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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #16  
Old 12 Jan 2011
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Yep - you sound like you are at the same place I was at prior to my trip. I did not allow myself enough preparation time. I bought the Landcruiser at the end of November 06 for a trip starting 3 months later. That should have been more like 6 months MINIMUM before the start of the trip. A lot of my preparation was done using the ‘lastminute.com’ and ‘just-in-time’ methods, which caused unnecessary stress and running around for me and unfortunately others at times. Moreover, some work I had done had snags and getting it done sooner before leaving the UK would have allowed more time to sort these out. I also ended up having to buy things at a higher price because I needed them by a certain date, rather than having time to wait till they came up on ebay etc.

The same applies to the non-vehicle preparation. If, like me, you plan to rent out your property while travelling then getting it ready and all the other adminy settling-of-affairs stuff is sure to take longer than you think. For me, the whole month of February 07, after I finished work but before I left the UK, was spent doing this – I didn’t even have time to go to the cinema. And this was nowhere near enough. Between finishing work and leaving home – 2 months minimum, or more like 3 or 4 if you keep working till the last moment and do the getting ready stuff in evenings and weekends.

Have you looked into the German carnet angle?
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Last edited by ilesmark; 14 Jan 2011 at 10:40.
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  #17  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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The absolutely cheapest way (and probably the most hassle-free, too!) to get you & your bike to Thailand would probably be to ship it from Europe, and find cheap flights for yourself.

If you want to do that route on a budget, you won´t be able to go fully overland anyway. But by shipping you´d lose a lot of adventure on the way of course.

Europe to India or Nepal, and send it to Bangkok from either one of these, is what many travellers do, and I believe few regret, that they didn´t send already from Europe! But it requires the carnet. And also going thru Pakistan (unless you´re willing to send the bike twice along the way).

I´m not sure the carnet is really such a monster, as people travel with them all the time. And it´s something you can (and should) arrange before leaving home, so after you´ve gone through that hassle, it´s pretty straightforward with it.

Naturally everyone has to decide for themselves, what they want to do. This kind of travel is sometimes exhausting, fighting the red tape can feel stupid, and big trips cost money. There´s not a whole lot you can do about those, except just deal with them. (But I´m not saying it isn´t rewarding, too!!)
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  #18  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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..thought I'd put in my pennies worth!

just come across this thread.
Jtw000-have you had a chance to have a good chat to Paul Gowen at the RAC in the UK. A great and very informative and helpful guy. The RAC (issuers of the Carnet) do in no way keep half of your money....there are many ways in which to 'sort-out' a carnet. And it has been worth its weight in gold for us during our 8 years on the road.
You have the option of securing a Carnet in many differnet ways and not all countries require 500% security.

I am almost 100% sure that you will need a carnet in order to enter Iran with your vehicle. ...but things are always changing and we were in Iran at the end of 2009. We did not have too much of a problem getting a visa for Iran. we used David at Stantours in order to get our letter of invitation and authorization number etc. but we were doing it whilst on the road and did not apply in the UK. We hear things are a little more difficult when applying in the UK on a UK passport.

If you do change your mind about entering Pakistan I do not think you will be disappointed. Have a read of this
2ridetheworld.com : diary
but I do understand if this holds no interest to you. Im not trying to 'push' Pak but it is a fast and cheap way to get across from Iran to India. Shipping/flying is going to cost £££ and like most travellers, you are on a budget.

getting into India is not too much of a problem for those with a UK passport. Visas are quite easy, you always have to jump through a few hoops....and pay some ££. in order to get that precious visa stamp! You do not say where your girlfriend is originally from (I dont think...but I have only had a quick read through) so cant comment on the visa issues she may or may not have. I am assuming too that you are travelling on a UK passport.


BTW you havent said which bike you intend to use, but a 10litre tank should not be a problem in the countries you have stated you wish to visit as fuel is usually readily available.

You also say that you are keen to go to Iran - we are pleased that we were able to visit - just make sure that your girlfriend is fully aware of the 'respectable' dress code for women. I am sure she already is. but note that some cities are more conservative than others.

kazakhstan was a great country to visit.....we also have a complete section on this country on our website too....so its best to just go and read if you have the time and are considering going. We place information up on our website in order to 'help' others learn by our mistakes...and believe me..we have made many in 8 years!

As you really want to visit both Iran and India please really do consider a quick hop through Pakistan. You will be escorted. We suffered no additional problems with this, or additional paperwork or costs. Infact it all turned out to be rather favourable and less costly than shipping directly into Thailand...although Im not too sure you can ship directly into Thailand from Iran? As I said, things change rapidly and I last researched this almost 2 years ago.

One of the fastest, cheapest and easiest ways of getting into Thailand from travelling overland through Iran is...Iran - Pak - India - Nepal - Thailand.

the shipping from Nepal is inexpensive and fast. I can receommend a very good company if you are interested. We did this in Nov 2010. this also gives you the chance to visit Nepal....what a beautiful country this is. Riding through the foot hills of the Himalayas is a real priviledge...but there again...so is travelling generally!

I hope that your planning goes well...it is definitely the most stressful part of the pre-journey. Once on the road you'go-with-the flow'. How do we deal with the bureaucracy of other countries...? Well, we have visited 70 so far and have learnt to take a deep breath, put our feet up, make a cup of tea and smile!

safe travels.
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  #19  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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Thanks Lisa, that's a very encouraging post. I want to do this overland but am hedging my bets. I have 6 months before I leave so I'm still optimistic of arranging the paperwork.
My partner is from Thailand hence heading that way. We have plans once I reach Bangkok including a lot more traveling, she is currently in the UK with me and yes, I hold a UK passport.
As for my choice of bike, it's a BMW G650 and the 10 litre fuel capacity is currently being addressed. The bike is now in my living room having brackets made up to support a 5 litre booster tank which takes my range up to 200 miles, I will carry about 100miles range in bottles as well to top up as I go.
I believe you can ship directly from Iran to Thailand by boat but that is not my first choice. I have not spoken to anyone about the carnet but am going on horror stories I have read on here. Although they paint a grim picture I am applying in any case. The RAC apparently do charge 500% to enter these countries although the countries require only 100% approximately. My bike is only worth about £2500 but that does make the money side a bit unmanageable. Of course this information is based on things I have read.
As for renting my place I am in a lucky/unlucky position of having been made redundant and homeless last year so am living currently in rented accommodation in a place where I have to take my bike indoors so it doesn't get stolen.... again. I am out of work still and have plenty of time and have a bit of cash hidden away. Not enough to waste but enough to make a big difference to my life.
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  #20  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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carnet

i am in thailand and as far as i know you will need the carnet for laos and cambodia. vietnam is impossible to go (cc limit 250).
if you ship to malaysia you need also the carnet. not when you enter overland.
does everyone quote the real price of the bike when applying for the carnet?
i do not think so. so a lower but still realistic value helps you as well.
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  #21  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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pm to you Jtw000

.Jtw000 .pm sent.
rosner walter...yep, I think you are right on all counts :-)
do you live in Thailand or are you traveling here at the moment?
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Last edited by Lisa Thomas; 13 Jan 2011 at 10:59. Reason: spelling
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  #22  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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Still not sure what your concerns are with the Carnet. Assuming you tell RAC your bike is worth say £2k, @ 500% that's a bond of £10k. You take the insurance option which is 10% so you only pay £1,000 and get half back when you return the Carnet. Just call Paul at RAC, he sorted mine out for me while I was in Australia.

Regarding the visas, I got all mine on the road with no forward planning. None of it is hard. Although I was not able to get a Pak visa in Bangkok (told me I needed to get it in my own country), I got it in Kathmandu, no big deal. Indian visa was got in KL, just fill in the form, hand over the fee and passport and pick it up 5 days later. Iran visa was also got on the road, first applying through Iraniavisa.com to get an approval number, them picked up my visa in Quetta. It's all do-able wherever you are really.

Regarding fuel tanks, I'd really try and get a 20L after-market tank and forget about the bottles, they'll just get nicked.
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  #23  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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ah ha!

ah ha! so thats where the 50% is! I was wondering. So the ins way is just like anyother kind of policy that if you stop it/cancel it after the year has begun you do not get your full premium back.
We had the same thing with one of Simons medical insurance policies.

We went the bank guarentee way. never any issues.

I think Jtw000 is addressing the fuel capacity issue at the moment. anything 15 litres and maybe over is poss will be fine for the areas that he is thinking of going.
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  #24  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosner walter View Post
i am in thailand and as far as i know you will need the carnet for laos and cambodia. vietnam is impossible to go (cc limit 250).
if you ship to malaysia you need also the carnet. not when you enter overland.
does everyone quote the real price of the bike when applying for the carnet?
i do not think so. so a lower but still realistic value helps you as well.
Carnet for Laos & Cambodia - really? I know you won´t need it for a Thai-regoed bike, but then again I never went there with my Finnish-regoed one, so actually I´m not 100% certain of this. I don´t think Laos & Cambo were listed on my carnet. And also note the difference between countries requiring a carnet, and those, that allow you to use it to facilitate temp import.

Vietnam, I don´t think there´s any size limit, they just forbid foreign bikes. But it appears you could enter á la China (not easy or cheap, though!!)

Malaysia is officially a carnet country, but I agree it seemed pretty relaxed at the land border with Thailand. Maybe you could enter without the carnet, but would that possibly get you some trouble later on, I cannot tell.
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  #25  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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I shipped my car into Malaysia in Feb 08 and was asked for a carnet (which was stamped), and was asked for it again when leaving via the Kota Bharu border crossing.
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  #26  
Old 13 Jan 2011
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Regarding the tank for my bike bottles are the only solutions. There are three versions of my bike, two have enduro only seating and mine has a more friendly seating position which was why I went for it. Sadly the larger tank will only fit the enduro bike, the X-Challenge so I'm stuck with bottles. That's fine though, the auxiliary tank I have feeds through the breather giving me a respectable 15litres. Bottles will be hidden somewhere and if they do get stolen it's not the end of the world.
On this subject I have heard that theft is extremely rare. The reason I mention this is I'm torn between metal panniers and bags, everyone is recommending bags saying that it's very unlikely they will be stolen. The fact is that will not have anything particularly valuable in them in any case.
Thanks very much, Lisa for the message. I will go through it properly and reply.
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  #27  
Old 14 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtw000 View Post
Regarding the tank...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtw000 View Post
I have heard that theft is extremely rare.
Perhaps start a new thread for these two separate topics, you might get more responses that way.
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  #28  
Old 22 Jan 2011
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Have recently travelled this route

Hi there,

Just thought I'd give my 2 cents here...

I'm currently in Nepal having travelled from Ireland and passed through Iran, Pakistan and India to get here over the past 4 months.

Out of all the borders getting into Iran from Turkey was actually the most laborious and I would be amazed at anyone who could do it without a carnet as this was the first thing I was asked for. In comparison, getting into Pakistan and India was very straightforward. The Pakistan customs even let us camp at the customs house!

Pakistan is wonderful and the police escorts quite straightforward. India was hard work with chaotic traffic but still worth seeing.

The pakistan visa was indeed the most difficult to get but is still achievable.

If cost is a major factor here I'm not sure that the cost of shipping will be any less affordable than simply travelling through these countries as Pakistan was especially cheap.

If you're not sure about travelling through Pakistan and India then that's fine but I would be very sure about the carnet and availablility if shipping from bandar abbas before you leave as, as i've said, I would be shocked if you could get into Iran without one.

Regards,
Helen
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  #29  
Old 22 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipmunk View Post

Out of all the borders getting into Iran from Turkey was actually the most laborious
Naaaah - Egypt has got to be the worst one!

YouTube - Getting Two Land Cruisers Through Egyptian Customs

On a more serious note, I think you can actually get into Iran without a carnet - there are some other threads on this forum about that. I can't comment, as I had one when I entered through the Sero crossing.
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Last edited by ilesmark; 22 Jan 2011 at 23:04.
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