Backpacking Penang, Mini Van from Penang to Hadyai

There isn’t a direct flight connecting Hat Yai Thailand and Penang Malaysia. There is a train service that takes at least 8 hours.
The fastest and convenient way to travel between these two locations is by minivan. Mini vans leave Hat Yai for Penang and other states in Malaysia very regularly. There are plenty of mini vans from Hat Yai to other provinces in Thailand as well. So if you are travelling for example from the South e.g Singapore, Melaka, KL, Penang to Koh Samui, Trang or Bangkok, it will easily take you more than a total of 6 hours. Sitting on the mini van for that long non stop can be a “pain in the ass”, literally!
Thats why we suggest to stop half way, at Hat Yai where most of the mini vans swap vehicles. (If you have time) πŸ™‚
Here is how to take a Mini Van from Penang to Hat Yai.

You can get mini van tickets from Prangin Mall (featured below) and any of the many travel shops @ Chulia Street, down town Penang.

Hat Yai mini vans

travel agents that offer a variety of services, arrange bus and vans to Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands, KL, Ipoh, Melaka, Hat Yai from Penang

backpacking thailand

Travel agencies just outside Prangin Mall Penang

express bus to kl

list of places that the agents cover

backpacking thailand

Ag express services, run quite a reliable minivan service from Penang to Hat Yai, Thailand and vice versa.

budget hotels penang

the older vans can get a little cramp if its full. Love the newer bigger vans with bigger seats and space

hatyai mini van

Minivans stop for petrol and a short break during their trip from penang to hat yai

Backpacking thailand

Great service from the hotels as they have a bell boy to get you from the van if its raining

Things the travel agent don’t tell you!
1) That if the pick up time you bought is 8am, it will pick you up at 8am, but don’t expect it to leave your current destination (Penang in this case) at 8am. They still need to go around and pick people up!
So you might be looking at leaving Penang maybe around 9-10am depending on how many people they are picking up.
This is important because we know a lot of people who intend to make a day trip to Hat Yai. Thinking if they leave at 8am and coming back at 4pm (Thai Time), they will have a lot of time to shop around. THEY ARE WRONG!
2) The entire trip takes about 4-5 hours (Penang to Hat Yai- and vice versa). Depending on how long the immigration procedures take. Expect longer queues during week ends and public holidays.
3) The mini van usually stops once- at the Malaysian Thai border. So make sure you have gone to the toilet first.
4) At the border, going to Thailand from Malaysia, the customs are not that strict. So you don’t have to worry about having your bags checked.
5) If you are smuggling something, beware!! They have scanners at the Malaysian side checking all your bags- when you are exiting Thailand and entering Malaysia.
6) The current ticket price for Hat Yai to Penang Malaysia is THB 30
From Penang to Hat Yai is RM 28.

Have a safe trip and just comment or feel free to ask us anything. From how to smuggle stuff to travel questions. visit for more information! Happy backpacking in Thailand or backpacking in Penang! πŸ˜€


Filed under backpacking, being happy while backpacking, Penang, Thailand

30 responses to “Backpacking Penang, Mini Van from Penang to Hadyai

  1. Marion

    I think you meant the ticket price from Hadyai to Penang is THB 300?

  2. Yups! the current price from Hat Yai to Penang is 300 THB.

    From Penang to Hat Yai is RM 28 = 280 THB.

    If you are planning to go to Hat Yai from Penang, and return back to Penang by van. It is cheaper to buy a return ticket with the same van operator.

  3. always choose your travel agency very well, you would not really want to deal with those rip-off travel agents ,`”

    • Hi Electric Burner.
      We totally agree with ya. However sometimes, when you take those mini vans or buses in Thailand. They usually take you to a tour agency on the way. That’s when you get ripped off, because the tour agency pays the van driver a commission for bringing you in. Any bad experiences in Malaysia of Thailand to share?

  4. Brenda


    Is there any transportation service arrangement provided to backpacker for Penang-Krabi trip?
    I am prefer go to there by mini van or coach which the fare more cheaper than air flight ticket.

    Looking forward to your reply.
    Thank you.

    • Hi brenda.
      There are travel agencies who can arrange your transportation from Penang to Krabi.
      Yes we do agree that it is cheaper thatn flying but it is also longer!
      Most important is to get a good van.
      In the case that you are traveling from Penang to Krabi, do take note tht the mini van will stop at Hatyai first where you will change vans before heading to Krabi.
      (You need to know this, because there is often a lag waiting time, for transit)
      We use AG travel at Prangin mall most of the time. Or you can try the travel agents at Chulia street in penang.
      Penang – Hat Yai takes at least 4 hours. Then to krabi another 3hours.

      If you have facebook, please do join us at backpackies! πŸ˜€
      Have safe trip! Sabai sabai!

  5. ms lok

    any Agen arrange van+speedboat package from Penang – Hatyai – Pakbara – Koh Lipe?

    • Hi there ms Lok. Yes there are agents in Penang as well as in Hatyai.
      However, if you book in Penang, you have to be aware that, there are 2 agents involved. The Penang side will arrange mini van from Penang to Hatyai. Then will pass the tourists to the Thailand side to handle mini van and boat to Lipe.

      Prangin Mall and Chulia Street has most of the agents there.
      AG Express in prangin mall was pretty good.

      If you have any questions, please post it on our facebook page. Backpackies. Its much faster to reply there.:D
      Hope this helps

  6. Centro

    hi, i plan to go hadyai from KL by flight then from hadyai to penang by bus/minivan…can i have the details from hadyai to penang, where should i stop to get the bus/minivan? how was the schedule, is it available after 3pm?

    • Pei Shen. Already replied on facebook.
      In Hatyai, stop at Lee Garden Plaza. There is a good travel agent at just opposite 7-11 (which is beside Lee Garden). The travel agent is at a corner.
      Not so sure about the timing. They are frequent though. There should be an afternoon van back to Penang.

  7. Tan Chun Hoe

    what about danok? where to take a bus in danok to go back to penang? thanks!

    • Chun Hoe. It is actually very convenient to get to Penang from Danok. There are regular mini vans that shuttle eager tourists (mostly men) to visit their go go bars.

  8. KL Travel Nerd

    Hi, I read somewhere that such minivan also depart from Butterworth express bus terminal very early in the morning, can anyone confirm that? How about from Sungai Nibong terminal? Can I just go up to these minivan and board one or must buy ticket through agency? If I reach Butterworth bus terminal at 5 am I don’t think any agency will be opened. What’s the earliest time they depart? Thanks!

    • Hi there. Im pretty sure the mini van departs from Butterworth as well.
      Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal as well.
      But you need to know is that the van goes to pick ppl up from georgetown before going to Sungai Nibong and then only head to Hatyai.
      The vans depart from Penang at 7am. But they will go around picking up ppl.
      So the time at Sungai Nibong and Butterworth varies. We had once that the van arrived at Sungai Nibong at around 9am.
      If you have any more queries, do join us on facebook BACKPACKIES and comment on our wall. πŸ˜€ Hope this helps.

  9. This is usually a great and wonderful read. The blog is written in a way it’s so easy to read and understand. I AM a fan of your website. Many thanks for giving this data.

    • Thank you conway. Your comment really means alot to us. If you have a facebook account. Please do add us.
      search> backpackies
      The travel group there is live and will give better on the spot travel information.
      Just sharing what we think is necessary with all of you and maybe you guys can share back. πŸ™‚
      Have a great weekend!!!

  10. naz


    I’m planning to go to hatyai from penang by one of the minivans, by “they have to go around to pick people up”, will that mean they will cramp people in the van or they will take people according to the seats, (e.g : 5 seaters van = 5 people).

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • Hi there Naz,
      They will usually pick people up and fit according to the number of seats. The seats are sold beforehand, and the driver just goes around to pick people up. And because it is free seating. We suggest you try to be on the first stop. Trust me, you dont want to be sitting at the back of the van. The best seats are on the first row behind the driver.
      As it is illegal to bring more than 12 in a van including the driver.

      πŸ™‚ If you are on facebook. Like us and contribute your journey with all of us.
      We answer questions faster there as well! πŸ˜€

      Have a safe trip!

  11. Serm

    Hello, Right now I am in Penang Bayan Lepas area, then I plan to visit Hat yai on April 13, 2012 on late afternoon so What ‘s the last van from Penang to Hatyai? Do they can pick up me in Bayan Lepas area? I can pay more on this.Please advise me.

    • Hi there Serm.
      So happens that we are also headed to Hatyai for Sonkran on the 13th.
      Late afternoon mivivan will be at 4pm -latest.
      I think the furtherest they will go is the Sungai Nibong Bus terminal.
      In not sure about paying more. Best place to ask is at AG tours at Prangin mall.
      They control most of the minivans in Penang. Apart from Banana Tours of course.

      See you in Hatyai!!

  12. JJoey

    sorry that i want to know about if i want go to genting from penang
    not holiday and weekend
    3 day 2 night
    1 room
    how much

    • Hi Joey.
      As i know. There are travel agents that sell a combo ticket (2D, 1 Night) plus return bus for RM 109.
      Im really not sure what are the charges.
      Travel agents that you can check out is, AG express or any of the travel agents near Prangin Mall.

      Sorry im unable to help much Joey.

  13. ikahuang

    My upcoming trip will be about end of June 2012.
    I’m planning to visit Bangkok but since the flight ticket is expensive from my country, i’d change my plan to go Bangkok via Penang. From Penang i would like to go to Bangkok either by van / train / bus.
    I heard from many people say that it will took a long way drive if i go by train. So i assume better to use Van or Bus.
    Do you have any suggestion which travel agent can i trust?
    Can i use the one that you have mention in your blog above (AG express)?
    I will need another transport from Pattaya to Penang as well.
    Thank you.

    • Hi there IKAhuang.
      sorry for the late reply. Ive been tied up with some traveling and sorting out our new hostel. Do check us out if you are ever in Penang, Malaysia.

      OK, answer to your question.
      Yes flights to BKK are expensive. Im not sure if you are aware. Since May 17th. Air Asia has cheap flights from Penang to BKK>
      Do check that out.
      Ok your alternative is either a train or a van/bus combo. For scenery sake, i suggest you take a mini van from Penang to Hatyai. Then a sleeper train from Hatyai to Bkk.
      For Vans, you can arrange it at AG. They seem to be punctual and reliable. You can also get van tickets from Banana Guesthouse or along Chulia Street.
      You mean Pattaya to Penang or Penang to Pattaya?
      Head over to AG express. They will also sort your tickets to Pattaya. Its usually a combo ticket, where you will take the first van fr Penang to Hatyai. Then change vans before heading to Pattaya.
      If you are in Pattaya already. Suggest you use the travel agent in Pattaya.
      If combo tickets are too expensive in Pattaya. Then just buy tickets to Hatyai. Then from Hatyai there are plenty of vans to Penang. 4-5 times daily. Earliest van is 5am!
      Good luck!

      • Chris Richmond

        Thanks for the update. I am looking to go to Penang from Hatyai for a visa run. So there are regular vans leaving in the early morning? Most forums have said there are vans that run, but only during daytime starting around 9am 😦

      • Hi there Chris.
        Yes you will need to look for companies who run independent vans. There is one called Vilas Tour. Latest van is at 4pm.

  14. Adriano Chong

    would like to travel to Krabi from Penang by van on 6th May 2012 and come back on 8th May 2012 any advice?whats the time to take the van and hgow much it cost?hope to hear from you soon

  15. R.Prakash Naidu

    Hai, I am in Penang Paya Terubong area, then I plan to visit Hat yai on 29-June-2012 (Friday Night) and retun on 01-July-2012 (Sunday Night) (for honeymoon). What β€˜s the last van from Penang to Hatyai? Do they can pick up me in Penang Paya Terubong? Is there any honeymoon pakages for 3D2N? Please advise me and please give me ur contacts. Thank you very much.

    • Hi There Prakash.
      Sorry for such a late reply.
      Last van from Penang to Hatyai is at 4pm.
      Yes they will pick you up from Paya Terubong.
      You will need to call them for them to pick you up.
      For honey moon packages, you can book them at the hotels.
      suggest you go for something nice in Hatyai like Novotel.

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