I'm planning a trip between Bangkok and Singapore; can anyone offer advice regarding places of interest along the journey if I go by train? Is it possible to buy a ticket one way that allows for short term stop overs at different locations along the way?
I don't think you can buy a ticket that goes all the way from Bangkok to Singapore- you have to do it in stages. The train from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore is not expensive, quite comfortable, and scenic. Kuala Lumpur, of course, is a must-see. The city is a nice mix of Indian, Chinese and Malay- with lots of good eats!
I stopped in Melakka when I travelled from KL to Singapore- it's an interesting little city, with lots of history and some old churches and other buildings. I enjoyed it, for its laid-back, forgotten-by-history feel. Not everyone's cup of tea, though.
Thinking of visiting my favorite place, Singapore? If so I'll offer you a few pointers to ensure you get the best out of your stay.
First of all you need to book a hotel.
The shopping plaza's are amazing, don't miss out Lucky Plaza the homeland of Filipino shops, and full of the people themselves on a Sunday. Far East Plaza, great for just about everything. Paradox, this is all the expensive designer gear, but still things worth a look.
Visit Sentosa Island via the cable car, or get a taxi direct.
The Bird Park, Zoo, Botanic Gardens, another must see is a visit to Little India
If you like sport, their are two World class golf courses on Sentosa Island.
For horse racing, one of the best tracks in the World is at Changi.
A taxi into China Town is also worth a visit, as this place is 100% Chinese
What To Eat:
Singapore is well known for it's range of food, and you can buy almost every type of meal on the planet. If you eat in the restaurants or hotels it will cost usually between S$10-S$20 each, eat in the food courts, and you get a filling meal for as little as S$4.
Travelling by train can be a bit dull and tiresome. If you plan to take the long ride, choose the first class coach and bring books or PSP to pass time.
It's always a good idea to go for that short stop-overs for sightseeing, as each train is booked and ticketed separately. You can visit the cultural sites of Hua Hin as well as some of the terrific beaches down south.
I've taken the train from Bangkok to Singapore with a stop in Butterworth. A few places you can stop along the way for a day or two are Hat Yai, Butterworth - Penang and Kuala Lumpur. A possible stop at Hua Hin might be something to consider.
The last time I used a train I skipped Hat Yai because I had been there a couple times before. In Hat Yai you can use the Kings Hotel which you can walk to since it is not far from the train station. Not far from that hotel is a mall, walking around you will find restaurants, Seven Eleven stores also a good travel agency across from that hotel.
I used a van for the ride between Hat Yai and Butterworth because I wanted to use a hotel there. The following morning I used the train to KL and on to Singapore.
Train rides can be a little chilly so have a long sleeve shirt or light jacket to put on. On the Thai portion they served light snacks and beverages for free and passed out thin blankets. The Malaysian train system had a food car with cheap simple rice and chicken meals and other items.
You don't see much out the windows of trains, especially during the night. There was a constant heavy banging for the entire run to Hat Yai. Often you are passing by backyards of homes and factories and even junk yards. Bring a couple books to read and a few snacks.
Been through the journey twice, my favourite stops are
-Surat Thani (if you want to go Koh Samui or Krabi)
-KL(well, I live here)