Getting from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok by land

You’re backpacking through Asia on a budget and you don’t want to fly right? Ok so how do you get from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok cheaply and quickly – this post should sort it out for you. Also, if you’re trying to get from Singapore to Bangkok by land, it’s the same journey plus one extra stop.

Petronas Towers KL

The iconic Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

With price, comfort and timing taken into consideration trains are the way to go. Singapore to KL is easy (bus or train – takes about 5 hours and they go every 30 mins, you can work that one out yourself!)

From Kuala Lumpur you have 3 options:

1)   Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar, Padang Besar to Bangkok

Take the train to Padang Besar:

Takes: 11 hours

Costs: $14 for seat,  $15 for 2nd class sleeper, $30 for premium class sleeper

Departs KL Sentral at 9.15PM

Arrives Padan Besar at 8.20am

 

From Padang Besar to Bangkok

Takes: 6 hours

Costs: $32

Departs Pedang Besar at 6.18pm

Arrives Bangkok at 12.24am

 

TOTAL COST: $46- $62

TOTAL JOURNEY TIME”

 

 

2)   Kuala Lumpur to Hat Yai, Hat Yai to Bangkok

Take the train to Hat Yai:

Takes: 13 hours

Costs: $13 for seat, $19 for sleeper

Departs KL Sentral at 9.15pm

Arrives Hat Yai at 10.12am

 

From Hat Yai to Bangkok

Takes: Approximately 15 hours

Costs: $10 for 3rd class seat, $19 for AC seat, $27 for 2nd class sleeper, $44 for premium sleeper

Departs Hat Yai at 14.35, 15.26, 16.20, 18.05, 18.45

Arrives in Bangkok at 9.00, 9.25, 05.40, 10.30, 9.55

 

TOTAL COST: $23 – $63

TOTAL JOURNEY TIME:  Approx 36 hours

 

 

3)   Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth, Butterworth to Bangkok

Take the train to Butterworth:*

Takes: 7 hours

Costs: $13 for 2nd class sleeper, $28 for premium class sleeper

Departs KL at 10.00pm

Arrives Butterworth at 5.00am

 

From Butterworth to Bangkok

Takes: 10 hours

Costs: $32

Departs Butterworth at 2.20pm

Arrives Bangkok at 12.24am

 

TOTAL COST: $45 – $60

TOTAL JOURNEY TIME: Approximately 26 hours

 

*Alternatively you can try to take a bus from KL to Butterworth early in the morning (5am) and still catch the 2.20pm train the same day to BKK. It means you can reduce your travel time to 19 hours.

 

Ok so if you go direct from KL to Bangkok is costs around $50 and takes just over a day at its fastest. From Singapore to Bangkok is around $70 and takes around 40 hours. However, a better way to do this trip would be to take 10 days or so and stop off at some of the awesome places en route, for example:

Singapore -> Melacca -> KL -> Penang -> Phuket/Krabi -> Bangkok

Singapore Lion Statue

Singapore Skyline with their famous Lion Statue

Malacca city

The Portugese-flavoured Malacca

You can still take the trains the whole way, on the same timetables, but you’ll enjoy your journey much more. Good luck with the journey and happy travels.

Helpful links:

Malaysian trains – www.ktmb.com.my

Thai trains - www.thaifocus.com

 

 

 

36 thoughts on “Getting from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok by land

  1. Anupam

    Hi Johnny

    I was looking for information on how to plan a family road trip in south-east asia in May-2015

    and I came across your website, I liked the below route very much

    Singapore -> Melacca -> KL -> Penang -> Phuket/Krabi -> Bangkok

    I am now in the thoughts if there is a possibility of doing (added Cambodia & Vietnam)

    Singapore -> Melacca -> KL -> Penang -> Phuket/Krabi -> Bangkok -> Phnom Penh -> Ho Chi Minh

    or reverse.. (my home country is India)

    family members along with me would be myself (42), wife (40), 2 children (12 & 7) and my mother (70)

    this will be planned in May-2015 during School’s summer vacation, and will be a very budget trip

    the route shown below is based on my understanding and can be changed to make-fit a batter plan

    while I would prefer to rent a car and do the entire trip driving myself, but am not sure of the legal feasibility and cost constraints

    your advise will help..

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Traveling From Bangkok To Myanmar - Your Travel Destination

  3. nix

    Hi, the suggested 10-day route you mentioned looks very good (Singapore -> Melacca -> KL -> Penang -> Phuket/Krabi -> Bangkok). How long should I take in each town/city, though? Are there overnight buses/trains from each location to the next at any given day? I prefer overnight runs to save on hotel cost and maximize my time. Would really love your input. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Abbas

    So is there any checkpoint where they would stamp your entry to Thailand or check if for yours visa if required ?
    Thanks for your information :)

    Reply
    1. WAQAR AHMAD SAMMANDAR

      YA THEY HAVE CHECK POINTS, WHERE YOU WILL TAKE AT LEAST 10 MINTS AT EACH POINT OF EXIT AND TO ENTER ANOTHER COUNTRY, IT IS AS GOOD AS AT AIRPORT. THEY ARE VERY CARING AND HELPFUL

      Reply
  5. Felix

    Hey man, thanks a lot for your efforts!

    How long does the first option take? You wrote it takes ” hours :D ..

    Thanks again mate!

    Reply
  6. sheane

    Hi, sorry but I would like to reconfirm with the information you give. From the schedule I found in KTM train station schedule, I believe the journey from Butterworth to Bangkok should take 20 hours? which means you arrive Bangkok at 12pm instead? Or has it changed?

    Reply
  7. Shafiq

    Dear All

    1) I plan to go from KL to Bangkok by land.Pls suggest a schedule for places to see along the way. What shud I see, and how long to stay at each place? I would be very grateful if anyone can suggest a possi ble schedule for me.

    2) Are the trains safe? Clean?

    Thanks + rgds
    Shafiq
    zshafiq@gmail.com

    Reply
  8. AFZAAL ASLAM

    22-DECEMBER-2012
    DEAR MR. JOHNNY,

    I AM GOING TO BANGKOK ON 28-01-2012 FOR THE FIRST TIME. I WANT TO GO TO KUALA LUMPUR BY TRAIN FROM BANGKOK. IS THERE ANY ONE TRAIN TO GO STRAIGHT FROM BANGKOK TO KUALA LUMPUR, WITHOUT CHANGING ANY TRAIN? AND HOW LONG WILL THIS JOURNEY TAKE?

    AWAITING YOUR VALUABLE REPLY.

    FROM AFZAAL.

    Reply
    1. waqar Ahmad Sammandar

      DEAR AFZAL , ITS VERY EASY TO GO BY TRAIN TO KUALA LUMPUR, GO TO THE NEARIEST STation at bangkok, or u can get it online check the avilibale dates online and take a ticket, and the traviling distance is just as from peshawar to multan, but u hv to stay and see different good places to see, so dont worry and that will be a very pleasent journey, make ur trip plan from home and search the places on internet before starting ur juorney and these are the best days to visit these countries.

      Reply
  9. Owen

    Hi,

    If anyone can advise on the timing and fare of train to BKK. We are 2 adults and 1 child. wish to stopover Hatyai before continuing to BKK.

    Put a night in Bangkok, Plan to go Pnom Pheng (1night) & HCMC (1-2 nights). Take a flight to KL.

    Please advise of the best route and stay.

    Regards
    owen

    Reply
  10. Kathleen

    Hey Johnny!
    I cant help but to comment how very useful this post is. im actually searching on how to take the train from Kuala Lumpur-bangkok. Seeing that there’s an alternative way to do this I might take Singapore -> Melacca -> KL -> Penang -> Phuket/Krabi -> Bangkok. Taking the longest route but in a more enjoyable way.
    Cheers to more travel

    Reply
    1. WAQAR

      OH I WANTED TO GO THE SAME WAY, COZ MY FIRST MISTAKE WAS THAT I CAME BY AIR FROM BKK TO SINGAPORE,BUT I DID IT WRONG AGAIN AS I CAME TO KL BY BUS FROM SINGAPORE, NOW I WANNA TAKE TRAIN AND FROM KL TO MALACCA AND SO ON, BUT WIL I GET THERE GOOD ACCOMMODATION FOR A NIGHT OR SO.

      Reply
  11. Judith

    hi, i have booked flights to kuala lumpur October 31 eta is 1750 and
    back to the philippnies on nov 5 departure at 1830
    Is it possible for me to visit bangkok based on my scheduled flight? What is the cheapest way to reach bangkok?
    I hope you can help me
    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey judith, it’s possible ,check airasia for connecting flights to bkk, that’s ur best bet! to go by land takes around 30 hours each way, so it would cost a lot of your time :s if you can’t fly, i wouldn’t do it. Go to lankgkawi, kl, penang, melecca, singapore instead :)

      Reply
  12. Paula

    Hi, we are planning to go to thailand overland from malaysia this coming October. May I just ask which train we’ll take from KL Sentral? It’s a bit confusing…

    We are planning to take your advise #1. 1) Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar, Padang Besar to Bangkok.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      just ask at the ticket counter, they’re really cool :) BUT if you need a sleeper bed, book in advance, they sell out often

      Reply
      1. Paula O

        Hi Johnny, thanks for the reply! Is there an online site where we can book the tickets (for sleeper train) or we can just do that in KL Sentral a day before our departure.

        Thanks again!

        Reply
  13. Basu Thakur

    The details provided are interesting and helpful. I plan to travel by train from Butterworth to Bangkok either in November, 2012 or January, 2013. I plan to travel by bus from KL to Penang- spend 2 nights there and then take the train from Butterworth to Bangkok. My question is 1)Can I buy a ticket directly for Bangkok or I have to buy Two tickets – one for Malaysia and another for Thailand? 2) Is stopover allowed? If Phuket comesalong the trip, I would like to make a break for 2 nights and then resume my trip to BKK. 3) Do I pay any extra for such a stopover (break journey)? I had visited these places earlier but never by train. I am from India.

    I await your advise and thanks a lot.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      i think 2 tickets mate :) if u wanna stop at Phuket, just buy a ticket that far, and then get your bkk ticket when you need it, they very rarely sell out (certainly sitting tickets anyway) – good luck!

      Reply
  14. Pingback: World Spinner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *