6 Months of Travel: Tripologist Goes on the Road

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I’ve got some exciting news that I’ve been itching to share for a while, and have mentioned several times on Twitter if you have been paying close enough attention: I’m taking the plunge into long-term travel!

Having lived and worked in South Korea for the past two years, my wife and I are ready to leave this wonderful country and start the trip home. However, instead of taking the usual 13-hour flight back to the east coast of the USA, we are taking the long way around, and starting our journey home in Singapore.

From there, we have six wonderful months of travel planned.

Without getting into too many details (though it’s quite detailed, just to warn you), we will leave Korea on March 7th and head to Singapore. From there, we will head into Malaysia, seeing Malacca, Pulau Tioman, Kuala Lampur, and Penang over about two weeks.

After checking out Malaysia, we will take a bus or train into Thailand, take a rest of Ko Lanta in the south, before heading north and stopping in Bangkok, Sukhothai, and Chiang Mai. I think we’ll be in Thailand for about three weeks, but who really knows for sure.

From Thailand, we will take a bus into Cambodia, hoping to avoid the scams at the border, and arriving in Siem Reap to see my number one bucket list item, Angkor Wat. After spending a week or so marveling at one of the wonders of the world, we’ll head down to Phnom Phen, possibly taking a day or two to see Battambang or Kep. Then, we’ll start the trip north to Laos, stopping for a day or two along the way, maybe in Kratie.

Once we cross the border into Laos, we’ll take a few days to soak up the Mekong in the 4,000 Islands region on the border of Laos and Cambodia, before heading up to Champasak, Paske, Tha Khek, and Vientiane.

After a few days in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, we’ll head up to Luang Prabang and then take the slow boat up the Mekong to the Laos/Thai border. However, instead of hopping back into Laos, we’ll continue north, crossing into the Yunnan Province of China, and heading to Kunming.

Our rough travel itinerary is marked by the red line.
Our rough travel itinerary is marked by the red line.

Heading out of Kunming, we’ll check out Dali and Lijiang, before heading back to Kunming and taking the supposedly beautiful train ride to Nanning. From there, we may have to head down to Hong Kong to get a Russian visa, if we haven’t sorted it out before that and maybe get a new visa for China as well.

Either way, our next stop in China proper will be Guillin and the karst mountains and rice terraces of the area. From there, it’ll be a trip up to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors and then heading over the Beijing.

From there, we’ll board the Trans-Siberian train for the ride to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, staying a few weeks to do some trekking, and then continuing on the Trans-Siberian to Moscow via Irustuk and another stop or two.

After exploring Moscow for a week or so, we’ll fly to Istanbul, Turkey, checking out the city and a few other undetermined locations in the country before finally flying back to America.

We are targeting the end of August for our return to America.

While this may seem too planned out to some, I’m sure that this very basic itinerary will change and we have built in a few weeks of flex time into our trip to see where the wind may blow.

Our trip will take us from Singapore to Moscow by land and through nine countries over about six months. If you have any suggestions for places to see or stay on our route, please let me know in the comments below.

If you are a tour company, hotel, or tourism board along our trip path, feel free toย messageย me using the contact form. I’m always looking for great companies and organizations to work with.

See more great places to visit!

14 thoughts on “6 Months of Travel: Tripologist Goes on the Road”

  1. That sounds like an awesome trip! I would love to do the China-Moscow leg sometime in the future – I think it will be a great experience. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Amazing journey! So good, looking forward to following along. Make sure you contact me before you get to Siem Reap, I have a great contact there (local guy) who can show you the sites!

  3. Don;t feel bad for having a plan! Some bloggers/:”travelers” might make you feel odd about planning, but you should do what’s comfortable. I always go with “calculated risks” and that’s in fact the motto of my life, nothing wrong with that ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Can’t wait to follow your adventures! I’m so jealous, not gonna lie. Can’t wait for my turn to come! Soon, soon…

  4. So great! You guys will have a wonderful time, looking forward to reading about it! We have some similar plans coming up near the end of 2012 and are having fun putting them in the works too. There’s also nothing wrong with planning! I plan a bit in advance, but totally understand those that like the security of knowing what the hell they are doing!

    • I can see the benefits of planning a lot or just planning a little. I still can’t wrap my head around not planning at all. Our trip has a few extra weeks built in for the unexpected.

  5. That sounds great!! Overland travel is definitely the way to go. My girlfriend and I are currently in Vietnam having travelled here overland from Malyasia for the last two months. From Hanoi we’re heading to Guilin and then onto HK and Beijing to get the Trans-Mongolian so we’ll let you know of anything fantastic we come across.

    We’ll updating blog with border crossing/overland transport experiences in case it’s of any help. The Cambodia/Thailand border crossing at Aranyaprathet/Poi Pet has cleaned up in the last few years though getting around being taken to the overpriced tourist transport station on the Cambodian side is still a challenge). We thoroughly recommend getting the train from Bangkok to the border rather than the border – it leaves at 5am but is well worth it!

    Near Guilin, we can definitely recommend the Yangshuo mountain retreat or the Yangshuo village inn – truly beautiful! If you’re applying for your Chinese visas en route, Vientiane in Laos is the place to do it (in Vietnam we ran into the ‘you need a train ticket to get a visa/you need a visa to get a train ticket issue’).

    Happy travels, we look forward to hearing about them ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. hey!! im from malaysia.from KL but right now live in penang. if u ever want to ask something..dont ever hesitate to ask me ๐Ÿ™‚ just contact me at twitter @wanansms ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. You have an awesome website! My wife and I are currently teaching in Korea, and are hoping to do something quite similar to you and your wife when we are done our time here. Just wondering if you might be able to let me know about how much this six month trip cost you? Even a ballpark figure, if you’d be comfortable sharing it, would be so helpful!

    Thanks so much!

  8. Hi,

    I`m looking at doing a trip with a similar trajectory to that of yours. I`m interested in hearing any comments or suggestions that you have after completing this voyage!


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