If you want to catch the train from Sungai Petani to Hat Yai in Southern Thailand, you will first have to travel to the Thai / Malaysia border station of Padang Besar by either a cheap KTM Komuter service, or one of the more expensive and less frequent Electric Train Services (ETS).
Once you arrive at Padang Besar Railway Station, if you want to continue your journey to Hat Yai by train, you will have to take one of the two Shuttle services a day, or the International Express that stops in Hat Yai on its way to Bangkok.
The best option to travel to the border is to take one of the frequent (every one or two hours) KTM Komuter Trains that offer a good, reliable and cheap way to get to Thailand from Sungai Petani.
The only problems with these commuter services is that they can get quite busy during weekends and holiday periods, so you may not be able to get a seat until you get past Alor Setar where many passengers will disembark.
If you don't mind standing for a while - no problem.
If you require a reserved seat, you will have to take one of the less frequent and more expensive ETS services.
When you arrive at Padang Besar where all KTM trains now terminate, you will have to go through immigration procedures at the station if you wish to continue your journey by train to Hat Yai, so allow yourselves at least an hour to make any connecting trains.
There are currently only two Shuttle services a day to Hat Yai from the border (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), so you will have to time you arrival well so you are not waiting around for hours.
The only other train to Hat Yai is on the Padang Besar to Bangkok train.
We do not recommend this service as it will cost you over 5 times as much as the Shuttle.
If you take a Komuter, then Shuttle service, it works out very cheap.
A ticket on the Komuter will cost you only 9.30 MYR.
A ticket on the Shuttle to Hat Yai cost 50 Thai Baht.
So a total of less than 17 MYR.
If you decide you need a seat and take an ETS, this will cost you much more.
An ETS ticket to Padang Besar is either 23 or 29 MYR (Gold / Platinum).
You can not pre-book tickets for the KTM Komuter or SRT Shuttle.
You have to buy the Komuter ticket on the day of travel from Sungai Petani station.
The Shuttle train tickets are only sold an hour or so before departure from the SRT ticket office at Padang Besar station.
If you want to travel on the ETS, you will have to reserve your seat. This should be done in advance as ETS trains can often be full.
Advance booking is easy to do - You can buy tickets from any KTM station ticket counter or you can book online for the same price.
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