Singapore to Chiang Mai Part 5 – “Penang to Surat Thani”

Our journey sketched out. Except this is shorter than what we were actually travelling for. Need to take into account immigration etc..


Today we will be getting on our third train journey and I’m kind of not looking forward to the long day ahead.

In order to leave Penang, we need to get the ferry back to Butterworth. We are waiting, however, the ferry did not come at the time it was supposed to. They are supposed to come every 15mins. This ferry just wasn’t coming! We need to get the ferry across to Butterworth in order to catch the 12.25pm train to Padang Besar via a Kmuter train. It is now 11.40 and still no sign of any ferry. Jason is frantically trying to make a decision. We book an Uber to take us across the bridge to Butterworth.


We are in the car and it is now 11.55am and our Uber driver was not too hopeful that he could get us there on time – as it’s dependent on traffic.


It is now 12.04pm and we have 20mins before the train leaves and we still need to buy tickets. You can’t buy these tickets online unfortunately. If we miss this train, we will miss our connecting train crossing the border!


Our driver is amazing. He sped as much as possible with the traffic and got us to the station with 5 minutes to spare. Jason slipped some extra cash for the speed and for getting us there on time. It was a hectic and stressful start.

The train takes off at 12.33pm.


We are now trying to find accommodation for tonight somewhere in Surat Thani. We think that if we stay close to the pier we will not have to rush tomorrow morning to the ferry.


We finally find accommodation close to the pier where we can stay for the night. The problem is that the room has only a double bed in the description. The site is linked to a taxi service, so I call the number to see whether they could pick us up from the station.

A lovely man called Chris who with his broken English agrees to wait for us at the station at 8:30pm. I also asked him if they could accommodate us by placing a mattress for the boys. It seems that this is ok, but with the language barrier – anything is possible! Let’s just hope there will not be any issues (fingers crossed).

2:30pm We arrive into Pedang Besar. We wait for a very long time to go through all the immigration ring-a-roll.

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There is a slight confusion about what time we will arrive to Hat Yai. Our ticket says that our train will depart Hat Yai from 16:23. However we are on the train and our phones say it’s 16:20 already. The locals are also telling us that we will never make it. They are all travelling to Hat Yai to purchase groceries, like the salted fish and chicken. We are a little confused and I’m feeling a little worried again. We are unsure what time we will arrive now, nor do we know how we will get to Surat Thani if we do miss that train.


We finally arrive to Hat Yai and we get on our train with no problem – time to spare. It seems we shouldn’t really trust what locals or western travellers tell us!!

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We are nearly at Surat Thani. It has been a long day of getting on and off trains, queing for immigration and not knowing what is going to occur next.


After an hour and ten minute drive, we arrive to our accommodation. The boys crashed out in the car and I’m exhausted. We decide we will go to Ko Phanang. But let’s decide on accommodation in the morning!

They really want to play in sand/dirt!
With our lovely host Chris

‘Stone art’ 😂

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