Planning a trip from Singapore to Bangkok overland…? You’ve come to the right place! One of the most common routes for backpacking in South-East Asia is traveling from Singapore to Bangkok overland, and it’s an absolute amazing trip with tons of incredible places to stop along the way.
From starting out in amazing metropolitan cities like Singapore & Kuala Lumpur, and then breaking away to gorgeous islands of Malaysia & Thailand – this is definitely going to be a trip you’ll never forget. This Singapore to Bangkok itinerary will go over my proposed route, travel tips, helpful websites, and some of my favorite blog posts I’ve written along my travels.
Singapore to Bangkok Overview & Itinerary Route
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
- Penang, Malaysia
- Langkawi, Malaysia
- Koh Lipe, Thailand
- Koh Lanta, Thailand
- Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
- Ao Nang / Railey Beach, Thailand
- Koh Phangan, Thailand
- Koh Tao, Thailand
- Bangkok, Thailand
Starting in Singapore (2-3 Days)
Singapore is an absolutely gorgeous city, and it is often overlooked by South-East Asia backpackers. This tends to be a very popular “layover” destination, and I always hear people who have only seen the airport, or max spent a day in the city. I would personally recommend staying in this city for at least 2-3 nights! There’s a lot of amazing things to see, places to visit, and incredible food to eat!
Read a few of my articles about Singapore to help plan your travels there:
- Top 10 Amazing & FREE Things To Do in Singapore
- 8 Epic Music Festivals in Singapore to Experience Before You Die
Where To Stay in Singapore…?
- OSLO ROOM IN NYTIMES-FEATURED HERITAGE SHOPHOUSE
Note: Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and definitely the priciest place in South-East Asia. Try to limit your expenses here, or else you might break your budget here! My personal advice – don’t go out drinking. Maybe a beer here or there, but don’t go out partying. It’s so expensive, and it will be better to save your party energy for other destinations on this itinerary ;)
Bus to Kuala Lumpur (3-4 Days)
After spending a few days everything Singapore has to offer, it’s time to make your way up to the Malaysian Capital, Kuala Lumpur.
There really are so many different options on how to get from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
BUS: Prices start from $16.37 U.S.D, and there are dozens of departures every day. The journey does take around 5+ hours though, but all the busses are super comfortable. Just bring some snacks, a book, or a laptop with movies on it.
Singapore to Kuala Lumpur Bus Bookings: 12Go.Asia
Welcome to Kuala Lumpur.
This is truly an incredible city with friendly people, beautiful sights, and delicious food (just like the rest of Malaysia). During my travels in South-East Asia , I was lucky enough to call this city home for awhile. The first time I visited Kuala Lumpur I actually didn’t enjoy the city too much, but after spending more time there I discovered how incredible of a destination it is.
For more information on Kuala Lumpur & Malaysia, check out the following blog posts I’ve written:
- Malaysia Travel Guide: Trip Highlights, Itinerary, and Tips
- Two Week Malaysia Itinerary
- 10 Amazing Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
- Heli Lounge, Kuala Lumpur; Drinks + Sunset on a Helipad
- The Absolute Best Thing To Do in Kuala Lumpur
This is one of my favorite cities in South-East Asia, and definitely worth the visit for a few days. If you’re on a time crunch, you won’t want to spend too much time here. Just make sure you cover all the city highlights.
Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur…?
YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO RENT an AirBNB and stay at the Regalia Condominium. I used to live there, and it’s one of the best complexes I’ve ever stayed in. The rooftop infinity pool is simply perfect, and you can’t leave Kuala Lumpur without taking a swim in it! I recently went back for another visit, and it’s just the best place to sleep in the city!
If you create a new account through this link, you’ll get $40 U.S.D off your booking, which could easily be almost a full-nights stay for FREE.
Just sign up for an account, and search “Regalia Condominium Kuala Lumpur”, and you’ll find dozens of amazing listings that will be perfect! I’ve stayed at 3-4 different apartments there now, and they all exceeded my expectations.
Bus to Cameron Highlands (2-3 days)
Book a bust ticket on 12Go.Asia from Kuala Lumpur up to the Cameron Highlands.
Tickets cost as low as $10.15, but the bus journey will take about 4.5 hours. I always book with the company UNITITI Express and take the 10:15 departure from Kuala Lumpur TBS station.
For those who are unfamiliar with the area, the Cameron Highlands is an absolutely gorgeous hill station in central Peninsular Malaysia and has become a popular destination for visitors in the country. Roughly the size of Singapore, the Cameron Highlands covers a decently large stretch of land, and there are tons to see, do, and explore. You’ll quickly fall in love with the beautiful green tea plantations, and it will leave you speechless when you visit the highest peak in the Cameron Highlands.
For more information on the Cameron Highlands, check out my quick guide below!
Where to Stay in The Cameron Highlands?
CH Traveler’s Inn – Clean, comfortable, and affordable. This is a recently opened hostel in Tanah Rata, the jumping off point for the Cameron Highlands. You’ll find everything you need in walking distance at a fantastic price!
Cameron Highlands Resort – This property is the best option for those travelers looking for a bit more comfort! It’s a 5* resort at the fraction of the cost. Perfectly located, amazing breakfast, and outstanding staff. You’ll definitely love your stay here! While it may be one of the more expensive places in the area, it’s defintely worth it!
Bus to Penang (2-3 Days)
Now it’s time for you to book your travel from the Cameron Highlands to Penang. There aren’t really that many options though, so you need to book the departure time at 8:00 A.M! It can sell-out really quickly though, so my main tip would be to plan ahead and book your ticket in advance. I’ve taken this bus several times in the past, and have always had a great experience.
Duration: 4 Hours & 27 Minutes // Price: 35 MYR (9.00 U.S.D)
The bus will drop you off in Butterworth, but it’s super easy to hop on the ferry over to Georgetown (the main city on Penang Island). The ferry is super quick, and then all you need to do take a cab or a GRAB car to your hostel / hotel of choice.
Now you’ll soon be exploring the cultural hotspot of Malaysia! You’ll fall in love with it’s busy streets, beautiful artwork, and enchanting history. Oh, and the food is absolutely amazing. Most people come to Penang only planning a few day stay, but end up staying much longer than they expected. You can spend a day on Batu Ferringhi beach, hike through the National Park, and take the journey up to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the entire city.
Best things to do in Penang include:
- Beach day and sunset on Batu Ferringhi Beach
- Spend some time hiking through the National Park
- TASTE OF MALAYSIA COOKING CLASS
- Exploring all the street art of Penang
- “Food Capital” of Malaysia so try a bunch of different places
- George Town: Food Hop with Heritage on a Plate Tour
- Take a visit to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the city
- Stroll through Georgetown and check out all the artwork
- Eat at Penang’s famous hawker stalls
Where to Stay in Penang?
Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel: This is a newly opened hostel in Penang, with great affordable rooms, well-located, and excellent Japan theme. Excellent reviews by everyone, and would by my top-pick for sure! I would highly recommend this for every budget traveler in Penang!
Ke-Lan-Tan Guesthouse: The rooms are named after famous Penang Streets, the property is gorgeous inside, and the rooms are super comfortable. Great reviews, centrally located, and excellent value for money! Definitely check out this place.
Ferry from Penang – Langkawi (4-5 Days)
Purchase a ferry ticket from Penang to Langkawi online. It’s easily the best way to get in between the these two Malaysia destinations! While you could actually fly, I just don’t really see the point because the ferry is super easy, affordable, and convenient. I’ve done this Penang-Langkawi ferry four times now, and it’s really awesome on a sunny day in Malaysia!
Depart: 8:30 AM
Ferry time : 2 Hours / Price: 60 MYR
You’ll arrive into Kuah Jetty, Langkawi, and will take a TAXI or Rent a Car if you want and drive to your accommodation in PANTAI CENANG.
Officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, around 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. It’s right at the border of Thailand, and is a popular place to visit for traveller’s going north/south between Malaysia and Thailand. It is truly an amazing island with amazing things to do, cheap accommodations, tax-free booze, and beautiful landscape.
Check out some of my blog posts on Langkawi:
- A Backpacker’s Guide to Langkawi, Malaysia
- Top 5 Reasons to Backpack Langkawi
- Berjaya Resort Crashing in Langkawi
- Chasing Waterfalls in Langkawi
Langkawi Highlights include:
- There’s a really amazing Island hopping tour for 30 MYR.
- Book a One-day boat ride and tour through the Mangroves! This tour is really fantastic, and a suburb value for money!
- You have to rent a Moto and explore the waterfalls!!
- Cable & Car & Skywalk at the Oriental Village is a great way to spend a day.
- The nightlife in Langkawi can get pretty wild, and the booze is tax free!
- 4-Hour Jet Ski Tour Around Dayang Bunting 8 Islands!! This is expensive, but would be epic!!
- Watch the gorgeous sunsets on Pantai Cenang
Where to Stay in Langkawi?
Langkawi Dormitorio: The best beds and location for all the hostels in Langkawi! It’s right in the heart of Pantai Cenang, with everyone you need just steps away from the door. The staff are great, and will help you plan anything you’d want for your Langkawi explorations! Check rates & availability.
Cenang Plaza Beach Hotel: The best beds and location for all the hostels in Langkawi! It’s right in the heart of Pantai Cenang, with everyone you need just steps away from the door. The staff are great, and will help you plan anything you’d want for your Langkawi explorations! Check rates & availability.
Ferry from Langkawi – Koh Lipe, Thailand *Seasonal (4-5 Days)
After spending some time on Langkawi, you’re ready to continue your journey north into Thailand.
This is where you’ll start your Thailand Island Hopping adventures, Koh Lipe, which is known as the “Maldives of Thailand“. Pristine beaches, incredible food, and amazing sunrises & sunsets.
Ferries from Langkawi – Koh Lipe only available from November – May throughout the year. If you’re traveling during the low season, you’ll have to take the ferry to Satun, Thailand — and catch the bus + ferry combo ticket from mainland Thailand. Traveling during this time can be a bit expensive, it just depends on your budget and time restrictions. It might be best to skip this island if you can’t take the direct ferry.
Check out this amazing post from my friends at Getting Stamped titled, “The Ultimate Guide to Koh Lipe, Thailand.” This is one of the most informative guides I’ve ever seen, and will answer all your questions about traveling to this beautiful island.
Where to stay on Koh Lipe…?
Shanti Backpacker – “Shanti Backpacker is a warm and friendly accommodation in town for travelers, with reasonable rates. It is centrally located at the start of the walking street sunrise side. Plenty of shops and restaurants just next door. Sunrise Beach is just 100 meters, while Pattaya beach is 300 meters away, and 500 meters from Sunset Beach. Shanti Backpacker offers 2 basic mixed dorm rooms of 12 people, each room coming with 6 bunk beds. Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available to keep you connected.” Read Reviews & Check Availability
Idyllic Concept Resort – “A great base from which to explore this vibrant island. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. A well-kempt environment and its proximity to Ko Lipe, Walking Street, Sunrise Beach give to this hotel a special charm.Take advantage of a wealth of unrivaled services and amenities at this Koh Lipe hotel. For the comfort and convenience of guests, the hotel offers free Wi-Fi in all rooms, Wi-Fi in public areas, room service, family room, restaurant. Read Reviews & Check Availability
Ferry from Koh Lipe – Koh Lanta (4-5 Days)
Now that you’ve gotten your first introduction to Thailand islands, it’s time to continue the adventure up to the amazing Koh Lanta!
Now this also depends on time of the year, so uou might have to catch ferry + bus combo ticket up to the Krabi Province instead. It’s annoying, but some of the ferries only operate during high season.
Check out this awesome travel guide from the crew over at Never Ending Voyage titled, “Finding the Perfect Balance: Our Guide to Koh Lanta“. This post will go over all the information you need for your time in Koh Lanta.
You’ll fall in love with this incredibly relaxing island. There’s incredible beaches, a beautiful national park, and loads of other stuff to explore. My main recommendation would be to hire a moped, and explore the entire island. It’s the best way to see the island. You can pack a bag, take breaks at all the beaches, and see how beautiful the island is.
Where to Stay on Koh Lanta…?
Peacock Hostel — Friendly atmosphere with a large deck with with comfy hammocks; the ideal spot to meet people and chill out. Koh Lanta isn’t really a wild island for partying, but you’ll still meet some incredible fellow travelers here, and enjoy your stay. Peacock Hostel is really affordable, and highly recommended. Read Reviews & Check Availability.
SriLanta Resort – Looking for a more comfortable stay on Koh Lanta…? Then this is where you want to stay! “This hotel resides on the Koh Lanta beachfront amongst white sand, tropical greenery, and manicured gardens. Consisting of 49 villas and one large, two-story beach house, Srilanta Resort promises to fulfill any dreams a holiday on a tropical island could conjure up.” Read Reviews & Check Availability.
Ferry from Koh Lanta – Koh Phi Phi (4-5 Days)
When you’re ready to leave Koh Lanta (which can be harder than you think), you’ll be on your way to one of the most beautiful, photogenic, and most well-known places in Thailand- Koh Phi Phi.
Book a ferry ticket online from Koh Lanta -> Koh Phi Phi. It should cost between $14-$20 depending on the company you use, and there are several departures each day!
Koh Phi Phi has been a dream destination for many ever since Leonardo DiCaprio’s hit movie “The Beach” was shown in theaters. It really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in the world, and it’s definitely somewhere you need to visit at least once in your life!
Koh Phi Phi is also one of the wildest places to party in Southeast Asia, and it can be easy to get caught up in the madness and stay longer than you originally intended! While some people say it’s become TOO crazy, I think Koh Phi Phi is absoltuely stunning, and worth spending some time.
Read a couple of these blog posts on Koh Phi Phi to get you excited:
Leaving Koh Phi Phi is no easy task. The party vibe is solid, there is amazing food, and you’re guaranteed to make some amazing new friends! I personally think it’s the most beautiful area in Thailand!
Where to Stay on Koh Phi Phi….?
Blanco Beach Bar — This is Koh Phi Phi’s #1 Party Hostel. If you’re looking for a good time surrounded by wild fellow travelers and backpackers, then this is definitely the spot for you!
“Blanco Beach Bar is a fun, sociable and safe place to meet other like-minded backpackers. WE ARE A PARTY HOSTEL, located on the party beach, Loh Dalum Bay, so be ready to get involved and have an awesome time! We give all of our guest who stay with us a discount at our bar, we are already the cheapest bar on the beach but there’s nothing better than looking after our own guests! We also have our crazy Blanco Boat Party’s to Maya Bay every day so keep that in mind when coming to stay with us. Our parties are famous and this is who we are. Check rates and availability
PP Charlie Beach Resort – “Offering quality accommodations in the beaches, sightseeing, nightlife district of Koh Phi Phi, PP Charlie Beach Resort is a popular pick for both business and leisure travelers. Take advantage of a wealth of unrivaled services and amenities at this Koh Phi Phi hotel. A selection of top-class facilities such as ticket service, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, family room, BBQ facilities can be enjoyed at the hotel. Read Reviews & Check Availability.
Ferry from Koh Phi Phi – Ao Nang, Railey Beach, & Krabi (4-6 Days)
After spending the past couple weeks on Islands, it’s time to cruise back to the mainland for just a little.
Book a ferry ticket online from Koh Phi Phi to Ao Nang. Tickets should only cost around $13 or less, and there’s tons of options to choose from. You could also go to Krabi if you wanted, but I think Ao Nang is a much nicer place to stay!
There’s a really nice promenade along the beach that has tons of restaurants, lots of bars, and is definitelt worth a visit. The main you reason you visit this area though is to treat it as a jumping off point to the nearby islands!
Day Trips & Tours to book:
Phi Phi Islands Full-Day Speedboat Trip from Krabi (if you’re limited on time)
Don’t spend too much time in Ao Nang though! I think the real highlight of visiting this region of Thailand is staying on Railey Beach & Ton Sai Bay! It’s known for being the best rock-climbing area in Thailand, and is one of my personal favorite areas in the country.
Read: The Best Hostels in Thailand accommodation recommendations!
Book a Bus + Ferry Combo from Krabi to Koh Phangan (5 Days)
Now that you’ve thoroughly explored Krabi and the Ao Nang area, it’s time to begin the journey over to the Andaman Sea. Book a Bus + Ferry Ticket Combo from Krabi -> Ao Nang
I typically travel with Lomprayah, and tickets should cost around $20 U.S.D. It’s by far the most established and organized company out there, and I always enjoy my transportation when I book with them. During peak season, they can sell out tickets. (Especially prior to a Full Moon Party, so book in advance).
Koh Phangan is one of the craziest party islands in South-East Asia ! You’ll often hear bad things about the Full Moon Party, but too be honest — it’s a damn good time (if you’re with the right people). There’s something really fun about getting dressed up in Neon, covering yourself in bodypaint, and dancing all night with fellow backpackers.
To be perfectly honest though, the best party on Koh Phangan isn’t the Full Moon Party. There’s so many better clubs, venues, and events that you should look into! If your trip doesn’t align well with a date for the FMP, definitely still go to Koh Phangan! It’s a great place to spend some time, relax, meet people, party, and enjoy paradise!
Where to stay on Koh Phangan
Slumber Party Hostel — “Welcome to the home of the biggest & baddest party in Thailand. Come join the hundreds of thousands of people who have already slept with us and have the best nights of your life. With over 10,000 reviews and a 93% approval rating we are the highest rated party hostel group in the world! We will show you that we love you as much as everyone loves us.” While I haven’t personally stayed at their KP location, I did stay with Slumber Party in Krabi, and I really loved it!! The reviews speak for themself really. Check for rates & availability.
Ferry to Koh Tao (4-5 Days)
If you managed to survive the wild parties on Koh Phangan, then it’s time to take a quick ferry up to the last island on this Singapore to Bangkok itinerary!!
Koh Tao is the very first island I visited in my travels in South-East Asia, and it is by far one of my favorite places in Thailand. This is a scuba diver’s paradise and is the perfect location to get your PADI certifications. If you don’t want to do the full course, make sure you at least do a “Discover Scuba” one-day course.
It’s one of the most affordable places to try out scuba-diving and is absolutely beautiful. When you’re not scuba diving, Koh Tao is an amazing island to explore by moto. Just choose carefully where you rent it, because this island is notorious for rental places taking advantages of tourists and withholding passports until the pay ridiculous “damage fees”. Also make sure you do a day-trip to Koh Nang Yuan, Mango View point, The Koh Tao Pub Crawl, and party hard on Sairee Beach!
Check out my article 7 Amazing Things to do on Koh Tao for more information on how to spend your time on turtle island!!
Where To Stay on Koh Tao
GOODTIME BEACH Hostel — *This is a Party Hostel* “Our hostel is perfect for young, thrill-seeking travelers who want to adventure all day and then dance the night away. We are situated next to one of Koh Tao’s most popular bars, which plays lively music until 2am. We are not ideal for those looking for a peaceful, family holiday. If this is your requirement, we respectfully advise finding an alternative location”. Read Reviews & availability.
Triple B Bungalows — *Bed & Breakfast* Located walking distance from the main jetty, Triple B Bungalows will provide a quiter holiday during your visit to Koh Tao. It’s easy to hire a moto for a few days, and explore all the different beaches/viewpoints around the island. This has top-notch reviews, helpful staff, and great location. Check rates & availability.
Ferry from Koh Tao to Bangkok
Your trip has almost come to an end!!!
You’ve seen the best islands Thailand has to offer, now it’s time to finish your trip in the “Big Mango”. Bangkok is truly an amazing city, and there’s tons of amazing things to do, see, and explore. It’s the gateway to South-East Asia, and most backpackers out here find themselves in Bangkok more than once. The street food is delicious, the people are friendly, and you’ll absolutely love exploring all the temples, malls, and rooftop bars.
Check out a few of these posts to help you with your time in Bangkok:
Congratulations! You’ve just crossed off three amazing countries in South-East Asia, and some of my favorite spots in the world to visit!
Substitutions & Other Destinations
- The Perhentian Islands: When you are traveling up through Malaysia, you could easily head over to the stunning Perhentian Islands. It’s all the way on the east coast of Malaysia, so it’s a bit out of the way for this itinerary- but it would be incredible. You could get a bus + ferry here from the Cameron Highlands. Then when you’re ready to leave, take a bus over to Penang to continue the itinerary.
- Phuket & Koh Samui: Two of the most popular touristy destinations in Thailand, but I always recommend people to skip them. They are overcrowded, expensive, and you can find much better places to spend your time.
- Thailand National Parks: Ko Yao Nai National Park & Ko Tarutao are both absolutely gorgeous, and could easily be worked into this itinerary during your time on Koh Lipe, and Koh Phi Phi.
Travel Tips & Suggestions
- Utilize AIRBNB Discounts. All you have to is set-up a new account and claim $40 off your first booking. You can save a ton of money on accommodation, and stay at some really great places!
- Travel slow. I give a recommended time in each place, but if you’re in not on a time crunch, then take it slow and enjoy your time in each place. Otherwise, you might be spending a lot of time in transit.
- Buy a Local Sim Card. This always comes in handy in Malaysia & Thailand. There are really cheap data plans.
- Download my Free-Book. “77 Amazing, Helpful, Money-Saving Tips for Backpacking South-East Asia” for all my best backpacking tips.
- Stay in Hostels. This is such an awesome backpacker route, and the best way to experience these destinations is to interact with other travelers!
- Eat often! The food in all three of these countries is absolutely amazing! There are plenty of places for cheap eats, and all the meals are delicious.
Check out These Articles About This Region
I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around Southeast Asia, and this website is filled with amazing and helpful content! As always, feel free to email me with any questions you have about this Singapore to Bangkok Itinerary
Thanks for reading my Singapore to Bangkok Backpacking Trip Itinerary!
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