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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:42 pm
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GPS: dopod 838pro+holux
Dear all... I will be doing a Phuket trip and like to know for those who hv done it, u know any "must go" or "worth going" places along the way ??

This is my planned road path:

To Phuket
Penang via Hatyai via Phatthalung via Thung Song via Krabi then to Phuket

Back to Msia
Phuket via Krabi via Trang via Satun (highway 416) and enter through Kampung Wang Kelian chk point.

I do not wish to just drive n drive.. every 2 hrs i would love to stop for rest and hopefully not just at a coffee shop, but at some interesting places...

I also prefer a place where the kids will enjoy... and i cant take some good photos :) hehe...

Thks guys in adv..


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:44 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: Penang, Malaysia
GPS: Magellan Meridian Color
Garmin Nuvi 200, 260, 1460, 2465, 2575R, 3560 & Etrex 30
Dear Bro Tsq,

You did not say whether you intend to make the trips in one day or two.

For Penang to Phuket, you can do it in one day but must choose between Hat Yai or Krabi. It may not be possible to do both.

I have been going from Penang to Phuket yearly by car but my objective has always been Phuket so have not explored much along the way.

My usual drive includes a P-stop every 1.5 - 2 hours.

Penang (leaving around 8 am Malaysian time) via Highway 4 to Phattalung intersection and turning left for Trang. Lunch at Trang. Now they have a new dual carriageway from Trang to Huai Yot that is a lot more pleasant than the old road. You will reach Krabi around 4pm Thai time if you keep to the legal limit of 90kph. From Krabi to Phuket Town is 2.5 - 3 hours so it may already be dark when you get there if you stay at Krabi for too long. Remember to take the Route 415 bypass at Thap Put to avoid the windy Route 4 hill road which can add almost an hour to your trip.

I do Hat Yai on my return and have dinner and shop there since it does not matter if I get home at midnight.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:20 pm
Posts: 1038
Location: Subang Jaya
GPS: 10x, Oregon 300, 255w(retire) 2575RLM
any document to prepare do we need international driving licence

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:44 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: Penang, Malaysia
GPS: Magellan Meridian Color
Garmin Nuvi 200, 260, 1460, 2465, 2575R, 3560 & Etrex 30
Malaysian Drivers' Licence is fine.

You need the JPJ Registration card if you or an occupant in your car is the named owner.

If it is a company car or a car still under financing, you need a letter of authorisation from your company or Finance Company consenting to allow you to drive the car out of Malaysia.

You need to buy Thai Third Party Liability Motor Insurance. Available from a number of agents in Changlun.
You can optionally also extend your Malaysian Comprehensive Motor Insurance to cover your own car from damage or theft. I paid a 25% premium on my yearly premium.

Of course the most important document is your passport.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:42 pm
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GPS: dopod 838pro+holux
Dear Jason Lee..

thks for ur input. When u say "Remember take the Route 415 bypass at Thap Put to avoid the windy Route 4 hill road which can add almost an hour to your trip." This is for the Krabi-Phuket route, right??

My plan is stay Penang one night, leave at 6am towards the chk point and drive all the way to KRABI. Definitely not Phuket directly.

I like to ask u for the route. I plan to drive up to Krabi via this route: (the reason i skip Trang as I plan tp pass Trang when i go back.. this way I can use different road)
http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/8308/msiakrabi.jpg

and coming back, using this route:
http://img375.imageshack.us/img375/3785/krabimsia.jpg

are these roads OK ????


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:44 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: Penang, Malaysia
GPS: Magellan Meridian Color
Garmin Nuvi 200, 260, 1460, 2465, 2575R, 3560 & Etrex 30
Dear Bro Tsq,

Now that it is clear that you do not intend to make Phuket in one day, I still think there is not enough time for you to go to Hat Yai on the outward journey even if you do not mind reaching Krabi after dark. This is because Hat Yai is very congested and even if you just intend to go there for lunch, the detour will cost you at least 3-4 hours.

Furthermore, the time you spend at the border is unpredictable. It is terrible during public holidays and school holidays where the border will be jammed with tour buses which start from Penang before 6:00am. On one occasion, I had to wait nearly 4 hours to get through whereas when there is no crowd, it is less than 30 minutes.

Your route to go via Thung Song is about 20km longer. Unlike Malaysia where you can make up for time by driving faster along the Expressway compared to the old trunk roads, in Thailand, the speed limit for both is the same (90kph) and you will not be able to go any faster legally so the extra distance means a longer trip. It is your choice.

Besides that, I have always found that Trang is a convenient stop for lunch. I don't know where to stop for lunch along the Thung Song Route. Thung Song seems to be the biggest town along the route (but much smaller than Trang) and is 35km further than Trang from the Phattalung Intersection (Asia Intersection) so your lunch will have to be delayed by almost an hour.

Yes, when I said take the Route 415 bypass, it is between Krabi and Phuket as the GPS may route you straight on Highway 4 to Phangnga climbing a steep hill with a narrow windy road albeit it is the national highway. The Route 415 is a much better almost-coastal route which is being converted to a dual carriageway and work is almost complete.

If you do not wish to enter Trang, there is a bypass you can take to skip the town but if you do not mind the longer route to Thung Song then go ahead to route north instead. You will get there just as well.

As for your return route, after Trang, it is going through mainly kampung roads and I have not tried it. I fear it may take too long as once you are stuck behind a slow moving lorry, you will have a hard time trying to overtake unless your objective is to see the kampungs. My objective was always to eat and shop at Hat Yai on my return trip so I prefer the faster and more direct route.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Dear Jason,

I also already decided to SKIP Hat Yai completely.. I will not even stop for lunch.

1) but if passing throught Hat Yai will that place get me stuck in Jam even I just stick at the highway?

2) Border is pack at times, but do you think next Sunday Morning will be jammed?

3) Which border is better to use? Bukit Kayu Hitam or Padang Besar? (Wang Kelian looks to be the smallest but that's the one I planned to use when retuning, is Wang Kelian good idea to cross when coming back?)

As for the choice of Thung Song or Trang Route, I guess I will examine the situation when I am there and decide. I don't really mind spending 45mins-1hr more if I would to use/see another way to go Krabi :)

Sorry for posing all these question but u really have hands on experience on this !!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:44 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: Penang, Malaysia
GPS: Magellan Meridian Color
Garmin Nuvi 200, 260, 1460, 2465, 2575R, 3560 & Etrex 30
Dear Bro Tsq,

Highway 4 is almost like a ring-road outside of Hat Yai so there is usually no jam.

By next Sunday do you mean Sunday June 6? Sunday June 6 is probably the worst Sunday in June because the Saturday is a holiday (Agung's Birthday) and it is also school holidays. I would not choose to travel on the 6th unless I am prepared to be stuck for a few hours. The check-point on the Thai side is really chaotic and if you are a first-time visitor, you will not have a clue what to do and may waste time standing in the wrong queue. Their signs (if you can spot them) are not helpful at all. When there is no crowd, at least you can see and ask.

Bukit Kayu Hitam is still the biggest facility and I have not tried Padang Besar or Wang Kelian. Could be much worse if they are smaller. For example, I have been to Betong and with hardly any crowd, it took longer (and costlier) than what I would expect at Bukit Kayu Hitam.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:41 pm 
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Darn.. u r scary me now.. haha.. :cry: I crossed the Spore-Msia side i also scared already during peak times (but got camera so can plan head lah)

I travelling next week.. so will be crossing Msia-Thai custom on Sunday the 13th June.. I will leave Penang early so will arrive the border maybe , say ard 8am. What you think the situation will be like by than?

With the chaotic situation, are you able to write in detail what to do ? I know how in generally after reading from the Thai-Visa forum... but still blur as the write-up was not detail. I think with your know-how and many experience, it will benefit many travellers like me here going to thailand by car :)

Btw, coming back is not so complicated rite? just surrender back the car import docs to them and the usual passport chop and custom chk ?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:44 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: Penang, Malaysia
GPS: Magellan Meridian Color
Garmin Nuvi 200, 260, 1460, 2465, 2575R, 3560 & Etrex 30
No worries if you are going on June 13.

Here is what you should do.

At Changlun, look for this agent:
Attachment:
Insurance Shop.jpg
Insurance Shop.jpg [ 84.73 KiB | Viewed 2530 times ]

The coordinates are:N6 25.502 E100 25.713

There are a number of such shops in Changlun but this is the one I usually go to. They offer good rates for Thai Bhats and you can also book your hotel through them - much better than walk-in rates. You can buy your Thai Third Party Motor Insurance from them (I think it is RM16 for 9 days) and let them print out your entry cards to save you filling them (and making mistakes). I think they charge RM2 per passport.

Then you can go to the Bukit Kayu Hitam Duty Free Shop. No limit to your purchases for entering Thailand (and nobody checks you in Thailand anyway). Parking is free if you purchase above RM100 but must remember to get your parking ticket stamped at the DFS.

After the Duty Free shop, you will reach the exit point for Malaysia where they want to tally your Car Registration card with your passport and your face.

Then you come to the Thai Check-Point. Look for the sign that shows CARS ONLY and enter that lane which is in your 1 o'clock position. Once in the lane, ask your passengers to alight and start queueing for the closest booths to the right of this car lane. There are many booths but for importing a car into Thailand, this is the only booth you must use. Then you have to drive past the booths to turn left into an open-air car park and park your car there and come back to the booths on foot. You must have your passport stamped first. For that you have to insert RM2 (as the 'processing fee' though I can't remember exactly RM1 or 2) into each passport and smile for the camera. Ask the Insurance agent at Changlun for the correct amount and prepare the cash.

Then the car owner goes to the next booth to submit the car registration card and passport for an Import Form to be printed (free of charge - Betong charged RM20). Bring your documents and this form to the next booth and sign the form in front of the officer. Then you will be asked to collect your car.

You have to drive through the same car lane and as you pass the last booth, stop to pick up your Import Form. Then you are cleared to turn right to enter Thailand. Don't forget your passengers. :)

On your way out of Thailand, you have to do the same and make sure that you sign the Export Book when you hand in the Import Form to evidence the re-exportation of your car otherwise your car will be denied entry the next time you try to enter.

Not difficult but just time-consuming and confusing if nobody tells you what to do.

Enjoy your trip.

Please remember to record as many POIs and tracks and give them to me especially in Phuket as I map Phuket as well.

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