Skip Navigation

How to get around in South-East Asia

Travel Forums Asia How to get around in South-East Asia

1. Posted by MaCe (Budding Member 16 posts) 9y

Hey:) Seems like there are loads of people posting replies here. So hoping for some good answers:)

Me and my bestfriend are goin on our first RTW trip in december. We've chosen South East Asia,New Zealand,Australia,Fiji and California. It'll be the time of our lives!:)

But now we're wondering how to easily get around in SE Asia? We've heard that it is quite easy, but havent got a concrete answer. Just wondering if there are any trainpasses like the interrailpass in Europe? Or do we have to buy new bus or train passes in each country?
In eighter of the cases,does someone have know the name/names at companies who offer train/buspasses? And if they have any wesites?

Appreciate all answers:) Thanks!


2. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello MaCe :)

There are no passes, as far as I know, for Thailand.
Busses go more frequently than trains, and a first class bus ticket costs the same as a third class train ticket.
Busses are generally the best way to go. If u have a long journey, u could also consider getting a first class sleeper on the train. A 10 hour journey will cost around 25 Euros.

There are train passes in Malaysia. I read about them in my Lonely Planet. If u are going to Malaysia and u are interested in getting a train pass there, send me a private mail, and I will give u the list of train pass options listed in the Lonely Planet.


3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

I am sure you will remember your RTW trip for the rest of your lives. Most countries in SEA do not offer a train or bus pass that is valid for a week/month. Cambodia & Laos have poor infrastructure, poor train service and poor private bus service. Cheap but poor service & equipment. VietNam has a good rail system and and an excellent 'open tour' option. At least 4 companies run their open tour buses from HCMC-HaNoi or HaNoi-HCMC. This is your best option while in VN. Great price and great flexiblity while travelling up or down VN. Much cheaper than the train for the same route. Thailand has a good train system and a great bus sysytem. Anywhere you care to go in Thailand has a bus going there. There are two systems. The one most tourists use is the private buses that you book at the travel shops. They generally pick you up at the travel shop or close by. Convenient and good price. But, the problem is that reports of theft are rampant. Both from your large bag in the storage bin and also from your day bag on your lap or under your seat. Use the gov't contracted bus system. This is the system that the Thais use. Get to the bus station and book your seat. Much safer, a better bus and better service. You can choose from fan, air con or VIP service on long routes. Book the overnight bus when travelling to Chiang Mai or Koh Samui. You save one night's accommodation and arrive in the am ready for another day's adventure.

Marianne, you gals will have a trip of a lifetime. I have many photos of SEA in my gallery that may help on what you want to see. Send me a PM if you have specific questions.

4. Posted by MaCe (Budding Member 16 posts) 9y

Hi again!
Thanks for the replies:) I think that'll be good help for us. And I'm sure I'll get back to you if there's anything.