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How to Travel to Hat Yai with KTMB Sawasdee Train + Commentary

Sawadeeka! 🙏 Did you know you can travel to Hatyai by land? Now, you have the option to travel by train!

If you’re interested to learn how to do that, this is the article for you! I will walk you through the steps on how to take the KTMB train from KL Sentral to Hat Yai directly. So without further ado, let’s get on to it!

Step 1: Like and Follow KTMB’s Official Facebook and Instagram Pages


This is crucial because the Sawasdee train doesn’t run everyday. So you’ll have to follow KTMB’s social media to know when the train will be heading to Hatyai. KTMB will post on their socials the specific dates and they usually post it at quite the last minute. Usually less than a week before the train departs.

Tip: The train is usually available during a long weekend

Step 2: Head to the Website or Download the App to Buy Your Tickets


Select KL Sentral for origin. Destination: select Hat Yai. For the departure and return dates, select according to the dates that KTMB posted on their social media. Pick how many tickets you’re buying for and click Search.

For the Sawasdee train, there are sleeper berths available. There are 2 types of berths available. Upper and lower berths. 

You have to book quickly if you want lower sleeper berths as they’re quickly sold out. My family all had to sleep on the upper berths and let’s just say it was the most uncomfortable 10+ journey ever. Yes, the journey with the train takes around 10 hours from KL Sentral to Hat Yai.

Tip: Don’t pick the upper berths as they’re quite hard to get on to. Although I’m petite, I don’t feel comfortable sleeping in the upper berths because I had to share the space with my luggages.

Step 3: Arrive at KL Sentral at least 30 Mins before Departure

This is not a flight. So you don’t have to worry about reaching super early. As long as you reach right on time, you can still board the train. For Malaysian timing, the train is actually really good because it departs on the dot.

There will be a conductor with a scan machine that will help you to scan your tickets before you’re let into the train. Remember to have your QR codes ready. You can either print it out or just install the app and find your QR codes easily.

Click on View Tickets and you’ll see your QR codes.

Step 4: Board the Train

This is pretty self-explanatory. Look for your seat(s) or sleeper berth and you’re set for the journey. Remember to bring a powerbank for your phones as they do not have power plugs for you to charge them.

And if you opt for sleeper berths, do bring smaller bags so you can fit them in your compartment as they do not provide a space for you to store your luggages. This is the biggest let-down I would say. Because sleeper berths tickets are more expensive than seats and they don’t provide space for us to store our luggages but the seats do? Make it make sense?

Here’s a picture for your reference. Actually you can put your legs straight if you sleep directly on the pillow provided but I’m a germaphobe and I find it gross (my sister find hers gross too, I’m not the only one) so I placed my bag on the pillow to rest my head so that took up a bit of space therefore I can’t keep my legs straight.

Tip: Wear loose pants to be more comfortable. In my defense I was in a rush, I packed my clothes an hour before departure and didn’t have time to actually prepare what to wear during the journey too so I just throw on the closest pants which is my jeans 😅😅

The men (my dad and sister’s boyfriend) were okay with their pillows, I guess men really are not as fussy as ladies 🤭

Tip: Bring a disinfectant spray and hand sanitizer. I did and it definitely gave me some peace of mind.

If you’re hungry, you can get food at the canteen. You may have to walk across carriages if you’re at the sleeper berths’ area. Try not to go during lunch and dinner time as it can get quite crowded since the space is narrow and people have to queue to order their food.

This is what I ordered. It looked like some kind of mee rebus or something but it’s actually spaghetti bolognese 😅 I was hungry so I didn’t really care and just ordered whatever that’s most appealing to me and easiest to consume. The other food options are either spicy or instant noodles. It actually didn’t taste as bad as it looks but the noodles were quite hard 😅

Step 5: Get Down at Padang Besar to Stamp Your Passport

The train will have multiple stops during the ride but there is one stop that you have to get down from. Conductors will walk around to inform passengers to get ready so don’t worry that you won’t know which station to get down.

During the journey, KTMB staff will walk around and hand everyone a white card. Bring a pen so you won’t have to borrow someone else’s. For the uninitiated, a white card is a form required to be filled by foreign nationals entering Thailand to be submitted to the Thai immigration checkpoint.

You do not have to bring all your luggages. Just bring your passport and white card and valuables such as your purses and devices.

The toilet in the train is narrow and shared by many people so try to relieve yourself BEFORE boarding or at Padang Besar. The public toilets here cost 30 cents per entry so prepare some loose changes. They don’t have tissues too so prepare that as well and please don’t flush the tissues down the toilets. Throw them in the bin provided.

And that’s it, folks! 5 easy steps to book your next train tickets to Hat Yai! I hope this was informative.


  1. Like and Follow KTMB’s Official Facebook and Instagram Pages
  2. Head to the Website or Download the App to Buy Your Tickets
  3. Arrive at KL Sentral at least 30 Mins before Departure
  4. Board the Train
  5. Get Down at Padang Besar to Stamp Your Passport

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