For travelers who find themselves in the same dilemma as Nancy Belcher (June 9), being stranded in Penang, Malaysia, for want of a reservation on the International Express to Bangkok, several trains leave for Bangkok daily from Haddayi in southern Thailand. The accommodations are about half the price of those on the International Express, and spaces are almost always available, even a couple of hours before departure.
A local train leaves Butterworth station around 8 a.m. for the four-hour trip to Haddayi, and you are guaranteed a spot on this train, though it may be standing. Buses and collective taxis also leave several times a day from the Butterworth bus station, which is right next to the train station. The fastest trip to Haddayi is by taxi, in which a seat costs about $10.