Want to get from Thailand's south to KL for small money? Consider going by bus. There are regular privately run bus connections available from Ao Nang or Krabi to KL, which cost a laughable 1,100 THB (as of November 2007). A flight would be no less than 6,500 THB...and you would need to get to Phuket first. As ferry and flight schedule don't match you would need to stay over night on Phuket. All in all also a full day. And that you could spend on a bus...:
- From Ao Nang (10am) via Krabi (11am) to Hat Yai (4pm) by Mini-Van.
- From Hat Yai (7pm) to KL (4-6am) by comfortable "VIP" coach. Not a sleeper, but with wide and far reclining seats. And strong Aircon...be prepared!
I organized for it in Ao Nang at a travel agency on the lower end of the street 4203 to Krabi, opposite Tipa Resort. They have a number of coach connections listed on their back wall.
It's not a through connection! Be prepared for half an hour waiting time in Krabi and especially some hours in Hat Yai, not a town worth visiting. But everything is very well organized and you are handed over from one agency to the next (including exchanging one voucher with the next...never loose your papers!) with the accuracy of a clockwork.
I can't exactly recall where you cross the border, but procedures are simple, though nobody of the bus crew helps you. Just follow the locals, they know how it works. Keep in mind:
- For exiting Thailand you just need your passport.
- Next stop, a few hundred meters later, you enter Malaysia with all your luggage.
- Importing fruits into Malaysia is not allowed! Eat your apples before crossing the border...
Only drawback: You arrive so early in the morning in KL that you most likely will not be able to check into a hotel right away. Be sure you know where you want to go in KL, ideally having a map handy. There is not much of an infrastructure at the bus drop off point. (I believe it was at or near Jalan Pudu.)
Additional tip: If you don't yet have Malaysian Ringgit walk down the street where you were dropped off (in the direction of bus travel) for 10 to 15 minutes, past a hospital. Then you'll find an ATM on the right-hand side of the street at a bank.
See here for my personal report.
I don't know if the same tour can be organized in the opposite direction. Might be more difficult as then busses would become smaller and smaller...but maybe asking around at guest houses in KL can help.