Overland from Singapore to Phuket

Old Oct 12th, 2003, 05:01 PM
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Overland from Singapore to Phuket

Hi!

Husband, 2 kids and I are contemplating travelling from Singapore, thru Malaysia to Penang, Langkawi, Krabi, Phi Phi to Phuket over land/water. Having never done the "backpacking" thing - how easy is it to arrange all the trains/buses/ferries on the spot. We'll be going next June in the low season. How long would we need to allow realistically as we only have 3-4 weeks vacation time.

Any comments, tips etc would be appreciated.

Cheers,

nzers
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 04:51 PM
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I think four weeks would be good... you will spend probably mostly three to four hour stretches en route (and I'm assuming you WILL stop in Melaka, which you must, and at least an overnight in KL, which could be skipped, but it'll break up the driving). You'd be looking at an average of three or four days in each place, with some tweaking to get you staying longer in the places you want the most time for... that's my kind of travel. I don't like staying in one place for too long. Of course with little kids it might be different, but your kids may be teens; you didn't say.

I honestly have never taken public transit in Malaysia (we live here and have a car), but the busses are supposed to be very efficient and comfortable (just bring a light sweater because I've also heard they turn the air/con on really cold!).

You do seem to have a lot of beach destinations on your list, which seems redundant, but that might be what you're looking for...?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2003, 04:06 AM
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Let me give you some constructive suggestions here:

Singapore & Malaysia - very easy to get around, if you speak English. Thailand's little more difficult in terms of asking for direction etc., but if you're going to places like Phi Phi or Phuket you shouldn't have any problem.

1. The public transport systems in this small island are efficient and very clean. It's a very modern city but very safe, clean and you can expect the buses to arrive on time. My favourite attractions are the Day Zoo and the Night Safari Zoo (2nd best in the world after San Diego). We were amazed that we didn't get a single mossy bite for the whole Night Safari Zoo trip. Both zoos will probably take you one full day. I'll also recommend the Jurong Bird Park, Haw Par Villa, Chinatown, Little India, Boat Quay & Clark Quay. Orchard Road's mainly for shopping and 4-5 star hotels. The hawker food's pretty good and generally cleaner than those in Malaysia (but not necessarily tastier).(4 days/3 nights)

From Singapore (i think it's at Newton Hotel) you can take an air-cond express coach to KL (stops outside of the Main Train Station) for under S$30/adult or the executive coach for about S$50/adult. It takes bt 4-4.5 hours depending on traffics.

Trains (Sing-KL) are cheaper but can be couple of hours slower sometimes but nevertheless it's a good alternative if you can't get the coach tickets.

Bypassing southern states like Johor, Melaka and Negri Sembilan, you'll reach the capital of Malaysia, KL. Forget about the local buses here, take taxis. They're cheap.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2003, 04:33 AM
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Let me give you some constructive suggestions here:

Singapore & Malaysia - very easy to get around, if you speak English. Thailand's little more difficult in terms of asking for direction etc., but if you're going to places like Phi Phi or Phuket you shouldn't have any problem.

1. The public transport systems in this small island are efficient and very clean. It's a very modern city but very safe, clean and you can expect the buses to arrive on time. My favourite attractions are the Day Zoo and the Night Safari Zoo (2nd best in the world after San Diego). We were amazed that we didn't get a single mossy bite for the whole Night Safari Zoo trip. Both zoos will probably take you one full day. I'll also recommend the Jurong Bird Park, Haw Par Villa, Chinatown, Little India, Boat Quay & Clark Quay. Orchard Road's mainly for shopping and 4-5 star hotels. The hawker food's pretty good and generally cleaner than those in Malaysia (but not necessarily tastier).(4 days/3 nights)

From Singapore (i think it's at Newton Hotel) you can take an air-cond express coach to KL (stops outside of the Main Train Station) for under S$30/adult or the executive coach for about S$50/adult. It takes bt 4-4.5 hours depending on traffics.

Trains (Sing-KL) are cheaper but can be couple of hours slower sometimes but nevertheless it's a good alternative if you can't get the coach tickets.

Of course, you'll have to go through custom checks.

It's not advisable to fly from Sing to KL, it's not time and cost effective.

Bypassing southern states like Johor, Melaka and Negri Sembilan, you'll reach the capital of Malaysia, KL. Forget about the local buses here and take taxis instead. The fare's cheap. To give you an idea, a trip from the city centre to just about anywhere within the metro will probably cost you around US$1.5-US$6 (forex 1 USD to 3.8 Ringgit) per cab of 4 passenger. You can try the monorail and the light rail transit (LRT), again it's cheap and useful to get to certain places (check the wed sites). Most of the people here speak english. Cheap but clean hotels are available in city centre, such as along Jalan Bukit Bintang, you can check in to one of the 2-3 star hotels for around US40-50 per night (eg. Capitol Hotel - been there, value for money). I won't list out the attractions in KL here I'm sure you'll check them out in the guide book yourself (3 night/4 days).

To get to Penang, take the same type of coach (probably operated by the same company) or train and head north. Distance's only a little bit shorter than Sing-KL (about 4 hours). You'd probably like to spend 3 days & 2 nights in colonial Penang. Visit the pagoda, Gurney Drive, Batu Ferringhi, Penang Hill and the back beaches. If you're game enough, pay the trishaw guy (about US$2-5 per 2 persons for a short trip)if you see one, and take a joy ride (pretty exciting) around town.

From Penang, I'm sure there are coaches bound for southern Thailand and beyond but I'm sorry I've no experience in this matter. But I do know that trains run from Butterworth (city opposite Penang Island, in mainland Malaysia) all the way to Bangkok.

Hope all these help.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2003, 12:41 PM
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Others have given you great tips for Singapore/Malaysia.
From langkawi boat to Satun and then bus north to krabi and Phuket.
The main point though is you are choosing June, that is rainy/monsoon season in that area, rain-gear is necessary.

How old are the kids??
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