Edinburgh to Singapore

Building on my Shanghai experience, I travelled once again through Siberia and Mongolia on the Chinese 004 service, then headed south to Singapore. The 18440 km journey took me through China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

This journey was much longer and more complex than the previous one. Beyond China booking and organising trains in advance proved challenging. There is currently no operational railway in Cambodia, so I spent several days on busses connecting the Vietnamese and Thai rail heads.

Leg 1

UK – Holland

From Newcastle to Amsterdam

DFDS ferry

Commodore class

401 km, 17 hours

Leg 2

Holland – Germany – Poland

From Amsterdam to Warsaw

EN447 “Jan Kiepura”

1st class sleeper

1094 km, 16 hours

Leg 3

Poland – Belarus – Russia

Warsaw – Moscow

D10 “Polonez”

1st class sleeper

1502 km, 20 hours

Leg 4

Russia – Mongolia – China

From Moscow to Beijing (Trans-Mongolian route)

Train 004

1st class sleeper

10823 km, 6 days

Leg 5

China – Vietnam

Beijing – Hanoi

T5 train

2nd class soft sleeper

2995 km, 3 days

Leg 6


From Hanoi to Da Nang

SE1 train

2nd class sleeper

763 km, 15 hours

Leg 7


From Da Nang to Saigon

SE3 train

2nd class sleeper

961 km, 15 hours

Leg 8

Vietnam – Cambodia

From Saigon to Phenom Pehn

Mekong Express bus

240 km, 7 hours

Leg 9


Phenom Pehn – Siem Reap

Mekong Express Bus

314 km, 6 hours

Leg 10

Cambodia – Thailand

From Siem Reap to Bangkok

Taxi/foot to Poipet, then train aka “Cambodian Express”

3rd class seat

407 km, 11 hours

Leg 11

Thailand – Malaysia

From Bangkok to Butterworth

Train 35 “International Express”

2nd class sleeper

926 km, 23 hours

Leg 12

Malaysia – Singapore

From Butterworth to Singapore

Train 1 “Rakyat Express”

1st class seat

1058 km, 14 hours

18440km, with stop offs, 45 days door to door.

The journey was hugely satisfying, and allowed me to adopt a slower pace and more adventures along the way.

From my travel journal

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