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

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  #1  
Old 8 Aug 2011
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Sydney to London?

Hi – I recently joined the website. I'm planning on a motorbike trip from Sydney to London - sometime before I get too old! There seems to be a major blockage at Myanmar/Burma (just won't let people travel through) and China to the north (can only use expensive guides?). However, I'd like to do as much as I can by land and avoid large sectors by air or sea freight if possible - kind of cheating isn't it? I'd be grateful for people's views on the best/safest route to go - eg the following:

Riding - Thailand - Laos - China - India. Is it possible to go around Burma via China, and then enter that narrow bit of India, then all the way to Pakistan? Or

Riding - Laos - Vietnam - up China east coast to Vladivostok - then west across Russia to Moscow.

Seafreight - Kuala Lumpur to Dhaka (Bangladesh) or Kuala Lumpur to Chennai/Madras.

Airfreight - Bangkok to Kathmandu. This is what 'the Postman' did on a 110cc Honda moped as part of his Sydney to London trip - surely this has to rate as one of the most incredible feats of adventure 'motorcycling' ever? The Route | The Postman - Sydney to London on a moped

p.s. also wondering if there's an alternative to the usual routes of Iran to Turkey, or the 'stans' to Russia. ie can you go: Iran - UAE - Saudi Arabia - Egypt - Libya - Tunisia - Italy? (although I realise Libya is a no-go at the moment!).

thanks
Dave
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  #2  
Old 8 Aug 2011
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Bangkok to Kathmandu seems pretty popular - that's what I'll be doing. Myanmar still seems a no-go. Some people managed it a few years back but I hit a brick wall (no chance of getting the 'Special Permits') when planning the next trip.

I'll be taking the BK-KTM route the other way, heading down to Aus.

Nathans ride back from Aus was pretty impressive - all the more so for being done at two days notice, what a dude!

There have also been a few more tales coming out of China, so that might be becoming more plausible (apparently they are in the middle of changing all their roadsigns to Chinese and English?). If I could get into China then I'd go up, over to Magadan and back, that road looks fanstastic!
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  #3  
Old 8 Aug 2011
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Heya Dave,

Just been linked to this somehow through the website. I appreciate the comment. My user name relates to the C90 I was going to do the trip on the other way around.

Happy to help however I can, though I'm a bit out of the loop these days.

No surprise about Burma being out. A shame as always. I didn't have any trouble doing the Bangkok-Kathmandu route. I can't for the life of me remember the company I used but they're on here, Katina the name of the agent. I can dig it out if you'd like.

Something a couple (on here somewhere), also on a postie bike, two up, did was ship to Bangladesh. From what I can gather that looked more hassle, whereas to Nepal really was quite straight forward. I was told in advance about petrol shortages. I didn't encounter any, and I would imagine, if there were, that a few dollars on the black market could easily get you some.

I struggled with the visa for Iran, not getting one in the end. I looked at the various options and finally took the route up and over the KKH, into China, then Kyrgyzstan. That was about $2000 for a week's guided tour. Stupidly expensive but like you I wanted to keep the wheels on the ground.

That route up through Vladivostock or however you spell it sounds interesting, but I guess that would involve a lot of flying/sailing as well.

The other area of some discusssion might be Indonesia. It seems a lot of people miss this out. Which is a shame, because it was perhaps my favourite riding country. Not to be missed. The crossing to Malaysia is tricky, but I can give you the contact details of Mr Lim. He's the man who sorted me out.

Back to Iran, and I guess that route is dependant on whether you can get the visa or not. I don't know what the score is at the moment, but back then the Aussies were being refused because you'd been beating Muslim kids up in Melbourne and they took offence to that and banned the lot of you... and the Brits, and the Americans, and the Canadians.

But things might have changed. Depends on how much bashing's been going on I guess.

You'd have to check it, but I also heard Pakistan is getting difficult to enter, visas hard to come by. I'm sure someone on here has more up to date info. That's your problem area. Pakistan and Iran.

And from what Paul the Carnet guy at the Horizons meet was saying it's only getting tougher. But where there's a will there's a way and all that.

Regardless, message me if you want. Happy to help. Send it to my hotmail. nathanmillward121 AT hotmail.com. That way I'll see it straight away.

Best of luck with it all.

Ps. Don't tell me you're doing it on a proper bike. You know a postie's the only way to go...



[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/NATHAN%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-10.png[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/NATHAN%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-11.png[/IMG]
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  #4  
Old 8 Aug 2011
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Great shot Nathan!

I've added Indonesia to my itinerary now, will be doing it twice - once on the way down to Aus (from Thailand) and once on the way back (on way to Japan/Siberia). The Indonesians have also said I can have a permit for West Papua (formerly Irian Jaya) so I'll try to enter Papua New Guinea from there and cross PNG to ship to Aus from Port Moresby.

I thought about going on a Postie bike but figured I'd have had enough of that breed from the Sahara rally in January.... So I'll be going on a classic Brit Bike.

Dorothy still running well? Hope you're still changing the oil with the bike-inversion technique!
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  #5  
Old 8 Aug 2011
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1-Here is the route map from Nepal to Turkey.Our club friend İsmail did so this year.
Trans Asia - Burak Galip Akkurt - Ismail Gumus

2-Most interesting parts will be the ones in Pakistan and South Iran.There are some wonderful biker friends in Lahore area.Dont miss to meet them too.Here is a part of the video for the trip İsmail did.
Videos Posted by Enduro: Enduro | TransAsia 2011 [HQ] | Facebook

3-Let's keep in touch.Our club will be pleased to be helpful to you in details for your trip covering Turkey.
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=547244272

4-One of the best routes from Australia. So many Aussies has done it already whom we met here in İstanbul.

Wish you all the best.
zeki avar.

Special notes to Dear Henry...
Don't force the chances for Myammar..We will be the first bikers there from north to south soon!!! Almost at the end of the formalities here...This will be together with Chengdu-Lhasa 7 km.tunel pass at over 4.000 metres...(First Turkish bikers there..)
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''Friendly Pit-Stop in İstanbul'' https://www.facebook.com/mehmet.avar.12?ref=tn_tnmn
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  #6  
Old 8 Aug 2011
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Zeki - how? Hopefully you will set a precedent for other bikers to go through Myanmar! Chengdu - Lhasa is also a paperwork nightmare isn't it, have you managed to get authorisation to enter China with a bike?
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  #7  
Old 9 Aug 2011
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Hi Nathan

Great to hear from you, and thanks for all the info. It sounds like airfreighting from Bangkok to Kathmandu is the best option. I'll definitely consider riding Indonesia too, rather than seafreight from Darwin to Singapore.

Will read up a bit more on problem areas like Pakistan and Iran. Having a New Zealand passport may help (I live in Wellington, but grew up in Sussex, UK).

Thanks also for the contact names - I may be in touch again nearer my departure time. Still need to sort out a few months Leave Without Pay from my work.

Excellent photo! but no, I won't be getting a postie bike - although I guess you're much less likely to get attacked/mugged than riding a flashy BMW bike. Thought I'd take my XT600 which I use to commute to work on and which I should use more off-road!

Dave
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  #8  
Old 9 Aug 2011
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Zeki - thank you very much for the route map, video and contacts - all very helpful. Can't beat learning from people who've already been there!

And Henry - cheers, I think Bangkok to Kathmandu is the way to go. Myanmar & China just seem almost impossible - maybe in the future one day they'll open up to travellers.

Dave
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  #9  
Old 9 Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellydave View Post
I'll definitely consider riding Indonesia too, rather than seafreight from Darwin to Singapore.
I definitely would do that (ride through Indo, instead of shipping to Singapore).

And while in SE Asia, I would take at least a few weeks, or preferably 1-2 months (or why not even more, but depends on how long your trip is) to tour Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia & Laos. All very well worth visiting, and even exploring the backroads a bit.
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  #10  
Old 9 Aug 2011
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Hi there

We've just done a Sydney-London trip ourselves (me and hubbie) on a DR650 and XT250. Check out our blog www.wollongongtowoolwich.blogspot.com I know how thirsty I was for information before we left!

We flew the bikes Bangkok - Kathmandu which was pretty straightforward. We then rode across into Nepal, then India, Pakistan, up the KKH into China and through the Stans etc. (pretty much the same route as the Postie (bought your book by the way Nathan and read it on route!) Going through China was expensive but went without a hitch. We used Newland Travel to sort out all the permits etc. and would recommend them.

We were advised against travelling across Pakistan into Iran by many people, but also met many others along the way who had done so, or planned to do so. I have just seen that a Swiss couple have been abducted in the Balochistan desert and are being held - pretty scary stuff. I wouldn't do it myself but each to their own. Many people wouldn't go to Pakistan at all and we did so and loved it.

Anyway, check out the blog and if you have any questions, let us know.

Good luck!
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  #11  
Old 11 Aug 2011
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RE: Sydney to London?

Hey Kate & Will

Thanks for your reply, especially info on Newland Travel - I'll check them out - good to at least explore the possibility of going through China.

I think your route is the way to go - via the 'Stans does seem safer than through lower Pakistan and Iran at the moment.

Excellent blogspot too!

cheers,
Dave
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  #12  
Old 31 Aug 2011
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Hi Guys. Similar issues being investigated by me as well, planning a route from Sheffield UK down to Melbourne but China / Myanmar appear to create an road block across the middle of the route from everything I have read so far.

I know my brother travelled in China a couple of years back , but that was not in a vehicle so I guess that works out a lot simpler.

the Kathmandu - Bangkok freight option I guess seems the easiest answer, but it goes against my plans to "ride around the world" I wanted to visit Cambodia and Vietnam as well, Guess I can probably sort that out and just do a round route before heading further south, My brother is currently in Cambodia so hopefully I will be able to get some useful info "on the ground" from him
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