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BANGKOK 18 January 2019 17:02

Visa run to Penang - care to share tips?

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Leaving from Songkhla...


The limit of land border crossings means one has to fly.


Is there a hotel or GH near the Thai consulate which you can recommend?


Are there motorcycle taxi drivers or metered taxis? (Sorry, I only have been to Malaysian airports). In Laos, I had Tuk Tuk drivers i. rip off a friend with open blackmail and htreats of violence and ii. got intentionally taken to some hotel paying a high kick back vs the embassy, where I wanted to go. Was lugging a heavy suitcase at the time and had no smartphone with GPS.



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The 102 bus from airport runs very close to Thai embassy (google [Rapid Penang bus route 102] or somesuch). Turn up at embassy early (as apparently they are only processing 100 per day), well dressed, and with all the required documents (including flight and 'hotel booking' details).  Most bus routes run via Komtar, the building over the central bus hub. From Komtar, you can catch the 101 to the Jeti (ferry jetty to Butterworth)- this goes through little India where you can look for less-expensive (not necessarily cheap) accom. AA

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This would have probably gotten more responses in the Thai visas forum. 


Are you doing an out/in visa exempt entry, or getting a new visa?  If so, which type of visa will you get? 


If you are going to get a new visa, you can still leave via land border. Minibus from hat yai to Penang, 

Miibus from hat yai to Sadao/danok; minibus from danok (7-eleven near border, Thai side) to Penang. 

Minubus from hat yai to Padang Besar; train to Butterworth (ferry to Penang).  


Only metered taxis (no motorbike taxis); never tried grabtaxi/grabbike/grabcar.  If you go to a visa agent like Jim, you save a bit as you go as a group of 4-5 people.  Includes 2 trips.  One to the consulate.  One the next day for pickup. They wait for you at the consulate both times. 


There are several air con buses to the Penang airport. 102, 401E, AT


Take about 45-60 min to georgetown. All go through Kontar; AT goes up Chulia St. 


More comprehensive guide here:  

A little bit old but most of it is still useful. 

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Sorry for the omissions. I ended up using an agent and got a new T-VISA. 


The hostel I stayed at had a bed bugs infestation. Now I have a disgusting issue on my hands...


On the return trip, I would advise against handing over your passport. Because the landing card gets filled in incorrectly and the 5 MYR for the "insurance" which is a blatant scam ... Beneficiary? The travel agency. And you think you having the only copy makes it legal?!? 🤔


Come on, raise the fare by 7 MYR and stop the b.s.

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