First Date!! Hello from Betong!

First Date!!! Hello from Betong!

Hello, I am ST, a charming :)Malaysian Chinese lady. I have been living and working in Thailand for more than two years. To know more about me and my life in Thailand…date with me on thai-blogs!!

Ok, firstly let me give a little introduction about where I live.

I live in Betong. There are altogether five Malaysian-Thai border towns and Betong is one of them. Betong is located at the Southern most of Thailand and the town is only 7km from the Malaysian-Thai border. It is a district (amphur) of the Yala Province with an approximate population of 50,000, of which about 15,000 are living in the town. It is made up of multi-races with approximately 40% Muslims, 30% Chinese and 30% Thai. It was the base for the former jungle fighters of the Communist Party of Malaya and is considered as one of the most Chinese populated area in Thailand, and has the highest average per capita income among the three Southern provinces, Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani.

Being a Malaysian who lives and work here, where it takes only 7 km to reach Malaysia, it is easier for the people to fly to Bangkok through the Penang airport(1 ½ hour from Betong) than through Hat Yai airport(3 ½ hours from Betong). People often come to the Malaysian border town to have breakfast and go back to work…so as you can see, it is unavoidable for me to not mention about Malaysia once in a while!:)

Due to its unique locality, Betong has a long history of close diplomatic relationship with the Perak State of Malaysia. Due to the current unrest situation in Southern Thailand, more cooperation is needed to safeguard the security and economic activities of the two towns. On the 6th of August, the opening of the 330 million Baht Bukit Berapit new Immigration Complex, ( the only exit point to Thailand via land route in Perak state of Malaysia), a lot of Thailand senior officers are invited to join the grand opening ceremony officiated by the Sultan (King of State) of Perak and I am indeed honored to be one of the invited guest too 🙂 !!.

The Thai called the Sultan as “ Sulatdtan ”. On that day, all invited guests from Thailand are excited, hoping to grasp the rare and valuable opportunity to greet the “ Sulatdtan ”. Betong Municipality has volunteered to contribute the fresh fish and prawns specially ordered from Trang for the Sultan and the other VIPs!! For me, being a Malaysian, I had never been so close to the Sultan when I was in my own country. Therefore it is indeed an exciting experience for me to meet and to politely chat with the Sultan of my own nation as a guest from Thailand! Let me show u some pictures…

This is the picture taken from the Malaysian border town-Pengkalan Hulu, a welcoming dinner for the Sultan the night before the opening ceremony day. Today, there are still quite a number of Thai living in the Northern part of Malaysia and maintaining the Thai culture.

Gift for the Sultan. Woodcraft from Chiang Mai.

Welcoming troupe. Can you see the difference with Thailand’s?

Family of “ Sulatdtan ” with Thai and Malaysian VIPs seated behind.

Hope u enjoy our first date!! Cheers!

80 responses to “First Date!! Hello from Betong!

  1. very interseting introduction,

  2. Thanks for sharing your story with us. Really nice to have stories from the deep south which don’t just focus on the violence. I look forward to reading more about your part of the world.

    I think it is time to put up a map so we can see where everyone is blogging from. Quite a diversity now.

  3. Hello ST! Welcome to Thai-Blogs.

    I agree with Richard. I’d love to read more about the deep south. The southern-most as I have gone personally is Phuket.

    My mom’s parents are from Surat Thani. So yeah I have a little south in me. 🙂 I didn’t know them well, but I remembered mom or my aunts had to translate what grandma/grandpa said to us sometime. Their southern accent was thick! HAHAH.

  4. how much one pay to cross over??

  5. Welcome ST, Nice to note that more Malaysians are blogging at this site. I get to know a lot of Siam or Thaiphile in Kualu Lumpur through this blog. We should one day organise a trip to pay you a visit in Betong. Is it true that Betong Governor studied in Penang Chung Ling High School? I also heard about the new Chinese University being build in Betong.
    Is Bukit Berapit same as Pengkalan Hulu or is it a new checkpoint?

  6. Thanks for the great date ST! Hope to do it again soon and I for one am really enjoying the Malay
    -Thai connections.

  7. Wow, it is nice to see a fellow Malaysian online
    I have always wanted to go to Betong, and of late, I heard it is still spared the ongoing violence of southern Thailand

  8. Wow! another blogger from the ‘Land of Chicken Satay & Expensive Beers’.

    No complaints though. Would love to hear a bit more on the life down there in Yala province. What lingo do you speak in Betong? the southern Thai dialect, Yawi, or Malay? and how does the unrest down south affect your day to day living??

  9. Hi ST
    I have been to Betong for few times. Betong is located in the high altitude and therefore the weather there is nicer than Malaysia and I love the weathere there. Betong chicken is very popular and there is small restaurant after the hotspring and just before you enter the Betong tunnel. This restaurant serve good fresh water fish and excellent steam Betong chicken. The price is very reasonable. ST, is there a better Betong chicken ? Cheer another Malaysia blogger and welcome to this interesting site

  10. going to Betong tomorrow for 1st time.
    How and where in Pengkalan Hulu to get a taxi to Betong?
    Immigration formalities?
    Any chance of meeting up? My HP 012 6151612

  11. HI There.

    I’ve been to Betong few times…but the
    thing that i would like to find out is
    how to travel from KL to Betong through
    Public Transport..?? As i know there
    are lots of Shuttle Buses from KL to
    Hatyai….but there are no such services
    to Betong.

    If anyone knows about transport matters
    i would like to welcome your feedback
    on this…thank u.

    I love Betong much because of its small
    and simple town with lots of nice
    restaurants and karaoke’s to enjoy.
    Somemore the temples there are nice nice
    and beautiful.

    Hope someone can guide me about the
    transportation matter from KL to Betong.

    Thank u

  12. Hi friends,
    Thanks for the advice ST, we do visti betong on 07/06 five of us. Unfortunetly hotels are fully booked coz of the holiday in malaysia. Lucky we manage to get the booking on a newly opened hotel call “Garden View Betong Hotel” . It’s located after the Mongkolrit Tunnel and for booking you may direct call at +66 7324 6222-28. Nice place, peace and quiet shld visit again.

    We plan to have another trip to Betong for 2 nite 3 days on 04/07 till 06/07. if any of you plan to go on the same, do give me a call (012 -9205506) we can meet there. Remeber once you entering betong customs there will be no signel on your phone.

  13. im going tommorrow..can we meet ?

  14. Can you be my tourist guide?

  15. I love Betong, the envirinment, the people, the food, night life and I think it’s a place for all ages, have been there countless times and shall continue to visit this lovely little town.

  16. just visited Betong few days ago for the 1st time….it’s really a small lovely town with quite some nice food, girls, etc..hehe 🙂

    btw, i’ll be going there next month (July) again ^_^

  17. Penjejak Malam

    take public transport (bus) from KL-Pengkalan
    Hulu from Jalan Duta. when arrive, just take a taxi to Betong (do not forget your
    passport). then check-in any hotel you want there. lastly, do whatever you want to
    do or to get or go any karaoke or have
    a good dining.

  18. I’ve been to Betong few times…but the
    thing that i would like to find out is
    how to travel from KL to Betong through
    Public Transport..?? As i know there
    are lots of Shuttle Buses from KL to
    Hatyai….but there are no such services
    to Betong.

  19. Is it safe in Betong now for a family
    visit ? Do we need to make prior
    hotel booking ? I’m thinking of driving
    – can somebody help with the directions
    from K L ? Thanks

  20. If u wanna know about this town u can’t compare it with hadyai. I actually really enjoy being here coz it just take about 4 hours from kuala lumpur by car. Soon after ur arrive ur can check in with more budget hotel without to make booking estimate around Rm 100 – 50 xcept during m’sian public holiday. Then just take a walk around to enjoy some tom yam, tropikal fruits, shopping & don’t forget tahi ancient massages. Lastly do enjoy with nightlife here in betong coz u got karaoke, dangdut & disco. Have fun its really safe then u think.

  21. Betong is smaller town than Had-Yai.if u expect about night life here,sure u wouldn’t dismiss.a lot of Thai people here can speak central chinese that whay Betong difference from Hay-Yai.

  22. Nickname Carlos

    I read with interest from 1st date from Bentong, I just want to know how
    you are able to work in Thailand, my relatives are from Thungsong, as I am
    now retired I intend to migrate to stay with them in Thailand, anybody out there can help me find a solution on how to migrate legally to Thailand,
    perhaps anybody from the Thai Immigration who are reading this blogs can help me with this?

    Thank for browsing this blogs.

    Bye bye

  23. Hello….ST
    sorry! i want to know what the job?
    in betong,so good business__

    becase,i want do the business in there
    but want to think 1′

    Thsnk you

    Lady from Betong !!!

  24. I am from Pengkalan Hulu,a border town close to Betong. Both Betong and Pengkalan Hulu are almost the same size geographically and demographically, except Betong is much livelier and colorful than Pengkalan Hulu. Have been to Betong twice only. ST do they have good vegetarian shops there? 🙂

  25. Hello ST,

    I would like to know if it is safer to travel to Betong from Hatyai on the minibus. Is the unrest still an issue for me to be concerned. Thanks for the information.


  26. Hi ST,

    same goes to me as well, how if i want to travel from hat yai to betong, is it advisable. or shld i take bus from Duta to pengkalan Hulu and get taxi to betong.

  27. Hi friends,

    Currently there are mini buses traveling from Hadyai to Betong by the Yala route and Malaysian route. You can make your own choice of which route to take. With regards to safety concern, I can only say that it is quite quiet now but it is really up to individual…

    If u are coming from KL, certainly it is easier to take a bus from Duta to Pengkalan Hulu. I will go to KL this weekend, if u are really interested to know more, email me again and leave me your number. I shall call u.

    Cheers! 🙂 Thanks and regards

  28. Hi ST,

    I in a group of 4 coming to Betong from KL via coach arriving 17th May and leaving 19th May.

    Would appreciate some help from you on hotel bookings and more tips as to how to move around, also things to do.My mobile no: 019 3652650

    11th May 2008


  29. Hi ST,
    You still in Betong or move out. As i mention early, i be in Betong 04th of jun till 06th jun. We reserved the room at Hotel Garden view Betong. Hope to see down there if you still around.

  30. meet you all there tommorow.

  31. Hi there bro,
    if you from penang, I not very sure abt it. As i know the first exit i’ll took off is kuala kangsar and next by Gerik. If you can any exit to gerik timur from pinang and go along to baling and pengkalan hulu.

  32. thx you share alot your nice story…
    this month i will go Betong they, but the problem is i dt know the direction, and i ll start drive from penang, any ideal for me,plz email me thx alot

  33. albert, from penang get to butterworth then take east coast highway towards baling and from baling you’ll reach pengkalan hulu the border town of Betong!

  34. Hi all,

    How do you all there, hope all of you doing well. I will be going to again Betong on 22nd Aug 2008.
    Any one of you plan to betong on that day, we might meet there.


  35. We’re leaving this week end to betong, and this time we plan to have camp fire at the hotspring and waterfall.

    If any of you guyz or girlz wanna join, you’re most welcome.

  36. betong good…..
    relax at merlin disco , kongka , grand view and istana dangdut. all nice girl..

  37. can anyone tell me, how much is the taxi fare from pengkala hulu to betong?

  38. Hi ST,

    I used to visit Betong. May I know where do you stay and what you work in Betong? Maybe one day if I go there we can meet up. Btw, is it possible to have your number and photo in order for me to reach you and know you.

  39. Hi guyz, how you all’s great to back again to betong..

  40. Thank lot for interesting explanation, you do a good job, i like to travel to Betog next month

  41. hai guys,

    i have been to betong few times…the place is very nice and cool. the food (bak ku teh) and goreng pisang taste delicious…enjoy the kongka disco, the massage emmm dam good n cheap too rm12 per hour..i am planning to go again. any guys interested to join me…maybe we can car pool to cut me..

  42. hai guys/girls..

    any one interest to join me to betong, plz email me to

  43. Hi ST

    Nice to read your blog with useful information on Betong………Kindly give us recomendations on good food n accomodation…can be reached at +6012 2039337 or gimme a text on my mobile…..appreciate much

    Hva good day

  44. Hi
    Do you know if there are night bus from KL to Pangkalan Hulu ? How much are the fare and what about coming back? Appreciate your help and info?

  45. hi ST, thanks for putting up info on Betong. We are driving to south thailand via betong tomorrow. what are the procedures and the immigration operating hours? Are they open 24hrs?
    Affordable guesthouses to recommend?
    Thanks is advance.

  46. Immigration checkpoints at Pengkalan Hulu-Betong close at 6pm daily.

  47. The new immigration is already open in
    Betong .
    Anyone knows open until what time now ?

  48. Hi all,
    Back to betong end of this april,
    cant wait to see my fran after a long period.

    A fren from P/hulu advice that the new img. closing hour is post to 10:00pm (m’sia) & 11:00pm (betong).

    good news hah..

    hope we all meet some day in betong.

  49. I have been to betong few times. I am planning to go again, any guys interested to join with me e-mail me. I drive may be we can share the cost … e-mail address

  50. if u use maxis,DiGI or Celcom forget it..not available in there..use 1 2 call prepaid ..he he he