Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Southern Asia

Southern Asia Topics specific to Southern Asia, from Iran and Armenia east through Pakistan and India to China / Vietnam / Indonesia.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Motorcycle travel in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 20 Feb 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Berkshire
Posts: 31
Burma

I'm sorry I know Burma has been discussed plenty, but apparently there are borders open at India and Thailand.

Does anyone know anyone who has successfully crossed Burma?

The FCO website says you have to enter and leave by the same border crossing and movement within the country is highly restricted.

My friend is confident that we won't have too many issues getting in and out and the Ozbus crosses every couple of months. (strange their website doesnt have any blogs or photos from past trips but hey-ho)

Any ideas?
Thanks
__________________
http://rachiesbigadventure81.blogspot.com/

Last edited by Jelle; 21 Feb 2009 at 18:53.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 21 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 605
India Burma border open??

Unless things have radically changed in the last few weeks, I'm afraid you're misinformed. This border has been closed since the late fifties. I think the Oz Bus is probably put on a boat from Kolkata to Singapore or something similar.

Very occassionally people make it across, but not without half a lifetime's worth of political wrangling with both the Indian and Burmese goverments. Forget it.

Daniel
__________________
4.5 years around Eurasia in a Toyota Hilux|http://eurasiaoverland.wordpress.com/
Pictures Here|https://picasaweb.google.com/113619413612674951960
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 21 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,584
As long as the current government stays in power, it´ll be nearly impossible to get there with your own vehicle, nevermind cross entire Burma with it.

Getting there as a backpacker, joining a guided tour, etc., that should be possible.

I dont get it, why such noble servants of their own people, like the governments of Burma, North Korea, and Zimbabwe seem to remain in power forever. If there was a free election, they know they wouldn´t get a whole lot votes (that´s probably, why there never is - or maybe there once was in Burma, but the military junta ignored the result!!) Taking good care of their personal well-being seems all these so-called leaders are capable of.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 22 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Cardiff
Posts: 116
I have heard several reports of the border being open and that it is now possible to move from India to Thailand overland. I am in Nepal at the moment and a few people have commented on it because it is so unusual.

I don't know of anyone trying the actual crossing though and I would expect to get across with a motorbike would be utter hell in which you would be escorted everywhere, not allowed to see the people or the country. You would probably have to follow one road and I suspect, unlike in Pakistan where you are obviously escorted both for your own protection and to keep an eye on you, you would be watched like a hawk by whichever a**hole is in charge of locking people away for a very long time.

If you decide to do it I would speak with professional diplomats, specialists on the country and maybe even consider kidnap insurance. It isn't really in the spirit of exploration but then Burma isn't really into the hospitality thing!

Ride safe,
Ol
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 22 Feb 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Berkshire
Posts: 31
Thanks for the replies. We've hit major problems with the trip planning.

The Chinese guide has told us the Chinese Gov't aren't letting people cross the border from Nepal, that the crossing at KKH may also be closed or have huge difficulties crossing there.

The best place to enter would be Krygystan, which is a huge detour.

Last resort is shipping from India to Thailand - just been doing a search and didnt see any mentions of time or cost...

I personally think Burma would be a bad idea, imagine getting there with the paperwork and still not being allowed in

Its all very frustrating!
__________________
http://rachiesbigadventure81.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 22 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hornet600 View Post
I have heard several reports of the border being open and that it is now possible to move from India to Thailand overland. I am in Nepal at the moment and a few people have commented on it because it is so unusual.

I don't know of anyone trying the actual crossing though and I would expect to get across with a motorbike would be utter hell in which you would be escorted everywhere, not allowed to see the people or the country. You would probably have to follow one road and I suspect, unlike in Pakistan where you are obviously escorted both for your own protection and to keep an eye on you, you would be watched like a hawk by whichever a**hole is in charge of locking people away for a very long time.

If you decide to do it I would speak with professional diplomats, specialists on the country and maybe even consider kidnap insurance. It isn't really in the spirit of exploration but then Burma isn't really into the hospitality thing!

Ride safe,
Ol
I read about somebody, an Indian, making it with a bike 3-4 years ago. But not before literally several months of hard negotiations with both the Indian and Burmese authorities (and I believe most of this you´ll need to be able to handle in local languages). And still not allowed to cross the entire country, but needed to put the bike on a truck, and take public transport to get past several forbidden areas. He said it quite simply was not worth the enormous hassle. And for a normal Western tourist with a bike, it just aint going to happen anyway.

I´ve got some friends, who´ve tried quite recently from all possible borders between Burma/Thailand, and failed. Not that they had very high hopes in the first place! But sure, I think we would all appreciate, if someone had the time and the patience to actually give it a go from the Indian side.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 23 Feb 2009
DaveSmith's Avatar
Slacker supreme
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bouncing between Sacramento and Portland.
Posts: 409
I'm friends with an Indian who rode Burma a few years ago. He said the fuel and roads sucked. He said Burma was the first time he dropped his bike and that he dropped it 13 times in a 2km section if I remember correctly. I asked how he managed to get the paperwork and he kind of trailed off and said he could do it because he was Indian.
__________________
Not Ted Simon since 1970!
http://nokilli.com/rtw
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 23 Feb 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Berkshire
Posts: 31
Stop press....

We might be OK by August, something is going on March/Apr time but hopefully we can go ahead with the Tibet-China-Vietnam route by August. We'll know for sure by May.

Back up plan being enter at Krygystan or get a double entry for India and back track for shipping Bay of Bengal to Thailand

Fingers and toes crossed everyone!
__________________
http://rachiesbigadventure81.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 23 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Southampton
Posts: 672
Jelle, do you mean that China is opening up to vehicles without guides?
__________________
Ollie

www.jollyfollies.com

Land's End to Sydney 2009
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 23 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: wherever our vehicle is
Posts: 124
driving burma

We looked into this in 2006. We finally tracked down the 'real' reason for not being allowed to enter from India. It seems it's the eastern Indian states that are the stumbling block- the government will not allow access to the region without a permit and you can only get a permit from within the region?!!
We heard that there is a German agency that can 'help' but they are obviously not that good as we've heard no stories of vehicles entering.
We did hear of Americans that drove into Burma from Thailand, did a tour then entered Thailand again. Not sure what registration the vehicles had- maybe Thai plates get allowed in??
On the China front- we also heard rumours that the government were considering changes for foreign vehicles entering. The fact that the Chinese have spent lots of cash changing all their signs to english and chinese is an indication that there may be some truth behind the rumour. Fingers crossed!
__________________
www.nessiesadventures.com
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 24 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,584
Getting permits to the easternmost states in India sure could be one thing. But I find it kind of hard to believe, that if you´d manage that, then foreign vehicles would be allowed to enter Burma from there without a problem. They most certainly are normally not allowed to enter from Thailand, and I dont think Thai plates would help.

I did read about someone entering with a car from Thailand, and then got like to the first checkpoint after the border, and had to make a u-turn. Hope that´s not the same "tour" of Burma, that you referred to.

Got a friend near Bangkok, who did RTW in 1974, and has been riding hundreds of thousands of km´s around SE Asia by bike. He´s never been to Burma with his own bike, so that should give you some idea of how thick a wall you´re looking at. But like I said, if you want it so much, then go to the border and try, then you´ll know. And please do also share the information afterwards.

About China, will only believe there will be any change, when I see it.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 24 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Cardiff
Posts: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelle View Post
Thanks for the replies. We've hit major problems with the trip planning.

The Chinese guide has told us the Chinese Gov't aren't letting people cross the border from Nepal, that the crossing at KKH may also be closed or have huge difficulties crossing there.

The best place to enter would be Krygystan, which is a huge detour.

Last resort is shipping from India to Thailand - just been doing a search and didnt see any mentions of time or cost...

I personally think Burma would be a bad idea, imagine getting there with the paperwork and still not being allowed in

Its all very frustrating!
Yeah Burma is there for the truly hardcore who want to cross. You have to be insane to try. For those of us who are more reasonable with our expectations, shipping from India to Thailand is fine. Another option is Nepal to Thailand which I think is the most common route.

As some said, might be worth going to the Burma border just to see what happens. And my China well....

Best of luck,
Ol
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 24 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,584
Put the bike on a cargo ship to sail the Bay of Bengal, and you should have about 2 weeks spare time, buy a rucksack, get a flight to Yangon, and explore Burma as a backpacker, before you go meet the bike at the other end. That should be fully do-able, and if I had an obsession about that country, that´s what I´d probably do.

Been trying in vain to get into Vietnam with a foreign-regoed bike, and I wouldnt waste my time trying to do the same with Burma. Even if some miracle of biblical proportions happened, and I´d be allowed entry, I would most definitely not be allowed to ride all the way, so what would be the point?

Certain amount of optimism is often ok, but still I would use my time on the trip more efficiently.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 24 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: London
Posts: 547
Hi all

FWIW here's my 2 penn'oth.

I drove through India and reached Calcutta in Jan 08.

overlandcruiser.net - India

I would have liked to drive from India into Burma, but didn't even bother trying as I had been told it was impossible. So I stuck the car in a shipping container in Calcutta and jetted off to Burma with a backpack for a couple of weeks before rejoining the car in KL.

Imagine my surprise when I met Thierry and Coralie in Inle, with their French-registered Landrover. They had driven in from Thailand, through the Mae Sai border.

Overland from Mandalay -->Imphal ... - Thorn Tree Travel Forum - Lonely Planet

I tried to find out how they had managed to negotiate the bureaucracy to get into Burma, but they wouldn't tell me - didn't want to open up the floodgates (as if!) I think, or rather I know, that Thierry was very good at talking to people and getting what he wanted without directly asking for it.

But you will be interested to know that even Thierry, having enlisted the help of the French Ambassador to Burma to speak directly to his Indian counterpart, was not able to get a permit from Rangoon to travel through the North Eastern Region of India. This was categorically NOT the Burmese junta refusing him, but the Indians. I am told that this was nothing to do with visa issues, nor where the permit was applied for, but due to a then-imminent crackdown against separatist rebels in the NER, which the Indian government did not want foreigners to witness. So Thierry and Corali had to return to Thailand through Mae Sai.

By all means go to Burma, but I wouldn't get too worried about not taking your own vehicle. If nothing else, you will have a lot of difficulty getting decent fuel for it - Thierry and Corali had to threaten a diplomatic incident every time they wanted diesel from the government filling stations. I remember one time when they ended up buying 5 gallons of government diesel, at the black market price, only to see the government filling station people promptly using their money to buy 5 gallons of black-market diesel from outside the station and pour it back into the government diesel tank! We heard many stories of people's engines being ruined with black-market fuel; government fuel is rationed, and can only be bought with ration books issued to vehicles registered in the same division as the one they are buying fuel in.

I was also told in Calcutta that the border between the NER of India and Burma IS open, but only for Burmese/Indian citizens ie no 3rd country nationals.

Mark
__________________
www.overlandcruiser.net
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 24 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: On the road
Posts: 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelle View Post
Stop press....

We might be OK by August, something is going on March/Apr time but hopefully we can go ahead with the Tibet-China-Vietnam route by August.
AND Burma?
Wow that is some news.

Ill be looking forward to hearing about this journey.
I hope it works out and your time invested pays off.
__________________
Round the world on a Postie bike, 2-up
Bilingual Blog (japanese and English)
http://faster-than-walking.com
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
Border India - Burma davorsh Southern Asia 0 2 Sep 2004 18:01
Overland through Burma possible parkie Southern Asia 6 29 Jul 2004 16:01
Burma Owain G Route Planning 4 10 Apr 2004 04:30
tahlian to myamar burma blackelk Route Planning 1 23 Sep 2003 02:46
Burma/Myanmar Spud Route Planning 5 18 Jul 2002 04:14

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

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


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

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 23:05.