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Bangkok - Singapore Travel

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1. Posted by Kitty123 (Budding Member 36 posts) 9y


I plan to travel by land from bangkok to singapore with lots of stops along the way:

- ko samui
- ko phangan
- krabi
- ko phi phi
- Phuket
- langkawi
- KL
- Malacca
- Singapore

The latter part of the journey seems fairly easy on the bangkok - singapore train route, but I have no idea what the best way to do the islands above is!!

I know that you can get a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani station (??) and from there you can go to Krabi, Phuket, Ko Phangan and Ko Samui. Also, you can get to Ko Phi Phi from Phuket and Krabi via boat and to Koh Samui from Krabi also via boat!!

I am very confused!! What is the best way to go?? After doing all of those islands I then want to make my way to Langawi- phew!!!

Also, whilst i no everyone is different, how long would you say I would need to do this complete journey??



[ Edit: Edited on Feb 9, 2008, at 3:38 PM by Kitty123 ]

2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 9y

How long you spend doing this route completely depends on how long you want to spend on the beach. I would say give yourself a month to do it comfortably. Any less and you should knock a couple places off. How long you spend in each place will depend on how much you like each place. Keep your schedule flexible because you'll probably get to some of these islands and not care for them and want to move on, and some you'll want to stay for as long as you can.
Personally, I could stay at some of the quieter bits of Koh Phagnan for weeks, however on my last trip to Thailand I visited Phuket and hated it (it was the complete opposite of everything that I love about Thailand), and was ready to leave about 10 minutes after arriving. Ditto with Phi Phi - I was there a few years ago and loved the week or so I spent there, but last month was really happy to have only stayed there for 2 hours on a ferry stopover. I also had little interest in Samui and didn't care to be there more than the couple days that I did spend. Krabi I have always liked and I could spend a week there or more and be happy. But my two favorite islands by a longshot are two that you didn't even mention - Koh Lanta and Koh Tao. I could stay indefinitely on both of these and love every minute.
However, there's many people out there that would get bored of Lanta and Tao pretty quick and could stay forever partying it up in Phuket and Samui. So it really does depend on the person.

The route between all these places is pretty straightforward. From Bangkok you can take the train to Surat Thani as you said and get a ferry to Samui, or Phagnan. Most travel agencies in Bangkok will sell you a combo ticket that includes transfers to the ferry and the ferry ride. Also consider the bus from Bangkok. You'll hear lots of people complain about the tourist VIP buses from Bangkok, which apparently rip you off, steal your stuff, don't take you where they say they are....blah blah.... On the 15 or so VIP buses that I've taken from Bangkok over the years I've never had anything but comfortable and prompt service. On my most recent trip to Thailand I went with a group of friends. They all chose to take the train to Phuket and I chose to take the bus because it was less than half the price. They left Bangkok a few hours before me, had what they described as "a train ride from hell" (though they do tend to be whiners anyway), didn't sleep a wink, and arrived in Phuket an hour after I did. I on the other hand had a great nights sleep on the bus, saved a pile of money, and was sitting at the pool of our hotel, drink in hand, when they arrived. So consider it.
If you choose to add Koh Tao to the itinerary then you can get there by ferry from Chumpon which is closer to Bangkok, and it makes a pretty logical route from there to Phagnan to Samui to Surat Thani, all of which can be done by frequent easy-to-book ferries.
From your last island on the East Coast you can head to a travel agent to book a combo ticket for a ferry and bus to Krabi, or also a second ferry to whatever West Coast island you want to visit first (or maybe just a bus all the way to Phuket since it's connected by a bridge). Again, all the islands on the West Coast are connected by frequent ferries and are easy to get between. Onto Langkawi I can't help with since I've never been, but I can almost guarantee that any travel agent on any of the islands can arrange combo ferry/bus tickets to it.
Once in Malaysia things are just as straight forward. Hotels and travel agents will be happy to arrange all of your transportation for you, and public buses are just as easy to book. Can't help you with trains, I've never taken them in Malaysia. I would also add that you are missing from your list two of the highlights of Malaysia - Penang (primarily for Kek Lok Si temple, but the town is also nice), and the Cameron Highlands (to cool off and see something different). I would recommend adding them to your itinerary, even.

3. Posted by Kitty123 (Budding Member 36 posts) 9y

thanks for that great reply. You should write a travellers book!!

I certainly plan on visiting Penang and the Cameron Highlands, which I have heard so much about. Where exactly are the Cameron Highlands? Not research Malaysia much yet!!

I like the sound of Koh Lanta and Koh Tao too- I defnitely want to know lots of places so that I am kind of prepared when I go!! Going by bus is certainly something I will now consider!

Sorry if you have already answered this question, but what route is most practical for going round the islands, including the two you mentioned? Is any order best?

I always like to be organised, but I guess when I go travelling this will change a bit and I will take each day as it comes. Its so exciting, but a bit scary too as I always like to know what I am doing!! Perhaps I need to relax a bit

Can I also ask about Pattaya? Have you been there? I believe it is quite close to Bangkok and possibly a bit cheaper for accomodation, etc?

Lastly, (I kind of fancy writing another thread about this) where can you recommend are good / bad places to stay when on each island? Always nice to hear about others experiences!!

Thanks again for your great and informative reply!!

4. Posted by arif_kool (Travel Guru 1757 posts) 9y

Quoting Kitty123

Can I also ask about Pattaya? Have you been there? I believe it is quite close to Bangkok and possibly a bit cheaper for accomodation, etc?

Pattaya is around 2-3 hrs by road from Bangkok.... it is worth a visit, once in pattaya u can the tiffany show, visit the nong noch village and take the speed boat to coral island which has plenty of water sport activities.

cost wise pattaya is around the same as bangkok:)

5. Posted by opospa (Travel Guru 1837 posts) 9y

Quoting Kitty123

I certainly plan on visiting Penang and the Cameron Highlands, which I have heard so much about. Where exactly are the Cameron Highlands? Not research Malaysia much yet!!


This website : Journey Malaysia is really useful. Hope it helps you. You should visit Cameron Highlands. Where you can enjoy relaxing lifestyle there. Its quiet with cool weather. And thats the place where Jim Thompson went missing since 1967 until today.