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  #1  
Old 14 Mar 2008
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New trip to IRAN, PAKISTAN and INDIA

I intend in going for the first time in this country and I would appreciate any safety advice in this countries.
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  #2  
Old 15 Mar 2008
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Realistic risks...

I've visited all three of these countries and can assure you that the risks you face are the same - terrible driving!

The safest country for visiting is Iran - a great place, my partner drove through on a bike in 1982 and apart from having to wear a chador on the bike had no problems - since then we've both been back a couple of years ago, and it was really friendly and fun. BUT - the worst driving in the world! Not bad roads or dangerous vehicles, but the way people drive is incredible; on a motorway if there is a queue at the exit you want, simply reverse up the other slip road! (note, you can't drive forwards up it so you can see where you are going - that would be illegal!)

Every trip I did between towns I saw the wrecks of trucks and buses which had head-on collisions during the night (they cleared away the cars faster!) and I saw the most stupid driving I've ever seen...

In Pakistan & India it's more bad roads, unlighted trucks and animals all over the road, don't even think about driving at night!

In Pakistan & India you also have the fun of total chaos if you are involved in a crash - even the police won't get involved while everyone is trying to kill the driver they have decided is responsible for an accident (and if you are a foreigner then that's you - even if you just stopped after the crash to offer assistance!)

But, on the bright side - that's really all you have to worry about as long as you are sensible (don't follow dodgy characters down dark alleys because they offer to sell you drugs etc...) and keep aware of what's going on around you.

And most important - remember that the people who seem really friendly usually are! Trust your instincts - if you feel uncomfortable with someone, then walk / drive away, but don't be paranoid - all three countries will treat you as a foreigner far better than their nationals would be treated in Western Europe, so enjoy yourself!

It should be a great trip - have fun!

Tony
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Old 16 Mar 2008
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Hi, done that route in November/December last year, and I agree with TonyTea - the biggest and most likely risk that anything will happen to you, is while you´re in traffic.

Iran:
in my view, not so bad, a bit like Turkey (ok, sure its worse than that, but nothing compared to the other 2 countries!).... and the Iranians are quite simply the most welcoming people we´ve met in the whole trip, they alone make the country well worth visiting. Main roads are very good, and once you get used to the fuel card system, its no problem riding through there. Only the area east of Bam is a little suspicious, but police are likely to escort you, if they think its necessary. Might be a lot quicker to go without escorts, but if youre allowed to do so, make sure you arrive to your overnight place well before dark.

Pakistan:
traffic worse than Iran, actually the "system" (believe it or not, they have one!!!) is a lot like India, but maybe not so terribly congested everywhere. The road from Taftan to Quetta is actually very quiet. Theres accommodation in Dalbandin and Quetta, but in between is a long stretch of nothing, and relatively bad/slow road, too, so better time your leaving so you will have plenty of time before sundown. I wouldnt ride at night in that area.
I really liked the Pakistani people (and police, too), they were all extremely friendly. Had to do some welding on our bike´s luggage racks in Quetta, and these guys simply refused to take any money, even though they spent at least an hour doing it. They said "money is not everything"... makes you humble, doesnt it!

India:
The only good advice regarding Indian traffic would be: DO NOT RIDE IN INDIA. It is simply the most mindblowingly chaotic place on Earth to ride a bike!! You can easily get badly hurt or killed in there, and to have an accident there would be very bad, as you will probably be the one they think is guilty. It requires 100% concentration from you, every second, just to survive.
Then again, in time you can get used to it (sort of!) and if you take breaks regularly (we did that every 50kms or so) then it is somehow manageable. But I never really enjoyed riding there, except for some rare moments maybe. Usually its just very slow (and BUMPY!!), and saps your energy like no other place.
Indian people are also friendly, but you will have to cope with a crowd of 50-100 gathering around your motorcycle anywhere you´ll stop, that can get annoying sometimes! In more touristic areas, like Goa, you´ll get very much hassled by people offering all kinds of services, that might start to get to you after a few weeks.
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Old 16 Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
I wouldnt ride at night in that area.
... anywhere starting with Turkey.

If you time it so you arrive in India about June you can ride in the Himalayas. Once you have survived the trip into Kashmir it's relaxed and easy, with mostly little traffic. Stay away from anything that looks like a big city or a main highway.
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Europe to NZ 2006-10
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