I posted previously about the full Round the World Trip using Rail where possible here:Forget Paul Theroux , you ought to write this up. Superb
As pointed out by Please Explain!
Just a list really but from memory:
Tickets to Guangzho (Canton City) were purchased at Beijing Main Railway Station (Cash) from the only window where some English was spoken, quite chaotic and we somehow managed to board the train in the evening. We were in Hard Sleeper with open compartments with 6 Beds – 3 either side and a corridor down the side as normal. Discovering that my girlfriend was allocated a bed at the opposite end of the carriage to me reduced her to tears until the Guard moved us so we could be in the same compartment. The locals spitting on the floor took a bit of getting used to but it was a pleasant journey from Beijing through rural China. Memories of locals sitting on fold down seats in the corridor looking out of the window whilst devouring steaming bowls of noodles and the chorus of phlegm being brought up in the morning! We met some interesting people including a Businessman from Pakistan travelling to Hong Kong who shared his food with us and insisted we accompany him to a cheap hotel in Hong Kong. We didn’t take him up on the offer!
On arrival in Guangzho we changed to a modern train for the relatively short journey to Hong Kong. I remember the double seats could be spun around 180 degrees so you could always face the direction of travel. Arriving in Hong Kong was like landing on a different planet (still under British Rule in those days). From sub zero winter in Russia and China to tropical and warm in Hong Kong with the familiar sight of Red London Buses and expats from the banking world. We headed to Chunking Mansions which were 3 tower blocks with hundreds of guest houses and all the cuisines of the world available on the ground floor. They certainly weren't Mansions and the fire exits were all blocked with rubbish - literally a death trap. I believe there was a fire a few years later and some people were killed due to not being able to get out. We spent a week there before taking a short flight to Thailand which cost around £70 one way each.
We spent some time in Bangkok before taking a train down to Surat Thani meeting an American Gem Dealer who refused to take the night buses after waking up one night lying on the road having fallen asleep in the seat behind the driver and when the bus crashed he was flung straight over the drivers head and through the windscreen and landed on the road. We then took a boat out to Koh Samui for a week or 2 before heading back to Bangkok via the same route and purchasing tickets to Australia from a Travel Agent on Khao San Road. We just wanted the cheapest tickets so ended up flying British Airways to Perth in Western Australia. Thinking back we should have purchased them on arrival in Bangkok from Hong Kong as we had to spend the next three days in Bangkok in high humidity with no aircon and just a slow moving ceiling fan to cool us down!