Thailand Tourist Visa Run – Koh Samui to Penang Malaysia
After finding useless information on a Tourist Visa runs from Koh Samui. Many others, including myself have tested the below methods.
There are two methods listed below:
1- The Cheapest / Slowest Way
2- The More Expensive / Fast Way
Cheap (Bus) Method
1- Visit at least 3 different travel agencies on Koh Samui and ask what is the best price to Penang Malaysia. I usually pay 1000 baht and this includes a minibus pick up at my hotel. Depending on where your hotel / house is located, you will be picked up between 5 – 6am.
2- In about 13 hours you will arrive in Georgetown Penang. Get dropped off at, “Banana New Guest House.”
3- Go to Banana New Guest House. Drop off your Passport and 200 baht. If you do not have passport photos, they will take them for you at a cost 100 baht. They will take your passport, a signature, and ask you to be back after 4:00pm the next day.
(Note: The Tourist Visa fee is waved until March 31, 2011. The standard price for a Tourist Visa is 1,900 baht)
4- You can rent a room at Banana New Guest House for around 500 baht. Or right down the road you have “Old Penang” with a hostel type bed for 150 baht including breakfast. (The breakfast includes tea, white bread and jam.)
The bed you get is in a shared room with around 12 bunk beds.
5- The next day you pick up your passport at Banana New Guest House and book your return back to Koh Samui. Book your travel AFTER you have your passport in hand to protect from any unforeseen issues. You can book directly with Banana New Guest House. Cost will be between 800 – 1,000 baht.
Sometimes you can even catch the late bus back to Samui the same day you get your passport. This way you only stay one night in Malaysia and spend the next night on the bus. A warning though, the late bus is a couple hours longer travel time then the early buses.
Travel Time: Around 27 hours
Cost: Under 3000 baht
Total Time: 3 days and 2 nights.
Fast / Expensive (Fly) Method
1- Book your flight ticket with Firefly (http://www.fireflyz.com.my/) They offer a direct flight from Koh Samui to Penang. Cost with taxes will be about 2000 – 2500 baht
2- Arrive in Penang 2 hours later. There is an “okay” four star hotel called Bayview Hotel which is centrally located.
The cost will be about 1700 baht per night. You can book on Agoda.com or directly with Bayview Hotel via email.
3- Take a taxi or walk 5 minutes to Banana New Guest House. Follow the steps outlined above. (Bayview Hotel also has a service to do this, but you will pay more to have it done there.)
4- Book your return flight and head back to Koh Samui.
Travel Time: Around 4 hours
Cost: Under 10,000 baht
Total Time: 3 days and 2 nights.
Things to Note:
– The currency for Malaysia is the Ringgit. Easy math is to divide the Thai baht by 10. So 100 Thai baht will be 10 Ringgit.- Places to eat are Red Gardens for a fun area of different types of food. I preferred Mr. Pots due to the cleanliness of the restaurant. They both are right next to Bayview Hotel.- If you miss the American feel, there is a Hard Rock Hotel 40 minutes taxi ride from the Bayview Hotel area.- Food is cheap in Malaysia, you can find a solid meal for 40 baht just about anywhere. (Although I have never been pleased with the taste of food in Malaysia)- For some reason, the best McDonalds I have ever tasted is in one of the shopping malls in Penang. The beef seened to be higher quality.- Alcohol is far more expensive in Malaysia than in Thailand- If it is late in the evening and the banks are closed, Banana New Guest House will be able to exchange Thai Baht for Malaysian Ringgit.
Posted on Gods of Thailand February 15, 2011 in Visa Information