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 Euros = 1 UK Pound

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 3hr45min

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 1hr 10min - 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 - Domazlice. €14.90 combination ticket - Bayernticket and single in Czech Rep 2hr 40min

Czech Republic 41.54 Koruna = 1 UK Pound

Penzion Konselsky Senk. Domazlice. 1060Kc - all accommodation in the Czech Republic is of a good standard, but not particularly cheap. This was one of the best.

Train. Domazlice - Klatovy. Kc36 1hr

Penzion U Hejtmana. Klatovy. Kc590 (no breakfast)

Train. Klatovy - Susice 1hr
Train. Susice - Horazdovice Predm. Kc48 (from Klatovy) 20min
Train. Horazdovice Predm - Ceske Budejovice. Kc62 1hr 10min
Train. Ceske Budejovice - Cesky Krumlov. Kc32 1hr 5min

Penzion Hana Sladova. Cesky Krumlov. Kc990 - no shortage of accommodation but much of it full. Try to avoid weekends if possible.

Bus. Cesky Krumlov - Ceske Budejovice. Kr28 + 4 (luggage) 45min
Train. Ceske Budejovice - Tabor. Kr55 1hr 10min
Train. Tabor - Veseli n. Luznici. 40min
Train. Veseli n. Luznici - Jihlava maesto. 1hr 40min
Train. Jihlava maesto - Jihlava. 5min
Train. Jihlava - Havlickuv Brod. Kc154 (from Tabor - to Kutna 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 Havlickuv Brod which is a fine place - shame about the weather!

Hotel U Zlateho Lva. Havlickuv Brod. Kc1640 - expensive but very nice - we will be back here for a proper holiday one day.

Train. Havlickuv Brod - Kutna Hora. Included in previous days ticket! 1hr 30min

Penzion Sedlek. Kutna Hora. Kc400 - cheap and cheerful, good location near to station but a bit rough.

Train. Kutna Hora - Kolin. 10min
Train. Kolin - Olomouc hl n. Kc154 + Kc60 Inter-City supplement (from Kutna Hora) 2hr 5min
Bus. Olomouc - Novy Jicin. Kc70 + 10 (luggage) 1hr 15min
Bus. Novy Jicin - Stramberk. Kc15 + 6 (luggage) 20min

Penzion in corner of square. Stramberk. Kc900 It's in the bakery - next to the brewery. Sorry I didn't get the name.

Bus. Stramberk - Koprivnice. Kc24 20min
Bus. Koprivnice - Frenstat pod Radhostem. Kc26 + 6 (luggage) 40min

Hotel Radhost. Frenstat pod Radhostem. Kc800 Very good value but watch out for the nightclub at 2:00am

Train. Frenstat pod Radhostem - Frydek-Mistek. 30min
Train. Frydek-Mistek - Cesky Tesin. Kc48 (from Frenstat) 35min

Poland 5.69 Zloty = 1 UK Pound

Train. Cieszyn - Zebrzydowice. 35min
Train. Zebrzydowice - Czechowice Dziedzice. 40min
Train. Czechowice Dziedzice - Oswiecim. 35min
Train. Oswiecim - Krakow Glowny. Zl17.50 (from Cieszyn) 1hr 35min

Trzy Kafki Plus. Krakow. Zl130 - good value hostel style accommodation in one of Europe's most 'happening' cities.

Train. Krakow Glowny - Przemysl Glowny. Zl40 3hr 30min

Hotel Hala. Przemysl. Zl80 - a bit rough but cheap enough - interesting breakfasts!

Bus. Przemysl - Lviv. Zl 20 (Time inc 1hr clock change) 4hr

Ukraine 9.48 Hryvnia = 1 UK Pound

Hotel Lviv. Lviv. 160uah -Soviet style place but with an excellent view of the city.

Train. Lviv - Ternopil. 18.71uah 2hr 20min

Hotel Ternopil. Ternopil. 150uah - another Soviet style place this time with a view of the lake.

Bus. Ternopil - Kamyanets-Podilsky. 24.79uah 4hr

Hotel Ukrainia. Kamyanets-Podilsky. 100uah - complete dump - don't bother.

Bus. Kamyanets-Podilsky - Khmelnytsky. 11.93uah 2hr 25min
Bus. Khmelnytsky - Vinnyitsa. 12uah 1hr 45min

Hotel Piwaennts Buz. Vinnyitsa. 205uah (Lux room) - Our favourite Ukrainian city.

Train. Vinnyitsa - Kiev. 9.68uah 3hr 50min

Apartment from lady at station in Kiev. Kavkaskaja 9 - 66, Kiev. 150uah - 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 Kievsky. 208.50uah (Kupe) 13hr 30min

Russia 50.22 Roubles = 1 UK Pound

Irbis Hotel. Moscow. R2750 - 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). R393 4hr 55min

Volga Slope Hotel. Nizhny Novgorod. R1400 - another Soviet pile but with brilliant views across the Volga.

Train. Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky Moskovsky) - Kazan. R910.70 9hr 20min

Hotel Fatima. Kazan. R900 - shared bathroom but spotlessly clean. Best value we found in Russia.

Bus. Kazan - Samara. R452.70 7hr 40min

Hotel National. Samara. R2000 5hr - very nice city and beautiful hotel.

Train. Samara - Orenburg. R744.70 9hr 35min

Hotel Fakel. Orenburg. R2800 (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. R470.60 (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 Tenge = 1 UK Pound

Hotel Ilek. Aktobe. 5000T - the absolutely friendliest hotel in town. Excellent cafe.

Train. Aktobe - Aralsk. 1791T 10hr 50min


Hotel Aral. Aralsk. 3000T (no breakfast) - last hotel standing!

Train. Aralsk - Turkestan. 1380T. (Plaskartney) 13hr 5min - try to book this before you get there or you may end up standing for 13 hours!

Hotel Edem. Turkestan. 4000T - promised hot water didn't materialise but at least you could breath the air!

Bus. Turkestan - Shymkent. 350T 2hr 15min

Hotel Ordabassy. Shymkent. 4300T

Bus. Shymkent - Tulkibas. 150T 1hr 30min
Taxi. Tulkibas - Zhabaghly. 600T 25min

Yevgennys Boarding House. Zhabaghly. 9000T (full board) - the only place to stay. Very nice village - home of the tulip.

Taxi. Zhabaghly - Risqulov. FOC (thanks Yevgennys) 25min
Bus. Risqulov - Shymkent. 200T 1hr 20min
Train. Shymkent - Almaty. 3202T 15hr 5min

Hotel Zhetisu. Almaty. 7800T

Train. Almaty - Urumqi. 8500T 35hr 10min (inc 8 hr border crossing and 3 hour time shift)

China 14.87 Yuan = 1 UK Pound

Wen Zhou Hotel. Urumqi. Y298

Shared Taxi. Urumqi - Tian Chi. Y80 1hr 40min

Rachids Yurt. Tian Chi Y100 - no toilets but includes 3 meals. Cold but exciting!

Bus. Tian Chi - Fukang. Y10 1hr 5min
Bus. Fukang - Urumqi. Y10.50 1hr 10min
Bus. Urumqi - Turpan. Y40 2hr 40min

Grain Trade Hotel. Turpan. Y120 - a bit run down but comfortable enough. Go upstairs to get away from the traffic noise.

Bus. Turpan - Hami. Y65 7hr - across the desert.

Dianli Hotel. Hami. Y240 - expensive for what it was.

Bus. Hami - Dunhuang. Y70 6hr - still in the desert

Fei Tian Hotel. Dunhuang. Y200

Bus. Dunhuang - Jiayuguan. Y70 5hr 45min

Xiong Guan Hotel. Jiayuguan. Y160

Bus. Jiayuguan - Zhangye. Y44 4hr 35min

Yingbinlou Hotel. Zhangye. Y88 - good value - nice town.

Bus. Zhangye - Xining. Y60.50 8hr 45min - spectacular ride through the mountains

Qinhai Overseas Chinese Mansions. Xining. Y120

Bus. Xining - Tongren. Y30.30 4hr 5min - into Tibet

You Zeng Hotel. Tongren. Y90

Bus. Tongren - Xiahe. Y21 3hr 30min - across the Ganga Grasslands - an unexpected bonus.

Overseas Tibetan Hotel. Xiahe. Y160


Bus. Xiahe - Hezuo. Y9 1hr 35min

Xin Shi Ji Hotel. Hezuo. Y60 - not much of a hotel - not much of a town!!

Bus. Hezuo - Langmusi. Y28 3hr 20min

Langmusi Hotel. Langmusi. Y70

Bus. Langmusi - Zoige. Y20 3hr 35min

Panzhou Hotel. Zoige. Y40 - no toilet but with electric blankets. Zoige is a lovely place - don't believe what it says in your guidebook.

Bus. Zoige - Songpan. Y58 4hr 35min - the highest we got - through blizzards on scary roads.

Traffic Hotel. Songpan. Y120

Bus. Songpan - Yinxin. Y66 7hr
Bus. Yinxin - Wolong. Y14 2hr 50min

Good Flavour Restaurant. Wolong. Y120 - 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. Y23 4hr 20min
Bus. Dujiangyan - Chengdu. Y16 35min

Binjiang Hotel. Chengdu. Y160 - top value hotel right in the town centre


Train. Chengdu - Xi'an. Y193 (Soft sleeper) + Y5 commission 18hr 5min

Lijing Hotel. Xi'an. Y228 - right in the town centre overlooking the drum tower.

Train. Xi'an - Zengzhou. Y73 (hard seat) 7hr 15min
Bus. Zengzhou - Kaifeng. Y22 2hr

Yingbin Hotel. Kaifeng Y50 - no bathroom. The town was full and very noisy.

Bus. Kaifeng - Shangqiu. Y28 3hr 10min
Bus. Shangqiu - Bozhou. Y15 1hr 15min

Goujing Hotel. Bozhou. Y168 - very nice hotel in friendly city

Bus. Bozhou - Guoyang. Y10 1hr 10min
Bus. Guoyang - Bengbu. Y31.50 2hr 15min

Xi Cheng Hotel. Bengbu. Y80 - 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. Y46.50 3hr 20min
Bus. Nanjing - Wuxi. Y52 2hr

Tia Shan Hotel. Wuxi. Y180 - top value in a very nice modern city.

Bus. Wuxi - Suzhou. Y22.50 1hr 5min

Suzhou 100 Happy Hotel. Suzhou. Y280 - good value in 'tourist town'. Best not to pay by credit card (allegedly)

Train. Suzhou - Shanghai South. Y24 (soft seat) 1hr 40min

Astor House Hotel. Shanghai. Y500 - 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. Y44 (soft seat) 1hr 45min

Jingjin Hotel. Hangzhou. Y190

Bus. Hangzhou - Yongkang. Y70 2hr 50min

Feifiang (Huikuo) Hotel. Yongkang. Y100 - the uPVC door capital of China!! Another excellent town.

Bus. Yongkang - Lishui. Y20 1hr 15min
Bus. Lishui - Yunghe. Y20 1hr 10min

Welcome (Swallow) Hotel. Yunghe. Y80 - 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. Y31 3hr 10min

Jinlong Hotel. Taishun. Y110 - slightly grubby town but still quite interesting. Hotel was a dump though.

Bus. Taishun - Yashong. Y15 1hr 30min
Bus. Yashong - Fuding. Y16 1hr 20min
Bus. Fuding - Xiapu. Y29 1hr 10min

? Hotel. Xiapu. Y60 - complete tip - should have stayed in Fuding.

Bus. Xiapu - Ningde. Y26 1hr 5min
Bus. Ningde - Luoyuan. Y11 45min
Bus. Luoyuan - Fuzhou. Y15 1hr 40min

Mintai Hotel. Fuzhou. Y150

Bus. Fuzhou - Quanzhou. Y58 2hr 50min

Jianfu Business Hotel. Quanzhou Y188 - including computer in room. Nice historic city - nice to see a bit of old China still standing.

Bus. Quanzhou - Xiamen. Y58 1hr 40min
Ferry. Xiamen - Gulangyu. 10min

Luzhou Hotel. Gulangyu. Y227 - at last no cars

Ferry. Gulangyu - Xiamen. Y8 10min
Bus. Xiamen - Yongding. Y55 4hr 20min

Dongfu Guesthouse. Yongding. Y100


Fuyu Building Changdi Inn. Hongkeng Village. Y80 - no toilet but then it was a Hakka earth building.

Bus. Hongkeng - Zhiling. Y6 35min
Bus. Zhiling - Xiayang. Y4 25min
Bus. Xiayang - Cheyang. Y10 35min
Bus. Cheyang - Dapu. Y7 50min

Overseas Chinese Hotel. Dapu. Y100 - excellent hotel in charming Hakka township.

Bus. Dapu - Chaozhou. Y44 3hr 50min

Fengcheng Hotel. Chaozhou. Y130 - very nice old city

Bus. Chaozhou - Huizhou. Y110 5hr 10min

East River Hotel. Huizhou. Y150 as good a place as any to finish off our Chinese trip. Very calm and pleasant.


Bus. Huizhou - Shenzhen. Y45 1hr 35min

Hong Kong SAR 14.63 HK$ = 1 UK Pound

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 Bhart = 1 UK Pound

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. B850 - complete with cable TV, shower, AC and window - what spoilt brats we are!!

Train. Bangkok - Pratchuap Kirikhan. (Special AC Express). 425B 5hr 10min

Suk Sant Hotel, Prachuap Khirikhan. 350B - one of our old haunts. Stayed for a couple of nights until we had our eye caught by....

Sun Bay Guesthouse. Prachuap Khirikhan. B900 - more than double the price but more than double the comfort - and hell we'd earned it!!

Express Bus. Prachuap Khirikhan - Chumphon. B120 2hr 55min
Mini Bus. Chumphon - Ranong. B120 2hr

Hotel Sintavee Ranong. B240 - still can't find a decent hotel in Ranong. Still a cracking town though.

Ferry. Ranong - Koh Payam. B150 2hr 35min

Coconut Beach Resort. Koh Payam. B500 - at bit more developed than in 2001 but still a fantastic island. Love it.

Ferry. Koh Payam - Ranong. B150 2hr 5min
Mini bus. Ranong - Surat Thani. B180 3hr 5min

? Hotel. Surat Thani. (AC) B400 - sorry name was only in Thai. We'd rather stay in Surat Thani than Koh Samui anyday

Bus. Surat Thani - Surat Thani Airport. B70 1hr - don't let anyone tell you it doesn't exist!!
Plane. Thai Air Asia FD3182. Surat Thani - Bangkok. B1550 1hr - now we can't stop flying!!!
Mythical bus 556. B35 2hr 30min - maybe it will actually be running soon.

Thai Cozy House. Bangkok. B850

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