I've been considering doing London to Singapore by train...
1. London to Moscow (via Cologne) (3 days approx) Stop Moscow for couple of days
2. Moscow to Beijing (trans siberian) (6 days)
3. Beijing to Hanoi (2 days, I think)
4. Hanoi to Saigon (week or so in Vietnam)
4. Saigon to Bangkok (Few days in the thai capital)
5. Bangkok to the thai islands (spend a couple of weeks there)
6. Onto KL then Singapore (5 days)
7. Fly Singapore to Perth
Has anyone done anything similar? How much approx did it cost one -way travel? I estimate it will cost around £650 to singapore (based upon rates on seat61.com).
Russia or China doesn't really take my fancy at the present time, so i'm wondering if this trip is for me or not? It seems like a real adventure and I've heard that quite a few people take the trans-siberian.
Any advise would be appreciated.
I think it would be a great adventure and one I plan to do sometime, but why would you want to do it if Russia and China doesn't interest you?
Instead of wasting 11 days trying to get to London to a place you actually want to see, why don't you just fly straight to Vietnam or Thailand, and spend those days visiting those countries instead of just passing through on a train. If you've never been to Asia before, it would be a shame to see it all through a train window. Give yourself the time to make stops - not just in the major cities.
Alrite there wilko
Just seen your post and sounds like your doin pretty much the same as myself. I planned most of mine through seat61 as well, headin thru europe, russia, china, SE asia to singapore then onto oz end of october. I estimated roughly the same as yourself, altho ive found out if you book a hostel/hotel in russia they can do your trans sib tickets and it works out even cheaper.
Checkout www.hostelworld.com for hostels, its a crackin wee site. Let me know how u get on sure, im just about to finish uni in a few weeks then gonna start sortin it all out then so if u start ahead of me, any help would be appreciated, otherwise i'll send u info if i get there first.
I haven't done it by train, but as for "is this trip is for me or not" then probably not if you don't want to go to Russia or China which is where the majority of the time on the train would be spent. A week or so in Vietnam would basically not even be worth going. I was there for around 3 weeks and that was a full on rush seeing I wanted to get from Hanoi-Saigon and do a Mekong Delta tour from Saigon-Phnom Penh/Cambodia.
It would be a great adventure, but given Russia doesn't appeal to you and China doesn't then those two places which would take a lot of time off your trip are probably not worth you doing. Thing is with your itinerary and the times you have given, you'd basically constantly be on a train and not even being able to see places at all properly. Even where you stop in Bangkok for a few days if a few is 3 days then that wouldn't be enough to see it properly, I think 5 days is about what you need to truly experience and see Bangkok pretty well. But Vietnam definitely needs way more than one week. Beijing deserves at least 5 days given one of the main reasons tourists go there is to take a side trip to the Great Wall of China and that is a full daytrip alone. So you'd then only have 1 day to see more things (a lot of which you have to spend hours walking around) than what London has to offer tourists. If you live in London or have been there before, you'd know that it would just be rediculous to come to London for one day and expect to see and do everything that their is to offer for tourists.
Is it the pain in the backside visa and visa registration that is making you turn of Russia or why doesn't it appeal to you at the moment? St Petersburg is one of the most amazing cities you are ever likely to come across especially if you go when Peterhof has it's water fountains going off. That place just makes you think how rich and powerful Peter the Great must've been in his time compared to the rest of the people in Russia.
In my travel experiences which now mount to 48 countries I thought Russia was one of the better countries to visit and St Petersburg is my favourite city followed by Rome, but the whole visa process was very rediculous and the registration everywhere you go was also very stupid. After it has been so painful and expensive to get your visa for Russia it'd be so dissapointing to go there to basically not see a single thing.
Kuala Lumpur doesn't have a great deal of stuff to offer that you can't do something similar in basically every big city in the world. A side trip to Batu Caves was good, but you need to watch out for those monkies if you have a bag with food in it. They are thieving monkies and will run up and steal the bag out of your hand as run away and get the food out like they did to this one guy I saw. It'll teach him to have a banana in his plastic bag that was see through so the monky could see!
I haven't stopped in Singapore for more than a change of flights, so I can't really comment but I'd imaine a couple of days there would be long enough.
Have a great trip.
[ Edit: Edited on May 11, 2007, at 5:55 PM by aharrold45 ]