Thailand Country Guide

Getting In


By Road

From Malaysia & Singapore
Driving north from Singapore and Malaysia into Thailand is entirely possible, though not with a rented vehicle. Main crossings between Thailand and Malaysia (Malaysian towns in brackets) are:

  • Padang Besar (Padang Besar) and Sadao (Bukit Kayu Hitam) in Songkhla province,
  • Betong (Pengkalan Hulu) in Yala province and
  • Sungai Kolok (Rantau Panjang) in Narathiwat province. 
There are regular buses departing from Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia and Singapore to the southern Thai hub of Hatyai.

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Thailand-Malaysia crossing at Betong by Fannykong
From Laos
The busiest border crossing between Thailand and Laos is at the Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River. The bridge connects the Lao capital of Vientiane and the Thai town of Nong Khai. It's also possible to cross the Mekong River at (Laotian town in bracket) Chiang Khong (Huay Xai), Nakhon Phanom (Tha Khaek) and Mukdahan (Savannakhet).

There is a bus service departing from the Morning Market bus station in Vientiane to the bus station in Udon Thani, Thailand. The cost is 80 Baht or 22,000 Kip and the journey takes about two hours. The Udon Thani airport is 30 minutes by Tuk Tuk (motorized pedicab) from the bus station and served by Thai Airways, Nok Air and Thai Air Asia. 

From Cambodia
There are six border crossings between Thailand and Cambodia. A major route is the highway from Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor to the Cambodian border town of Poipet before crossing into Aranyaprathet in Thailand. Once the stuff of nightmares, the route is now 'merely bad' and the journey usually takes less than three hours.

Thailand-Cambodia crossing at Poipet by LigerCommon

From Myanmar
Foreigners can access the border crossing between Mae Sai (Northern Thailand) and Tachileik (Eastern Myanmar). However, exiting Myanmar at Tachilek is only possible for those who entered at this crossing from Thailand and issued a 14-day entry permit. Another is the crossing between Ranong (Southern Thailand) and Kawthoung (Southern Myanmar) and there is no onward travel restrictions.
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