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.

Train 46 Padang Besar to Bangkok: Everything You Need to Know

As some of you may have been aware, the International Express Train 36 from Butterworth to Bangkok is no longer continued beginning December 2, 2016.

Train 36 is now replaced by Train 46 from Padang Besar in the northern Malaysian state of Perlis all the way to Bangkok. Butterworth (Penang) and Padang Besar are now connected via the KTM Komuter shuttle service that operates quite a number of times daily between 5.30am and 12am (see table below).

Train 46 Padang Besar to Bangkok: Everything You Need to Know
Click to enlarge.

The service between Butterworth and Padang Besar normally takes less than 2 hours.

Last month, for the first time since the change of the said service I took Train 46 from Padang Besar to Chumphon. In comparison to Train 36, the new service is of course relatively less convenient for someone like me who takes off from Butterworth, as it now requires more travel time.

Read: Discontinued: Senandung Langkawi (Train No. 20) from KL to Hatyai

Train 46 departs from the Padang Besar KTM Train Station every evening and would arrive at Hua Lamphong in Bangkok at 10.10am Thai time the next day. Here are a few things you should take note of when taking this service:

  1. You can book the ticket either on, or over the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) counter inside the Padang Besar KTM Train Station. Pay in Baht for the latter service.
  2. Train 46 will depart from the Padang Besar KTM Train Station at 18:00 or 6pm Malaysian time. When purchasing the ticket over the SRT counter or through the SRT website however, it will tell you the departure time is at 17:00 or 5pm instead, because they are using the Thai time. So don’t be confused.
  3. If you are taking the KTM shuttle service from Butterworth to Padang Besar, I would recommend so that you DO NOT take any trip after the 12.25pm one. For reason see point #4.
  4. For the afternoon session of passport stamping, the Thai and Malaysian immigration counters will typically open around the same time at 3pm Malaysian time then close at 4.30pm depending on crowds. I cannot say the same for weekends. Whatever it is, always arrive earlier to avoid any inconvenience.
  5. At the Padang Besar KTM Train Station/Immigration Checkpoint, if you are travelling to Thailand from Malaysia, always get your passport stamped at the Malaysian immigration counter first before the Thai side. If coming from Thailand, then it would be the other way round.
  6. At the Padang Besar KTM Train Station, one can travel to Hatyai costing only 50 Baht per trip, provided he takes the train service either at 9.55am or 3.40pm Malaysian time. If one hops on Train 46 at 6pm just to get to Hatyai, it would cost him a staggering 280 Baht.

Well, that’s it for now! Will update again if anything new crops up.

Free 4G Data Roaming in Thailand Using Malaysian SIM Card

U Mobile postpaid users are now entitled to free 4G data roaming in Thailand and eleven other countries. Malaysian SIM card.

As of May this year, Malaysia remained the second-largest source country for tourists to Thailand after China, despite the weakening of the Ringgit.

While one can easily register for a tourist SIM and have access to cheap mobile data in Thailand due to the stiff competition in the local telecommunication industry, who would want to spend extra when mobile data can be gotten for free?

Free 4G Data Roaming in Thailand Using Malaysian SIM Card

Well, before I go on, I just wanted to clarify that this is not an advertorial for any telco whatsoever and I’m writing this based on my experience as a frequent traveller to Thailand.

Like some of you probably have already known, I was in Thailand for two years before relocating back to Malaysia earlier this year. However, I’m still a frequent traveller to Thailand due to my fiancée being a Thai.

For the past two years in Thailand, I have been faithfully subscribing to TrueMove H’s mobile data packages as they are probably the cheapest in Thailand. At one point, its unlimited, 512 Kbps mobile Internet package cost just 9 Baht daily!

After relocating back to Malaysia in April, I didn’t intend to install home broadband and decided that I could survive using 4G hotspot as a replacement for cable broadband. After studying the various telco plans, I signed up U Mobile’s Hero Postpaid P70 plan, which generously offers up to 15GB of Internet and 7GB of videos, on top of unlimited calls to all networks.

Like a typical Malaysian experience, it was the worst decision ever.

The mobile data was unreasonably slow on 3G and hardly ever moved at night especially after everyone started going back from work. It was only until I had changed my phone to a 4G one that the U Mobile data speed began seeing some improvement.

So the other day I went to the U Mobile Service Centre and was told that U Mobile now offers free data for roaming in 12 countries, which they call it Roam-Onz. I think it used to be RM10 per day upon usage. Also, for U Mobile packages that do not include Roam-Onz, users will be charged RM10/day for roaming in the said 12 countries and RM36/day outside the 12 countries.

Being half-skeptical, I asked to activate my Internet Roaming and thought to give it a shot the next time I visited Thailand.

And, true enough, I arrived at Thailand yesterday just to be greeted with an SMS from U Mobile confirming that I could enjoy free data roaming in the True/TH3G+/True-H 3G+ network for my principle line with Roam-Onz. The free 4G data roaming is capped at 5GB per month (certain packages have Roam-Onz quota up to 8GB/month), after which a reasonable charge of RM10 per day will be imposed.

Here is a screenshot capturing the amount of roaming data I’ve used with my Malaysian SIM:

Free 4G Data Roaming in Thailand Using Malaysian SIM Card

At the time of writing this entry, a check on the Internet reveals that Digi’s Roam Like Home is offering a similar service.