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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #16  
Old 19 Dec 2011
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how much road/off road

Tiffany

I was going to Singapore with Globebusters through China but due to lack of numbers Kev cancelled it sadly. Hence my alternate route via India etc.

I need to organise bike so knowing how much road / off road is expected will help me decide. Going the way you did, how much off road/ road riding was there?

Eric what bike you taking?

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Steven
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  #17  
Old 19 Dec 2011
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Hi
A 2011 Yamaha XT660Z.

Eric
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  #18  
Old 22 Dec 2011
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iran or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern View Post
Hi Steven

If you leave UK in Late August, and avoid Iran, I'm guessing you'll be taking the Karakorum Highway from Kyrgyzstan-China-Pakistan. The border as far as I've read is only open from the 1st May to about 15th November. I wonder how cold it will be by late autumn?
hi Fern

I dont think Iran is a problem for me as I have two passports (Aussie & UK) so I might continue going that way, then again China is tempting if I can either join up with other people or find a cheap guide & so on might be worth heading across to Thailand this way.

I've asked Myanmar consulate in Australia if it is possible to go via Burma but expect rejection of this idea.

I have just about mental overload now with all the options, bike options, route and so on. I need to formulate some final decisions either way otherwise I'll end up in loony bin by new year!

What to do ?

Steven.
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  #19  
Old 22 Dec 2011
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Just to contribute my experience of doing the Oz - London route.

I started in Sydney and rode to Darwin. From Darwin I used Perkins to take the bike to Dili in East Timor. It took a week and cost around $300. I had to fly, using Air North I seem to remember, costing $200 one way.

I believe it's common to ship straight from Darwin to Singapore, though I can't understand the reason as Indonesia is quite possibly the best country on the route. And to cut it out, is to my mind, a little like cheating.

I used local ferries to cross the Indonesian islands. These cost a few dollars and vary in time. They're an interesting experience, that's for sure.

When I entered Indonesia (West Timor) it was insisted that I exit through the port of Medan at the top of Sumatra. Getting a ferry from here to Penang in Malaysia was dificult. There is a passenger ferry but it doesn't take motorcycles. Eventually I found an agent who took the bike on a local boat and I had to take the ferry. It cost aroun $150, which I had to pay twice having been kinda scammed. The agent's name in Penang is a Mr Lim. He seems legit. It's his counterparts in Medan who are the crooks. Can dig out contact details if needed. But he has an office in Penang Town.

From Malaysia to Thailand with no bother. Just remember you have one month permit for vehicle in Thailand which you can extend at a border post or customs.

Burma was, and I believe, still blocked. I took a plane from Bangkok to Kathmandu. Price for my flight around $200. Price for bike around $600. Bear in mind bike weighed 95kg and was packed down, so with price going on volume weight could be a lot more if on 'proper' bike.

In to India no problem. Going any further was tough. Luckily I got Pakistan visa at Bangkok embassy but don't count on it. They insisted for a long time that I go 'home' (England) to get it and come back. It was only because they thought it was funny that I was on a 105cc bike that they granted me one.

The Irananians however wouldn't.

I tried for a long time with Iranianvisa.com but in the end gave up and went through China. I used an agency called Stan Tours, run by a guy named David. There are cheaper agents but the service here was good. For a one week passage through the corner of China, from the top of the KKH to Krygyzstan cost $2000. That included hotel and guide. Not cheap, but the only option in order to keep wheels on the ground.

KKH was spectacular. Krygyzstan (if I'll spelt it right) is also stunning and well worth exploring if you have the time. It is difficult however with having to nominate a date for your crossing in to China. Doesn't allow for much flexibility.

Visas for the Stans I found were complicated so just got one for Kazakhstan, rode across there, a transit visa for Russia and from Ukraine it was all EU.

My feedback is not to miss Indonesia, or Pakistan, or East Timor. And if you have to detour north through the Stans it's not the end of the world.

Hope that helps. Msg me if I can offer any more assistance.

Nathan
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  #20  
Old 22 Dec 2011
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+1 for using David at stantours, great service and nice guy - h eeven cooked me dinner when I turned up in Almaty
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  #21  
Old 23 Dec 2011
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After my post about routage I had a pmsg about costing of my trip and having responded they suggested I should post it up here as it might be useful.

The question asked was if £10,000 is enough to do Sydney to London. My answer is below. I think perhaps I did it as cheap as you can do it. So I wouldn't say it's wholly prepresentative of the funds of most people on here. But anyway...

Hiya Ted,

Glad the post was of use. But tough question regarding cost. I've never really sat down and worked it out, mainly because there were so many bits here and there - some on credit cards, others on overdraft, some borrowed - that I'm not entirely sure how much it cost. But when I set off I figured it would cost me AU$8,000. But in reality cost me about 12. So in theory, ten thousand English is enough.

I'll tot up some figures....

Carnet - $950 (not sure what yours would cost)
Health Insurance - $500
Shipping Oz to East Timor - $500 (inc me)
Shipping over Burma - About $1000
Passage through China - $2200
Visas - East Timor ($30), Indonesia ($45), Malaysia (free), Thailand ($20), Nepal ($30), India ($80), Pakistan ($200), Krygyzstan ($80), Kazakhstan ($60), Russia ($100).... these are all rough estimates based on vague memory. Total: $645
Depending on where you get them (pref from a visa agent) could be a bit less.
Living expense (inc fuel, food, accomm) = $15 a day. Sometimes this was less, sometimes more.
$15 x 9 months = $4050.
I guess this depends on how you choose to do it. Guesthouse/hostel in India is circa $4 a night. So affordable. In Oz, Russia, Europe etc less so. I wild camped in these places. Bear in mind it took me this long as I had to sort visas out as I went, so lots of sitting around. If you were well prepared you could do it 4-5 months if you so wished.

Total so far; $1030.

That's bear minimum. No doubt I had other expenses, repairs, stuff, that I can't account for. But at worst lets say another $3000 for contingencies. Heck, say $5000 for contingencies, which means that, I would say at least, that 10k (english) is enough. It just depends how you wish to do it. And how frugal you can be.

And remember, that includes China. If you got a visa for Iran and could cut that $2k cost out then that's a huge saving.

Looking at these figures now I'd be confident setting off to Oz with six grand English (apologies, no pounds sign on keyboard) and if I could do it on that I'd think there was something wrong.

One difference obviously is fuel consumption. On a 105cc I was getting 330 kilometres out of 13 litres. A litre in India etc is around 50p. So maybe it cost me 5 or 6 quid to do 330 kilometres. I covered 35,000 kays total, so doing the calculations I spent somewhere in the region of 650 pounds on fuel. Not sure what your economy's like but it gives you something to work on. But bear in mind fuel has already been included in the $15 a day budget.

I guess in summary, you have enough. In theory, too much. So it would be possible. You'd just have to make it possible. And perhaps have a reserve stashed away somewhere just in case. And if you do do it, hide a stash of American dollars somewhere in case your cash card fails. Caught me out a few times. And places like Western Union are a god send.

Right, hope that helps. Let me know how you go.
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  #22  
Old 23 Dec 2011
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I would not use stantours, we used them for Turkmenistan and David was very unresponsive to problems we had with the people he subcontracted too.

You're better off finding a local guide and paying a 1/3 of the price!

"from the top of the KKH to Krygyzstan cost $2000."

we paid about $600........ not using stan tours
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  #23  
Old 23 Dec 2011
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I know, to be fair I was robbed. But time was against me so I went with the one I felt I could rely on. David did do a good job, but yep, it was a bit steep. Live and learn and all that.
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  #24  
Old 23 Dec 2011
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Nathan

Nathan not trying to steal this thread but how is the old girl.Is she stilllooking good in her original regalia or have you given her a face lift.Any plans to take her wandering again or at least up to the Ripley meet in 2012.

Regards

Ted
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  #25  
Old 24 Dec 2011
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Yeah, wouldn't want to derail the thread. But in short she's doing alright. To say she really struggled the last 7k kilometres from Kazakhstan, and that I've done nothing to her since, she still runs, starts, ticks over like a dream. No doubt you can tell she's done the kays, but the mechanic down the road believes a change of valves should bring her back up to scratch. Amazing really. Though just a never-ending conundrum as to what to do with her next. While she might have another trip in her, I'm not sure I have. But if I'm in vicinity I'd like to come along to Ripley again. It was a good weekend.
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  #26  
Old 24 Dec 2011
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budget and other stuff

Thanks guys,

After reading through all responses Im confident about costs. Now it moves to getting right bike and stuff. So I'll look through the bike sections. Think I'll stick to my original plan and avoid China, I have Australian and UK passport so Australian might be better for Iran & Pakistan. Only problem may be bike registration if I use UK bike ... more to ponder.

Cheers
Steven
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  #27  
Old 24 Dec 2011
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Steven, if it's of any help, I was English on an Australian registered bike and it didn't seem to pose me any problems
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  #28  
Old 24 Dec 2011
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We done things differently again -

We went from london to morocco then caught a ferry for £200 to Italy (i had done alot of spain and france before so decided to skip the return journey) we loved morocco it was great. Then we played chase the countires in europe until heading south into Turkey, Georgia (great place) Turkey again then Iran, we got our visa'a through iranian visa.com.

We had found out in Turkey we could not get a visa for pakistan as all visa's have to be granted in you home country and then you only have 3 months to start it an as we where in no rush we decided it wasn't for us.

So we decided to go to Bandar abbass and get the ferry to Dubai, very easy to do and cheap - $200 for the bike and $80 for the person. But my sister lives there so then i had free accomdation food etc so for us it was a very cheap option.

We then flew from Dubai to Kathmandu $1000 for the bike about $250 for us then we have toured Nepal and we did 1 month in India ( india you will either love or hate) and we where also looking at doing the Tibet/China thing but its really really expensive so we have decided to fly down to bangkok and continue to indonesia.

there is a full report on the bandar abbass ferry, if you had more time you could do a little tour of that area or if syria wasn't a "no go" then you could come in from turkey and explore some of those countries.

Also we wrote a letter to the burmese authorities to ask if we could ride through there country, much to our suprise we got a reply. wishing us luck and saying that it wasn't possible at the moment but they where hoping it would be in the near future maybe as soon as 2012. That would be excellent if they open that border up then all you would need is for iran and pakistan to relax a bit and you would finally be able to draw the magic line!!

good luck mate, its been good fun for us so far.
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  #29  
Old 24 Dec 2011
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something i missed, i noticed one of the guys saying fuel in India is 50p, well its just under £1 now its actually about 90p but that could make a big difference, we are 2up on a thirsty ktm so needles to say its cost us more.
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  #30  
Old 24 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rixxy's View Post
Also we wrote a letter to the burmese authorities to ask if we could ride through there country, much to our suprise we got a reply. wishing us luck and saying that it wasn't possible at the moment but they where hoping it would be in the near future maybe as soon as 2012. That would be excellent if they open that border up then all you would need is for iran and pakistan to relax a bit and you would finally be able to draw the magic line!!
Blimey! Now that really would be something to talk about ..


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