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Old 2 May 2010
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Moving around in south east asia

Hi guys,

Sorry about the lazy mans post, but we are on the road (in africa) and have poor net connection and limited net time. We are also comming up to the end of our frist leg of the trip (uk - za via the west coast) and need to make decsions about the where to go next. So long story short we are pondering South east asia... The basical idea is to go from Thialand though cambodia, Laos, (would love to vietnam but know that cant happen..or an i wrong?), then down thouugh the malayasia, philipines, indo, then back to Aus to darwin. So the question really is has anyone got advice about how to move from country to country (across the many seas) and rough costs for the ferries (or whatever)? We are two people on one Africa Twin.
Once again sorry for the "not searching" but we cont get more then a few minutes online before getting the boot. So far we have found one excelent post but are out of time.
Cheers in advance

p.s. links to relavents post also greatly appreciated (such as http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-ferries-43184)!!
Xander and Mrs.X
2000 Africa Twin
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Old 2 May 2010
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Thailand, Cambodia & Laos should be do-able on your own bike & temporary import permit. Getting to Vietnam would cost a small fortune & require months of planning in advance (or you may try, if you´ll get REALLY lucky, but I wouldnt count on that) The same goes for China. Burma probably wont happen.

Malaysia officially requires the carnet, but seemed relaxed about it, while Indonesia 100% demands it. Philippines I dont know. There are ferries, but very few long-distance international routes, and (accurate) info about sailings seemed tough to get. No ferries from Indo or Timor to Australia.

But Penang (Malaysia) to Belawan (Sumatra, Indonesia), and then island-hopping further east to Java, Bali and onwards to Timor is a pretty common route, and a great, great ride (I´ve only done it up until Bali, though) And on that route, most crossings are short, so getting boats isnt a big problem. It probably gets more complicated, if you want to go to Borneo, Sulawesi, or further east.
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Old 2 May 2010
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I assume you have a carnet, because to ship to Malaysia you need it. My suggestion is to ship or fly your bike to Port Klang. If you are shipping then you will want to stop off somewhere, perhaps Bali (?) and put up your feet while your bike swims. This will give you time to research your options in a place with free internet.

From Malaysia you can easily ride to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.

To get to Sumatra go to Penang and see Cakra Shipping. Get a 2 month Indo visa before leaving Penang. (2 passport pix on red background required.) As pecha72 said, there are car ferries from island to island all the way to Timor. Shipping your bikes to Darwin is also easy with Perkins, just make sure your bike is really clean.

There are also car ferries connecting Jakarta and Surabaya on Java to Pontianak on Borneo. You can then ride all the way to the NE of Borneo to Sandakan from where there is a ferry to Zamboanga in Mindanao/Philippines. (This is a funny one, being a car ferry that doesn't take cars...)

Back on Borneo you can drive right up to the Indo border, but I have read on a trip report that there is no road on the Indo side. There is a passenger ferry between Tawau/Sabah and Nunukan/Kalimantan on which a bike has been transported, but you have to be pretty hard-nosed in negotiating or it may end up in the sea (steep narrow planks). From Nunukan (on a small island) there is a car ferry to Parepare on Sulawesi. I don't think you can ride anywhere from Nunukan, but in any case I have been told that the SE of Borneo is uninteresting and industrialised.

Sulawesi is connected to Labuanbajo/Flores via Pulau Selayar (I believe), once a month.

Note that these long-distance ferries are unreliable, you can't book or get any info about them in advance, they are extremely unpleasant to travel on. BYO food, water, sleeping mats and sea sickness medication.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 4 May 2010
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Agree with Beddhist.

Best way of shipping to South-east Asia is via Port-Klang , very easy and cheap . I have contact detailes for a shipper in port klang. He is him self a GS rider and traveller and has shipped tons of bikes and 4x4 all over the world .

He has done many expedition trips in africa so he probably have contacts that could help you out and take care of your clearing in port klang.

I shipped my bike from port klang back to uk , got in touch with him via the Malaysia HU community.

the company name is AseanTex marine services its owned by him and his brother

his name : Assir Ariff

good luck
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Old 12 Jun 2010
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I have just done most of the South East Asian countries you mentioned since August 2008 by shipping my 2003 klr650 to Malaysia from Los Angeles with a Carnet. Entering Thailand, Laos,and Cambodia were all easy as pie. While in Phnom Penh I got my visa for Vietnam and attempted 3 borders in the South 1 legit border, 1 used for locals, and 1 along the Mehkong river which was a mud pit for 45kilometers due to heavy rainfall during my attempt. It was fun and exciting but I was refused all 3 times of the opportunity to cross into Vietnam by the smug border officials. It can be done, but the way the Cambodians do it is by smuggling on a small boat across the Mehkong. It was a bit more risk than I cared to take at the time. Other than that I have heard of people going through lots of red tape taking a few months doing it through the bureaucratic channels and ending with an expensive ticket to take their bikes to Vietnam. I would have liked to attempt a crossing from the Northern borders entering from Laos, but I did not try as my Visa was already stamped when I attempted the first time and I figured the border official would just deny me once he seen the cancel stamp. I went to Myanmar in the North of Thailand and talked with some people and it is basically the same story. There are similar illegal strategies to get you and your bike in but again you will be taking some big risks. After seeing most areas of Thailand I went back to Malaysia and crossed into Indonesia with Cakra Shipping. I spent 5 months traveling from Pulau Wei(beautiful island at the Northern most point of Sumatra). I took the mountains from Banda Aceh back to Medan which is one of the most incredible rides I have ever had. Without writing a book here I rode around these main islands using ferries: Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, and taking the ferry from the port in Flores to Sulawesi. I was very fortunate to catch it as it goes only 1 time per month and they never seem to know when that will be. I renewed my visa in Makassar in Sulawesi and spent a month traveling all the way to Manado and Bitung where I took a very risky move to get into the Philippines. I took a ferry from Bitung to Sanger Island, then to Marore, then a small fishing boat to General Santos where I was detained for 2 weeks until I proved I was innocent of knowingly entering that port illegally lol. I have been kicking back in the Philippines for 6 months and now I am either going to Vietnam, China, India, or back to the States to regroup. Nobody has offered any real solutions I care to take at this point to ship and tour in Vietnam or China. India I need to explore my options further as my Carnet is expired. TBC

~Ps. if you have any questions feel free as i love to help
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Old 20 Jun 2010
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Check our the route section on my website for indonesia ferries (see link below in the signature).
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