Since the road to Nepal from Tibet has not been repaired after the earthquake in 2015, I have been forced to switch from plan A to plan B which is from Malaysia to South Korea overland. The journey took nearly a month for me to reach Seoul by crossing Thailand, Laos and China. When the road becomes longer, the story becomes longer too. So, I will divide it into few parts and only mode of transportation to be discussed.
Seremban to Kuala Lumpur by Komuter train
My journey to South Korea started from Seremban to Kuala Lumpur by Komuter train on 18th March 2017 around 7am. (RM8.70/45min). I was feeling quite under the weather as I fell sick three days prior to the journey. Since my mind was strongly ‘seduced and hijacked’ by my travel itinerary, I had no issue in convincing my body to work harder even at hard times. The good news was, I was in the recovery phase. Surprisingly, two of my friends, Faiz Mongol and Zaza NGanu were travelling with me up to Bangkok.
Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar
Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar, Perlis (border town) via ETS train is one of the fastest option available to travel overland (RM100/6hours). This was the reason why the train service from Butterworth to Bangkok was discontinued in 2016. Before 2016, it was very convenient to purchase the ticket to Bangkok from any KTMB stations in Malaysia. Now it has been discontinued. The ticket only can be purchased from Padang Besar Thai Railway Station or from Hatyai. My special thanks to Vishnu Dev from Hatyai who helped me to purchase the ticket in advance. The convenient way to reach Hatyai fast is, after you cross the Thai immigration and custom, there is a Van service (RM5/1hour). After staying a day in Hatyai, we traveled to Bangkok by train 945BAHT/18hours/lower berth/AC. Since I’ve traveled on this route six times before this, I was indulging myself only by eating and sleeping and nothing else.
Farewell to Faiz Mongol and Zaza nganu
After saying farewell to Faiz Mongol and Zaza nganu,(they were travelling to Aranyaprathet, border town near Cambodia) I continued my Solo travelling to Chiang Mai from Bangkok via train (541BAHT/16hours/lower berth/no AC). This journey was very memorable and it will hold a better place in my heart. The train that I traveled in broke down in the middle of the journey after a few hours I departed from Bangkok. It was the first time for me to witness and experience such an uncommon situation where few hundred passengers was stranded on rail road. This was a very irritating moment for the locals. But for me, It was an excellent opportunity to mingle with locals and other travelers. It took approximately 3 hours to rectify.
Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai
After few days in Chiang Mai, my journey continued to Houay Xai, a border town in Laos. In order to cross the border early, I had to move early. I took the 8.15am bus (Green Bus) from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai (258BAHT/3hours). There was cheaper class available for 169BAHT but unfortunately, it was fully booked. Complementary mineral water and some snacks pacified me well. After a quick lunch in Chiang Rai, the journey continued by bus to Chiang Kong which is the border town in Thailand. 65BAHT/2hours.
HI…..thank you so much for the time you spent at my site. My name is Suresh Narayanan. 44 years, solo traveler from Malaysia. I am very passionate on solo travelling, especially overland travelling by train, bus and boat. So far I have traveled Transsiberian Train Journey covering from Guangzhou, China to St Petersberg, Russia. In 2016, I crossed on Silk Road from Xian, China to Istanbul, Turkey covering China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan and Turkey. I also covered a rare route from Seremban, Malaysia to Seoul Korea overland crossing, Thailand, Laos, China and South Korea.
Most of my blogs speak more about incidents occurred during the journey. Hope you will enjoy reading, and again thank you so much.