Traversing the Malaysia-Thailand land borders will once again be possible.
Things used to be much simpler. You could catch a sleeper train from Butterworth, Penang, kick back and relax in your own cabin and wake up afresh in Bangkok, Thailand the next day. Or you could cruise down the Malaysian highways, pass the immigration checkpoints and begin exploring the natural wonders and bargain hunting grounds of Southern Thailand.
When Malaysia reopens its borders on April 1, some of the previous conveniences taken for granted will return. If you are planning for a road trip up north, here’s what you should know before embarkation.
What to know about the Malaysia-Thailand land border reopening?
According to The Star, border crossings Sadao (Songkhla province)-Bukit Kayu Hitam (Kedah) and Wang Prachan (Satun)-Wang Kelian (Perlis) will reopen to fully vaccinated individuals.
Pre-departure testing is unnecessary upon leaving Malaysia.
Songkhla Province Deputy Governor Amphon Pongsuwan says that travellers under the Test and Go scheme are expected to apply for the Thailand Pass at least seven days prior to travelling. Designated hotels must be booked in advance (awaiting the result of the PCR test), while travellers will have to undergo a PCR test on the day of arrival in addition to a self-administered RTK-antigen test on the fifth day.
Just as crucial is the purchase of medical insurance with a minimum coverage of US$20,000.
Will more border checkpoints be reopened soon?
To foster greater bilateral economic benefits, Thai authorities are working with their Malaysian counterparts towards the reopening of all land border crossings between both countries by May 1.
As reported by the Malay Mail, Thai Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn was quoted saying, “We plan to gradually open other checkpoints in Narathiwat, Yala and Satun that connect Malaysia to promote tourism in the Southern provinces. We expect all Thai-Malaysian checkpoints to reopen by May 1.”
Hat Yai International Airport to welcome international flights
Malaysians travelling to Hat Yai may also consider flying as Hat Yai International Airport will welcome international flights beginning April 1 as part of Thailand’s Test & Go scheme.
AirAsia has confirmed that flights to southern Thailand’s largest city from its hub at KLIA2 will be reinstated.