30 best train journeys in Asia

Free travel countries allow for their citizens to travel abroad for free, which means they don’t have to be able to afford it

Asia is known for many things – trade, sophistication, exotic food – but eating may well be the star. Thailand, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore feature all on the FOOL’s 30 best Asia train journeys. We’ve trawled the region’s best train web sites to find the most remote attractions and interesting places to eat, drink and, of course, sleep.


With lavish restaurants, hotels and shopping malls galore, you will need a car to save money. With no purchase tax, the government allowed travellers in 1999 to bring items worth $10,000 or £5,000 (£5,000), money that was hypothecated so they could be used later on. As long as you don’t keep too much of it, you will be fine.


The best train station, Sukhumvit, is across the river from the city and its mighty statue of King Rama V is right next to it.

Northern Thailand

In many ways one of the happiest countries in the world, albeit under military control, is northern Thailand. Siem Reap is a great base, with restaurants and shops to suit most tastes, as well as activities for kids.


Malaysia may be fast developing, but it has traditions which, even in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, don’t change. Hang Kuo, for example, the small castle outside town, is still the place to stay for the great weddings.


The Dunn’s Creek. The residents of this small town in the Kranji suburb of Singapore have no electricity and just one phone line in town. All the coffee shops are on the pavement, of course, so you can spend the day down there and earn your dollar.

Hong Kong

It’s the largest city in China and, in 2015, it is due to have more than a quarter of its population living overseas, while the people still in Hong Kong are aware that it is known the world over for the freedom and self-determination it provides.

South-east Asia

There are few destinations in Asia, beyond those provided by Intercontinental, that can claim to be as culturally diverse as Singapore, still clearly the most palatable city on the planet for escaping.

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