by Adrianli, 07 August 2019 - 04:34 PM.