Plane. Bus. Taxi. Train. Coach. Mini Van. Speed boat. Slow boat. Longtail boat. Ferry. Car Ferry. Tuk Tuk. Songthaew. Bemo. Jeepney. Motorbike. Scooter. Tall ship. Cable car. Tram.
I’ve travelled on pretty much every type of transport going over the course of my backpacking trips. From short two hour journeys to overnight missions anywhere between twelve and thirty hours, overlanding is part and parcel of backpacking. And whether you like it or not, you will at some point get on a bus in one town and wake up in another – or perhaps even a different country.
I’m writing this on such a journey – 14 hours in, Koh Lanta – Bangkok. So far I’ve been on a mini van that, after the slow and leisurely ease of being delivered by car ferry over two causeways, spent the remaining two hours bombing down one of Thailand’s most dangerous roads and kissing the arse of the vehicle in front of us; then a songthaew (like a kind of truck/bus thing with no windows) that took us to another mini van crammed full of backpackers without air con; and now I’ve just got back on the ‘VIP’ bus (when there aren’t any seatbelts, can it really be VIP?) that I’ve spent the last 20 minutes watching three separate bus drivers crawling under whilst black smoke chugs out of the exhaust.
But really, this is nothing. This journey could go either way at this point, but this is nothing out of the ordinary when you’re overlanding in Asia. Here are some of my most memorable journeys to date.