Train Adventures in SE Asia

Posted: February 2, 2013 in Malaysia, Thailand

Two options seemed logical upon leaving Ko Phangan to head to Sri Lanka.  The first was to ferry to the mainland, jump on a plane from Surat Thani to Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok, and then fly on to Colombo (the obvious Flashpacker plan of attack). The alternative was to ferry to the mainland, and then catch the train from Surat Thani to KL, a journey of 900km, and a travel time of 39 hours, with a 6 hour stop in Surat Thani, Thailand, and 10 hours in Butterworth, Malaysia, the jumping off point for Penang.

Amazingly, it was the princess that chose option two, as Penang had yet to be seen, and train travel is a favourite mode of transportation.  So, for the princely sum of about $100 for both of us (ferry, bus, overnight train one, ferry, ferry, overnight train two), off we went!


This photo was taken 15 hours in to the trip, as the train reached the Thai/Malaysia border for customs and immigration formalities.  Passport in hand, we were stamped in to country number two, and a few short hours later we found ourselves in Georgetown, Penang, a world heritage city.


After a half day in Penang (photo gallery to come), we were back on the train to KL.  Upon arriving, it was a simple matter of catching a train and bus to the low cost carrier terminal for our AirAsia flight to Colombo.  Bring on Sri Lanka!

  1. MW says:

    you are a very clever man my friend.

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