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Overland from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur

  • marianaspag-
    nuolo

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd January, 2010
    Posts: 3

    Hi everyone!

    I am planning a trip from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur overland (train, bus and boat) for about 50 days starting on january 14. Its the first time to do a trip like that and first time in those countries, so I am feeling a bit anxious about the trip and itinerary. If anyone could give me a hand with the planning and how long spend in each place, I would be very happy.

    There goes the itinerary:

    CHINA - 15 days (14~29/JAN)
    Beijing, Shanghai, Zhangjiajie, Guilin, Nanning

    VIETNAM - 10 days (30/Jan ~ 10/Fev)
    Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ninh Binh, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon, Chau Doc

    CAMBODIA - 5 days (11/Fev ~ 14/Fev)
    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap

    THAILAND / LAOS 18 days (16/Fev ~ 04/ Mar)
    Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang, Bangkok, Ko Prabang, Surat Thani

    MALASIA
    1 or 2 days to get to Kuala Lumpur by train from Surat Thani

    My doubts...

    1. Is 50 days ok for all those

    #1 Posted: 3/1/2010 - 17:31

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  • marianaspag-
    nuolo

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd January, 2010
    Posts: 3

    continuing...

    1. Is 50 days ok for all those places or its gonna end up too rush and frustrating?

    2. What is a good spot to take a boat tour on Mekong river on the way? Thinking about the boat crossing the border from Vietnam to Cambodia or the boat from Chiang May (Thai) to Laos. Anyone has done one of these before?

    3. Anything else I should add to the itinerary, like some can't miss place?

    Thank, any info will be appreciated,

    Mariana

    #2 Posted: 3/1/2010 - 17:38

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7059
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hi Mariana,
    VIETNAM - 10 days (30/Jan ~ 10/Fev)
    Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ninh Binh , Hue , Hoi An, Saigon, Chau Doc

    That is going to be a real squeeze. If you can't give Vn more time, then I'd suggest dropping Ninh Binh and perhaps Hue (depending on how long you are spending at Ha Long Bay).

    For The Thai/Lao leg, I assume you're flying in and out of Luang Prabang? If not, you're going to run out of time.

    Think the boat from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh fits the bill for the "Mekong experience"

    Hope that helps

    #3 Posted: 4/1/2010 - 10:37

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6335
    Total reviews: 10

    That seems to me a bit like planning to travel overland from Washington DC to Rio. You can do it, but it's a long way. I hope you like sitting in a bus, train or boat for a long time - because this trip means sitting in those contraptions for long periods of time over and over and over again.

    #4 Posted: 5/1/2010 - 17:24

  • Lother

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Location Earth
    Posts: 214
    Total reviews: 31

    Sounds like the makings of a great trip to me! I'm planning something similar from Beijing, though just to PP or Bangkok, not Kuala Lumpur.

    Anyway, for myself, I would either go through Vietnam and Cambodia to Thailand or through Laos to Thailand (possibly via Cambodia), and leave either Laos or Vietnam out. That way you'll have more time to see things and won't spend the majority of your time in a bus or train, as fun/interesting as that can be too. Of course you could fit all the countries in if you fly, as somtam points out, but doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of going overland?

    #5 Posted: 6/1/2010 - 00:59

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6335
    Total reviews: 10

    "That way you'll have more time to see things and won't spend the majority of your time in a bus or train, as fun/interesting as that can be too."

    Lothar
    You and I definitely have a different view regarding busses. I seldom find them to be anything other than boring or even tortuous.

    #6 Posted: 6/1/2010 - 08:56

  • marianaspag-
    nuolo

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd January, 2010
    Posts: 3

    Hi Everyone!!!

    Thanks a lot for the replies, I am changing the itinerary now... Yeah, Madmac, I will try to avoid seeing the contries just from the buses or trains windows.

    Thinking about flying some destinations in China and Vietnam and going by land between Guilin and Bangkok. It would be like this:

    China 12 days
    Beijing > Shanghai > Guilin (connect by flights)

    Vietnam 15 days
    Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ninh Binh, Hoi An, HCMC, Chau Doc

    Cambodia 8 days
    Phnom Phen, Siem Reap, Stung Treng

    Laos 6 days
    Pakse, Vientiane, Luang Prabang

    Thailand 8 days
    Chiang Mai, Bangkok and some other city

    Fly to Kuala Lumpur...

    What about? Should be less rush!

    Thanks again everybody!

    Mariana

    #7 Posted: 6/1/2010 - 09:47

  • lostagent

    Joined Travelfish
    6th January, 2010
    Posts: 2

    15 days in China! No it is not long enough. 50 days to do the whole trip? You'll be exhausted. Your route in China misses some or most of the main attractions. I lived there for 10 years and I can advise that with no Chinese your life will be slowed down considerably. Also it is FREEZING in Beijing and you are moving into warmer climes. Great wall at 3PM on a Monday and how many tourists will you see in Jan? Vietnam in 10 days? Cambodia in 5? It all sounds like th makings of a totally bananas trip. Forget it or triple the length of the trip or better still look at a map before posting idiotic questions here.

    #8 Posted: 6/1/2010 - 16:18

  • lostagent

    Joined Travelfish
    6th January, 2010
    Posts: 2

    I looked at your changed plans - still bananans. WHy even go to Laos for 6 days. What are you going to do? Nothing ... your whole 6 days will be on a bus. Vientiane to LP is a day trip and Pakse to Vientiane is the most pointless trip on a bus in S-E Asia as you could exit Laos and go up through Thailand in half the time and then reenter laos. Pakse - Vientiane nothing to see except traffic speeding past you in Thailand.

    Cambodia? Stung treng / PP and Ankor in 8 days? I have now decided that your post is a joke and will stop here.

    #9 Posted: 6/1/2010 - 16:23

  • Lother

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Location Earth
    Posts: 214
    Total reviews: 31

    Please ignore the silly hostility above.

    As to your revised itinerary, I can't comment much on the China or Vietnam parts (only been to Southern Vietnam), but 8 days for Phnom Penh and Siem Reap sounds okay, as does another 8 for CM and Bangkok.

    However, I would reconsider going overland all through Laos to Luang Prabang in just 6 days. The trip from the southern end of Laos through Pakse to Vientiane is very long and probably not that interesting if you're not stopping anywhere. If you're set on seeing Luang Prabang, maybe a flight from Siem Reap would be in order? Or you could go overland from Cambodia to Bangkok and then fly to Chiang Mai and cross over to Laos for a week or so from there.

    #10 Posted: 6/1/2010 - 19:37

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  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    if you're going to Beijing, Shanghai and Guilin you will definately NOT need to know any chinese. I visited these places sept 09 on my 30 day jaunt round China. I didn't know any Chinese and was travelling alone. You just have to make sure you do a bit of research. The most important thing is to find out directions to where ever it is you're staying from wherever you arrive from. These are usually available on websites like hostelworld, or alternatively just email the accomodation.

    I think navigating round China used to be a major challenge but, since the Olympics especially, it's been made much easier for non-chinese speakers. Of course, this isn't the case everywhere but certainly where you're going i had no problem. I found everyone very friendly and helpful. The Beijing and Shanghai tube systems are really easy to use. I found getting round Beijing very easy. On the other hand, you should probably be prepared to get lost in China - i know i did - but i was never lost to the extent that i was worried. Just the odd wrong turn or perhaps i was looking for a museum and couldn't find it...in fact, i got lost in a park in Beijing for 45 minutes or so...

    Guilin isn't anything special, despite the fact that all the Chinese i met raved about it. I would personally leave as soon as you arrive and head to Yangshuo. Yangshuo is a really good destination and, although it can be quite busy with tourists, you can easily escape them by renting bikes, going rock climbing etc

    If you want any more info on my fairly recent experiences with Beijing and Guilin let me know and ill post my email address up or post yours and ill drop you a line

    good luck

    #11 Posted: 30/1/2010 - 00:59

  • ShawnAlvin

    Joined Travelfish
    31st May, 2010
    Posts: 4

    Well it seems you plan well,i don't think you need to change this plan.....Thanks for Sharing.
    _______________________________________________

    villa spain
    villas ibiza
    villas malorca

    #12 Posted: 31/5/2010 - 11:59

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