Peninsular Malaysia (without including Sabah and Sarawak) is bordered with 2 countries one is Singapore and another is Thailand. For Singapore, it was separated by the Strait of Johor and we need to cross the border via the Johor-Singapore bridge called as Johor-Singapore Causeway that was built in 1923 and via the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link that was officially opened in 1998. The reason the bridge was built due to the heavy traffic volume from Johor to Singapore and vice versa. We are bordering with another country and that is Thailand. Compare to Singapore where only Johor is the link between Malaysia and Singapore, for Thailand they are 4 states that are bordering with them.
The 4 states are Kedah, Perlis, Perak (Hulu Perak) and Kelantan. Perlis is bordering with Thailand province of Satun and Songkhla, Kedah with Sadao/ Danok, Perak with Yala, and Kelantan with Narathiwat where this is the only states in Thailand that have Muslim as a majority. For the people that live in these 4 states, they are a special border pass for them to cross the border but only for visiting the provinces that are bordered with Malaysia only.
For Perlis, they are 2 immigration checkpoints to Satun and Songkhla one is Wang Kelian and another one is Padang Besar. They are some uniqueness to Wang Kelian as in the town of Satun called as Wang Prachan they are a market in the border where they are a document free movement to Thailand and vice versa but only within the radius of 1 kilometers. For those who want to visit Hatyai, they can proceed via the Padang Besar checkpoint that is bordered with Songkhla. For the smallest states in Peninsular Malaysia, they are 2 border checkpoints to Thailand.
For the Perlis Immigration checkpoint of Padang Besar and Wang Kelian, the drivers need to use the Changlun – Kuala Perlis Highway after taking the Jitra exit from the PLUS Highway. The easiest Thailand checkpoint to reach is Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah that is bordering with Danok. How to go there? Just drive straight on PLUS highway that is going to the northern side until the drives reached the end. The end is the Immigration Checkpoint of Bukit Kayu Hitam and after the Immigration again drive further to reach the Thailand Immigration checkpoint in Danok. The drivers can use this route too to visit Hatyai as an alternative to Padang Besar.
For Perak, only the resident of the Hulu Perak is entitled to the border pass as this is the town that is nearest to Thailand province of Yala. To reach this Immigration checkpoint the drivers need to use the PLUS Highway that is going to the north and taking the exit of Padang Rengas and driving using the Jalan Iskandar road to reach the border of Pengkalan Hulu.
For Perlis, Kedah, and Perak, the driver needs to use the PLUS Highway that is going to the northern side to reach the checkpoint but things are different for Kelantan. Kelantan that is in the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia has a unique border among all the states that are bordering with Thailand. They are separated via the river called as Sungai Golok. They are 2 Immigration checkpoints like Perlis and they are called as Pengkalan Kubur and Rantau Panjang both is separated too by the Golok River.
Unlike the 3-north state of Perak, Kedah, and Perlis where the drives will use the PLUS Highway and using the necessary exit to reach the Immigration checkpoint, things are totally different if the drivers want to go to Kelantan-Thailand Immigration checkpoint. The drivers need to use the Kuala Lumpur – Gua Musang Highway to reach Kelantan, then the drivers need to use the East Coast Highway to Jeli town in Kelantan and using the Panglima Bayu – Rantau Panjang road to the destination of Kampung Rantau Panjang to reach Rantau Panjang Immigration checkpoint.For the border crossing via Rantau Panjang, there is a Friendship Bridge that was opened on 21 May 1973 by both Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak bin Haji Dato’ Hussein Al-Haj and Thai Prime Minister Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn that connect both countries. For Pengkalan Kubur the drivers need to use the road but instead of Kampung Rantau Panjang, the drivers need to drive to Tumpat. In simple term, Rantau Panjang is in Pasir Mas and Pengkalan Kubur is in Tumpat.
Among all this 6 checkpoint the furthest is Pengkalan Kubur where it will take approximately 6 hours 39 minutes and the nearest is Pengkalan Hulu where it will take 4 hours and 30 minutes only. For the other checkpoint of Wang Kelian, Bukit Kayu Hitam and Padang Besar the time will be approximately 5 hours. This approximate hour to reach the checkpoint in this situation will be if the drivers are from Selangor and if from other states maybe it can be shorter or longer depends on the states.
They are some misconception that the person who travels to Thailand especially using these checkpoints are doing some sins or vices especially in term of prostitution or partying like a wild animal but visiting Thailand is more than this. They are some beautiful beaches and places to visit in Thailand especially in this province that is bordering with Malaysian states. For Satun, since it had Straits of Malacca, they are Wang Sai Thong Waterfall to visit, Tarutao National Park, Sanom Beach, Ko Lipe Beach and much more. For Songkhla or Hatyai they are Samara Beach, Wat Rong Wa Buddhist Temple, Songkhla Zoo and much more. In the Danok, they are the beautifully designed Wat Tham Khao Rup Chang Buddhist Temple, Wat Hua Thanon Buddhist Temple, Mosque Bandung and much more. Meanwhile, in Yala and Narathiwat, they are Wat Khuhapimuk Buddhist Temple and Hot Water Spring in Yala and for Narathiwat, they are Narathiwat Beach, Namtok Sip National Park, Sirindhorn Garden and much more.
The Malaysia-Thailand border crossing can give some misconception for some but in truth, they are more place to visit in these 4 states then doing sins or vices. Thailand is one of the beautiful countries that has the most tourist in the South-East Asia region. As I mentioned there is more to Thailand than partying and vices and we are lucky as we can enjoy the beautiful beach, building, and nature via this 6-border crossing from our country.