ペナンからマレーシア側の国境の町、ブキット・カユ・イタム(Bukit Kayu Hitam)まで約２時間。マレーシア側のイミグレを車に乗ったまま抜けると、免税店がある。個人所有の車なら、国境近くで、タイで使える保険を買うことができるが、Jasonの会社から支給されている車で行ったので、今回は、この免税店に車を駐車して、タクシーでタイ側のサダオへ行くことに。
We decided to go to Thailand to have lunch.
It took us only 2 hours to get to the boarder town on Malaysian side, Bukit Kayu Hitam. We went through the Malaysian immigration without even getting off the car.
After a few hundred meters, there is a duty free shop on the left. If you own the car, you could buy a day insurance before entering Thailand, but as we went there in Jason's company car, we parked it at the DFS car park, then took a taxi to go to Thai side.
By the way, at the car park, all the taxi guys waiting for customers will ask you to give them your passports. They will fill in immigration cards for you! Good service....I thought, but no no, they charged RM2 each!!
We made a big mistake. As we decided to do this in the last minute, we didn't prepare anything. We didn't even know the name of the restaurant we were about to go, nor the going rates of taxies or transportation between boarders. On top of that, we left Penang relatively late and we were running out of time. We just took the offer of 900 BHT (90RM) to and from the Water View Restaurant. Well, it was actually only 10 minute drive! But too late!
We had also asked the driver to take us to the centre of Sadao, where I thought we could see some markets or small stalls, so we had agreed 1200BHT all together. It was far too much. The driver didn't take us to the centre of Sadao, he said nothing there, instead he took us to Padan Basser. There was noting much either!
Anyway, what I think now is we should just walk to the Thai immigration from the DFS car park next time, then take a taxi or Tuck Tuck, which is more than 10 times cheaper!!! And just look around the shops near the immigration. There are a few shops.
Interestingly, at the Thai immigration, there were a couple of posters which read "No human trafficking, no smuggling". However, the boarder control seemed to be so relaxing. For example, when we went through the immigration to get our exit stamp on our passports, walked back to the Sadao, to get on the taxi waiting for us, then the taxi drove past the side of the immigration office again to get us out of Thailand. Nobody seemed to be bothered, and of course, the driver didn't even show his ID. The guy who filled in immigration cards for us wrote Aratakara's nationality as Ireland, acutually it's British, but the immigration officer didn't even care....
Sadao is know as a town of cheap prostitution. Lots of Malaysian and Singaporean go there to buy women. I've heard lots of refugees from Myanmmer were stopped there and forced to work for brothels, and lots of women from the nearby countries are deceived and trafficked there. I felt helplessly sad... A teenage girl with a middle-aged Malaysian Chinese man, and 3 Malaysian men in their late 20s, who I saw at the restaurant, must be in Sadao on that purpose...
After all, the food at River View Restaurant was good and authentic. Next time, I should just go with my female friends, after sending our kids to school. We can probably come back in time to pick up our kids. The toll charges were about 50RM in total, Not bad for something different.