Satun, Thailand Visa Run

Most expats in the south of Thailand are living on the island of Phuket, so they shoot right up to Ranong, Myanmar (Burma) for their visa runs. There are many services that offer the runs. Many expats living in Krabi, Phang Nga, and Surat, also hit the Ranong border for their visa stamps.

This is the 2nd time I’ve been to Satun for mine – and it’s quite an easy experience. I debated whether to take the motorbike, but, since I couldn’t rent one on my wife’s passport, instead I just drove the car. It’s a little bit stressful drive – considering you’ll travel about 600 km in 8 hours, and there are numerous idiots driving cars in Thailand – maybe I was one of them? Eventually you get there and get it all worked out.

From Krabi, you head south toward Satun on highway 4. Before you reach A. Muang, Satun, you make a left at Chalung and right at Khuan Don you’ll see a couple signs for border – a right hand turn. Take it. It’s about 15 km from there. After just a couple hundred yards after making the turn there is a big soup sign on the left. I ate noodles with beef there – amazing and cheap (35 THB). They re-finished this road, and are nearly finished, so it’s quite a bit nicer than the mud it was last time I went to Satun for my Thai visa run (6 months ago).

Here’s a link to the Google Maps directions to Satun from Krabi:

View Larger Map

As I said, it’s possible to take a motorbike from Krabi to Satun and make it just fine. I did the roundtrip in 2 days last time on a Yamaha Nouvo 135cc motorbike. The car was easier in some respects, but the motorbike was probably faster. In a car you cannot easily pass all the time to get around slow-pokes. I went on a Tuesday and the traffic was negligible most places before 3 pm.

If anybody knows of a visa service for this Krabi – Satun border run, do let me know so I can post it here. I did see a van full of tourists getting their stamps here last time, but none this time.

Satun and Khun Don, Malaysia Border Checkpoint – For Visa Runs

It is possible to do a visa run on your motorbike, car, van, whatever you’ve got – by going to Satun and then heading toward the Malaysian border called the “Khundon” border crossing.

It must be the least crowded border crossing to any foreign country I’ve ever seen, where you can still get an exit / entry stamp from Thailand and the other country.

Satun is nothing really to speak of. They do have ferries to Langkawi Island running 3 times a day to and from, and they have Koh Lipe – which is supposed to be gorgeous. I’ve not taken the ferry anywhere. I decided to skip any rain and just get in and get out as fast as possible.

Note, there is a 20 kilometer stretch of mostly dirt road leading to the Khun Don border checkpoint. Be careful on your motorbike, it’s slippery. Be careful in a car – it’s slippery. LOL.

The other alternative Thailand visa runners have is to take the 75 minute ferry across to Langkawi and stamp out, stamp in and take the ferry back. The ferry runs every couple of hours and not all day either.

In total, during my 20 minutes at the border I saw about 6 foreigners, 4 from the same van visa run and 2 guys that look like they came on their own in their own SUV.