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Old 20 Dec 2011
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Shipping from the Malay Peninsula to Bangladesh

Hi all, I'm planning a route where the basic intention is to make it from Chiang Mai to Bangladesh without going through Burma or north into China, so I was hoping to catch a ship somewhere on the Thai Malay Peninsula (Ranong, Phuket, Trang, etc) to Chittagong, but I've no idea whether there are any appropriate ports or shipping routes. Apologies for the vague question, but does anyone have any knowledge of whether it is possible to ship a bike (and rider) from somewhere around there, or of any alternatives? Cheers, Nick
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Old 21 Dec 2011
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I don´t think there are passenger ferries, that would bypass Burma. The last one was maybe in 1984, and then it burnt, or sank, or both – depending on who you ask!! In India, you should in fact be able to get a ferry to the Andaman Islands, but the problem is east from there.

Shipping your bike across the Bay of Bengal usually means, that you and your bike do not travel together, so you typically fly to meet the bike. But this can be done, and even if it´s a bit of a headache to ship your vehicle, in this area it happens quite a bit these days, because it´s still way cheaper than arranging to cross China.

I´d probably do it by air from Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, or by sea from Port Klang (Near Kuala Lumpur). For example, Bangkok-Kathmandu or vice versa seems like a popular option nowadays. Because of bureaucracy, Nepal could be a better destination than India.

You´ll need to get quotes, and then decide for yourself, what will be the best, but if the price is not so much different, then I think that airfreight could be a better choice. When I researched those (in Chennai) at the end of 2007, the prices for seafreight and airfreight seemed surprisingly equal. And there had been some strikes at the Chennai seaport, so they could not really tell, if it was gonna take 2 or 6 weeks to transport to Pt.Klang – that actually made my decision pretty easy! If airfreight gets delayed, then it is usually just a matter of hours, or 1-2 days, but in seafreight it could be a very different story.

edit. some of this could be outdated by now, but have a look, how it went for us (by air from Chennai to BKK) – and sorry there´s still some Finnish in between, but the shipping part at the end is in English:
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Old 22 Dec 2011
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Thanks for the info pecha - much appreciated. A look at the shipping database reveals one person who tried to do the same thing (and for the same reason) in 2004, but ultimately had to have the bike shipped from Chittagong to Chiang Mai by air. I have started to do some basic research into whether sea is even possible (i.e. available ports/routes) - I'm more or less completely ignorant of the process, so is it generally a case of finding the details of shipping agents at the ports and inquiring as to whether it can be done / seeking quotes? Cheers
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Old 23 Dec 2011
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It should be possible to freight across the Bay of Bengal by sea. I won´t be able to tell you, if it will be cheaper in the end (than airfreight). But I must say I have my doubts, and it´ll certainly take much longer. I would at least ask about airlifting, too.

You´ll need to get in contact with the shipping agents, and ask them about the details. One problem is, that they probably receive all sorts of inquiries all the time, and one single person wanting to send one single motorbike across the sea, that is simply very small business to them. For one thing, it doesn´t happen very often, so it´s a lot of work for them, and little profit to be made. So don´t expect everyone to respond to you very swiftly by e-mail.

So call them, or even better: visit them, when you´re in the area. I felt that things really started rolling in Chennai, when we went to the shipping agent personally, discussed our plans, showed them the bike´s papers, etc. After that they´ll know that you are for real, and not just one of those, who keep them busy with many inquiries, but may never bring in any money.

For reference, four years ago I payed about 600 euros total to fly our DL650 in a self-made wooden crate from Chennai to Bangkok (via Kuala Lumpur) on Malaysia Airlines (MASKargo). And then we got a direct Thai airways flight Chennai-BKK, that cost about 200 euros per head. The agent we used was Shell Air in Chennai. It all went quite well, the only real problem was the bureaucracy at the Indian end, which was really quite a nightmare, it´s a much longer story but for example it took some 10-12 hours to clear the customs at the airport; the procedures themselves took maybe 30-45 minutes combined, but that´s India for you..

(if I were you, I´d at least find out about airfreighting the bike from Bangkok to Kathmandu; that is probably the route, that is most frequently used these days, so may be there´s a reason for it).
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Old 23 Dec 2011
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You could try

Aseantex from Port Klang.No 9 & 9A, Lorong Cempening ,
P.O.Box 151 , Port Klang
Selangor , Malaysia .
+603 3168 0000Fax
+603 3167 1600E-Mail
info@aseantex.com.my Website

We shipped from India to Malayasia, they are also overlanders and very helpful!
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Old 5 Jan 2012
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I think Biman air still flies from BKK to Dhaka. Try them for a price.
And just a note, if you fly to Nepal and drive through India to get to Bangladesh, you cannot re-enter India for 2 months. So be sure your Bangladeshi visa will allow you to stay there for at least the 2 months. Also, the re-entry into india from Bangladesh when you want to leave may not be as easy as expected. ie. you may not get your 180 days. It will all be up to the guys at the border.
Just a heads up
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