Slightly cleaner than average Chinese train sleeper car

Slightly cleaner than average Chinese train sleeper car

After reading through some of our polls people have participated in throughout the site, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the information.  A while back we found that right after food, getting around in a foreign country was one of ATC readers biggest fears.  Here is a short list of, in my opinion, the easiest countries to travel through and get around.

Keep in mind we have been through China, Mongolia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, The Republic of Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Tunisia, and Puerto Rico – leaving out some countries and islands that shouldn’t qualify for either their size or the length of time we spent in them.

  • Turkey – Turkey was, by far without a doubt, the easiest place to get around.  If you wanted to fly you usually could and ticket prices were reasonable.  However, what we loved the most was the bus system and local public transportation.  There were usually about 8 or 10 different companies at each station and they were all competing and therefore, keeping the prices reasonable and allowing for a variety of schedules.  Moreover, they served tea, coffee, juice, pop, and snakes throughout the drive.  Local transportation in cities was also pretty reasonable and easy to navigate.  English was usually spoken at most terminals we went through.
  • China – Unfortunately, although China will always be my favorite country to travel through via public transportation I had to give them #2 because of the absolute chaos that usually ensues during every planning process, ticket purchase, and multiple bus transfers you are usually forced to take.  Most ticketing experiences were all conducted in Chinese as no one ever used English.  Also, since train and large bus transportation was state run, no one would help us so we had to push to the front of lines and speak beyond beginners Chinese to get anything done.  However, China’s has awesome sleeper trains, buses, as well as their huge network of schedules for all types of transportation as well as subway systems in the very large cities and dirt cheap taxi rides.
    lauren and monk

    Lauren and a Monk

  • Bulgaria – Our train from Istanbul to Bulgaria  easily was the nicest, cleanest, and comfortable cabin we have ever been.  It was right on time and had really friendly attendants as well as immaculate bathrooms.  Intercity trains were easy to come by and the networked bus system was relatively straight forward and reasonably priced.

Stay tuned for – The Most Difficult Countries / Places to Get Around

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  • Most difficult = KAZAKHSTAN, those bastards!

  • Adriana says:

    Europe is easy to travel around in general because everyone speaks English and transportation is great!

  • Mike says:

    Kazakhstan was just the police that made it difficult – The US hasn’t exactly been a can of peaches. You need a car to go practically anywhere.

  • Anil says:

    Once you ride a Turkish bus, most other services around the world seem mediocre. The Turkish bus system really makes traveling in the country easy, I agree.

  • China is probably one of the best countries to go to because of the diverse cultures and traditions but is it really tourist friendly?
    -Practically no one speaks English.
    -Fine…transportation is decent, but if you try driving? Good luck on that.
    -And you always have to worry about getting pick-pocketed or stabbed(in your sleep).

  • abandont says:

    Stabbed in your sleep?? Haha were you staying in Shenzhen? You are right though, but it was an easier one for us since we speak some Chinese, but we would never want to drive there and there is no need to.

  • flip says:

    stabbed in your sleep? whoaaa

    china is also my fave country but when i was traveling in the southwest part, people are smoking inside the bus (windows closed) and it’s really uncomfortable… nevertheless the scenic roads that you’ll pass through is just amazing

  • v says:

    What class was that cabin on the Chinese train? I always got/ended up in the sleeper cars that were open with no door, just a long line of beds. Looks like I missed out.

  • They were hard sleepers. Each train car was divided into cabins with 6 beds each. There were no doors on these cabins, however, the soft sleeper cabins had four beds with a door to each cabin – I have never actually been in one of these.

  • Carl says:

    Finland, especially Lapland in there, is very good cultural shock. Who doesn’t know, here is map: http://mappi.us?q=67.92223,26.504644,4,66.16051,35.94727,3
    But don’t go there in winter!

  • marta says:

    i don’t think italy is an easy country to travel: trains are always lates and connections through public transports are not that good if you want to go off the major tourist hubs.

  • I’ve heard really good things about traveling in Turkey. When I plan my trip to Europe, I’ll definitely have to check it out.

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