Asia, a colorful mix of spirituality, incense, spices and architecture, captivates from the start. Whether you are visiting the Great Wall of China, admiring the temples of Thailand, enduring the jungles of Malaysia, tackling the steppes of Mongolia, swimming the many islands of the region or skiing the Alps of Japan, the diversity of Asia’s landscape will astound you.
So, as you consider your next global travel opportunity, below are some helpful hints for greener transportation options while traveling through Asia:
Train Travel – With the announcement of an expanded high-speed rail project that would link China to Southeast Asia ultimately to Singapore, train travel is fast becoming a favored option over airline travel for Asian travelers. Other countries with well-developed train travel options include India, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. Having personally taken the Eastern & Oriental Express from Singapore to Bangkok, the experience, scenery, service, accommodations, unique group tours, afternoon High Tea and food prepared with local ingredients were all luxurious, memorable and marvelous.
Train/Bus Travel - If you are have an interest in a specific country in Asia, check out the trusty Seat61.com site which will also provide some cursory bus information where train travel is not possible. Lastly, if you are really into long duration train travel, the site lists specific information for traveling on the Silk Route from Europe, which goes through Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China with extensions through Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.
Boat/Cruise Travel – The major cruise lines all have itineraries that run through the region, but if you are looking for a less crowded alternative, consider the green slow boat on the Mekong from Thailand to Laos, which is “operated by a company that contributes to the schools of the hill tribe villages where the boat stops along the way, and does good green things like organic gardening, energy-efficient lighting and hot water, composting and recycling”.