The town of Bukit Kayu Hitam is sometimes seen as a sleepy town although it is one of the entry points from the north into Malaysia. Located in the northern state of Kedah, it is also the exit/entry point of the PLUS North-South Expressway.
Northern entry to Thailand
If you are travelling on an express bus to and from Thailand, you will most likely come through this check point. Once you pass through the immigration you will come to Thailand’s Dannok town.
Alternate gateway into Malaysia
There is another northern entry point which is through Padang Besar in Perlis where it is known for its market and shops where you can buy quite a lot of imitation goods coming in from our northern neighbours. Meanwhile, Bukit Kayu Hitam or ‘Black Wood hill’ has a duty-free shopping center which is pretty much all there is to it.
Prior visa application needed
Take note that this entry point is not a visa-on-arrival point so you would need to have an advance visa prior to coming into Malaysia. However, as there is no need for Malaysians to have visas when travelling to Thailand, it is an easy and fast process to go through.
Known officially as the Sadao Immigration Checkpoint, if you are heading to Hat Yai or any other places in Thailand, most express buses will bring you across the border through here. It is a bit challenging to be travelling on foot or on your own though as the complexes are quite far away from each other.
Good influence of Thai culture here
If you are using the Padang Besar checkpoint, then it is a less busy option. Located towards the north in Perlis, the Padang Besar checkpoint is where most people will pass if you are heading towards Songkhla. In Thailand, the town connecting to the checkpoint is also known as Padang Besar so you might hear the locals calling their Thai twin town as ‘Pekan Siam’ which means ‘Siam town’. This town very much known for attracting many Malaysians here who buy items coming in directly from Thailand. To get here, you will need to com from Kangar which is about 35km away. To get to the checkpoint most people will come using the motorcycle taxis which is about RM3 per ride.