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Well life changes and so do plans...so it seems that my mate (on ktm 990) and me (on dr 800) are setting off to go from london to australia starting around early october.
There is quite a bit of info that we will need and we are creating a trip blog etc to update everyone on the latest, but would appreciate any info on the following key (at the moment) questions:
1. shipping options...have read about kathmandu to bangkok but also a cheaper option of dhaka to bangkok (someone stated $0.8c per kg and no crating needed)
2. what about shipping to vietnam, laos or cambodia...we'd like to see a bit more of se asia, so an option is to ship to bangkok and then ride up but would prefer to ride downwards if that makes sense
3. we will want to avoid singapore and make our way to malaysia then indonesia, through east timor to australia...again i guess it will be freight/ferry where possible but would appreciate any pointers
4. generally any info on places to sleep, see, eat or avoid would be great for all those countries or if anyone can point us to blogs (im searching on a daily basis)
5. finally time of year....we aim to be in darwin mid december at latest..
thats great, thanks in advance, any pointers on sleeping (either hostels and situation with camping ie is it safe to camp anywhere?) and best border crossing to iran would be great....i'd like to go by gallipoli and then head onto iran probably avoiding big cities but thats to be discussed as yet...
Hi there what a great trip, what date are you leaving the UK.? I am leaving Manchester early October and heading to either Singapore or Just India it depends on the cost of shipping from India to either Bkk or Laos. As you said life and plans change I have a honda XRV750 Africa Twin but am as we speak looking at the possibillity of acquiring a small bike something under 250cc and chancing it at the Chinese border so that I can go as far as it's possible to go Overland. I have read a few reports where PPl have actually made it through China without having to pay the extortionate costs demanded by the official guides. As for places to stay I personally expect to spend most of my time camping except when I am in major cities where I will stay at Youth Hostels many of which have small courtyards where I can safely leave my bike and gear.
Regards Bill Anderson
Are you starting to ride from the UK or will ship out from there to Asia?
I'm doing a similar kind of thing, but my bike is in Africa, so I'll start from there re-joining the more proper track somewhere in Mid east.
Don't want to be a nay-sayer, however 3 months ex-UK would be a very ambitious timeline.
I would have a question: do plan to cross Pakistan? i.e. Baluchistan from Taftan to Quetta? I am still investigating on how feasible/secure this path is? Do you have any idea on this?
Going overland between Europe and India (and leaving out Afghanistan), you have two feasible options. It is either Turkey > Iran > Pakistan > India, or to the Stans, a small bit of China (entering requires lots of paperwork, and is expensive!) and then on to Pakistan via the Karakoram Highway, then to India.
Baluchistan does have a somewhat dodgy reputation (and so does the adjoining area on the Iranian side, southeast from Bam). You´re likely to have police escorts, both in SE Iran and in SW Pakistan. Even though I never felt unsafe there (that was in 2007), I would stay on the main roads in those areas.
But out of those two routes, that is still probably the one, that is more frequently used. And most travellers have no security-related troubles crossing through there.
edit. If you want to ship from India/Nepal/Bangladesh to SE Asia, your best bets would be by air to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, or by sea to Port Klang (near KL). It was strange, but for us it seemed like seafreight across the Bay of Bengal was almost as expensive as airfreight (well, it made the decision pretty easy!!) I would NOT send by air to Cambodia or Laos, and luckily they aren´t so far away from Bangkok. And regardless of if you do it by sea or by air, you probably would not be able to ship a bike to Vietnam at all.
Arriving in Darwin mid December, not a good idea. That is the WET season, quite often, there are no open roads out of the north to anywhere else. You may have to fly the bike out of here. It is also cyclone season, extremely hot(high 40s) and extremely humid.
Apart from the above, there are some great things to see
Seriously, it is no fun riding with ATGATT during the summer months, you may want to address your timing.
I will most likely take the south road through Iran > Pakistan > India. It is a pity as the Stans really attract me but such is life - the cost and patience to get my bike into China do not fit with my upcoming trip.
As you look quite knowledgeable about this region, which road would you advise from Quetta to Lahore? Is Peshawar advisable? And the KKH / Swat valley? Are they somehow doable too?
Hey All...thanks for all the usefull info, so our start is UK...me mate has done overland pretty much every continent apart from this so whilst 3 months isnt long its part of the challenge
The preferred journey is as Pecha mentions so Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India and then either Nepal or Bangladesh and air freighting to Bangkok or KL (I've also read up so pretty much cheapest/fastest option to) and then zig zag from there a bit to see Laos and Vietnam as possible at the time and down to Malaysia onwards to Indonesia then East Timor (not sure if that is possible yet)...
Fully aware of Darwin weather, was stationed there for a couple of years it wont be pretty riding but we'll do our best situation pending..the other alternate and depends very much if we have the time is to go via Perth but thats only an option if we happen to run ahead of sched...(personally i think we'll be lucky to be on sched lol)
Thehappywanderer - mate no worries at all if you want to hook up with us, we probably wont want to risk China due to all the bs and the relatively shortish timeframe leaving it for another time to do it properly but regardless, we'll be fully loaded so wont be travelling that fast lol...and we'll also camp whereever possible
Cam Johnson - sounds awesome also, mate keep in touch would be great to catchup somewhere along the route
Overall we know of some of the issues with Baluchistan we'll try and keep south as possible but as Pecha says quite a few travel there and no major dramas...escorts will probably be, but hey all part of adventure...looking at maps, it is possible to go bam, and either across or down to gulf of oman and up again avoiding quetta but not sure yet....
anyways me email is firstname.lastname@example.org so do give me a shout over email....and obviously for anyone that would be keen to hook up and go we could catchup over a bbq weekend to meet & greet and discuss further plans, trips and dreams over a few (really) cold ones
which road would you advise from Quetta to Lahore? Is Peshawar advisable? And the KKH / Swat valley? Are they somehow doable too?
During our trip (Nov-2007), the areas east from Quetta were forbidden for foreigners. So we (and I believe everyone else, who didnt have a Pakistani passport) had to make a detour south, via Sukkur and Multan. To our surprise, we were not escorted at all between Taftan and Quetta. Between Quetta and Sukkur there were some escorts, but not many. And after that we were free to go all the way to Lahore and Wagah (Indian border).
At least during that time, Mir Javeh/Taftan was the only possible crossing point for foreigners between Iran and Pakistan. And the Makran, the coastal region west from Karachi, I was warned, that you´ll need special permits, the roads are almost impassable, and safety might be an issue (the region is pretty much in tribal control). i didn´t go there, though.
Also didnt go further north from Multan or Lahore, so cannot comment on those areas. But border regions near Peshawar are probably off-limits.
But keep in mind I haven´t been there in 3,5 years, so many things could have changed. I believe you might get more up-to-date info from this forum. To me, both Iran and Pakistan were great experiences. And very different from what I had thought about them after following the media.
Thanks Pecha for your advices. These are precious information for me even if they correspond to the situation in 2007. It anyway helps me to appreciate the evolutions and the differences which are in a way interesting to get.
I will look into more recent information but from what I have been already seeing, it was pretty similar recently. I will also try to get more information on KKH. Maybe the death of Ben Laden will make the situation evolve in Pakistan in general, hopefully in a good way.
So quick confirmation/update we're setting off mid october and see how far we get to by mid-december, ultimate aim is get to oz but we'll see what happens enroute...
in the stages of collecting all the info and drafting a proposed track, will probably create a blog/site of some sort so will post a link here when done...i'm seriously putting doubt into me mates head about this ktm and the amount of electronics/computers etc (i'm travelling on a 1990 dr 800 hence lol) but other than that all is going to plan though obviously early days...working on a couple of potential sponsors also but these things as as rare as ..... so not holding my breath
due to china our route is planned as follows:
bangladesh and ship/freight to thailand from there
back through thailand
indonesia and either east timor or straight to oz
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