I've been planning a trip around Thailand, but recently discovered http://www.seat61.com/ and was stoked to discover links to the Trans-Siberian route via SE Asia.
First has anyone done this? Second, would some others like to do it in the spring, as I'm going solo, and have been thinking it might be nice to have some at least one or two others, so it wouldn't be me looking out for myself only kind of situation 24/7. I know the west to east route is more popular with westerners, but the opposite direction seems more appealing, especially checking out more of China.
My primary interest, if we can call it that, is taking photos along the way.
#1 raygun has been a member since 25/1/2014. Posts: 4
I travelled from the UK to Cambodia on the train a couple of years ago. Well, technically it was UK to HCMC, then a bus into Cambodia, as the trains aren't quite running here yet for passengers!
I'd really recommend the trip. It's a slow and interesting way of travelling, and you can plan a few stop-offs along the way. We took breaks in Hanoi, Beijing, Ulaan Bator, Irkutsk (and saw Lake Baikal, world's largest freshwater lake), Moscow and Warsaw. Of course, there's many more places to check out. You do need to buy tickets for individual legs of the journey, though - you can't hop off for a few days and then use your previous ticket for onward travel.
Seat61 is awesome for planning and getting the detail. We did discover that you can save up to 30% on the cost of the trip by buying tickets as you go, instead of in advance. However, that depends on your risk comfort level, public holidays at the time you are travelling, visa restrictions etc.
Also found that Westerners/tourists are often booked in the same coaches, so you'll usually find some company. That said, my favourite companion was a Ukrainian man who insisted on making us cups of tea using 6 teabags per cup...