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help regarding travelling by train(KTM)

Travel Forums Asia help regarding travelling by train(KTM)

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1. Posted by Nng (Budding Member 19 posts) 7y

Hi

I'm a student planning to travel from singapore - kl - penang - bkk - kl by train. Being an inexperienced traveller, i need big time help about travelling through these destinations by train, cheaply. I'm also pretty confused about this butterworth and penang ferry ride or something wondering if anyone could shed light on that.

I also heard that there are packages for this particular itinerary though i'm not too sure about that either. Anyone knows anything about that?

And one last thing not having travelled by train alone before(all my previous trips were with friends)i wonder if there are certain precautions or things that i should know that would aid a lone traveller.

Sorry if i sound weird this is my first time starting a thread here and i dont really know the ropes, if there any:P

Really appreciate it if you could help me out!

cheers,
nng

2. Posted by sambo123 (Budding Member 45 posts) 7y

Seat 61 (www.seat61.com/Malaysia) is awesome for answering your questions. its a massive website for all train journeys and should help you out.

Good luck!

3. Posted by Nng (Budding Member 19 posts) 7y

Ah i see yes i've also come across that site while researching for my trip but am not too sure just how reliable the source is. Do you know how often it's updated?

cheers,
Nng

4. Posted by 7055 (Budding Member 28 posts) 7y

It's pretty reliable but double-check anything you suspect is out of date. As for trains in Malaysia, or the Singapore-KL-BKK route, they are fairly decent and buying tickets in Malaysia is easily done since almost everyone in the large cities (KL especially) speaks English. I remember hearing that it is much cheaper to simply buy a Singapore - KL ticket in Singapore, then purchase the rest of the tickets from KL. As for precautions, if you loose something in Malaysia there is much chance of someone running after you than running away with it. It is a relatively safe country but still exercise the same precaution you would anywhere else.

5. Posted by Nng (Budding Member 19 posts) 7y

Hey 7055

Yes i heard about those things too. However,what i'm more worried about is how i'll get about when i hit Thailand, as i know nuts about the Thai language, though i'm not too worried about malaysia as i do happen to have a relatively decent ability to speak Chinese, which i heard is widespread over there.

Actually, after thinking about it, i'm thinking of adding Chiangmai to my itinerary, however, i'm not too sure if i'm being too ambitious. Oh yes, and can someone please shed light on this "jungle" route?What the difference from the "normal route"?

Cheers,
Nng

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1596 posts) 7y

Quoting Nng

Hey 7055

Yes i heard about those things too. However,what i'm more worried about is how i'll get about when i hit Thailand, as i know nuts about the Thai language, though i'm not too worried about malaysia as i do happen to have a relatively decent ability to speak Chinese, which i heard is widespread over there.

Actually, after thinking about it, i'm thinking of adding Chiangmai to my itinerary, however, i'm not too sure if i'm being too ambitious. Oh yes, and can someone please shed light on this "jungle" route?What the difference from the "normal route"?

Cheers,
Nng

There are enough English speakers for you to get your point across. You can pick up a cheap English to Thai dictionary and look up the word you want and then just point to it, most Thais can read. Even when you come across someone who doesn't understand you they will just ask someone over to help translate. Thailand is easy to travel in.

Chiang Mai is a nice place to visit. You can also use a train. Many tourists like using the overnight sleeper train. That way you also get to save paying for another night in a hotel in Bangkok. For the sleeper car make sure you reserve that a few days ahead of time to guarantee a seat. The national train station is right on a subway stop and easy to get to. The Skytrain connects to the subway.

Oh yeah, there are many Chinese speakers in Thailand too! Thailand is a top destination for tourists from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Good luck.

7. Posted by Nng (Budding Member 19 posts) 7y

Thanks karazyal!

However i'm still wondering much about this jungle route. Can anyone provide some info on it?I've read that it is a very pleasant and picturesque ride, but that's about it.

cheers,
nng

8. Posted by kcsun (Budding Member 15 posts) 7y

Firstly there are two routes from singapore to BKK ( Thailand )

a) Singapore - K.L - Butterworth - BKK - Chiang Mai ( Normal & Faster route )

b) Singapore - Kuantan - Sg Golok - BKK - Chiang Mai ( Travels to East side of Malaysia. Thus thru the jungle route)

If you like the slow and easy route and adventurous type then route b) is an experience.

However if you want to see K.L and Penang then you have to use route a).

KTM counters can speak English so it won't be a problem. But the schedule, you have to check at the counter or it web-site.

As for Thailand trains, most of the counters personnel can speak a bit English but sufficient to buy a Train Ticket. Again Google the Thai train schedule. Having use the Thai Trains it is reasonably safe and clean. But the departure and arrival time can vary. So no connection train. But to check at the ticket counter when you arrive there.

From BKK to CMai, you can have an overnight sleeper which I recommend. Else your butt hurts for the normal train.

Or you can travel by coach which is cheaper and many bus leaves on the hour. However you need to get to the Northern Bus terminal by Taxi or MRT/Skytrain when in BKK. Pls be street-smart when in BKK.

If your priority is a CHEAPER way to travel, then I suggest you use the Coach / bus in Malaysia & Thailand.

Have an Enjoyable trip.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Mar-2009, at 07:41 by kcsun ]

9. Posted by leong1 (Full Member 89 posts) 7y

Did the same trip myself in Nov 2008 and its easy to pick up tickets. Just remember that Penang is butterworth and its an easy walk to the ferry ( thats real cheep ) and if i remember right its free when you go back towards the train station. I would buy the ticket from Penang to the next stop while at the station to avoid alot of messing around.

Also dont be put off by the 3rd class sleepers, they are fan cooled and not A/C but i honestly dont think that matters to much. The only hard train i did in Thailand was towards the Cambodian border, 5 - 6 hours in a chiar with a whole load of school kids using the train to get home. Was a real squeeze.

Just another note, If you using the train to go into Thailand from Malaysia then make sure you keep hold of your train ticket because they stamp your entry stamp onto that and not into your passport.

Have a great time
Leon

10. Posted by Nng (Budding Member 19 posts) 7y

Thanks Leong1. So you're suggesting that i dont book tickets online but only buy when i hit the stations? Then what about the sleeper trains? I heard they go pretty fast. Anyone got suggestions about that?

Oh yes and i've heard many stories about staying in dorms and hostels. Both the good and the bad. So i've no idea what to make out about them. Never stayed in dorms or hostels before. Can anyone give their take on that?

Cheers,
nng