Are you planning to travel to Southeast Asia and wondering what’s the best way to move around? This is the article you’re looking for! With this step-by-step tutorial we’ll help you to use a simple platform, Baolau.vn, to book tickets online: train, buses, ferries and flights to visit the best places in Southeast Asia.
We know for experience that sometimes communicating and planning a trip in Southeast Asia can be very frustrating, not only because of the language barriers, but often there are no fixed schedules or direct transports, and in many cases we lost a lot of time and patience in the process. But don’t worry, we are going to help you to book tickets online.
Most of the countries have national websites to check the schedule (of trains in particular), but they’re often in the local language only, and they usually don’t accept payments with foreign credit cards, meaning it’s useless if you want to book and secure your seat.
Travelling in Vietnam we found out a quite new platform, Baolau, that helps travellers find their way in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, compare transport options and book tickets easily in few minutes. The website cooperates with the major transportation providers in the region to integrate accurate information of schedules and prices, and make online booking accessible to everybody, accepting foreign credit cards from all over the world.
HOW TO BOOK TICKETS ONLINE WITH BAOLAU
Using Baolau.com is very easy: the homepage welcomes you with an intuitive interface. Follow this step-by-step tutorial and you won’t have any problems in finding the best way to move around Southeast Asia.
1. Enter your ideal itinerary on the date you prefer
The first step is to enter the details of your journey: departure, destination, one-way or return ticket, number of travelers.
2. Compare the travel options to reach your destination
Once you enter the information, you’ll be shown the complete list of options to reach your destination, schedule, duration and price. On the right, you’ll be able to filter your options, choosing if you prefer to travel by plane, train, bus or ferry.
Prices are usually shown in the local currency of the country you’re travelling to, but in the right corner you can choose to change it in US dollars, euros, pounds, Singapore dollars or Japanese Yen.
3. Select the most suitable fare and check the details
Selecting one of the options in the list, a drop-down menu will appear together with the detailed informations of the journey: time and address of departure, detail of the train, plane, bus, ferry, time and address of arrival.
In case you’re booking a train ticket, you’ll be asked to choose the kind of seat: for longer journeys, our recommendation is the soft bed in a four-bed compartment.
In case you’re booking a plane ticket, your choice is between economic or business class, which will have slightly different names according to the company you’re flying with.
In case you’re booking a bus ticket, often the buses are sleeper, since you’re probably selecting a short section of a much longer journey, so you won’t have to choose among different types of seat.
Once you select your seat, you can proceed clicking on the right button “Book ticket online”.
4. Select your return trip
Next step consists in selecting the return ticket, if you chose the 2-ways option. In case you’re travelling one way only, skip this step.
Once you found the best option for you, proceed to select it by clicking on the “book ticket online” green button.
5. Check your travel information and insert passenger information
Once you select both ways, or one if you chose a one-way ticket, you’ll be redirected to a summary page of your itinerary.
In case you’re booking a train ticket, there’s a form to fill in with the passenger details, i.e. name, surname and passport number.
Scrolling down, you’ll be shown a map of the train and the available seats for you to select: the red ones are sold out, the grey ones are still available. Hovering on them with the mouse, they’ll change into green color, and once selected into yellow.
In case you’re booking a plane ticket, you’ll also find the details regarding the baggage and the maximum weight allowed, together with the option to buy an extra check-in bag, if not included.
Then you’ll have to fill in a form with the passenger contact informations.
In case you’re booking a plane ticket, you’ll have the opportunity to choose your seat, once it’s time for check-in, a few days before your flight; but you’ll be informed by email by the airways company directly.
6. Choose payment options
One of the last steps is the payment: you’ll be asked to state if yours is either an international card or a local card (there’s a list of banks so you can check if yours is among them).
Scrolling down the page, your itinerary will be reported once again with the prices of the single journeys, adding small fees too. The fees on the transaction are the only downside, but necessary to book online since the official websites don’t accept foreign cards for the payment.
Before proceeding to the payment, you’ll find the terms and conditions section, listing the conditions of all the companies involved (buses, trains, airways companies). I’d definitely recommend to have a look, at least for the company you book the ticket with.
7. Proceed to the payment section
8. Insert payment information
A new page will open and you’ll be asked to provide your card number, card type, expiry date and CSC number on the back of the card. Then select “Process Payment”.
9. Payment confirmation
You’ll be then redirected to a page stating that your payment has been submitted and within 24hours you’ll receive your tickets by email, with the option of printing them or downloading a PDF file.
Now that you know how to book tickets online step by step, what are you waiting for?!
Travelling by plane is certainly faster and often more comfortable; we suggest to choose this mean of transport if you don’t have many days and you’re trying to enjoy every single moment visiting the region.
Otherwise, in our opinion the best way to travel in a Southeast Asian country and to experience its culture is by train, bus and ferry. That’s the way local people move around, and we love to spend hours observing them and trying to understand their habits.
We’ll never forget the journeys in Sri Lanka in the company of local people singing and playing music on the bus, or that time we travelled in northern Vietnam on a minivan full of cinnamon branches releasing an incredible perfume at every bump on the road.
No matter how, by train, by bus, by plane, walking… Just travel and enjoy the world!
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