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I'm currently in Kuala Lumpur and have a friend I can meet up with in Ton Sai in Krabi Province.

There is a train from here to Thailand but the closest it looks like it gets is Hat Yai before it heads East to Bangkok whereas Krabi is west.

Maybe there's a direct bus with some bus company from KL?
Maybe there's also a bus to Hat Yai that's cheaper or faster than the train?

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I'm starting to think train or bus to Hat Yai and from there bus or minibus Krabi either way. –  hippietrail Aug 17 '13 at 8:55
    
Not a short flight? AirAsia Kul to Kbv for AUD 73 –  WW. Aug 18 '13 at 11:46
    
No just by land transport as requested thanks. –  hippietrail Aug 18 '13 at 12:17
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Not quite where you're getting your directions from? The south of Thailand is long and skinny, it's north from Hat Yai to both Bangkok and Krabi.

If you want to go by train, I'd take it as far as either Surat Thani or Trang, and then switch to a bus. Trang is a bit closer (~2 hrs by bus), but it's smaller and less well served by trains, while Surat Thani is further away (3-4 hours) but better connected.

The alternative, which will probably work out faster and more comfortable if you pick your bus well, would be take a direct bus from KL to Hat Yai. It's about 10 hours all in and there's plenty of choice, this site lists a few -- fares start from RM 50, but it's usually worth paying a few bucks extra for a nicer bus. From Hat Yai you can catch another bus to Krabi, travel time ~4 hours.

All that said, I have to agree with WW that the direct Air Asia KUL-KBV flight at just over an hour would be a no-brainer if you didn't insist on land transport...

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Well yeah they're both obviously north but for one I veer west and for the other I veer east. –  hippietrail Aug 19 '13 at 5:00
    
For a bus my standards are fairly low, I only need leg room and aircon and the rest can be pretty crappy and cheap cheap cheap (-: Well for me flying is just boring, airports and getting to and from them are the worst thing about travel, and unless it's some small private plane there's just a total lack of any sense of adventure - flying feels more like commuting. –  hippietrail Aug 19 '13 at 5:02
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