Southeast Asia forum

Travelling Help. Bus or Fly?

  • sp00ks

    Joined Travelfish
    4th August, 2014
    Posts: 4

    Hi there,

    I am planning on staying in Phuket for about two months and then afterwards I plan on hitting the other Southeast Asia countries (Loas, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia). However, I am not sure what is the best way to get to these places. Should I be booking a flight and fly or take overnight buses? I'm not so time constraint so I can stay on a bus for a day if needed.

    #1 Posted: 16/8/2014 - 15:33

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  • magicFly

    Joined Travelfish
    13th July, 2014
    Posts: 60
    Places visited:
    At least 62


    if time isn't you constraint I would go with the bus. I think its more of an experiene than hoping on and off the plane. Normaly its also cheaper. Bus connections to and from those countrys are good and a lot of them are available.

    If you have any question about a certain connection just drop us a line :)

    #2 Posted: 17/8/2014 - 04:28

  • nikitushu

    Joined Travelfish
    29th September, 2014
    Posts: 3

    If you go to UAE you can rent a car in Dubai for example. I think it's more comfortable than autobus but autobus quite cheaper.

    #3 Posted: 29/9/2014 - 12:23

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2578
    Total reviews: 47
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    At least 98

    Yes, when travelling in Southeast Asia, I often stop off in Dubai to rent a car first. It just solves so many logistics issues!

    I realize this is an older post, but for anyone reading it, I'd recommend booking at least a few flights to cover the long-haul distances between countries. In Sp00ks example above, I would at least fly from Phuket to Bangkok for the onward trip to Cambodia and would consider booking flights to Luang Prabang or Vientiane for Laos. I could see working my way down the peninsula overland for Malaysia, but would think about a flight to KL as well. Definitely fly to Indonesia (Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bali, Lombok, for example).

    Distances are greater than you think and long bus rides can be an adventure every now and then, but particularly on extended trips I'd only do bus rides longer than six hours if absolutely necessary. Spending your holiday packed into a bus isn't much fun. I hope that helps. Cheers.

    #4 Posted: 29/9/2014 - 14:47

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 1065
    Total reviews: 2

    You just can't generalize about all of SE Asia. Buses in Malaysia are considerably nicer than those in Laos or Vietnam. You just can't beat sale fares on Air Asia if you can find a route that fits in with your plans (not easy).

    The poorer Indochinese countries have poor roads and dangerous conditions, so I would opt to fly as much as possible. Overnight, open-tour buses in Vietnam have a very poor reputation for both safety and comfort. Please look at each country separately.

    #5 Posted: 2/10/2014 - 11:50

  • stockbrokers

    Joined Travelfish
    30th September, 2014
    Posts: 7

    it depends on your time frame and route.

    From Phuket you can get chear Air Asia Low Cost Airline to Bangkok, from Bangkok you can go over land to Cambodia then Vietnam.. Take train in Vietnam.. I dont suggest you take bus in Laos..

    #6 Posted: 2/10/2014 - 12:02

  • annakute

    Joined Travelfish
    4th October, 2014
    Posts: 9

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    It should be flight or train in Vietnam (because buses are not really safe). Especially, from Danang airport to Hoi An, there is no bus. However, the distance is just 25 kilometers, so private car is the best (cost about 15$, cheaper than taxi).

    #7 Posted: 6/10/2014 - 21:13


    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6953
    Total reviews: 10

    "if time isn't you constraint I would go with the bus. I think its more of an experiene than hoping on and off the plane."

    It's more of an experience alright. A bad experience. Buses suck. Good buses suck a little, bad buses suck a lot. There is just no way spending hours cooped up on anything is a good time.

    #8 Posted: 7/10/2014 - 00:35

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