Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Thailand (Hatyai, Bangkok, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai) Jan 2019

National Flag of  Thailand
Sawadikap ! Thailand - A Land of Smiles ! 
Thailand has a staggering of over 40,700 Buddhist Temples

" My Cuti Cuti (Vacation), Jalan Jalan (Walkabout) & Makan Makan (Eating) 15 days free & easy visit with my Klang buddies to northern Thailand - taking KTM Malaysia & Thai train rides from KL Sentral, Malaysia to Hatyai, Bangkok & Chiang Mai, Thailand from 8 - 22 Jan 2019 - my 6th train ride with my Klang buddies from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand  " 

Image result for thailand map
Map of  Thailand

Travel Itinerary: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia > Padang Besar > Hatyai > Bangkok > Sukhothai > Chiang Mai > Chiang Rai > Chiang Mai > Bangkok > Hatyai > Padan Besar > Kuala Lumpur (total distance to & return from Kuala Lumpur > Chiang Rai is 4,465km) 

KL > Padang Besar              - 420km
Padang Besar > Hatyai         - 55km
Hatyai > Bangkok                 - 945km
Bangkok > Sukhothai           - 427km
Sukhothai > Chinag Mai      - 313km
Chaiang Mai > Chiang Rai  - 197km
Chiang Mai > Bangkok        - 688km 

Currency Exchange: US$1=Rm4.14; 100bht = Rm12.86

Total expenses incurred (15 days): Rm1,747 = US$421 (Bht12,520 + Rm137)
Travel insurance: Rm27
Food (14 days): 2,700Bht
Train tickets: Rm110 + Bht2,791
1) KTM ETS (Platinum) - Rm55 x 2 (Seniors) = Rm110 (KL Sentral > Padang Besar)
2) Hatyai > Bangkok          - Bht 1,005 (sleeper)
3) Chiang Mai > Bangkok  - Bht 731 (sleeper)
4) Bangkok > Hatyai           - Bht 1,005 (sleeper)
5) Hatyai > Padang Besar   - Bht 50

Taxi hire (Padang Besar > Hatyai): Bht1,300 (cost sharing of 5 = Bht260 per pax)
Hostels (11 nights): Bht3,730
1) Chic Hostel, Bangkok - Bht454 x 3 nights (twin bed)
2) Sila Resort, Sukhothai - Bht413 x 2 
3) Hug Hostel, Chiang Mai - Bht220 x 2
4) Mercy Hostel, Chiang Rai - Bht225 x 2 
5) The Aree Hatyai Hostel - Bht348 + Bht304

Long distance bus: Bht775
1) Bangkok > Sukhothai         - Bht310
2) Sukhothai > Chiang Mai    - Bht207
3) Chiang Mai > Chiang Rai   - Bht129
4) Chiang Rai > Chiang Mai   - Bht129

Taxi hire (Bangkok > Damnoensaduak Floating Market & Maeklong Railway Market) - Bht1,800 (cost sharing of 5 = Bht360 per pax) 

Boat ride to Damnoensaduak  Floating Market(2hours) - Bht6,000 (cost sharing of 5 = Bht1,200 per pax)

Tuk Tuk hire (5 hours Bht800) in Hatyai: Bht180
Bicycle hire (3hrs) in Sukhothai: Bht30
Entrance fees: Bht100
Ferry (Bangkok): Bht20
Sky Trains & MRT: Bht250
Taxifare (Hua Lamphong > Mo Chit Bus Station): Bht500 (Bht100 per pax) 

My 4 travel buddies from Klang Valley, Selangor (KM, Hui, Boon, Wong & Chim)

Travel Highlights: 

1) Bangkok

Thammasot University, Bangkok 

2) Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Ratchaburi (100km from Bangkok) 

Danmonensaduak Floating market 

3) Maeklong Railway Market, Samut Songkham (81km from Bangkok) 

Maeklong Railway Market 

4) Amphawa Floating Market, Samut Songkhram (88km from Bangkok) 

Amphawa Floating Market

5) Sukhothai 

Sukhothai Historical Park (UNESCO) 

6) Chiang Mai 

Tha Phae Gate, Chiang Mai

7) Chiang Rai

Blue Temple, Chiang Rai

8) Hatyai 

Standing Buddha in Hatyai  Municipal Park

My Good Old Days travelling with my buddies by air / train rides from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand (2007, 2016 - 2019) & my solo travel to Thailand (2011, 2013 & 2015)

Image result for best travel buddies quotes

1) My Jan 2019 train ride from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand (Bangkok, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai & Hatyai); Travel buddies - KM, Wong, Hui, Chim & Boon 

Tha Maharaj Pier, Bangkok -  2019
The 5 Malaysian Musketeers roaming the Sukhothai Historical Park - 2019 

2) My Aug 2018 train ride from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand (Bangkok, Koh Chang island, Chanthaburi, Pattaya & Hatyai); Travel Buddies - KM, Boon, Lam, Wong, Tee & Chim 

KL Sentral, Malaysia - KTM train station - 2018

3) My Feb 2018 by Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur to Seam Reap, Cambodia (Angor Wat & Phenom Penh); Travel buddies - KM, Wong, Boon & Tee  

Angor Wat, Cambodia (2018)
Angor Wat, Cambodia - 2018

4) My Aug 2017 train ride from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand (Hua Hin, Songkhla, & Hatyai); Travel Buddies - KM, Tee, Wong & Chim 

Hatyai Junction Train Station, Thailand - 2017

5) My Feb 2017 train ride from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand & Laos (Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Nong Khai, Thailand & Vientiane, Vang Vieng & Lua Prabang, Laos); Travel Buddies - KM, Tee, Chim & Wong 

Ayutthaya Train Station, Thailand - 2017 

6) My Jan 2016 train ride from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand (Hatyai, Hua Hin, Bangkok, Bridge of the River Kwai, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Sai & Golden Triangle); Travel Buddies (KM, Tee, Wong & Hui)

Sila Resort, Sukhothai, Thailand - 2016

7) My Jan 2015 solo travel by trains from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand (Hua Hin, Bangkok, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Sai, Golden Triangle & Hatyai)

White Temple, Chiang Rai, Thailand - 2015 

8) My June 2013 solo travel by trains from Kuala Lumpur to Southern Thailand (Hatyai, Krabi, Phi Phi Island, Koh Samui & Phuket) 

Phi Phi Island, Thailand - 2013

9) My Jan 2011 solo travel by trains from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand & Laos (Hatyai, Bangkok, Nong Khai, Vientiane & Lua Prabang) 

Patuxai (Victory Gate), Vientiane, Laos - 2011

10) My Nov 2007 train ride from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand (Hatyai, Bangkok & Ayutthaya); Travel Buddies (KM & Siva, a KL Hospitality Club Member) 

Padang Besar, Thailand - 2007

11) My Klang buddies enjoy taking train rides from Malaysia to Thailand ! But when in the Land of Smiles, my buddies enjoy tuk tuk rides in all the major cities we visit !!!

12) Last but not the least, when you are in the Land of Smiles (Thailand), please show utmost respects to their local culture & customs (when in Rome, do as the Romans do) - Happy travelling to Thailand, one of the most visited country by foreign tourists in South East Asia !

 A notice in front of the washroom a temple in Chiang Mai ! 
Major towns & cities in Thailand I observed were typically clean ! 
A 2,000Bht fine for offenders

Google Map data on my travel in January 2019 & the total countries I had visited in most recent years !

Malaysia (KL Sentral > Padang Besar ) & Thailand (Padang Besar > Hatyai) Jan 2019

My train rides from Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar; Hatyai > Bangkok; Chiang Mai > Bangkok 
>Hatyai >Padang Besar >KL Sentral, Malaysia (4,465km)
Malaysian countryside -Palm oil trees 
Northern Thailand countryside

1) Taking a LRT train from SS15 station, Subang Jaya (my home place) to KL Sentral 

2) Arriving at KL Sentral & awaiting to board the KTM ETS train (average speed is 100-130km  per hour) departing KL Sentral at 10.55 and expect to arrive in Padang Besar 16.30 Malaysian time (Thai time is 15.30); For those who like to take a connecting Thai shuttle train from Padang Besar to Hatyai (less hassle), I suggest you take an earlier  KTM ETS train from KL Sentral so that upon arrival at Padang Besar, you will have ample time to take the first available Thai shuttle train (50bht) to Hatyai. 

3) On board the KTM ETS train (Platinum seat - Rm55 for Seniors, normal adult Rm102), cozy & comfortable, airconditioned, clean toilet and has a canteen which served a combo meal & hot drinks. 

4) As our KTM train arrived at Padang Besar was late by one hour, our group missed the connecting Thai shuttle train from Padang Besar to Hatyai. Our group had no alternative but to hire a taxi (1,300Bht - cost much more comparing to taking the Thai connecting train) at the Thai Immigration Complex to take us to Hatyai Junction train station in order to board a 18.45 sleeper train bounds for Bangkok. Our taxi arrived at the Hatyai train station at 18.05 just in time for us to buy the sleeper train tickets for immediate boarding to our train ! After a long day of travelling, some of our group members decided to retire for bed earlier as soon as their seats were converted into beds at around 19.30 !