My friends and I are planning for a trip from Singapore to Malaysia then Thailand then Cambodia then Vietnam and lastly a plane back to Singapore.
We are going on budget and prefer not taking the plane. However, we are not sure of the train services to use. Thus, we would require travelling advises like which route to take, what train/bus to take.
Tentatively, heres my plan .
Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (Settled - Train)
Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu (Need Help)
Terengganu to Bangkok (Need Help)
Bangkok to Siem Reap (Need help)
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh (Need Help)
Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (Need Help)
Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore (Settled - Plane)
I'm hoping for travelling routes with details such as which train station to which train station, estimated cost and travelling time.
Websites or forums would help too!
I recommend getting a hold of a guide book. I personally think Lonely Plant is best, and the "Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" would be perfect for you. It will give you info the options between each town with approximate prices, length of travel and everything you need to know. It will also give you info on accommodation, places to eat, and most importantly, what to see and where to go.
Though I've done all the routes you've mentioned (expect KL- Terengganu), some of them several times, I can't really help you with such specific questions. Like many people, I tend to never plan these things, but just show up at the bus station and get a ticket to where I'm going. Or I ask at my hotel and a couple travel agents in town what the best way to get there is, and sometimes buy through them. Either way, it's not something that concerns me enough to remember how much or when and where exactly I caught a bus/train.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't worry about it. In all these places there are many many options, from public trains and buses, to an abundance of private tourist buses that can be booked right from your hotel, and it's easy to get between each place. There are so many more important things to be worried about before you go, like vaccinations, money etc.. Don't worry about the little stuff that you can plan as you go when you get there.
Thanks for the advice.
I've been reading blogs and forums about this. Bus and taxi scams from Thailand to Cambodia scares me. Do you have any advice on it?
Sorry, can't help too much with Bangkok - Siem Reap. I've done the journey twice and once in reverse. All three times I took the VIP companies that are infamous for scams, and all three times were convenient and scam-free journeys. However, I have heard that in the last couple years these scams have become more frequent. I've also taken these buses to or from Bangkok at least 10 other times (most recently at Christmas), and I've yet to come across one of these scams. So I don't know, maybe I'm just lucky or maybe I have a good sense for knowing who is honest. Best advice I can tell you is just to watch your stuff. I think alot of the complaints are of theft from bags left under the bus, so don't leave valuables in your bag. Keep them with you and keep an eye on them.
For taxi scams, I think the easiest thing to do is don't trust anyone who gives you volunteered advice. So that means any taxi who offers you a ride. If you want a taxi, go a little bit away from main tourist sights and flag one down yourself. Once in the taxi, if they start telling you about wonderful deals they can give you on city tours, they are probably just trying to get you to their shop. If they start telling you how you can make money, they are certainly trying to scam you. Really, if they start telling you anything that you didn't ask, and if it sounds too good to be true, than it is. And if they try to tell you that the Grand Palace or wherever you want to go is closed that day, just ignore them and go find out for yourself. I can't recall ever getting scammed in Bangkok, but I do hear a few of there speeches from tuk-tuk drivers a few times every time I'm there. But they are easy to ignore. And finally, when they ask you how long you've been in Thailand or if it's your first trip, the answer should be something like, "I've been here for 2 months and this my 3rd visit". Scammers prey on newbies and usually if they think that you know the score, they won't even waste their time talking to you.
Can only help with a few legs.
Bangkok to Siem Reap - try Bangkok Airlines or Air Asia - more expensive than a bus but the latter is a really long tiring journey and you are prone to border rip offs.
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh - Mekong Express Bus -can be booked in Siem Reap. Your guest house will tell you where their office is. Cost last year about $US 5 so say $US 8 now.
PP to HCMC - again Mekong Express bus. Dont know cost but would expect it to be around $US 10
There are cheaper bus services but for the saving of a couple of dollars the Mekong Express bus is modern, has an on board toilet, air conditioned and they give you a small bottle of water and a snack. SR to PP takes about 4 hrs. That means that it is faster than air. By plane you need to get to the airport early, check in then ,at the other end, wait for your bags and travel about 45 mins. to the centre of PP - plus the tuk tuk fares which add a further 5 or so dollars.
I can only help you regarding on your route from Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu..It is most helpful if you could spesifically tell me which part of Terengganu that you would like to visit?
From KL to Terengganu only have 2 ways, either by plane (KL LCCT - Kuala Terengganu Airport) or by Bus (KL - Kuala Terengganu)
The plane ticket would be between RM70 - rm150 depends on when you book. Take AirAsia since it's the cheapest. If you get lucky, you get a promotion price.
For bus, there are many bus company operating between Kuala Lumpur and Terengganu..Preferably please use the Transnasional service since it does have good records..the ticket price is around rm30 for adult and half price for children which will end up to Kuala Terengganu(the state's capital). Be aware that you must buy your bus ticket from the ticket booth there so that you wouldn't ended being scam by irresponsible people...
Plan spesifically where in Terengganu that you would like to go since it's is best to use the bus as it's accessesible to most of the Terengganu part.
Hope it is helpful for you to plan your journeys..
My friends and I are planning to go to the national park.