I'm planning on flying from Cairns to Krabi in March next year but for some reason it takes 30 hours and has 2-3 stops, one of which is Bangkok.
Was thinking to save money I might just fly to Bangkok and get the overnight train or bus to Krabi but I've seen this takes about 12 hours.
Just wondering has anyone taken to overnight train or bus before and what it was like?
Is it worth saving the money or is it really that bad?
Bangkok will probably be cheaper than Krabi. Bangkok has good city transportation by buses, overhead rail and subway. Also the meter taxis are priced fairly when you use the meter. (Even Bangkok has summertime type weather!)
So a few days in Bangkok and at least once more the day before you fly home can be beneficial. Sometimes you run into problems with too much time or not enough time between connections. A couple days in Bangkok would allow you to see the city and arrange for your transportation to other cities. When it's time to go home don't go to the airport at the last minute and possibly losing that plane ride home!
March is a long time from now anyway. Check on flights using Air Asia. (Bangkok has 2 airports. So if you fly know what airport you land and at and which airport you fly out of!)
In Bangkok young tourists often stay in the Khao San Road area. However, there are other areas of Bangkok where you can find cheap places to stay. When you use buses and trains overseas keep your valuables near your seat or on your person. If you bag is stored away from your sight make sure your money, passport, jewelry, computer is with you at your seat! (My money and passport are always with me in a pocket with a button or velcro flap too! Make copies of your passport information page and the visa stamp page. Keep those copies in a separate place. )
When you get around to needing hotel help have a price range you can afford. Stay in Thailand for at least 2 weeks to get the best use out of an expensive plane ticket.
I have taken long train rides, even all the way to Singapore. Trains can be noisy, dirty at times and boring. Not much to see late at night. In the daytime you pass by junk yards and the backside of factories, etc. I read all the time to pass the time. Bring a good book for long rides on planes and other transportation.
Be careful on the beach, too much beach sun can dry your skin out and make your face look older than you really are!
When leaving Australia, starting from Cairns is always a bit of a pain. Good thing is you are booking in plenty of advance. Depending how much time you have, Ive found the best option is usually a jetstar or Tiger air flight to Gold Coast, then an Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur. From K/L you can get a cheap $25 flight to Krabi. But even with this it's unlikely that all flights will connect and you will end up with a layover, or even two.
If just getting to Krabi is your goal, then getting in and out of K/L is a lot easier I think than Bangkok, although maybe not as exciting. If you really want an adventure, you can sometimes get cheap flights from Darwin into Bali then hook up with a couple of cheap flights from Bali to K/L then on to Krabi. But just getting to Darwin from Cairns is a killer.
I just checked Air Asia and even as far ahead as march they have really jacked up the prices. I've got flights for as cheap as $150 to K/L before, and now they want over $300! They are doing a special out of Adelaide for $199 to K/L. If you are going budget airline, chances are you are going to have an overnight in Australia on your first leg, and Gold Coast is dead easy as there is a backpackers you can walk to from the airport!
Thanks so much for your advice, I've got a decision to make now
We did a trip around the world for 12 months, and we did a trip from Phuket -> Bangkok.
We basically did a bus from Phuket -> Surat Thani, then a overnight train from Surat Thani -> Bangkok.
1/2 to Surat Thani we stopped in a town an picked up another few people who had been shipped from Krabi.
The only thing that I would say is a problem is that once we got to Surat Thani, the bus drop off was in the city, and the train station is some Kms outside of the city, and you have to take another bus or taxi to the station, and they hadnt told us about that.
They said the bus went direct to the station, but basically once we were there the bus company just refused to talk to us or help, and just told us to go away.
It wasnt so nice, but we got a taxi to the station.
The actual train trip was fine & safe. It was clean, and we just slept all the way as it was night time.
We got all our info from this site, and then booked locally in Phuket, but I'm sure any hotel/hostel in Bangkok will help you, there are 100s of places selling these kind of tickets.
We did 1st class sleepers on that route, but we also did 2nd class ones on other routes and they were fine also.
1st classes sleepers