Backpacking from Bangkok to Singapore
The Bangkok-Singapore backpacker route is one of the classics of its kind. You will be faced with a lot of different experiences. Expoloring big and vibrant cities, trekking through tropical jungle, snorkeling with a lot of amazing looking fish and visiting old temple ruins. There is something for everybody!
We traveled the route this spring in only two weeks and had a lot of fun! So here are some tips and our route including distances, price and travel time.
Best Travel Time:
There is no best travel time for this region.
~ May–Oct: rainy season (it's not that bad as it sounds)
~ Nov-Feb: not so hot
~ March-May: really hot
How to get around?
Thailand is very industrialized and there are a lot ways to travel. You will have no difficulties to get to your destinations. There are thousands of traveling companies and even more possibilities.
by tuk-tuk($-$$)/taxi($): Tuk-tuks are fun but the drivers often charge way too much (Always negotiate!). If you take a taxi check if the driver uses a taximeter.
by train ($): I recommend traveling as often as you can by train. There are a lot of trains with air con and sleeping compartments so its is really relaxed (and really cheap). For Train schedules and plans klick here.
by minibus ($-$$): Often the fastest way. But you do not have a lot of comfort and it's not funny to sit in traffic. You can book them at minibus stations.
by airplane ($$-$$$): If you want to get somewhere fast get some airplane tickets. A lot of destinations have an airport (Ko Samui, Chiang Mai...). Check here.
Note: As we only had two weeks we did not visit north thailand (Chiang Mai...).
Bangkok to Ayutthaya:
Want to see some impressive temples and ruins? Take an early train from the Hua Lampong Railway Station to Ayutthaya (71 km).
Cost: 15 baht (£0.30 or $0.50)- 3rd class (No reservation required - just turn up, buy a ticket and hop on.)
Time: <2 hours
Sleep: Grandparent's Home (300 baht - 9$ per person)
Ayutthaya to Kanchanaburi:
Enough temples? Head to Kanchanaburi to hike to amazing waterfalls at erawans national park. You can also do elephant trekking and visit the river qwai bridge. We got there by minibus but I suggest to take the public bus (you have to change bus somewhere...) if you have the time.
Tip: Rent a bike in Kanchanaburi to explore the small village by yourself. There is a extremely traditional and very good restaurant. (Try the fried ruby fish :D )
Cost: 400 Baht - 12$ (minibus) - public bus is cheaper
Time: 2.5 hours (minibus) - 3.5 hours public pus
Sleep: Bluestar guesthouse (350 Baht - 10$ for kingsize bed, two persons)
To get back to Bangkok take a minibus from the bus station in Kanchanaburi (300 Baht - 3-4 hours depending on traffic).
Bangkok to Ko Tao:
Caribic feeling and long sandy beaches. The islands of Thailand are perfect for relaxing, snorkeling and swimming. Ko Tao is known for its charm and less tourists. Also it's the location for the cheapest scuba-diving courses on earth.
How to get there: take a night train to Chumpon then take the ferry to Ko Tao.
Cost: train (10-30$) + ferry (10-15$)
Time: train 8-10 hours (take nigh train!) + 1.5 hours ferry
Sleep: take a taxi (ceap option walk 20 min north on the beach, easy even with a big backpack) to Haad Sairee. There are a lot of nice bungalows direct on the beach.
Ko Tao to Ko Samui:
Thats easy. Just take the ferry to Ko Samui.
Time: 30 min
Koh Samui to Kuala Lumpur:
We took an airplane directly to KL. If you do have more time I would recommend exploring the west coast of thailand before heading to Malaysia.
Time: 2 hours
Sleep: Express Hotel. At this hotel in KL I will absolutely stay again! (30$ - two persons, double bed)
Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara National park:
The Taman Negara is an large area of tropical rainforest. It is the oldest rainforest of the world. There are big caves and a lot of forest to explore. Getting there is a little exhausting and expensive but it's totally worth it.
You can book a lot of tours here: tamannegara.asia
Kuala Lumpur to Singapore:
If you do have the time visit Melakka first! There are a lot of night bus routes between KL and Singapore. One of the good bus companies is Grassland. I was completly exited about the cool completly adjustable seats. You can get the bus schedule here.
Cost: 10-30$ (depending on class)
Time: 4-6 hours . We took a night bus from 12pm to 5:30am. Then we went to see the sunrise at the Marina Bay.
Sleep: Singapore is expensive. We took a room in a hostel for 70$. (Five stone hostel)
So that's it. As you see there are a lot of different ways to get from Bangkok to Singapore. You will experience a lot of different things: dense jungel, amazing skyskrapers, busy cities, caribic like beaches and really good food!
So what are you wating for?