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All the finer details

Where I went, how I got there and what I took with me

 

 

When I wasn’t exploring new towns, trekking or doing any of the countless activities over the past few months, I’d usually pick up my phone or tablet in the dead of night and write about my observations. Typing feverishly about the adventures wasn’t just a way of telling friends, family and colleagues that I was still alive and well, but a chance for me to document my memories and hopefully convince others to pick up a backpack too.

Below you’ll find all the particulars of my trip, including links to each of the corresponding blog posts.  You can also play around with the map above which may help visualise the journey. Please feel free contact me if you wish to know more, I’m more than happy to share anything I’ve missed.

Trip summary

  • Trip Length: 125 days (24th July 2016 – 2nd December 2016)
  • Total distance: Appx. 19 600 KM
  • Number of countries: 13
  • Time zone changes: 11
  • Number of intermediate destinations: 34

Route summary

  • Tally of transport used:
    • Train: 18 (1 spur)
    • Coach: 18 (4 spur)
    • Minivan: 8 (3 spur)
    • Ferry: 3 (2 spur)
    • Fishing boat: 2 (2 spur)
    • Speed boat: 2
    • Motorbike: 1
  • Nights on trains: 15 (1 spur)
  • Nights on buses: 3 (1 spur)
  • Longest journey: Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow – Irkutsk, Russia ; 92 hours; 5192 KM
  • Most economical journey: Thailand, Aranyaprathet to Bangkok for $1 covering 248 km = appx £0.003 per KM
  • Least economical journey: St. Pancras, London to Gare du Nord, Paris for £120 covering 344km = appx £0.35 per KM (x116 times more expensive)
  • Total combined time in transit only: 403 hours (appx. 17 days)

Full list of blog posts & destinations

Country

Blog Post

Place

Nights

Accommodation

(Europe)

Gauging the Paris to Moscow Express

N/A (Transit)

2

Paris-Moscow Express

Russia

Privet from Moscow

Moscow

3

Sputnik Hostel & Personal Space

All aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway

N/A (Transit)

4

Trans-Siberian Railway

Sailing Baikal

Irkutsk

1

Rolling Stones Hostel

Listvyanka

1

Baykalskiy Uyut

Irkutsk

1

Ushanka Hostel

Mongolia

A Nomad in Mongolia

N/A (Transit)

1

Trans-Mongolian Railway

Ulaan Baatar

1

Sunpath Hostel

Kharkorin

1

Sunpath tours (Ger camp, city outskirts)

Arkhangai

1

Sunpath tours (Ger camp, hot springs)

Bulgan

1

Sunpath tours (Ger with nomadic family)

Ulaan Baatar

4

Sunpath Hostel

China

Great tales from China

N/A (Transit)

1

Trans-Mongolian Railway

Beijing

4

Leo Hostel

Sprawling Shanghai

Shanghai

4

Le Tour Travellers Rest Youth Hostel

Zhangjiajie

N/A (Transit)

1

Shanghai-Zhangjiajie railway

Wulingyuan

3

Wulingyuan Zhongtian International Youth Hostel

Chinese Whispers

N/A (Transit)

1

Zhangjiajie – Guillin railway

Guilin

3

Wada Hostel

Yangshou

1

Wada Hostel

Guilin

1

Wada Hostel

Vietnam

Good morning Vietnam

N/A (Transit)

1

Nanning-Hanoi railway

Hanoi

3

Vietnam Backpackers Hostel

Ha Long Bay

Cat Ba Island

2

Cat Ba Guesthouse

Tunnel Vision

Ninh Binh

3

Nguyen Shack

N/A (Transit)

1

Reunification Express railway

Hue

2

Vietnam Backpackers Hostel

On the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Hoi An

3

Under the Coconut Tree

N/A (Transit)

1

Reunification Express railway

Da lat

3

Da Lat Friendly Fun

N/A (Transit)

1

Da lat – HCMC overnight bus

Ho Chi Minh City

4

Nguyen Shack

The Mekong Delta

Can Tho

3

Nguyen Shack

Ho Chi Minh City

1

Nguyen Shack

Cambodia

Khmer Curiosities

Phnom Penh

2

Sla Boutique Hostel

Kampot

4

Ganesha Kampot Eco Guesthouse

Koh Rong Island

3

Loney Beach

Temple Run

Phnom Penh

1

Sla Boutique Hostel

Siem Reap

6

The Siem Reap Hostel

Thailand

A very sombre Bangkok

Bangkok

4

Bed Station Hostel

N/A (Transit)

1

Bangkok – Chiang Mai Railway

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

5

Gren Tiger Vegetarian House

Leeches and Beaches

N/A (Transit)

1

Chiang Mai – Bangkok overnight bus

N/A (Transit)

1

Bangkok – Surat Thani Railway

Koh Phangan

4

Shiralea Backpackers resort

Khao Sok

2

Khao Sok Cabana resort

Koh Lanta

5

SabaiDee Lanta Hostel,

Malaysia

Colonial Charms

Penang

2

Couchsurfing

3

Magpie Residence

High Tea

Cameron Highlands

3

Park Inn Express

Taman Negara

2

Balai Serama

The final frontier

Kuala Lumpur

5

Back Home Hostel

Malacca

3

Ringos Foyer Guesthouse

Singapore

At Journey’s End

Singapore

4

The Bohemian Chic Hostel

Changi

1

Terminal 2 departures

Full route

All the trains, buses and other transportation I used.

Note: S = Spur

No.

Start

End

Mode

Operator

Class

Length (hrs)

Nights

Cost

1

Milton Keynes Central Station

London Euston

Train

Virgin Trains

2 – Economy

0.5

£9

2

St. Pancras International

Paris Gare du Nord

Train

Eurostar

1 – Business

2.5 (Late by 0.5)

£120

3

Paris Gare de L’Est

Moscow Belorusskaya

Train

Russian Railways

2 – Soft sleeper berth

37

2

EUR 201

4

Moscow Yaroslavsky

Irkutsk

Train

Russian Railways

3 – Plazkart

92

4

£110

5

Irkutsk

Ulaan Baatar

Train

Chinese Railways

2 – Soft sleeper berth

23

1

£110

6

Ulaan Baatar

Beijing

Train

Chinese Railways

3 – Soft sleeper berth

28

1

£176

7

Beijing

Shanghai

Train

Chinese Railways

2 – Economy

5

553 Yuan

8

Shanghai

Zhangjiajie

Train

Chinese Railways

4 – Hard seat

19

1

190 Yuan

9

Zhangjiajie

Liuzhou

Train

Chinese Railways

3 – Hard sleeper berth

12

1

179 Yuan

10

Liuzhou

Guilin

Train

Chinese Railways

2 – Economy

1

0

46 Yuan

11

Guilin

Nanning

Train

Chinese Railways

5 – Standing

3

0

TBC

12

Nanning

Hanoi

Train

Chinese Railways

2 – Soft sleeper berth

12

1

248 Yuan

13

Hanoi

Cat Ba Island

Coach, Speedboat

Hoang Long

2 – Economy

4.5

0

250k Dong

14

Cat Ba Island

Ninh Binh

Coach

TBC

2 – Economy

7

0

250k Dong

15

Ninh Binh

Hue

Train

Reunification Express

2 – Soft sleeper berth

8

1

$43

16

Hue

Hoi An

Motorbike

N/A

N/A

8

0

$40

17

Da Nang

Nha Trang

Train

Reunification Express

4 – Hard seat

7

1

TBC

18

Nha Trang

Da Lat

Coach

TBC

2 – Economy

4

0

TBC

19

Da Lat

Ho Chi Minh City

Night Coach

Futa Bus Lines

2 – Economy

6

1

210k Dong

20S

Ho Chi Minh City

Can Tho

Coach

Futa Bus Lines

2 – Economy

4

0

100k Dong

21S

Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City

Coach

Futa Bus Lines

2 – Economy

4

0

100k Dong

22

Ho Chi Minh City

Phnom Penh

Coach

Giant Ibis

2 – Economy

6.5

0

US$ 19

23S

Phnom Penh

Kampot

Coach

Giant Ibis

2 – Economy

2.5

0

US$ 11

24S

Kampot

Sihanouksville

Minivan

Giant Ibis

N/A

2.5

0

US$ 8

25S

Sihanouksville

Koh Rong Island

Fishing boat

Lonely Beach resort

N/A

4

0

US$ 10

25S

Koh Rong Island

Sihanouksville

Fishing boat

Lonely Beach resort

N/A

4

0

US$ 10

26S

Sihanouksville

Phnom Penh

Coach

Giant Ibis

2 – Economy

4.5

0

US$ 12

27

Phnom Penh

Siem Reap

Night Coach

Giant Ibis

2 – Economy

5

0(1)*

US$ 16

28

Siem Reap

Poi Pet (Thai border)

Coach

TBC

2 – Economy

2.5

0

US$ 8

29

Aranyaprathet

Bangkok

Train

Thailand Railways

3 – Economy

6

0

US$ 1

30S

Bangkok

Chiang Mai

Train

Thailand Railways

2 – Soft sleeper berth

14

1

821 baht

31S

Chiang Mai

Bangkok

Night Coach

Nakhonchai Air

1 – Reclining seat

9

1

721 baht

32

Bangkok

Surat Thani

Train

Thailand Railways

2 – Soft sleeper berth

9.5

1

768 baht

33S

Surat Thani

Donsak Port

Coach

TBC

2 – Economy

1

0

0 baht

34S

Donsak Port

Koh Phangan

Ferry

Seatran Discovery

N/A

2.5

0

400 baht

35

Koh Phangan

Khao Sok

Coach, Minivan

Private operator

2 – Economy

4

0

700 baht

36

Khao Sok

Krabi

Minivan

Private operator

N/A

2.5

0

37S

Krabi

Koh Lanta

Minivan

Private operator

N/A

2.5

0

700 baht

38S

Koh Lanta

Krabi

Minivan

Private operator

N/A

2.5

0

0

39

Krabi

Hat Yai

Coach

TBC

2 – Economy

6

0

600 baht

40

Hat Yai

Padang Besar

Minivan

Private operator

N/A

1

0

40 baht

41

Padang Besar

Butterworth

Train

KTM ETS

2 – Economy

1.5

0

RM 13

42

Butterworth

George Town

Ferry

Penang Ferry

N/A

0.5

0

RM 1.2

43

Penang

Cameron Highlands

Coach

Perak Transit Express

2 – Economy

3

0

RM 35

44

Cameron Highlands

Sungai Pahang

Minivan

Eco Cameron Tours

N/A

2

0

RM 65

45

Sungai Pahang

Kuala Tahan

Speedboat

Eco Cameron Tours

N/A

3

0

0

46

Kuala Tahan

Kuala Lumpur

Minivan

HAN Resorts

N/A

5.5

0

RM 85

47

Kuala Lumpur

Malacca

Coach

Metrobus

2 – Economy

2

0

RM 10

48

Malacca

Singapore Woodlands

Coach

Delima

2 – Economy

3.5

0

RM 25

Packing list

Documents

Item

Link

Note

Passport with enough spare pages

5x Copies of passport

Travel insurance document

10x passport sized photos

Copies of all Visas

Copies of all train tickets

Medical history document

2x Bills

Wallet

Spare wallet

Not used

Spare $150 USD

Vegan passport

Pen/Notepad

Storage

Item

Link

Note

Backpack with detachable daypack – Osprey Farpoint 55

Backpack wire lock

2x Padlock

4x Packing cubes

Clothing

Item

Link

Note

Buff for sun protection

2x Craghoppers Long sleeve  t-shirts – insect repellent

Craghoppers insect repellent hoodie

3x Craghoppers long sleeve  Shirts – insect repellent

 1 lost in Malacca

6x Underwear

6x SmartWool socks

2x Craghoppers convertible shorts/trousers – – insect repellent

Pyjama bottoms

T-shirt

Fleece

Cap

Swimming trunks & goggles

Micro fibre towel

Water resistant trekking sandals

Flip flops

Sketchers walking shoes

Poncho

2x Waterproof bags for laundry

Here

Sanitary

Item

Link

Note

Mosquio repellent – high Deet

Here

USB shaver

USB toothbrush

Broken – avoid

LifeStraw Filtered water bottle

Lost in Cameron Highlands

Mug

Bowl with fork/spoon

Spare glasses

Not used

Hand sanitiser

Toiletary bag

2x factor 30 suncream

Tissues

Nail clipper

Deodorant

Wet wipes

Braces retainer

Lost on fishing boat from Koh Rong island

4x All-in-one cleaning soap/laundry detergent

Blindfold

Not used

Comb

Not used

Toothpaste x2

Spare toothbrush head

Not used

Earplugs

Not used

Medicine

Item

Link

Note

Paracetamol

Doxycycline malaria tablets

Not used

Plasters

Anti-septic wipes

Not used

First aid kit

Not used

Scissors

Not used

Swiss army knife

Not used

Electronics

Item

Link

Note

Phone

iPad

2x Lightning cables

Both broken

Sony A6000 Mirorrless Camera with 19mm Sigma lens

Additional 35mm prime Sigma lens

2x high capacity USB battery packs

World travel adapter

 Lost in Hanoi

Spare phone

Not used

SIM removal tool

Not used

iPad keyboard

Broken, replaced

Earphones

2x Micro USB cables

Both broken

Spare earphones

Tripod

 

About the Author

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