Category Archives: Malaysia

After being away to study then work in Peninsular Malaysia for a decade, I have found myself starting to appreciate those little things we have in Sarawak.


Bukit Kayu Hitam Border Crossing: Document Checklist and Procedure for Malaysian Drivers

Bukit Kayu Hitam Border Crossing Document

Since relocating back to Malaysia over a year ago, driving back and forth between Penang and Chumphon, Thailand – where the fiancee’s home is located, has pretty much become a regular thing to do.

I used to take Train 46, until I decided one day that I could no longer put up with wasting so much time waiting and transferring to get from Point A to Point B, and that it was time to put my new car to good use.

Anyway, for those crossing the Bukit Kayu Hitam border (otherwise known as the Danok border from the Thai side) by car for the first time, it can be a little apprehensive especially when you’re doing it alone with no one else in the car to help look or ask around. But don’t worry, so long as the necessary documents are in place, the whole process should usually be hassle-free.

Driving into Thailand - Bukit Kayu Hitam Border Crossing: Document Checklist and Procedure

Having driven a number of times between Malaysia and Thailand via the Bukit Kayu Hitam border, each time I would learn and get more and more familiar with how things should be done. Therefore, I just thought to summarise in this entry, the list of documents a Malaysian driver would need to prepare and the procedure to go through in order to do the Bukit Kayu Hitam border crossing into Sadao, the district bordering Malaysia’s Perlis in the Songkhla Province.

Before crossing the Bukit Kayu Hitam border, first of all it’s crucial to know when the border gate is open or close.

Please note that at the Bukit Kayu Hitam/Danok border, the opening time is 6am (Malaysian time) or 5am (Thailand time), while closing time is 12am (Malaysian time) or 11pm (Thailand time).

In June 2017, it was reported that the Malaysian and Thai immigration authorities at Bukit Kayu Hitam would extend operational time from the existing 18 hours to 20 hours, then 24 hours in stages. Unfortunately to date, there hasn’t been any progress yet.

On the amount of Thai Baht one needs to have before travelling into Thailand, read “Confusion Explained: 10K Baht in Cash Needed for Malaysians to Enter Thailand“.

Document checklist for Malaysian drivers

For a Malaysian to drive or even ride into Thailand, below is the complete list of documents required at the Sadao Immigration Checkpoint (Thai side):

A. If vehicle is under your name:

  1. TM2 Information of Conveyance Form – 2 copies | Download
  2. TM3 Passenger List Form (only needed when there are passengers) – 2 copies | Download
  3. TM6 Arrival/Departure Card
  4. Passport – valid for at least 6 months
  5. Malaysian Driving License or International Driving License
  6. Grant/Vehicle Ownership Certificate (VOC) – or a certified true copy of either one
  7. Simplified Customs Declaration Form
  8. Copy of road tax – ensure it is not expired
  9. Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI)

B. If vehicle is NOT under your name:

  1. TM2 Information of Conveyance Form – 2 copies | Download
  2. TM3 Passenger List Form (only needed when there are passengers) – 2 copies | Download
  3. TM6 Arrival/Departure Card
  4. Passport – valid for at least 6 months
  5. Malaysian Driving License or International Driving License
  6. Grant/Vehicle Ownership Certificate (VOC) – or a certified true copy of either one
  7. Authorisation letter from the vehicle’s owner and copy of the owner’s passport/identification card | Download sample letter
  8. Simplified Customs Declaration Form
  9. Copy of road tax – ensure it is not expired
  10. Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI)

Where to get some of the above-listed documents?

For TM2 Information of Conveyance Form and TM3 Passenger List Form (only if there are passengers with you), you may download and print them out.  You need two copies each.

Below is how the TM2 form should be filed out, if you decide to do it yourself:

Driving into Thailand - Bukit Kayu Hitam Border Crossing: Document Checklist and Procedure
TM2 – Information of Conveyance Form

For TM6 Arrival/Departure Card, also popularly referred to as the “Thai immigration white card”, you can get an agent to fill it out for you inside Caltex at the Gurun R&R or at one of the restaurants cum rest areas beside the main road towards Bukit Hayu Hitam after Changlun.

They normally charge a small fee of RM2, or if you would like to get just the card and fill it out on your own, most agents would ask for RM1 when honestly, you can get it for free at the Sadao Immigration Checkpoint.

However, to avoid the hassle of having to get down from your vehicle just to ask for the TM6 card, I would advice you to get it beforehand. After all, the Sadao Immigration Checkpoint can get really busy and congested with vehicles especially during peak hours.

Driving into Thailand - Bukit Kayu Hitam Border Crossing: Document Checklist and Procedure
TM6 – Thailand Immigration Arrival/Departure Card

The Simplified Customs Declaration Form, also known as the temporary vehicle import and export form, will be generated and given to you at the Customs Declaration Counter, so you need not prepare this beforehand. I will explain more about this later.

As for the Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI), you can purchase it from one of the agents in Changloon or at other areas of the Malaysian border for around RM20. This means that if you get into a road accident in Thailand, the CMI will cover a certain amount of medical compensation.

I once purchased the CMI in Danok after passing through the Sadao Immigration Checkpoint, but at a much more costly price of 350 Baht. Later, I learned that there is a way cheaper and better alternative. More information on this below.

Driving into Thailand - Bukit Kayu Hitam Border Crossing: Document Checklist and Procedure
Thai compulsory third-party motor insurance.

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Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

After having relocated from Thailand back to Malaysia, for over half a year my life has been a constant cycle of going to work, coming back to sleep, and waiting for weekend to come. This isn’t the quality life in my dictionary, but there is business to be done.

I’m currently staying in the city center of the Penang island. To be honest, after having been to and settled at a few places over the past 12 years since coming to Peninsular Malaysia on my own (I feel like a nomad at times), after having experienced many things and met many people, nothing in the hustle and bustle of this island can excite me that much anymore.

To be fair, it isn’t that this island has nothing interesting to offer. Contrary to that, it has everything other Malaysian states probably fails to offer: from food to culture to art to shopping. But I’ve seen greater things somewhere else; I’ve also tasted food which I feel is more multi-dimensionally delicious, so my benchmark of what is good and what is just okay in this place maybe different from others.

So today, I decided to explore with my fiancé another area of Penang which is outside of the little island, and this hidden gem at North Seberang Perai, known as Frog Hill, just left us in awe!

Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

I was told about this relatively less-known place by a student of mine. After looking at some pictures, I thought it would make an interesting place to explore, since it isn’t too far from where I stay and is said to resemble China’s Jiuzhaigou.

Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

After some reading, I got to learn that the Frog Hill is also called Guar Petai, and it is an abandoned quarry located at a rural area in Tasek Gelugor.

Here is the map to Frog Fill or Guar Petai if you’re interested:

Alternately, you may want to also spend a few minutes to watch the following Youtube video – it teaches you how to go about this hidden gem in Tasek Gelugur:

Before you go check this place out, remember that although the views are super scenic, the weather can be scorching hot, so don’t forget to bring along a bottle of water to dehydrate your body.

For those who are scared of getting a sunburn, you may want to apply some sunblock before going. Also, a pair decent shoes will help since you will need to do a little bit of climbing to get to the top of the hill – not too long, probably just five minutes.

So below I will let the pictures do the talking:

Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

Hidden Gem: Breathtaking Frog Hill/Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, Penang

Before I end  this entry, I just thought to provide an overview of the pros and cons of visiting the Frog Hill or Guar Petai at Tasek Gelugor, so that you will have a better expectation:

The pros: Scenic/Panoramic scenery with turquoise blue lakes, away from the hustle and bustle of city, zero entrance fee, spacious space to park your car.

The cons: Red laterite/dusty path leading to the site, scorching hot weather; rocky hill – can be slippery after a rain.