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UK to Bangkok by Road/Train

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UK to Bangkok by Road/Train

Hi All

I was wondering if anyone has driven to Thailand or taken the train from the UK (or anywhere in Europe) to Thailand?

Should I put this down to a silly idea or is it possible?

I had a quick look at Google Maps and it does seem possible, although there are perhaps some countries that we would want to avoide!

Any advice/comments appreciated.


Dr Jones

lewes uk
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1. Re: UK to Bangkok by Road/Train


You might want to look at two of Paul Theroux's books:

"The Great Railway Bazaar" and "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star"

He makes a rail journey from London to the Far East although he does have to cheat a bit.


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2. Re: UK to Bangkok by Road/Train

Hey, great thanks - I'll have a look at those.

Dr J

Watford, United...
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3. Re: UK to Bangkok by Road/Train

Look for Tuk-Tuk to The Road, which is a story of two women who drive from Bangkok back to the UK in a Tuk Tuk and records their trials and tribulations. Well worth reading regardless of whether you attempt it or not.

Below is a link to their blog, you might find some more information there as well.


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for Staffordshire
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4. Re: UK to Bangkok by Road/Train

A tuk tuk from Bangkok to the UK?? Gee gods that sounds painful. Half an hour in one was an experience for me. Will be looking out for the book though. That may be interesting.

Nuremberg, Germany
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5. Re: UK to Bangkok by Road/Train

For Road and Train you will have to look at the northern route as it is rather difficult, if not impossible, to get through Myanmar by car.

From the UK it's not a problem to get to Vietnam by train. You'll have a short stretch in Cambodia that you will have to take by bus and then its train again from the Thai border to Bangkok or on to Singapore if you wish.

Watford, United...
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6. Re: UK to Bangkok by Road/Train

You can get the book on Amazon:


it's available for kindle as well

Edited: 6:13 pm, January 03, 2013
Bangkok, Thailand
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7. Re: UK to Bangkok by Road/Train

The Man in Seat 61 gives you the train route: all you need is time!

http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm#London to Thailand overland

I was considering doing this myself one day.


Chiang Klang...
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8. Re: UK to Bangkok by Road/Train

What an amazing idea. Oddly a guy called Ray McDonald last year did a TV program travelling from Bangkok to Brighton UK by train. He travelled From Bangkok to Vientiane by train, then bus to Hanoi, bus to China, then by train through China, Russia, eastern Europe, Germany, and France. Ray, despite his name, is a Thai TV and movie star.

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9. Re: UK to Bangkok by Road/Train

No, though London to Japan is on my to-to list.

However, I did go from Nairobi to Thailand, all by surface transport (ship, train, bus) in 1974-75. It was part of an around-the-world trip, and went something like this:

1. By air from Ghana (where I was living) to Nairobi. Spent awhile in the area (and in most other areas to follow).

2. Bus to Mombasa, to await the ship Karanja, which plied between Durban and Bombay.

3. Karanja to Bombay via the Somali pirate coast and Karachi.

4. An indirect route by train and bus between Bombay and Madras.

5. Ship (the Chidambaram, former Pasteur) from Madras to Penang.

6. Train from Butterworth to Hat Yai.

7. After learning that roads and rail lines were flooded out (January 1975), but that local coastal ships still plied between Songkhla and Bangkok, I took the train from Hat Yai to Songkhla (it was running then), bought deck-class passage on a small coastal cargo boat, and a few days later disembarked in Khlong Toey (then the main port of Bangkok for such ships). (On-board cuisine for deck-class passengers was "khao thom kung" [rice porridge with tiny shrimps] 3 times daily.)

8. I departed by plane BKK-SGN (called Saigon in those days)-HKG-MNL-SIN.

9. Singapore to Fremantle by ship (the Malaysia).

10. The Trans-Australian (and other) trains to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Townsville, and back to Sydney.

11. Sydney to Curacao by ship (the Marconi).

12. Slowly, after time in that area, back to Ghana by air.

Except for Songkhla to Bangkok, all the ships were scheduled passenger ships, not freighters or cruise ships.

Your trip can all be done by rail, except for the leg Ho Chi Minh City to Aranyaprathet, or Hanoi to Vientiane. You can see all segments of such a trip on Youtube. Such videos, and Seat61, are great prep for such a trip.

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10. Re: UK to Bangkok by Road/Train


As rabbit says Ray McDonal does that ( he is half Thai half American) and well known Thai actor. Just read his interview the other day. I believe he's now has DVD for that too.