One of my favorite parts of the world is also the easiest to travel. Local transportation is budget friendly and generally pretty simple. Traveling Southeast Asia overland is cheaper than South or even Central America.
MONEY SAVING TIPS TO TRAVEL SOUTHEAST ASIA OVERLAND
- Use the transportation tips from this Shoestring Budget Travel Guide – it shows you exactly how to get from place to place using local buses and trains. Make it easy for yourself. You’ll always know where to go.
- The existence of hostels has been increasing over the years but guesthouses are still more prevalent (and cheaper if you share the room with another person). Use Agoda to book the first night or two when you arrive in a new city then you can either decide to stay or try to find something even cheaper. If you’re traveling solo you can find hostels on Hostelworld.
- Use this Southeast Asia packing guide to learn what you need to bring and what can stay behind.
Depending on which way you’re traveling Southeast Asia overland, most people start their journey in the region in Bangkok or Bali and make their way down or up. The best deals are into travel hubs Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, or Singapore.
You can use this route for a RTW trip or if you’re traveling around Asia for a few months. The minimum time I’d recommend for this route is 3 months. 4-5 months is ideal.
I planned for 3 months on my trip and extended my stay to 5 months once I was already there. You’re money goes such a long way, it’s hard to leave!
Southeast Asia Overland Route
This is a commonly traveled overland route. You can adjust it as needed depending if you’re traveling East or West.
(use local transportation buses/trains to travel)
Thailand: Bangkok – Ayathuya – Sukothai – Chang Mai
Laos: Chang Mai – Vientienne – Vang Vien (Tubing) – Luang Prabang
Vietnam: Luang Prabang – Hanoi – Sapa – Hanoi (Halong Bay) – Hue – Hoi An – Nha Trang – Mui Ne – HCMC / Saigon
Cambodia: HCMC/Saigon – Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
Thailand: Siem Reap – Bangkok – Ko Tao (diving) – Ko Pagnan (Full Moon Party) – Phuket (or Krabi) – Phi Phi Islands – Krabi
Malaysia: Krabi – Kuala Lumpur
Singapore: Kuala Lumpur – Singapore
Fly Singapore – Bali
FOR ESSENTIAL GEAR TO TRAVEL SOUTHEAST ASIA OVERLAND TAKE A LOOK AT THESE IDEAS:
- Budget Travel Essentials
- Products You Need for an Overland Journey
- Travel Backpack
- Backpacking Southeast Asia Packing List
If you have any other suggestions or Southeast Asia overland tips on your blog, please include the link in the comments or feel free to ask any questions. Thanks!