Heading south

National Express East Coast HST

A train. Moving. This doesn't often happen in the UK

I’m typing this up on a train from Perth to Newcastle via Edinburgh. The trip begins. Or continues. Depends how you look at it.

I do have a rough plan. This weekend I will spend with Tony & June in Durham and then off down to London to see Andy and hopefully a couple of others.

On Tuesday morning I jump onto an Etihad flight to Bangkok via Abu Dhabi. I arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport around 7am and should be able to make it (using Airport Express 3) to the eastern bus terminal on Sukhumvit for around 8:30. From there, there’s a bus ever couple of ours to the south-west border of Cambodia.

I will make a choice on the day to stop off at Chantaburi, Trat or cross the border and stay in Krong Koh Kong. The next day I’ll make my way to Sihanoukville, perhaps with a stop-off if anywhere looks nice enough.

Once in Sihanoukville, I’ll definitely be seeking out a good dive shop and will do at least a day’s diving. The area around the south west has a load of national parks and wildlife reserves, so I will explore them as well before making the journey to Phnom Penh.

I need a visa for Myanmar/Burma so I’ll sort it here and maybe do some trips around the area while I’m waiting for it. I’ve not explored the backpacker area in PP as yet, so I’ll likely stay there – maybe just chill. And without a doubt I’ll head for the Kanta Bopha children’s hospital next to the grand palace to give blood again.

If I’m lucky (really lucky) the train to Batambang will be running, although this seems hit and miss to say the least. If not, I’ll work my way up there and then cut west back into Thailand, making my way to Bangkok again.

Next up is a return flight to Yangon (formerly Rangoon) in Myanmar. Or Burma. Take your pick. I’ve checked and although I could visit a few border towns in exchange for $10 and – in one case – someone holding onto my passport, I can’t stay in the country if I enter by land. I also can’t exit back into Thailand by land, so flights both way it is.

No other plans within the country as yet, but I’ll read up and see what the options are. I’ve heard very good things about the country, although internet access may be hit and miss so if there’s a dead spot in communications, that’s why.

After that, back to BKK where I’ll get one of the train services down to Kuala Lumpur. The timing will depend on whether I’m catching up with friends there, whether I want to stop off on the way down and so on.

Regardless, I must be in KL for my flight to Perth where Mel, her partner and their lovely new(ish) baby will accommodate me for a night or two.

And there we are. I am absolutely buzzing with the thought of travelling around Asia again, especially seeing new places and new people. It’s going to be a slog as I’m on a timescale, but that stops me bedding down and wasting time.

Roll on Wednesday morning!

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