This Malaysian border town may not have much in the way of tourist attractions, but it's wildly popular with locals for its duty-free shopping options. It's worth stopping by for travelers in the immediate area.
There are a few budget hotels in the area, but this is not the kind of place you want to stay overnight. Once the border closes, everything quiets down fast and there's nothing to do. It's much better to cross the border, do your shopping and then catch a bus, train or taxi to your onward destination.
There's more than a mile-long stretch of desolate land between the Thai and Malaysian border, and walkers are a rare sight. Regardless of which direction you're heading, it's better to hail a motorcycle taxi.
Padang Besar is well-connected to prominent cities on both sides of the border. The drive to the state capital, Perlis, takes around 30 minutes. Coaches connect directly to Kuala Lumpur (6 hours) and Penang (1 hour) where there are international airports. Connections into Thailand are made through Hat Yai.