Are you a travel enthusiast and thrifty spender at the same time? Then, might as well consider creating a once in a lifetime trip by train. Unfold the beauty of Asia through an exciting train ride that features 6 beautiful Asian countries—Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China.
Sounds impossible? Well, it can be achieved with proper planning and careful budgeting. Before you start thinking of the impossible, we give you some important tips and tricks to complete this epic land journey.
Planning your Routes
Forego travelling by plane and try a more exciting land trip. To start, you need to plan your routes ahead of time. Visiting 6 Asian countries by train is viable, but you should begin with a plan. There are internet platforms that provide reliable train routes such as Seat61 and Transitions Abroad.
Singapore as Starting Point
Before you head on to the ultimate train ride, visit some of Singapore’s renowned attractions like Helix Bridge, Singapore Flyer, Universal Studios Singapore, Botanic Gardens and Sentosa. Singapore is an expensive country, so you must be careful with your expenses. Stick to your budget plan, always. Once you relish all the amazing attractions of the country, you can now begin with the land journey.
Since you are in Singapore, you should go to Johor Bahru Sentral or commonly known as JB Sentral. Before, all trains going to Kuala Lumpur used to board in downtown Singapore. However on June 2011, the station was transferred to JBS as a result of the successful custody of the station by the Malaysian government. There are different ways to transfer to JB Sentral, but the most convenient way is to ride a direct taxi for SGD 55. You can also ride a shuttle train or bus going to Woodlands, then to JB Sentral. Then from JB Sentral, take the train going to Gemas, which will switch to a fast ETS train for your trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Malaysia and its Marvel
After a 2 to 3 hours ride from Gemas, you will now be greeted with the beauty of Kuala Lumpur. In Kuala Lumpur, don’t forget to roam around the country and experience the marvel of the capital through the Petronas Towers, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Aquaria KLCC, Batu Caves, Merdeka Square and many more. After the exciting tourist spots in the place, you’re off to ride a train going to Thailand. Take a KTM train which offers daily train rides from Kuala Lumpur to Thailand. The trip will take almost a one full day, so you better bring some overnight essentials. Technically, discovering Thailand by train is much safer and better than buses and taxis.
Upon your arrival in Thailand, don’t miss to do these things: visit the Grand Palace, explore the streets of Chiang Rai, witness the Wat Phra Kaew, feed the elephants at Elephant Nature Park and many more. Travelling to Thailand also means relishing their tasty cuisines. From Thailand, you can now ride a train going to Vientiane, Laos, which will take around 10- 12 hours.
Laze at Laos
Laos is more of a laid-back country. Most of their attractions include pagodas, temples and monuments, which are all significant with the country’s culture. Notable attractions you should not miss are the Pha That Luang, Sisaket Temple, Patuxay Monument, Wat Phu, Wat Xieng Thong and Mont Phousi. After a tranquil sightseeing, you can now continue trip to Vietnam.
Venture out Vietnam
Vietnam is a country loaded with natural wonder, historical ruins and contemporary structures. The spectacular Halong Bay, the significant tunnels of Củ Chi, the historical Ho Chi Minh City and the lush Cát Bà National Park are truly unbeatable sights. Savor some of the tasty Vietnamese cuisines like Pho, Cha Ca, Banh Mi Thit, Bo Kho, Nem Nuong Xa and Goi Cuon.
Complete your wandering appetite for train adventures in China. China provides some of the most scenic railways in Asia. Some of the routes in the country that is worth every single penny are Chengdu to Kunming, Hefei to Fuzhou, Dali to Lijiang, Beijing to Shanghai and Xi’an to Urumqi. These routes are specifically different from each other, yet they provide same breathtaking views of the landscapes of China.
To fully enjoy your land journey, it’s better to book in advance, at least a day or two to avoid hassle. And technically, there’s no such thing a direct trip from Singapore to China. You need to buy separate tickets for each country you visit. This will also give you flexibility to your trip. However, you must choose the right ticket taking into account your preferences because there are a lot of train variations, from sleeping berths to amenities. You can also extend your train journey from China to Mongolia, then to Russia.