“Sawadee Special” train from KL to Hat Yai for Malaysia Day

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A new bridge and several new train lines have been scheduled to welcome Malaysia tourists incoming Thailand. In July, travelers from Malaysia advanced India become the first visitor to the kingdom according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. The new routes and the bridge will make it much easier for Malaysians to get around, and now the ‘Sawadee Special’ train direct from Kuala Lumpur to southern Thailand’s hub Hat Yai brings hope to the hospitality industry for a more direct rail service.

The unique route was operated by KTM Bhd, Malaysia’s train operator, and was held as a special promotion to commemorate Malaysia Day, a public holiday in the country celebrated on September 16. the 440 kilometer trek between Kuala Lumpur and Hat Yai, departing from the Malaysian capital’s main railway station, KL Sentral, at 10:10 p.m. Thursday, and arriving in the town of Songkhla at 8:30 a.m.

The official tally varied, with train operator “Sawadee Special” putting the number of passengers at 386, but Thai authorities recording 402 arrivals in Hat Yai. Regardless, the vast majority of runners were tourists enjoying the long holiday weekend. Short breaks in Thailand are popular among Malaysians, who can cross the border to explore Hat Yai, Songkhla and surrounding southern provinces.

The personalized “Sawadee Special” schedule brought people to Thailand on Thursday evening and will return in time for work on Monday, departing Hat Yai at 11:30 a.m. and returning to Kuala Lumpur just after midnight.

Full train cars have given local hotels a welcome boost, with the chairman of the Hat Yai Songkhla Hotel Association saying hotels in the area were fully booked until Sunday for the Malaysian three-day weekend , as well as a meeting of officials from the Ministry of Public Health that coincided with the holidays.

The president praised the direct service without the inconvenience of getting off a Malaysian train, walking across the Padang Besar border and jumping on a Thai train the short distance to Hat Yai. He believes that if the ‘Sawadee Special’ became a regular service train it would boost the local economy.

“It’s a special train. If possible, we would like to see a regular service. It would be good because it would give train passengers a convenient way to get to Hat Yai.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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