Hat Yai to Penang Travel Guide

How to travel from Hat Yai to Penang? Let’s analyze the best options and how to buy tickets in this Thailand to Malaysia route

Are you traveling in Southeast Asia and want to know how to get from Hat Yai to Penang? In this post we will discuss how to make this trip from Southern Thailand to one of the most visited islands in Malaysia.

hat yai to penang

Hat Yai to Penang: The Route

While Southern Thailand is famous for places like Phuket and Ko Samui, there are good chances that you will find yourself in Hat Yai if you want to travel by land from Thailand to Malaysia. In fact Hat Yai is a transportation hub in Southern Thailand, for buses, trains and vans.

Despite being one of the least major cities in Thailand, Hat Yai ranks 5th in the list of the most populous cities in Thailand. The city itself is not a main tourism hub, and does not offer its visitors many attractions. However, it geographical location brings a growing number of transit visitors to Hat Yai.

On the other end of this route is Penang, the island, which is also a province of Malaysia. Unlike Hat Yai, Penang is a major tourism destination hub not only in Malaysia, but in the whole of Southeast Asia. If you want to book activities, hire a transfer or private or buy a sim card in both Thailand and Malaysia, check Klook.com.

The route itself from Hat Yai to Penang is quite a short one. Hat Yai and Penang are just 215 km from one another, and the most popular way to travel in this route is by mini van. However, there are also direct flights connecting these two cities.

Hat Yai to Penang by Bus (Van)

The most popular way to travel from Hat Yai to Penang is by van. The price is quite affordable, and the schedules are pretty flexible. For that reason, most travelers end up choosing this for of transportation from the Thai city to the Malaysian Island.

hat yai van

There are a few companies operating on the route from Hat Yai to Penang by van. The trip usually takes from 3h30 to 4 hours.

Here is a search bar with some of the van companies operating in this route.

How to buy bus (van) tickets from Hat Yai to Penang

You can buy tickets for vans from Hat Yai to Penang online or offline. If you are in a group, if you can also organize a taxi to pick up from door to door between the locations.

If you want to buy tickets from Hat Yai to Penang online, here are some options.

Bookaway – a great website for traveling in Asia, selling tickets for trips in various Asian countries.

EasyBook – one of the biggest travel websites in Southeast Asia and a great place to buy bus tickets in Malaysia and other ASEAN countries.

BusOnlineTicket – another great option to buy bus tickets in Malaysia.

Hat Yai to Penang by Train

It is currently not possible to travel by train from Hat Yai to Penang directly. You would have to travel to the border between Thailand and Malaysia and do a number of connections. This arrangement would be ineffective both in terms of time as well as in budget.

Hat Yai to Penang by Plane

The fastest option to travel from Hat Yai to Penang is flying. What is even better is that Malindo Air operates direct flights between the two cities.

malindo air
Malindo Air ATR. Photo by stratman2.

You may also want to take a connecting flight in Kuala Lumpur, but this option will usually take longer than taking the van. Other than that, it will also come as a more expensive option.

The airport in Hat Yai is about 14 km from the city center. The airport in Penang is in the Southern part of the island and has excellent connections to all locations in the island.

How to buy flight tickets from Hat Yai to Penang

You can compare and book flights with Jetradar from Hat Yai to Penang.

Hotels in Hat Yai

Sakura Budget Hotel – an affordable option to stay in Hat Yai.

Hasu Guesthouse – an cozy guesthouse in a good location in Hat Yai.

Hotels in Penang

Chulia Mansion – a reasonably priced hotel in one of the best areas to stay in Penang.

Areca Hotel Penang – a great hotel in a very central area of George Town in the Penang Island.

Check our guide on the best places to stay in Penang if you are planning to visit this amazing island.

Other Malaysia and Thailand Resources

If you are traveling to Malaysia and Thailand you may want to check some of our other guides. Here is our guide on how to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, as well as the average and minimum salary in Bangkok. Check also the best places to stay in Bangkok and how to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang.

Have you traveled or are you planning to travel from Hat Yai to Penang? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.