Hop-on-hop-off buses have been a staple of city tours for years, but how about for crossing continents? Next year, an epic new bus service from Adventures Overland called Bus To London will set off on a 20,000km journey from India to England, crossing 18 countries over 70 days and allowing passengers to stop off in cities along the way.
Part of the route is similar to the Hippie Trail, a popular overland journey between Europe and Asia on ‘magic buses’ between the 1950s and 1970s, and Adventures Overland is looking to tap into that heritage but with a 21st-century upgrade. Though it’s been dubbed ‘the longest bus journey in the world’, the adventure is made more comfortable with mod-cons such as reclining ‘business class’ seats with plenty of legroom, WiFi, in-seat phone charging points, private lockers and individual entertainment systems with AUX and USB ports.
Starting in Delhi, the route first heads east through India to see the pagodas of Myanmar before crossing into Thailand and stopping in the frenetic foodie hub of Bangkok. The journey then turns north, crossing the Mekong River into Laos. The route meanders up to China, starting in Chengdu where travellers can meet pandas and then walk the Great Wall and explore the Gobi Desert elsewhere in China’s western provinces. The journey then follows parts of the ancient Silk Road, through remarkably preserved sites in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Next comes Russia and Moscow’s iconic Red Square before heading into Europe’s capital cities, including Vilnius, Warsaw, Prague and Brussels. After more than two months on the road, the bus finally comes to a stop in London.
The first departure is currently set for May 2021, but the dates could be changed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Tickets can be purchased for one of four legs of the journey or for the entire through route. Only 20 tickets will be sold for the first through-journey, and they’re priced at £15,300.