The construction of a new train line in Laos means that it is now possible to travel from Portugal to Hua Hin and on to Singapore by train.
The route is thought to be the longest train journey in the world spanning some 18,755km and would take an estimated 21 days to complete the journey.
Travelling from Lagos in southern Portugal to Singapore, the journey requires a number of changes to hop on and hop off trains in cities such as Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Vientiane, Bangkok, Hua Hin, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
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Prior to the opening of the new train line in Laos, the route would have ended in Vietnam, before passengers would need to catch a connecting bus to Saigon and onto Cambodia and Vietnam.
However, as of 2nd December 2021, Laos’ new high speed rail network that connects Kunming in China to the capital Vientiane means that it is now possible to continue on to Bangkok and south to Hua Hin before continuing on to Padang Besar in Malaysia and finally, Singapore.
The whole trip would take in 13 different countries, according to rail expert Mark Smith from the train travel booking website Seat 61 who first publicised the epic trip.
There would of course be a few overnight stops required to allow for immigration and visa processing, as well as some short hops across cities to different train stations.
Currently two of the longest sections of the route – Paris to Moscow and Moscow to Beijing – are not operating due to the pandemic and conflict between Russia and Ukraine*.
But if you are looking for a once in a life time experience, and particularly if you enjoy train travel, this could be the perfect trip and something worth trying now that COVID-19 travel restrictions are starting to be eased.
*Post updated to reference the conflict between Russia and Ukraine