Posted 1 year ago

This October, I’m going to Japan for an exchange semester. The last weeks, I’ve been sketching out a “little” trip for the time after that semester (propably around March or April 2024).

In short: Starting from Singapore, I want to travel back home to Berlin without going by plane.

I’ve figured out 2 routes + 1 alternative, which seem to be doable. These are not final yet though, since I might want to stay a few days in some places or visit some more. For the routes, I just focused on finding a way home. In general, I’d rather take the train than going by bus, even if it is a little more expensive (but not overly expensive) or takes more time. I also wanted to avoid going to Russia.

I’ve created a spreadsheet ( with the most important information (I’m quite proud of it tbh ^^’)
Route 2 would probably be my most desired route, since I always wanted to visit Nepal, but it got quite some gaps in the public transportation department with the biggest problem being, that there isn’t really a good way to cross the border between Myanmar and India by public transport. I could imagine myself going to hike to the Nepal-China border (if possible, of course).
Route 1 & 2 share the same big public transport gap between Aktau and Kuryk.
Route 1.5 would be the alternative, since it would include Nepal and avoid any big transportation gaps. But I would have to take the plane back home to Berlin.

The most information for this has been gathered through Rome2Rio and seat61.
I you guys have any ideas for a better route or even solutions for my transport gaps, please feel free to share them. Also, feedback and other recommendations are appreciated too.

One more thing:
For now, I’ve been planning just for myself, but if anybody is interested, I’m looking for travel buddies, that might be crazy enough to join my journey. Feel free to contact me :)

There are also maps to the routes:
Route 1:
Route 1.5:
Route 2:


red = bus
purple = train
green = ferry
yellow = by foot
black = not clear/ nothing found yet

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replied 1 year ago

You have here a nice trip, but you don't have made many researches :)
First of all is Azerbaijan open, but only by air. Arrival by bus/ferry is only possible with a special permit, and I don't think you get that easy without a car. Normally, they tell you have to fly if you want to apply for this Permit.
The alternatives are:
- Kazakhastan - Russia (Astrakhan for Exaple) by train + Astrakhan - Vladikavkas by train + Vladikavkas - Tbilsi Bus
- Aqtau - Beineu - Nukus train + by marshrutkas to Dasoguz (Turkmenistan) + train to Asgabat + Marshrutka to Mashad + Mashad - Teheran - Täbriz Train + Täbriz - Tatvan Bus. I don't know if Turkmenistan currently issue Transit Visa. If not, you have to go with a tour + guide.

Secondly, there are no international trains to/from china. I don't know tricks in the area of south east asia, but for the crossing to Kazakhstan I would go:
- Urumqi - Alanshankou train + Alanshankou - Dostyk by foot (7 Km) + Dostyk - Almaty/Astana train.

3) Singapur - Johor Bahru - Padang Besar - Bangkok you can all do by train. Trains here are really cheap. I would not take the train

In addition I can't recommend Rome2rio, since there are many informations outdatet. I check train times and fares in china at, otherwise I check the websites of the national train companies.
If you have any questions feel free to ask (