hi everyone, i have a decision to make. the Trans Siberian including a longer stay in Mongolia and stops in a couple places along the way or Hong Kong, Bangkok to Singapore by train stopping in a couple places along the way.
Both sound like interesting trips. Things to consider in your decision may be
money: the Trans Siberian will probably be more expensive especially the visas;
time: train travel in SE Asia can be quite slow so it takes a long time to do small distances. Also, how many places do you want to visit during your trip;
ease of transportation: How well do the rail links from Hong Kong to Singapore link up? Like, what about Laos and Cambodia where the rail service is virtually non-existent? Or are you going to fly from Hk to Bangkok?
Hope this helps...
Kate/Ryan: there is a train connecting HK to China but from China down to either Laos or Vietnam or Cambodia there is not train. But from Laos, you can cross the border quickly to Thailand and take the Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore rail down... =)
there is a train from Beijing to Hanoi in Vietnam
More info about #4. You will change the train at the border as China and Vietnam use different width of rails. In Vietnam, you can travel by train from Dong Dang to Sai Gon (aka Ho Chi Minh city). However, the fastest train runs from Hanoi to Sai Gon and it takes 29 hours. The best view on this route is of the Hai Van pass in central Vietnam when the train goes along the mountains and next to it is the sea.
I have just done the Ruski Huski Vodka train tour (Moscow to Beijing) in February and I have been through China to Hong Kong and now I'm in Thailand on my way to Singapore.
I would say wait till next winter to do the trans sib as it is truly amazing (particularly Mongolia and Lake Baikal) during winter but only go as part of a tour otherwise it would be very long and boring as a solo traveller. It is a once in a life time experience and I really now want to go back to Mongolia - it blew me away and totally suprised me!
I didn't do the train bit as you want to for your other option because it all got a bit complicated for me but rest assured Hong Kong is amazing but Bangkok is really just a place that you go to, to get to other more interesting places in Thailand so don't make it a main stop over place - couple of days will do! Remember in this part of the world, things are cheaper but there are also lots of nasty tropical diseases that you will have to get vaccines for and take Malaria tablets - and right now - it is BOILING hot!