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

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  #16  
Old 24 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilesmark View Post
the border between the NER of India and Burma IS open, but only for Burmese/Indian citizens ie no 3rd country nationals.
In that case, its not an international crossing. There are many such crossings between, say, Cambodia and Vietnam, where locals come and go all the time, usually to work to the other side and return in the evening, but falangs arent allowed to cross there.
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  #17  
Old 25 Feb 2009
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I better clarify what we're doing because this thread has gone to rat shit with all kinds of rumors starting!!

We're driving UK to Oz in Jul 09, we have a Chinese guide lined, up mucho expense..... if anyone wants to join us they can but be quick we have to pay the deposit soon.

The China guide emailed our mate and said the Nepal - China border will be closed until Apr 09 and they would have to find an alternate route.

Either Krygystan - China
Pakistan - China - which again maybe closed.

So these guys have been approved to go over KKH into CHina, with more expense involved.

One of my group decided that Burma was the way forward and had heard about people doing it.... thread on here about 5 years ago! Anyway she's been talked out of it now.

The China guide has emailed me and said we should be fine to enter China from Nepal late August but will confirm in May.


So to recap we're crossing China late Aug 09 from Nepal to ?Vietnam. With a guide!



**** Pecha72 - have you been unable to get a forgien reg bike into Vietnam? I've read about some big issues there, is it worth avoiding?*****
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  #18  
Old 25 Feb 2009
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In December -06, I was with a group of 8, trying to enter Vietnam on 115cc scooters, with Thai plates, from Cambodia and Laos. Didn´t work. But maybe the size of our group also made it harder to succeed, we were pretty close many time (tried a total of 5 times on 4 different international border stations). It seems that they basically reject all foreign bikes, no matter if its 50 or 1500cc. I heard of someone, who made it with significant help from their embassy, but have no personal experience about that. The Vietnamese consulate in Phnom Penh certainly wasnt helpful at all.

I would imagine that crossing with your own vehicle from China to Vietnam could be even more complicated, as they´re less than friendly neighbours, and both have very strict customs regulations for vehicles, etc. But that´s just my assumption, could be wrong (and I think very few Westerners have tried crossing there, who knows if that´s actually good).

Maybe if you got time before you set off, trying to get some backup from your embassy could be worth trying. Very few authorities at the borders spoke any English (some spoke a little French, though!), so if you´re lucky enough to get some recommendation letter or anything on paper, make sure you´ll have it in Vietnamese, so they´ll be able to understand it.

Last edited by pecha72; 25 Feb 2009 at 19:31.
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  #19  
Old 26 Feb 2009
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funny you should ask

i am currently in the state of Mizoram in NE india. asking in kolkata and the mizoram houses in guwahati and shillong brought no success for a permit. a local staying at my hotel told me i could get it easily in silchar. jso i went there. it is easy...for a local. BUT, i got the relevant tel numbers in aizawl and with a phone call, a fax of my documents and another phone call i got the permit from the govt in aizawl!
they put my name at the bottom of the list of 8 japanese names. you must be in a group of 4 or more or a married couple. still cant figure out any logic for that reasoning!! lol
(0389) 2328897. tel # of Rami. she is the secretary to make things happen.
fax # 0389 2322745
those numbers are in aizawl, the capital of mizoram. the permit was free. i made copies of the permit too.
the roads all around silchar are shit. but once you get into mizoram, they are great. any bad roads are being worked on now and should be ready by june just b4 the monsoon.
at the state border NOBODY asked to see my permit!! damn, i wanted to show it off now!!
anyway...riding through aizawl a guy pulls alongside me on another bullet ( i am riding a 350 standard bullet) and invites me over to his shop. its a bullet mechanic shop. hot wheels and HQ to the aizawl thunder bullet club. a week later we were 13 bikes riding for champhai near the burmese border. a beautiful ride through the hills.
hotel tourist lodge in chaltlang aizawl (0389) 2341083 or 234 9421. plenty of parking and nice views. IR 400/night. us$8
the day after arriving we set out for burma and rih lake ( rihdil ). it was part of mizo b4 the british split it into burma years ago.
the india immigration there doesnt seem to mind anyone leaving into burma from there. i asked them on the way out and they told me if i had a burmese visa, i could exit india on my bike.
now, the guys were worried that i might be stopped and present problems so i left my bike in champhai (tourist lodge tel#953831 235866 IR 300/night) and rode passenger. to be sure, when we passed the indian officers i looked the other way with full helmet, face scarf and sunglasses. no problem and we crossed the bridge without stopping. when we entered burma my buddy and i pulled farther up from the checkpoint to avoid eye contact with the burmese officials. people in champhai had told us that 'white people' were not allowed in to burma at the point. but after a couple of minutes i realized all was well and pulled up my helmet and lowered my scarf and helloed 2 or 3 of the burmese guards.
they were all smiling and only cared about having their photos taken sitting on an enfield! and of course the entry fee for each bike. a fews rupees only. then, we hit the bars there. mizoram is a dry state so the burmese border sells a good selection of alcohol! then, its a few kms to the lake.
now, the road from champhai to the lake is atrocious. and the road leading further into burma was dirt as far as i could see. i've heard it is absolute hell all the way in to their main road.
i didnt ask the burmese officials if i could have gone further in because i didnt want to make a potential problem for the others, in case i was detained or something.
the border closes at 5pm every day.
the lake is a popular site for indian tourists to visit on a day trip. so the border guards on both sides are used to people coming and going and are pretty lax on checking documents and all. there is also a guest house at the lake. i didnt ask the price.
the burmese officials wrote down every license plate number that entered and i THINK wrote them down on the way out. but i know the bike i was on didnt stop for that. we crossed immediately upon reaching the bridge back into india and waited for the others to shop.
sorry, but that is all i have on that. if you entered and said you were only going to the lake and took off for other parts of burma maybe you would be stopped further in by a more official set of guards. i dont know and the guys here dont either. for many, it was their first time to the lake.
for their shop in aizawl call Rock 9436154103. the shop is in khatla area on peter street. all great guys and good mechanics too.
maybe this will allow someone else to try that border and go in further to see what is possible. its not in my plans to do this on this trip and i will be leaving aizawl in a couple of days. i will be off to the rest of the northeastern states over the next 3 months.
later
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  #20  
Old 5 Mar 2009
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Re the access from Nepal, I remember reading in the last few weeks that there was a temporary lock down on Tibet because of an important anniversary coming up and Chinese concern that there could be demonstrations. Im assuming that that is what is going on March/April which means it should all be open and fine again later in the year.
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  #21  
Old 5 Mar 2009
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yes, something is definately going on in march. 50years ago the dalai lama left tibet. and if there will be riots like last year you can bet on it beeing impossible going into tibet for some time. with or without car/bike...

but burma ::: tried to rent a 150cc bike there two years ago. no chance at all. no even for 2hours to look for some missing friends (in pagan that was). since jan 2007 foreingers are not allowed the rent bikes anymore so i can hardly imagine that the authorities let us ride our own bikes in/trough burma!!!
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