This is a list of how we travelled, how long it took and how much it cost. I suppose it's really only of interest to people planning on heading over the same ground - or people who just like lists!!
We generally travel second class if there is a choice and prefer to stay in a room with a shower and toilet and up until China, usually with breakfast as well (Chinese breakfasts are more of an acquired taste and we usually chose to do without).
The prices listed are in local currency and are the actual prices we paid per seat for transport and per double room for hotels - we cannot guarantee that anyone else will get the same prices. In China everything is open to negotiation so take these as a guide only. I have given the prevailing exchange rate at the head of each section.
Euroland. €1.47 = £1.00
Train. Bromsgrove - Birmingham New Street £4.00 25min
Train. Birmingham New Street - London Euston £10.00 1hr 30min
Bus. Euston - Waterloo £1.50 20min
Train. London Waterloo - Brussels Midi Airmiles used 3hr 45min
Courtyard by Marriott Brussels. €35.00 (with Airmiles) - nice 4 star hotel in the suburbs offered stupidly cheap by agent keen to use up all our airmiles and make a cash sale - ripped his hand off!!
Train. Bruxelles Centraal - Liege Guillemins.
Train. Liege Guillemins - Aachen 50min
Train. Aachen - Köln. 50min
Train. Köln - Frankfurt (Main) 2hr 25min €68.40 - bought through ticket online via Deutsche Bahn
City Hotel. Frankfurt. €47.50 - another Deutsche Bahn bargain
Train. Frankfurt (Main) - Nürnberg. €18.75 combination ticket - Frankfurt regional and Bayernticket sold to us by a very helpful chap by the ticket machine. Why can't British Railways staff help people to buy the cheapest tickets? 4hr 10min
Pension Prater Jean. Nürnberg. €50.00 - nice enough but expensive for room with no bathroom and quite a way out of town.
Gasthof Zum Schwänlein. Nürnberg. €52.00 - a much better deal. Proper German pub run by Czech staff.
Train. Nürnberg - Domažlice. €14.90 combination ticket - Bayernticket and single in Czech Rep 2hr 40min
Czech Republic 41.54 Kč = £1.00
Penzion Konselsky Senk. Domažlice. Kč1060 - all accommodation in the Czech Republic is of a good standard, but not particularly cheap. This was one of the best.
Train. Domažlice - Klatovy. Kč36 1hr
Penzion U Hejtmana. Klatovy. Kč590 (no breakfast)
Train. Klatovy - Susice 1hr
Train. Susice - Horazdovice Predm. Kč48 (from Klatovy) 20min
Train. Horazdovice Predm - České Budéjovice. Kč62 1hr 10min
Train. České Budéjovice - Český Krumlov. Kč32 1hr 5min
Penzion Hana Sladova. Český Krumlov. Kč990 - no shortage of accommodation but much of it full. Try to avoid weekends if possible.
Bus. Český Krumlov - České Budéjovice. Kč28 + 4 (luggage) 45min
Train. České Budéjovice - Tabor. Kč55 1hr 10min
Train. Tabor - Veseli n. Luznici. 40min
Train. Veseli n. Luznici - Jihlava maesto. 1hr 40min
Train. Jihlava maesto - Jihlava. 5min
Train. Jihlava - Havlíčkův Brod. Kč154 (from Tabor - to Kutná Hora) 40min. Not a good travel day - got the wrong train once and got off at the wrong station once. Mind without all that we would never have found Havlíčkův Brod which is a fine place - shame about the weather!
Hotel U Zlateho Lva. Havlíčkův Brod. Kč1640 - expensive but very nice - we will be back here for a proper holiday one day.
Train. Havlíčkův Brod - Kutná Hora. Included in previous days ticket! 1hr 30min
Penzion Sedlek. Kutná Hora. Kč400 - cheap and cheerful, good location near to station but a bit rough.
Train. Kutná Hora. - Kolin. 10min
Train. Kolin - Olomouc hl n. Kč154 + Kč60 Inter-City supplement (from Kutná Hora) 2hr 5min
Bus. Olomouc - Novy Jicin. Kutná Hora70 + 10 (luggage) 1hr 15min
Bus. Novy Jicin - Štramberk. Kč15 + 6 (luggage) 20min
Penzion in corner of square. Štramberk. Kč900 It's in the bakery - next to the brewery. Sorry I didn't get the name.
Bus. Štramberk - Koprivnice. Kč24 20min
Bus. Koprivnice - Frenštát pod Radhoštěm. Kč26 + 6 (luggage) 40min
Hotel Radhošt. Frenštát pod Radhoštěm. Kč800 Very good value but watch out for the nightclub at 2:00am
Train. Frenštát pod Radhoštěm - Frydek-Mistek. 30min
Train. Frydek-Mistek - České Tešín. Kč48 (from Frenštát) 35min
Poland zł5.69 = £1.00
Train. Cieszyn - Zebrzydowice. 35min
Train. Zebrzydowice - Czechowice Dziedzice. 40min
Train. Czechowice Dziedzice - Oświęcim. 35min
Train. Oświęcim - Kraków Główny. Zł17.50 (from Cieszyn) 1hr 35min
Trzy Kafki Plus. Kraków. zł130 - good value hostel style accommodation in one of Europe's most 'happening' cities.
Train. Kraków Główny - Przemyśl Główny. zł40 3hr 30min
Hotel Hala. Przemyśl. zł80 - a bit rough but cheap enough - interesting breakfasts!
Bus. Przemyśl - Lwów. Zł20 (Time inc 1hr clock change) 4hr
Ukraine ₴9.48 = £1.00
Hotel Lviv. Lviv. ₴160 -Soviet style place but with an excellent view of the city.
Train. Lviv - Ternopil. ₴18.71 2hr 20min
Hotel Ternopil. Ternopil. ₴150 - another Soviet style place this time with a view of the lake.
Bus. Ternopil - Kamyanets-Podilsky. ₴24.79 4hr
Hotel Ukrainia. Kamyanets-Podilsky. ₴100 - complete dump - don't bother.
Bus. Kamyanets-Podilsky - Khmelnytsky. ₴11.93 2hr 25min
Bus. Khmelnytsky - Vinnyitsa. ₴12 1hr 45min
Hotel Piwaennts Buz. Vinnyitsa. ₴205 (Lux room) - Our favourite Ukrainian city.
Train. Vinnyitsa - Kiev. ₴9.68 3hr 50min
Apartment from lady at station in Kiev. Kavkaskaja 9 - 66, Kiev. ₴150 - interesting experience and not quite as seedy as it first appeared. Certainly a good budget option but a bit hit and miss.
Train Kiev Cen- Moscow Kiyevsky. ₴208.50 (Kupe) 13hr 30min
Russia ₽50.22 = £1.00
Irbis Hotel. Moscow. ₽2750 - expensive city - but very cosmopolitan. This place was a metro ride out of town and just about the cheapest we could find without having to use a dormitory.
Train. Moscow Kursky - Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky Moskovsky). ₽393 4hr 55min
Volga Slope Hotel. Nizhny Novgorod. ₽1400 - another Soviet pile but with brilliant views across the Volga.
Train. Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky Moskovsky) - Kazan. ₽910.70 9hr 20min
Hotel Fatima. Kazan. ₽900 - shared bathroom but spotlessly clean. Best value we found in Russia.
Bus. Kazan - Samara. ₽452.70 7hr 40min
Hotel National. Samara. ₽2000 - very nice city and beautiful hotel.
Train. Samara - Orenburg. ₽744.70 9hr 35min
Hotel Fakel. Orenburg. ₽2800 (no breakfast!) - we somehow managed to walk past two cheap hotels and ended up in this expensive monstrosity. Don't make the same mistake!
Train. Orenburg - Aktobe. ₽470.60 (Plaskartney) 8hr 15min - this train isn't on all timetables and there are only plaskartney berths available. Very handy though - without it we would have been walking to Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan 233₸ = £1.00
Hotel Ilek. Aktobe. 5000₸ - the absolutely friendliest hotel in town. Excellent cafe.
Train. Aktobe - Aralsk. 1791₸ 10hr 50min
Hotel Aral. Aralsk. 3000₸ (no breakfast) - last hotel standing!
Train. Aralsk - Turkestan. 1380₸. (Plaskartney) 13hr 5min - try to book this before you get there or you may end up standing for 13 hours!
Hotel Edem. Turkestan. 4000₸ - promised hot water didn't materialise but at least you could breath the air!
Bus. Turkestan - Shymkent. 350₸ 2hr 15min
Hotel Ordabassy. Shymkent. 4300₸
Bus. Shymkent - Tulkibas. 150₸ 1hr 30min
Taxi. Tulkibas - Zhabaghly. 600₸ 25min
Yevgennys Boarding House. Zhabaghly. 9000₸ (full board) - the only place to stay. Very nice village - home of the tulip.
Taxi. Zhabaghly - Risqulov. FOC (thanks Yevgennys) 25min
Bus. Risqulov - Shymkent. 200₸ 1hr 20min
Train. Shymkent - Almaty. 3202₸ 15hr 5min
Hotel Zhetisu. Almaty. 7800₸
Train. Almaty - Urumqi. 8500₸ 35hr 10min (inc 8 hr border crossing and 3 hour time shift)
China ¥14.87 = £1.00
Wen Zhou Hotel. Urumqi. ¥298
Shared Taxi. Urumqi - Tian Chi. ¥80 1hr 40min
Rachids Yurt. Tian Chi ¥100 - no toilets but includes 3 meals. Cold but exciting!
Bus. Tian Chi - Fukang. ¥10 1hr 5min
Bus. Fukang - Urumqi. ¥10.50 1hr 10min
Bus. Urumqi - Turpan. ¥40 2hr 40min
Grain Trade Hotel. Turpan. ¥120 - a bit run down but comfortable enough. Go upstairs to get away from the traffic noise.
Bus. Turpan - Hami. ¥65 7hr - across the desert.
Dianli Hotel. Hami. ¥240 - expensive for what it was.
Bus. Hami - Dunhuang. ¥70 6hr - still in the desert
Fei Tian Hotel. Dunhuang. ¥200
Bus. Dunhuang - Jiayuguan. ¥70 5hr 45min
Xiong Guan Hotel. Jiayuguan. ¥160
Bus. Jiayuguan - Zhangye. ¥44 4hr 35min
Yingbinlou Hotel. Zhangye. ¥88 - good value - nice town.
Bus. Zhangye - Xining. ¥60.50 8hr 45min - spectacular ride through the mountains
Qinhai Overseas Chinese Mansions. Xining. ¥120
Bus. Xining - Tongren. ¥30.30 4hr 5min - into Tibet
You Zeng Hotel. Tongren. ¥90
Bus. Tongren - Xiahe. ¥21 3hr 30min - across the Ganga Grasslands - an unexpected bonus.
Overseas Tibetan Hotel. Xiahe. ¥160
Bus. Xiahe - Hezuo. ¥9 1hr 35min
Xin Shi Ji Hotel. Hezuo. ¥60 - not much of a hotel - not much of a town!!
Bus. Hezuo - Langmusi. ¥28 3hr 20min
Langmusi Hotel. Langmusi. ¥70
Bus. Langmusi - Zoige. ¥20 3hr 35min
Panzhou Hotel. Zoige. ¥40 - no toilet but with electric blankets. Zoige is a lovely place - don't believe what it says in your guidebook.
Bus. Zoige - Songpan. ¥58 4hr 35min - the highest we got - through blizzards on scary roads.
Traffic Hotel. Songpan. ¥120
Bus. Songpan - Yinxin. ¥66 7hr
Bus. Yinxin - Wolong. ¥14 2hr 50min
Good Flavour Restaurant. Wolong. ¥120 - there are a few hotels at Wolong. Have a look at them all and choose your favourite. This one had a nice proprietor and funny waitresses!
Bus. Wolong - Dujiangyan. ¥23 4hr 20min
Bus. Dujiangyan - Chengdu. ¥16 35min
Binjiang Hotel. Chengdu. ¥160 - top value hotel right in the town centre
Train. Chengdu - Xi'an. ¥193 (Soft sleeper) + ¥5 commission 18hr 5min
Lijing Hotel. Xi'an. ¥228 - right in the town centre overlooking the drum tower.
Train. Xi'an - Zengzhou. ¥73 (hard seat) 7hr 15min
Bus. Zengzhou - Kaifeng. ¥22 2hr
Yingbin Hotel. Kaifeng ¥50 - no bathroom. The town was full and very noisy.
Bus. Kaifeng - Shangqiu. ¥28 3hr 10min
Bus. Shangqiu - Bozhou. ¥15 1hr 15min
Goujing Hotel. Bozhou. ¥168 - very nice hotel in friendly city
Bus. Bozhou - Guoyang. ¥10 1hr 10min
Bus. Guoyang - Bengbu. ¥31.50 2hr 15min
Xi Cheng Hotel. Bengbu. ¥80 - took us a while to find this place and we suspect it doubles as a brothel, but good value and quiet enough. Y80 bought us a suite!!
Bus. Bengbu - Nanjing. ¥46.50 3hr 20min
Bus. Nanjing - Wuxi. ¥52 2hr
Tia Shan Hotel. Wuxi. ¥180 - top value in a very nice modern city.
Bus. Wuxi - Suzhou. ¥22.50 1hr 5min
Suzhou 100 Happy Hotel. Suzhou. ¥280 - good value in 'tourist town'. Best not to pay by credit card (allegedly)
Train. Suzhou - Shanghai South. ¥24 (soft seat) 1hr 40min
Astor House Hotel. Shanghai. ¥500 - a bit of a splurge but very fine old colonial building and good value for what you get. Close to the bund.
Train. Shanghai South - Hangzhou. ¥44 (soft seat) 1hr 45min
Jingjin Hotel. Hangzhou. ¥190
Bus. Hangzhou - Yongkang. ¥70 2hr 50min
Feifiang (Huikuo) Hotel. Yongkang. ¥100 - the uPVC door capital of China!! Another excellent town.
Bus. Yongkang - Lishui. ¥20 1hr 15min
Bus. Lishui - Yunghe. ¥20 1hr 10min
Welcome (Swallow) Hotel. Yunghe. ¥80 - this was one of our favourite Chinese towns - very picturesque, the bus station is right on the edge of town so walking out to the countryside was easy. Top value hotel included free internet access in the room.
Bus. Yunghe - Taishun. ¥31 3hr 10min
Jinlong Hotel. Taishun. ¥110 - slightly grubby town but still quite interesting. Hotel was a dump though.
Bus. Taishun - Yashong. ¥15 1hr 30min
Bus. Yashong - Fuding. ¥16 1hr 20min
Bus. Fuding - Xiapu. ¥29 1hr 10min
? Hotel. Xiapu. ¥60 - complete tip - should have stayed in Fuding.
Bus. Xiapu - Ningde. ¥26 1hr 5min
Bus. Ningde - Luoyuan. ¥11 45min
Bus. Luoyuan - Fuzhou. ¥15 1hr 40min
Mintai Hotel. Fuzhou. ¥150
Bus. Fuzhou - Quanzhou. ¥58 2hr 50min
Jianfu Business Hotel. Quanzhou ¥188 - including computer in room. Nice historic city - nice to see a bit of old China still standing.
Bus. Quanzhou - Xiamen. ¥58 1hr 40min
Ferry. Xiamen - Gulangyu. 10min
Luzhou Hotel. Gulangyu. ¥227 - at last no cars
Ferry. Gulangyu - Xiamen. ¥8 10min
Bus. Xiamen - Yongding. ¥55 4hr 20min
Dongfu Guesthouse. Yongding. ¥100
Fuyu Building Changdi Inn. Hongkeng Village. ¥80 - no toilet but then it was a Hakka earth building.
Bus. Hongkeng - Zhiling. ¥6 35min
Bus. Zhiling - Xiayang. ¥4 25min
Bus. Xiayang - Cheyang. ¥10 35min
Bus. Cheyang - Dapu. ¥7 50min
Overseas Chinese Hotel. Dapu. ¥100 - excellent hotel in charming Hakka township.
Bus. Dapu - Chaozhou. ¥44 3hr 50min
Fengcheng Hotel. Chaozhou. ¥130 - very nice old city
Bus. Chaozhou - Huizhou. ¥110 5hr 10min
East River Hotel. Huizhou. ¥150 as good a place as any to finish off our Chinese trip. Very calm and pleasant.
Bus. Huizhou - Shenzhen. ¥45 1hr 35min
Hong Kong SAR HK$14.63 = £1.00
KTR Train. Lo Wu - Tsim Sha Tsui East. HK$36.50 40min
Mei Lam Guesthouse, D1 Floor 5, Mirador Mansions, Kowloon, Hong Kong. HK$300.00 - one up from Chungking Mansions!!
Plane. Emirates EK385. Hong Kong - Bangkok 1hr 40min
Thailand ฿70 = £1.00
Thailand was a holiday for us after completing the trip. I can guarantee that you will find lower prices than these although probably not nicer. It's included here for the sake of completeness.
Thai Cozy House. Bangkok. ฿850 - complete with cable TV, shower, AC and window - what spoilt brats we are!!
Train. Bangkok - Pratchuap Kirikhan. (Special AC Express). ฿425 5hr 10min
Suk Sant Hotel, Prachuap Khirikhan. ฿350 - one of our old haunts. Stayed for a couple of nights until we had our eye caught by...
Sun Bay Guesthouse. Prachuap Khirikhan. ฿900 - more than double the price but more than double the comfort - and hell we'd earned it!!
Express Bus. Prachuap Khirikhan - Chumphon. ฿120 2hr 55min
Mini Bus. Chumphon - Ranong. ฿120 2hr
Hotel Sintavee Ranong. ฿240 - still can't find a decent hotel in Ranong. Still a cracking town though.
Ferry. Ranong - Koh Payam. ฿150 2hr 35min
Coconut Beach Resort. Koh Payam. ฿500 - at bit more developed than in 2001 but still a fantastic island. Love it.
Ferry. Koh Payam - Ranong. ฿150 2hr 5min
Mini bus. Ranong - Surat Thani. ฿180 3hr 5min
? Hotel. Surat Thani. (AC) ฿400 - sorry name was only in Thai. We'd rather stay in Surat Thani than Koh Samui anyday
Bus. Surat Thani - Surat Thani Airport. ฿70 1hr - don't let anyone tell you it doesn't exist!!
Plane. Thai Air Asia FD3182. Surat Thani - Bangkok. ฿1550 1hr - now we can't stop flying!!!
Mythical bus 556. ฿35 2hr 30min - maybe it will actually be running soon.
Thai Cozy House. Bangkok. ฿850
Plane. Emirates EK419. Bangkok - Dubai. 3hr 30min (not flying time obviously!)
Plane. Emirates EK039. Dubai - Birmingham. 3hr :35min - but luggage still in Dubai!!
The flights from Hong Kong to Birmingham via Bangkok were £322.00 each - booked online at http://www.emirates.com