Tips on Driving from Malaysia to Thailand by Road - Part 1

My 2010 trip was from Selangor - Kota Baharu - Sadao - Hatyai  (1 night) - Phattalung (1 night) - Nakhon Si Thammarat (1 night) - Khanom Beach (3 nights) - Nakhon Si Thammarat (1 night) - Hatyai (1 night) - Home
My 2010 trip was from Selangor - Kota Baharu - Sadao - Hatyai (1 night) - Phattalung (1 night) - Nakhon Si Thammarat (1 night) - Khanom Beach (3 nights) - Nakhon Si Thammarat (1 night) - Hatyai (1 night) - Home

Driving holidays to Thailand can be fun to those who are adventurous and enjoy the flexibility.

Its not just a holiday. Its life experiences.

Venturing to small little towns, restaurants, shops and chalets. Even discovering 'treasures' which money cannot buy. How do we put a price tag on life experiences that enriches our soul and makes us feel, "been there, done that" sense of achievement.

My family and I have driven to Thailand from Selangor, Malaysia twice for 2 consecutive years - 2009 and 2010. It has been an enjoyable experience. To say the least.

When I tell people about the driving holidays to Thailand, they will usually give a bewildered look. Something along the lines ....

"Are you crazy?"


"Who do you usually hang out with? Well, whoever it is, you gotta stop!"

or maybe

"Its been some years now that the aeroplane has been invented. You know?"

and occasionally

"How awesome is that?! Not."

I would have reacted the same way if I had not experienced 3 years of numerous inter-state holidays in our faithful Mazda Tribute SUV... From Bangkok to Phuket. Even from Bangkok to Chiang Rai.


Driving from Malaysia was a whole different experience.

I will try to compile some information which I think will be useful.

So, you are thinking about it, huh? Its OK to think about it.


Here are some tips on preparations before embarking on your Adventurous Journey of a Lifetime to Thailand!

When Do You Want To Go?

You might want to check out the public holidays and seasons before deciding the timing of your trip. What are the monsoon seasons and rainy seasons. Or maybe winter.

Do Your Research

  • Do some homework by researching on the internet. Decide a route. Be flexible though.
  • With a rough guide on destination, then research the tourist attraction places. You can collate a few places of interest. Accumulate the information first and finalise it later.
  • Look up a few hotels/chalets. If you do not want to book them, just get their numbers and address down, just in case you might need it when you get there.


  • There are 2 options on route from Malaysia into Thailand. One of them is from Alor Setar and the other from Kota Bahru. I have gone on both.
  • If you have a long holiday, then, you can go further up, towards Bangkok. But we didn't because we wanted to relax more rather than spending too much time on the road. Daily, a maximum of 3-4 hours of driving. And by 3pm, you should already be looking or have confirmed accommodation. If you don't already have bookings made. If its your first time driving to Thailand, you don't want to be over stressed thinking about where to stay.


  • There are various accommodations ranging from THB1,000 (RM110) to THB10,000 (RM1,100) per night. Depending on high season or low season... or normal chalets or luxurious self pampering 5 star resort and spa.
  • We try to stay a few days on normal accommodations and then pamper ourselves silly on a few nights in a nicer place. But for your sanity, try to stay in a non luxurious place first and then upgrade to a nicer hotel and not the other way round. If not, you might have some whiny and complaining kids. Or you might even feel the difference....
  • My personal experience on accommodation... so far, I have not slept in the car. No matter how busy - even on the 1st of Jan, I have always managed to get a place to stay. But, it might not be the ideal location or luxury but it was good enough. On both 1st of Jan in 2009 and 2010, we were in Hatyai en route home. It was the probably the busiest time of the year but we still managed to get a room in the middle of town.
  • Car
    • Ensure you serviced your car. All your spare tires, tools and general condition of the car is good.
    • Must bring along your Car Registration card and documentations regards to the car. Ensure you are the owner of the car. I am not sure if its OK to bring a borough car into Thailand.

    More coming up.... in part 2

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Comments 1 comment

Vincent 2 years ago

I have driven to Thailand more than 10 times since I came back to Malaysia. I used to live in Thailand for 10 years. May I know when you are thinking of going again ?

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