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    Visa Run by Train to the Thai Consulate in Kota Bharu, Malaysia

    There are two Thai Consulates in the North of Malaysia where you can apply for a visa for Thailand: Penang and Kota Bharu. You can travel to both by train. This article describes the journey to Kota Bharu via Sungai Kolok on the border with Malaysia. Kota Bharu is near the East Coast of Malaysia, whilst Penang is on the West Coast.

    Departures From Surat Thani to Sungai Kolok

    There are two trains per day to Sungai Kolok departing from Surat Thani railway station.

    • Departure 1 
      • Train Number: 171
      • Departing Surat Thani: 00.27
      • Arriving: 10.45
    • Departure 2
      • Train Number: 37
      • Departing Surat Thani: 02.03
      • Arriving: 11.20

    Departures From Bangkok to Sungai Kolok

    There are two trains per day to Sungai Kolok departing from Hualamphong railway station in Bangkok.

    • Departure 1
      • Train Number 171
      • Departing Bangkok: 13.00  
      • Arriving : 10.45
    • Departure 2
      • Train Number: 37
      • Departing Bangkok: 15.10  
      • Arriving: 11.20

    Buy Train Tickets from Bangkok to Sungai Kolok

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    Sungai Kolok Railway Station

    Sungai Kolok railway station is located near Sungai Kolok town 1.4 km from the border with Malaysia. To get to the border take a motorbike taxi or conventional taxi from in front of Sungai Kolok train station. Cross the border by walking on a motorbike taxi.

    Map of Sungai Kolok Railway Station

    How to Get from the Malaysian border to Kota Bharu

    After crossing the border there is large road. Cross over the road and turn right. After the barriers you will see a bus stop and a group of taxis parked. Taxi or bus are your two options for getting to Kota Bharu. The taxi journey costs around 50 Malaysian Ringgit (450 Thai Baht) although there is no fixed price and you need to negotiate before you set off. The journey by bus costs 5 Malaysian Ringgit (45 Thai Baht)

    If you are heading to Kota Bharu to apply for a visa we advise that you take a taxi from the Malaysian side of the the border direct to the Thai consulate. The bus, whilst very cheap, takes at least 1 hour 20 minutes from the border to Kota Bharu, and terminates at Kota Bharu bus station, which is 1.5 km from the Thai Consulate. A taxi takes 40 minutes direct to the Thai consulate. If the train from Bangkok is delayed you may need to be quick in order get to the Thai Consulate to apply for a visa before it closes for the day.

    • Thailand Trains Tip: There are usually other foreigners doing the same trip for the same reason. Try speaking to other foreign travellers on the train, or at the border, about sharing the cost of a taxi.

    Applying for a visa at the Thai Consulate in Kota Bharu

    The address of the Royal Thai Consulate is 4426 Jalan Pengkalan Chepa, 15400 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia. See the map below for directions.

    • Opening Days: Sunday to Thursday (except Thai and Malaysian public holidays)
    • Opening hours for visa applications: 09.00 to 12 and 14.00 to 15.30
    • Thailand Trains Tip: Malaysian time is 1 hour ahead of Thai time. If you arrive at Sungai Kolok railway station at 11.oo it is 12.00 in Malaysia and you will need to move fast to reach the Consulate before it closes for the day at 15.30.

    If you are successful in getting to the Consulate before the section accepting visa applications closes for the day (15.30 Sunday to Thursday) you can expect to get your passport back at around 09.30 the next day. If you miss the consulate then you need to wait until 09.00 the next day to hand in your visa application and then another day for the application to be processed and to get your passport back.

    Visa Prices in Kota Bharu (2017)

    It costs a bit more to buy visas for Thailand in Malaysia than it does in some other countries. The visa must be paid for in Malaysian Ringgit and there was a steep hike in the prices quoted in Malaysian Ringgit in 2015. 

    • Thailand Trains Tip: The correct exchange rate is currently not 10 THB for 1 MYR as you may be offered at the border. For the best exchange rate in Kota Bharu go the money changing office on the main street in Kota Bharu near the bus station. You are likely to receive 10% to 15% extra when you change Thai Baht into Malaysian Ringgit in Kota Bharu as compared to what you receive from a money changer as you cross the border. To make the most of your money we advise that you change only enough money for your taxi or bus fare at the border and the rest when you arrive in Kota Bharu.

    2017 Visa Prices at the Thai consulate in Kota Bharu

    • Tourist Visa (single entry): 150 MYR
    • Non-Immigrant, Single Entry (3 months): 300 MYR
    • Non-Immigrant, Multiple Entry (1 Year): 750 MYR
    Thai Consulate Kota Bharu

    Thai Consulate Kota Bharu

    Map of the Thai Consulate in Kota Bharu

    Staying the night in Kota Bharu

    After you have handed in your passport and visa application at the Thai Consulate the next thing to do is to go to check into a hotel. Our hotel of choice in Kota Bharu is the Tune Hotel. This is the best modern hotel in Kota Bharu and it is conveniently located near a large shopping centre. The address of the Tune Hotel is KBCC Jalan Hamzah, Kota Bharu City Centre, Kota Bharu, Malaysia 15050. From the Thai Consulate you need to take a taxi as it is too far to walk.

    Drinking Alcohol in Kota Bharu

    The best place to go for a drink of is the Golden City Restaurant on Jalan Padang Garong. It is a 20 minute walk from the Tune Hotel and easy to locate as it is at the Southern end of the same road as Kota Bharu bus station (about 100 metres down the road) and near Pizza Hut. They serve Guinness and other beers on tap here.

    Golden City Restaurant, Kota Bharu

    Golden City Restaurant, Kota Bharu

    Alcohol is not available for sale in shops in Kota Bharu and the Golden City Restaurant is the only place in the city centre you are guaranteed to get alcohol. It is also a nice enough place with good service and following renovations a couple of years ago it looks quite smart.

    Route Map from the Tune Hotel to the Golden City Restaurant

    Kota Bharu or Penang to get a Visa?

    Penang is the more interesting place to visit for a visa run. It is closer to Hat Yai and the city is more relaxed and cosmopolitan than Kota Bharu. For this reason lots more people come here for visa than they go to Kota Bharu. Some foreign tourists believe that this makes it more difficult to get a visa there. The visa office in Penang is a lot busier than the one in Kota Bharu.

    • Thailand Trains Tip: The best advice we can give you is that the rules are subject to change. The If you want to stay in Thailand beyond 3 months in any 12 month period then it may be useful for you to take advice from a visa agency. A visa agency cannot get you a visa for which you are not entitled, but it can advise you on what types of visas you may be entitled to, where to apply for it and help you prepare the correct documentation and complete the forms.

    For information about getting to Penang see: