The actual border is located at Dannok town 10km south of Sadao town and about 60km from Hat Yai. Thai immigration formalities (which is officially called the Sadao Immigration Checkpoint) used to be conducted at Sadao town but has since moved to Dannok just before the border gate into Malaysia. The town on the Malaysian side is Bukit Kayu Hitam.
This road crossing is the busiest between Thailand and Malaysia as both Thailand's National Highway 4 which runs all the way to Bangkok via Hat Yai and Malaysia's North-South Expressway which spans the length of the peninsular to Johor Bahru via Kuala Lumpur start from this crossing. Most long distance buses between Singapore , Malaysia and Thailand use this crossing.
Sadao town is the capital of Sadao district. It is basically a junction town where people heading to Padang Besar turn off National Highway 4.
Dannok, which used to be just a few shops clinging on to both sides of the highway just before the border gate, has grown tremendously over the last few years, mostly fed by people crossing the border in search of sleaze and shopping. On both sides of the highway many little lanes lined with karaoke bars and nightclubs, with scantily-dressed bargirls sitting outside.
For details on visa requirements for Thailand, please see the Thailand | Get in section.
In Dannok, vans leave from in front of 7-Eleven to Hat Yai via Sadao town when full. Takes one hour and you can ask to be dropped off anywhere in Hat Yai. The fare is 55 baht, after 11pm you probably won't get a ride for less than 100 baht. In Hat Yai, the van leaves from The Plaza, just across from the TOT offices.
A taxi to Hat Yai is about 300baht.
Sadao and Dannok are on National Highway 4. Dannok is about 60km or one hour south of Hat Yai. You can drive right up to the immigration checkpoint.
You can drive, walk or catch a regular taxi or motorcycle taxi travel between the Bukit Kayu Hitam checkpoint and Dannok. There is a distance of about 1km between the two checkpoints and walking in the heat can be a little uncomfortable. In between the two checkpoints is the huge Duty Free shopping complex, located in Malaysian territory. See the Bukit Kayu Hitam page for connections from or to Malaysian cities.
Motorcycle taxis are plentiful and charge RM2 or 20 Bahts in Danok.
Danok has nothing much to see or do in the day time! More of a night life town!
A growing nightlife is developing due to Malaysian border crossers looking for a good time. There are lots of hostess and go-go bars to be found.
If you want to relax and take a rest, Satit Spa in Satit Grand View is one place where can offer you in modern style. It has just opened recently with high-skill massage expertise. Try to look for professional masseuse Miss Anda (Number S7) at 016-4828855/013-4622258 (Malaysia cell phone number) or 08-88329186(Thai cell phone number).
There are also very good traditional Thai massage parlors that offer both a body Massage or foot Massage (nothing on the side) at very reasonable prices.
Danok has 2 nice restaurants both with man made lakes. One has a fishing pond and the other has a beautiful view! Ask the hotels or motorcycle taxis for location as it is out of the main town area but the meal at the lake view restaurant is worth the travel!
This small town is a heaven in terms of drinking places, from pubs, clubs & even a Disco called Paragon. Satit Disco is one of the most interesting place where you have to visit. With Hi audio technology, you are able to enjoy drinking and nightlife. Turn into any lane and inroad & you're bound to find a place to get a drink! Be careful though as this town is virtually a cowboy town with very little presence of police, therefore try to stay out of trouble!