I'm planning a trip to Singapore and want to do an open jaws/ overland trip to Vietnam via train & bus- fly out of Saigon or HCMC. Time budget is 3-4 weeks. Would like to get suggested routes & must sees along the way. More into country, village & city culture than tourist draws & museums.
Hi JR. I can't speak for the rest of your itinerary but the journey from Singapore to Bangkok is well worth doing.
Sylvia and I travelled 2nd class (the additional for 1st is not worth it and 3rd is not comfortable). We stopped off along the way at towns of interest - pick the ones that interest you where the train stops. It was one of the best train trips we have done - and we have done many around the world.
We started in Johor Bahru on the Malaysia side of the Singapore border as we find Singapore a bit like a western chinatown. Johor is much more interesting. You can start your journey from either place as it is the same train.
There are various hotel chains in Malaysia which offer packages. We got a "stay 10 days and pay for 5" which was great for us. The package was chain-wide, not for a single hotel, so we were able to move whenever we wanted but the discount was still valid as long as we stayed in a hotel in the chain. They were cheap but comfortable and included either an evening meal or breakfast.
If you haven't already discovered it, check out the Seat61 website. It is the ultimate train travel website. We use it all the time on our travels. There is a link in the "Essential Over Land and Sea Websites" forum.
My other suggestion is to do a search within TravelBlog (top of the page on the right-hand side) on "singapore vietnam train" or some similar combination and you will find other blogs and forum entries from people who have done a similar trip.
Keep us informed of how you get on.
[Edited: 2013 Jul 24 01:12 - John and Sylvia:18619 - Deleted URL for Seat 61!]
Thanks for input - yes I have found routes on the "Seat 61" site (amazing resource!)
And it's possible that overland from Singapore to Vietnam is a bit more than I want to do - I think I've reached the age in my life that I don't want the rigor of picking up & traveling 200 - 300 miles per day 😊
You'd have to take a bus from Bangkok to Vietnam as there are no proper working railways through Cambodia and/or Laos, but it's very easy to do. All the hostels and hotels sell tickets on the tourist buses from Thailand into Cambodia and then through Cambodia into Vietnam.
You could do the journey in 3-4 weeks, or you might want to concentrate on a small part of it because you would be either travelling very long distances in a day and/or moving on every day or so. There are so many interesting places to visit and spend time in the area and it's nice to spend some time there so you can appreciate it.
By the way, HCMC and Saigon are the same city!
Thanks for all tips! Oops yes, I meant Hanoi. My better sense tells me Singapore to Bangkok is far enough - but my sense of wanderlust presses the limit (all the way to Vietnam or maybe even Hong Kong!)
I'm studying all possibilities now; Singapore to Bangkok, or kick it in gear to HCMC. I intend to travel light (backpack less than 20 lbs).
I picked up a Brompton folding bike on my last trip (in England)... -and am weighing the pros and cons of taking it. In Europe it was a dream having it in places like Dublin, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, but in some small villages it was actually in the way as it was next to impossible to ride on old cobblestone streets (beater bikes are common in those areas). As in Europe I don't intend to do long distance travel on it, but rather a means of transportation after I have arrived in an area by bus or train.
Any thoughts about taking a folder on busses & trains in SE Asia? BTW, the bike is quite compact but weighs approx. 26lbs (ugh!)
[Edited: 2013 Aug 27 07:51 - jrfromafar:8685 ]
[Edited: 2013 Aug 27 07:55 - jrfromafar:8685 ]
Best way flight from Singapore to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. When you arrived in these destination you can chose: Bus or train for saving.
Taking your advice - just ticketed into Bangkok - arriving Feb 17. Hoping to avoid touristy sites - find some quaint villages, see some flora & fauna.
In response to: Msg #173221
So your plan is Bangkok overland to Singapore?
I dearly wanted to go to Vietnam - but airfare to or from was too much. As it was I feel I snagged a decent flight from LAX to BKK & out of SIN ($1,024) My oldest son is working in Singapore - so am ending the trip meeting up with him.
Buses operating between the 2 countries provide you with all comfort facilities. It will save you money and time.
[Edited: 2014 May 29 21:41 - John and Sylvia:18619 - No commercial URLs in the forums, please.]
Nice discussion I also want to go Veitnam for trip.
You can visit Merlion photostop, Raffles Landing, Suntec city, Fountain of wealth, Orchard Road, Little India and Chinatown. These are well known places to explore Singapore.