Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Route Planning

Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London
Posts: 284
Iran to Bangkok questions

I'm planning to get to Thailand and to avoid the massive complications of Pakistan, a country I'm not bothered about visiting in any case I figure the easiest thing for me is to ride from london to Iran and then load my bike as freight at Bandar Abbas and ship directly to Thailand with me flying over.
My questions are, has anyone done this? What sort of costs are involved and how easy is to enter Iran? I know they don't legally require a Carnet so how easy is it to cross the border without one? Is it possible? I'm in the UK so the Carnet cost and hassle is a serious problem for me with the RAC charging 500% of the cost of my bike and they look to only pay back half of that to me. I'm still looking into this though as I had hoped to visit India.
Any help gratefully received.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aussie expat in Switzerland half way RTW
Posts: 613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtw000 View Post
I'm planning to get to Thailand and to avoid the massive complications of Pakistan, a country I'm not bothered about visiting in any case I figure the easiest thing for me is to ride from london to Iran and then load my bike as freight at Bandar Abbas and ship directly to Thailand with me flying over.

Why do you think that Pakistan has "massive complications" and what are you refering to?

In fact Iran visa is much harder to get than Pakistan. Iran has higher CDP garantee 400% or higher.

Don't dismiss Pakistan, it all too often is overlooked and wrongly so, I think you'd be plesantly surprised by Pakistan if you gave it a chance. There are only some areas that are off limits. IMHO I personally felt much safer in Pakistan than in India plust think of all the flood damage that was caused just recently, you would help contribute to the recovery by bringing your tourism $$ to Pakistan.
__________________
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
www.riding2up.net, blog.riding2up.net
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11 Jan 2011
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seville (E) / Geneva (CH)
Posts: 530
As far as I know, you definitely need a Carnet in Iran. We used it a few months ago.

If for some reason things go wrong and you have to leave the bike in Iran, you may to import it, get a stamp in your Carnet and then the deposit back in the UK, just in case. We had to do it with our car, a Renault 5 (my girlfriend said plainly NO to Pakistan right after the floods). Here's the post.

In our case, it took as TWO months to get the Iranian visa -we applied for 60 days-, although I had already gotten it two years before. Intrincate but wonderful Iran, worth any effort.

We met a couple who was shipping a VW T3 van from Bandar Abbas to India and it cost them a lot (they argued there is little traffic). Don´t know for a bike, but I wonder if it wouldn't be worth shipping it by plane: avoid extreme heat, distance, save time and even heavy Indian bureaucracy may be also easier (and that counts a lot in India).

Anyway, I still regret having missed Pakistan... (probably she doesn´t ). Maybe you are still on time.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aussie expat in Switzerland half way RTW
Posts: 613
Heavy Bureaucracy

I loved Iran and would happily go back and I don't blame Jtw000 for not wanting to have the hassle of escorts and police checkpoints in Balochistan (Southern Iran and western Pakistan), but in an effort to paint Pakistan and India in a realistic light and not have cheap unfounded shots let me clear the air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estebangc View Post
As far as I know, you definitely need a Carnet in Iran.
Yes a carnet is obligatory in Iran. Without it you won't be allowed to enter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estebangc View Post
my girlfriend said plainly NO to Pakistan right after the floods
That's a shame, have you seen the 'From Estonia with love' thread in ADV rider, these two fearless beings were airlifted during the floods by Pakistani military, with their R1150GS! Not to mention all the amazing photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estebangc View Post
it took as TWO months to get the Iranian visa -we applied for 60 days
Yes, it was the same issue with us, it took over 60days then they only issued a 7day visa. But in Iran it was easy enough to get the visa extended. It's also worth saying that you need to go via a MFD authorised Tour Agent to apply for the Visa and pay them a processing fee on top of the cost of the visa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estebangc View Post
heavy Indian bureaucracy ... (and that counts a lot in India).
This is irrelevant. India is not hard, heavy or more bureaucratic than other countries. For gods sake the west is far more bureaucratic than India or most of Asia for that matter and anyway as a traveller the only paperwork you need to get is the Carnet and a Visa, not more than for most countries. Once you've got those things then why not use it.

Afterall I have more paperwork at home then when travelling, all the banking, credit cards, rent, car insurance, house insurance, and it goes on an on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estebangc View Post
Anyway, I still regret having missed Pakistan... (probably she doesn´t ). Maybe you are still on time.
Take it from me, 15days in Pakistan was much too short (read our journal entry & newsletter). I now wish we'd stayed there longer, one month would have been great. The roads are good (coming from India) and People in Pakistan are extremely friendly and fare more genuine than in India which has been spoilt by tourism and is over populated.
__________________
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
www.riding2up.net, blog.riding2up.net
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London
Posts: 284
Nothing personal but the fact is the amount of paperwork and trouble to get into Pakistan and India makes it a lot less worth it for me. They're just places I am planning to pass through on my way to SE Asia. In SE Asian my money goes further and it's a lot easier to see where the road takes me. My biggest issue is the carnet about which we, in the UK get a very raw deal. I'm busy working it out but horror stories on here are making it look like the RAC basically keep half your money and I'm looking at a £12k bill which is just not going to happen. Hopefully these are just horror stories but I don't know yet. On top of that the other people posting on this forum are saying Pakistan is very difficult to get the Visa for. Marrying up the short term visas to three different countries all making access difficult sounds like we're stepping into the realm where it isn't fun any more and frankly, if my cash is going to the flood victims then they should make my money more welcome. As it is it's a battle to cross their border, that's not very welcoming. I'm aiming to get to Thailand by the most expedient route. I'm looking forward to the journey but I have my eye on the goal. Once I arrive I'm joining others to go touring Asia so the journey there is just a part of it for me. The touring Asia is the part I'm looking forward to. If Iran is also going to make this hard I'm also looking into just shipping my bike from the UK but where is the fun in that?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,579
You want to avoid the presumed hardships of Pakistan & India - but you´re still headed to Thailand? If I´m not completely mistaken, that leaves China as your only option, (and that´s been discussed here so many times, maybe its not worth repeating any more). Or maybe you plan to ship your bike to Thailand from somewhere. That should be possible.


India - to me - was tough, noisy, hot, smelly, with a fair bit of bureaucracy (especially when sending the bike to Thailand from there!) - and probably some of the worst traffic on this planet, and lots and lots of it!! So a bit of a crazy experience - but still do-able, and very much worth doing, even though I´m not sure, if I´d want to go with a bike again. Maybe I´ve grown old, and I´ll just fly to Goa next time!!

Oh yeah, and both Iran & Pakistan were much better than you´d think from the news!

edit. There have been some reports on this website of entering Iran without a carnet. But how this works (or if it works at all) I cannot comment, because I had this paper, when entering the country. Pakistan & India you won´t be able to do without it.

Last edited by pecha72; 12 Jan 2011 at 10:11.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aussie expat in Switzerland half way RTW
Posts: 613
Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
both Iran & Pakistan were much better than you´d think from the news!
+1

But you're loss if you decide to not travel in this part of the world. Just do everyone else a favor and keep your opinions to yourself if you haven't travelled in these countries so as not to bias the topic.
__________________
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
www.riding2up.net, blog.riding2up.net
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: London
Posts: 547
OP - if you're interested in making your money go further, you are probably as well spending as much time in Pak/India as you can!

Indian / Pakistani bureaucracy - from my experience the amount of form-filling and stamping to get in/out was, with 1 exception no different to that for many other countries, on a par with Syria or Iran and CERTAINLY better than Egypt - YouTube - Getting Two Land Cruisers Through Egyptian Customs

Also bear in mind that you're not going to cause yourself any less bureaucratic hassle at the borders by whizzing through those countries quickly. The amount of form-filling and stamping at borders to get in and out is the same whether you are there for a week or 3 months. I concede that getting a visa extension may involve a bit of bureaucracy, but not a lot, in the case of either India or Pakistan.

Am sure bureaucracy in somewhere like India is a much bigger problem if you're trying to do business there rather than simply travelling. The 1 exception to this that I found was dealing with Customs when getting the car shipped out of Calcutta when I was leaving not with the car but by air, and at least some of this could have been avoided had I thought to arrange the shipment with a bit more notice - see the Overland Travel Tips section of my site overlandcruiser.net for more on this.

Re the Pak visa - yes, from what others have posted on this forum it appears harder than it was in 2007, when I simply got mine from Tehran. But I assume you have a UK passport and that means you should be able to get one valid for 6 months valid from the date of issue from the Pak High Commission in London, no?

Carnet - I was lucky, as I managed to get a German one which I am told is no longer possible for UK-registered vehicles per se BUT have a look elsewhere on this forum for the latest as there may be alternatives eg getting temporary German registration.
__________________
www.overlandcruiser.net
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Poland
Posts: 138
Don,t worry about CPD in Iran. I was in March in Iran without CPD.
Try to enter border morning, not evening becouse of long time preparing car documents.
It cost for my Defender about 300 EUR. It is possible in Iran and Pakistan to drive without CPD, but don't try it in India.
I have never heard of anybody who enter India without CPD

Bartosz
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London
Posts: 284
Turbocharger, you're biasing the topic yourself. I have to laugh at your comments of spending tourist money to help their economy when the country clearly does not want me in it and makes it as hard as possible. I myself have not traveled in India which is why I want to go there but trying to form a balanced opinion from the people who have is leading me to believe it's not really worth the effort. I do still want to go. If a met a person acting the way these countries do I would just not bother with them. It makes no real difference how nice or otherwise India and Pakistan are, this is purely about the cost and ease of getting through. I am going to Thailand. I'm planning to work in Bangkok for 6 months and then myself an my partner are setting up a business. Riding out there is something I want to do which is why getting to Thailand is the goal.
I know India and Australia are the only two countries in the world legally requiring a Carnet (I presume by CPD you meant Carnet) and of the others who take it, there are ways round of various degrees of possibility ranging from low to much lower.
It's not so much the paperwork as the costs involved putting me off because I don't have money to burn.
I want to travel through and was planning to ship my bike the last leg but the hassles are starting to outweigh the dubious benefits.
I have had to rule out China due to the crazy costs involved (turbo might now jump to their defense and say that would have been worth it too).
I'm currently wondering about shipping the bike directly from Turkey or even flying it from Russia. Does anyone know about Train travel overland in China? I had heard the trip takes only 24 hours but do I still need the same paperwork?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aussie expat in Switzerland half way RTW
Posts: 613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtw000 View Post
Turbocharger, you're biasing the topic yourself. I have to laugh at your comments of spending tourist money to help their economy when the country clearly does not want me in it and makes it as hard as possible.
You missed the point here I think. Firstly yes I am biasing travel in Iran pakistan and india because you unrightly make is sound impossible and too bureaucratic, for gods sake 1000's of people travel overland through these countries every year so for give me if i want other's in this forum to know it is possible and not any more difficult than other Carnet (Carnet de Passage en Douaine = CPD) countries. Which brings me to my next point. You are incorrect when you say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtw000 View Post
I know India and Australia are the only two countries in the world legally requiring a Carnet


hmmm, and what about Egypt, Libya, New Zealand, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, Japan, not to mention half of South America!

But since you know everything, why is it that you seek more advice? (it's a rhetorical question)

On a serious note if that is possible but since you're used to taking everything I write with a grain of salt then it should go down well.

You could fly from Almaty (Kazakstan) to Bangkok, there are same relatively cheap flights from there. Alternatively like you said yourself, just fly straight to Bangkok (if you can get out of the UK with all the airport closures)
__________________
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
www.riding2up.net, blog.riding2up.net
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London
Posts: 284
Ok, there's no need to be a dick. I'm only quoting things I'm reading on here. I have to leave in June/July, that doesn't give me much time so I'm working hard now to figure out the best options and the first move is seeing what is possible for my first big trip out of Europe. As i said before I want to go to Iran and India. Pakistan I can take or leave but the other two countries are on my wish list but I don't have time to figure out every wrinkle on my first trip so i'm trying to keep this feasible.
Why am I even explaining to you? You have a huge chip on your shoulder and don't have much to add to the conversation apart from insisting for some unknown reason (and I would love to hear it) that everyone has to visit pakistan. Ive never said or implied it is any harder to get there than any other country requiring a Carnet. Don't know where you get that from.
I will say your advice about flying from Kazakhstan is interesting and I thank you for that. I am here, as a lot of people to pool resources and experience. If you've got nothing to add then stop adding it. If you want to help then that's great but please, stop trying to be the Pakistan/India pusher and just lets get back to answering the original question which will help out me and probably a host of other people figuring this stuff out.
Back on topic... All friends again?

Seriously, the advice is interesting and I will go and check that out. Kazakhstan was no on my to-do list but I'd be interested to give it a go. To get there I would have to cross Russia (something I did want to do) and for that would I need a carnet? I know the Visa is tricky but I gather it's do-able. (these are questions.)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aussie expat in Switzerland half way RTW
Posts: 613
Kazakstan and shipping from Almaty

Glad we got that out of the way, my nickname is **** but dick is also fine. So I'll try to be more constructive... yes friends.

I haven't been to Kazakstan but I think Bjorn (also with the same username on the HUBB) who is travelling at the moment might have back in 2008-9, but I'm not certain. According to the FIA info I have Kazakstan recommends use of Carnet but it's not obligatory.

See this thread although they mention Almaty as very expensive... although I there isn't any quote, you could try the shipping database.
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ambodgia-29211

Airastana flys Almaty to Bangkok but they may not allow bikes see here as they are dangerous goods and are prohibited...
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...es-south-53533

Sorry but it might be a dead end, still you could ask Airastana about their policy on motorcycle transport and report back for anyone else in the same position.

The other options to avoid Pakistan would be Iran to UAE or Oman then India. I flew into Nepal in 2009 from Bangkok and it was very straight forward. If you do go the India it might be easier to got to Kathmandu and ship from their as it is a very common air-freight route for motorcyclists.
__________________
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
www.riding2up.net, blog.riding2up.net
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: London
Posts: 547
Kazakhstan did not require a carnet when I was there in June 2008 and neither did Russia when I was also there before and after Kaz. It's not that interesting a country to visit, although the people are fine.

I must also put finger to keyboard re your comment about a whole country not wanting you there because they make it difficult to get in. Don't run away with the idea that, because a border crossing is hard, the rest of the population of the country don't want you there. It isn't so at all!

Often, especially with places like India or Pak, the bureaucracy is just as much of a hassle for the locals. It isn't a malicious ploy to stop foreigners getting in. One thing that does annoy me, however, is the way the Pakistanis have started requiring UK passport holders to apply only from the UK, and to have a letter from a Pakistani sponsor and so on. It’s what the UK does to Pakistanis, so they do it to our people as a sort of diplomatic ‘tit for tat’. Fair enough, but why can't they take it out on UK diplomats rather than innocent tourists who don't make the rules?

BUT - that is NOT representative of how the Pakistanis would treat you once you're past the border crossing.
__________________
www.overlandcruiser.net
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London
Posts: 284
I know, i can't think of a more officious country than the UK. Living under the bureaucracy here is horrible. I would love to say the people are nice though but sadly that is not my experience. My partner is a foreigner visiting with a student Visa and frankly, at times it's embarrassing and I have given up apologising for our multitude systems. Outside of London the people are much better, to be fair and Scotland, Cornwall, Wales (maybe not Wales, the police have a thing about bikes for some reason) are quite decent and very easy to get along with.
Plan B was to ship the bike from Iran which takes 20 days and then I was hoping to fly to India and my partner was hoping to meet me so we could backpack for a few weeks. As I said, India was on my wish list.
I'm also going out to Europe for a month in March so my priority right now is getting the bike ready as I chose a machine with a great engine but no ability to take luggage and only a 10litre tank. Ho hum. In the mean time I'm trying to get my head round all this. No mean feat.
I never really thought much about Kazakhstan. I mean its only claim to fame is that Borat comes from there. I like that they don't absolutely require a Carnet but this might not be as big a problem as I fear. My application is posted so I wait and see what the quote comes back like and see what my options are.
I don't want to sound too negative but I'm very keen to go to Iran. I really feel like this might be our last chance to see this country before the troubles spread and more borders close in the future.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Iran-Pakistan-India Currently in Iran farangob Travellers Seeking Travellers 2 26 Nov 2011 18:51
Turned away at Turkey/Iran or Iran/Pakistan border? matt_xt Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 7 5 Jan 2010 15:41
Questions to a trip Iran-Pakistan-India hekoheko Southern Asia 8 7 Aug 2007 17:17
Bangkok? Some questions... Enduroreisende Southern Asia 3 19 Jun 2006 15:21
Iran Visa or Iran Embassy? David and Cheryl Laing Trip Paperwork 2 26 Dec 2003 03:33

 
 

Grant & Susan's Europe Ride 2014.



Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

The weather has finally turned, so Gear Up for your motorcycle travel adventure! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - Gear Up! 2-DVD set until June 30 only. Gear Up! for your motorcycle travel adventure! Get all the info you need to hit the road!

Which bike, how to prepare it, what else to take, how to pack it all in! 6 hours!

"It's another great job, informative and entertaining."

"It's really professional and full of useful information, a must for any traveler."

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'GEARUP' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:18.