You can go around the world for 800 USD Pt II – Southeast Asia to Europe

Pt I – Introduction
Pt II – Southeast Asia to Europe
Pt III – Europe to North America
Pt IV – North America to Southeast Asia
Pt V – Sample Itineraries

All prices quoted are accurate as of 8 March 2017. They include all taxes and fuel surcharges but exclude checked luggage and meals (except otherwise stated).

In the first part of the series, I’ve shared about the possibility of traveling around the globe for 800 USD.

In this part, I will explore the various options between Southeast Asia and Europe:-

Option 1 – Direct to Athens with Scoot

Image from Scoot

Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ low-cost long-haul subsidiary, will start flying to Athens from 20 June 2017. Their cheapest non-promotional ticket is as low as 334 SGD (~237 USD).

This is a good option for those who wish to visit Greece as part of their round-the-world trip. Athens is connected to rest of the Europe through low-cost carriers like easyJet (e.g. London Gatwick, Manchester, Milan, etc) and Ryanair (e.g. London Stansted, Rome Ciampino, Frankfurt, etc).

Option 2 – Via Bangkok with Norwegian

Norwegian Air Shuttle flies direct between Bangkok and the three Nordic capitals with its 787s.

Maps generated by the Great Circle Map & copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

With fares as low as 170 EUR (~180 USD or ~255 SGD), this option seems to be the cheapest way to Northern Europe. An one-way ticket from Singapore to Bangkok could be as low as 50 USD. While the Scandinavian countries are expensive to visit, these cities are great for onward travel to North America due to them being the hubs of Norwegian Air Shuttle and well-connected to US cities.

Option 3 – Classic route with stops in South Asia and Middle East

Before long-haul budget carriers started flying direct between Europe and Southeast Asia, one has to take a series of short/mid-haul low-cost flights across Southeast Asia, South Asia and Middle East before arriving in Europe. Travelers flying this route often have to make three or more stops.

List of low-cost airlines between S.E. Asia, S. Asia, Middle East and Europe

With so many choices, below is one of the many possible combinations:-

Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Colombo to Dubai to Istanbul to London

Maps generated by the Great Circle Map & copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Leg 1: AirAsia – Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Colombo for ~88 USD (125 SGD)

Leg 2: Flydubai – Colombo to Dubai to Istanbul for 175 USD (~250 SGD)

Leg 3: Pegasus – Istanbul to London for 43 USD (~61 SGD)

The total cost of this itinerary can be as low as 306 USD (~436 SGD).

Taking a series of short/mid-haul flights is likely to be the most expensive and time-consuming option. It is only advisable for those who are planning to visit the cities along the way (e.g. Dubai or Istanbul).

03 Istanbul 024

Option 4 – Via Iran with AirAsia X (NOT RECOMMENDED)

An interesting route is via Tehran with AirAsia X.

Maps generated by the Great Circle Map & copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Leg 1 : AirAsia X – Kuala Lumpur to Tehran for 599 MYR (~135 USD).

It isn’t expensive to fly from Tehran to London (or other parts of Europe) with Pegasus (via Istanbul) or Aegean (via Athens).

Leg 2: Pegasus – Tehran to London Stansted for 125 USD (~180 SGD)

Aegean – Tehran to London Heathrow for 103 EUR (~109 USD or ~155 SGD)

It’s possible to get from Kuala Lumpur to London via Tehran and either Istanbul or Athens for around 250 USD (add an additional 40 USD to travel between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur).

However, this option is NOT RECOMMENDED currently for round-the-world-trippers, especially those who are traveling westward. Visitors from countries who are eligible for United States’ visa waiver program (e.g. Singapore) will be suspended from enjoying it if they have visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria in the past five years. They will need to apply for the visa personally at an US embassy before their visit.


With the plethora of low-cost options between Southeast Asia and Europe, there should be a combination which works out the best for you. If you’re short of time or/and money, going the direct route with either Scoot or Norwegian will be the best bet. If you’ve plenty of time and will like to see the countries along the way, taking a series of short/mid-haul flights will be most appealing choice for you.

In the next part, I will cover the options between Europe and North America.

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