From Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok by train

Our flight with Air Asia from Denpasar to KL was smooth and we were pleasantly surprised by the good service. We took the airport train to Kuala Lumpur Sentral station and made our way to our hotel with the electric monorail. This was the cheapast and fastest way to reach our district Bukit Bintang. Public transport works well and is a good option to explore the city.

Kuala Lumpur itself had not that much to offer (for our taste) except for the Petronas Towers and the good food. The daily thunderstorms and downpours did help to make the temperature tolerable, but also made all the dirt and trash wash through the streets. We have never visited shops and shopping malls as frequently as in KL, since the weather outside was so hot and humid, that the cooled down shops were a real blessing.

The reason why we chose to stop in KL was the train connection to Bangkok (and because it was so much cheaper than Singapore 🤷‍♀️). We travelled six hours by malaysian high speed train from KL Sentral to the Thai border town Padang Besar, where we had to ask around (several times) to find the Malaysian Immigration to exit the coountry and enter Thailand. In principle it would be simple: The Malay and Thai immigration is down the arrival platform (in the driving direction of the train) on the right hand side. Since there was a train arriving on the other platform (Thai to Malaysia) they closed down our side (Malaysia to Thailand) until the travellers from Thailand were done. Once they opened up again, everything was pretty quick. The malaysian border control didn’t show much interest, but the Thai official (a sharp and scary woman) was very interested in where we were going, if we had booked everything and seemed anoyed, that she didn’t know the guesthouse we were staying at. We had learned from our previous travels that you should just shut up, smile and be very friendly when in contact with a not so happy official at immigration, so we were fine. The two male backpackers who followed were not that lucky. They were harshly asked where they were going and then had to show proove of THB 10’000 as sufficient funding (which is stated as an official rule if you are entering Thailand. The two where caught by suprise and didn’t give the right answers, nor did they have the 10’000 THB (about USD 300) or a bank statement to show the immigration official. So we saw them leave the train station later on and the immigration official closed down the office for today and went home 🤷‍♀️😂. This is something else you need to know before crossing the border by train: the immigration office closes before or pretty much at 5pm. If you arrive after that time you will have to get the border stamp at the bus land crossing about 2km from the train station.

Our train left on time and we were suprised how comfortable the journey was. The food from the board kitchen is overpriced and not that good, so we would bring our own next time or buy it from the vendors that came on board after the Thai border. The lower bunk beds are realy big and the courtains were thick enough to cast out the light (which is on all night). Marco slept on the upper berth which was smaller, but he was still able to get some sleep. We were able to stow away our backpacks under the seats and kept the travel packs at the end of our feet during the night. All together we would definiteley travel from KL to Bangkok by train again and can recommend it to travelers who have enough time on their hand.