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Bus in India
Photograph: Geoffrey Wiggins /

This 3,000-mile bus trip could be the ultimate way to see south-east Asia

Passengers can sign up now for the 20-day journey through India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore

James Manning
Written by
James Manning

Global travel may still be largely on ice, but we’ve got our hearts set on some big trips once borders and transportation finally open up again. And if you’re really looking to stack up your bucket list, here’s an adventure for you: a three-week road trip from India to Singapore, winding 2,800 miles through Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia.

Twenty passengers will ride a specially-kitted-out bus on the 20-day adventure, which includes full-day stopovers in Yangon, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

The ‘Bus to Singapore’ quest (the first of its kind, say the organisers) starts from Imphal, in the far east of India, on November 14 2021. Its route follows Asian Highway 1 via some of the most famous sites in south-east Asia, including the temples of Bagan, the beaches of Krabi and Malaysia’s Batu Caves.

The bus will reach Singapore on December 3, and a fresh batch of explorers will be able to climb aboard and trace the same journey in reverse, back to India.

This truly epic journey is the brainchild of Overland Adventures, an Indian travel company. The organisers will be hoping that border closures significantly ease by November to make the trip possible. (Their even more ambitious 70-day bus trip from India to London has already been postponed due to the ongoing travel freeze.)

The Bus to Singapore won’t be the most convenient journey: the trip brochure specifically warns that ‘patience will be a massive virtue’ when crossing land borders.

Nor will it be the cheapest, though your 625,000-rupee fare (£6,241, $8,569, A$11,168) does include 20 days’ worth of hotel stays, meals, guided tours, visa fees, snacks, wifi and even a book to read on the road.

But if you’re looking for a truly memorable travel experience this year, we can definitely think of worse ways to smash through that travel budget you’ve been saving up. Up for it? Register your interest now.

Check out 21 more cool things for travellers to look forward to in 2021, plus the lowdown on post-vaccine travel.

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