December 20, 2008 GMT
thailand 13.12.08 - 25.02.09

jane at work, hehehe...


koh chang003.JPG


Fortunately we could score some work over Christmas and New Year but, all in all, there was only work for about 2 weeks. Now, several weeks later and still jobless, we decided to leave Thailand by the end of February. That means we have to do one more visa run. This time we won’t need 2 months tourist visa again, so we just do the border run… Thailand implemented a new rule regarding visas on arrival at the land borders, so we will have 15 days to get to Bangkok and ship the bike, sufficient anyway.
In the meanwhile we had some visitors passing by. Trent visited us twice on his Yamaha XJR1300 (I’m sure everybody on Koh Chang will remember the sound of its Yoshimura exhaust pipe…). Peter and Sue (on the way from Europe to NZ) came and stayed with us for almost 3 weeks. So, even no work, we’re hardly getting bored on Koh Chang.
First I taught diving to Peter and Sue, then Peter shown me that the clutch on my Africa Twin isn’t really too hard to operate… the cable was just stuck… what a relief!!!
Now, it is time for packing and deciding which things to bring to Nepal and which to leave behind. We can’t wait to be on the road again!!!

darius teaching diving on koh yuak


koh chang001.JPG


pool at AMARI hotel, koh chang


koh chang002.JPG


darius with magaly and sacha, our bosses


koh chang004.JPG

trent is visiting us on koh chang: "are we there yet??"

trent- are we there yet, hehehe.JPG


darius working...


darius working.JPG


jane in koh rang


jane with the diveboat.JPG


peter and sue are visiting us on koh chang


with peter and sue on koh chang.JPG

Finally we left Koh Chang on the 12th of February. Entering Bangkok was a nightmare as expected. The cops stopping us 3 times in 2 days... You could possibly imagine the cops grinning face as he sees my Philippine driving license. With a permanent smile he’d ask me for an international license and, of course, hoping that I haven’t one. Bad luck this time for the authorities, 2 times I have to produce the expired international permit and 2 times they let us go. The third time the cops found another “violation”, apparently I was riding in a car-lane instead of the motorbike/bus-lane. It’s hard to understand the cop with his English so bad and his facemask not being helpful either. He wants me to pay 200 Baht but lets us go after some talks… lucky again.

We booked the first 2 nights at Bangkok’s 5 stars Amari Watergate Hotel. Well, we’re not exactly on a splashing trip now but we got this treat as a tip from Darius’ customer on Koh Chang. We turn up in our dusty motorbike gear, carrying plastic bags to our room in the 15th floor. To be honest, we feel a bit strange.
The room is fantastic, 40 square meters of luxury, view over Bangkok and all for free!
Just right for our “1 YEAR ON THE ROAD” celebration!!!


Impressions from the AMARI WATERGATE HOTEL


nepal002.JPG


nepal013.JPG

nepal014.JPG


nepal015.JPG


nepal016.JPG


nepal017.JPG


nepal018.JPG

nepal019.JPG


nepal020.JPG


nepal021.JPG

We enjoyed the luxury the last 2 days, especially the buffet breakfast! Now, fully bellied, we are ready for our last ride in Thailand – from Amari Hotel to Trans Air Cargo. This time surprisingly not too much traffic.
Not expecting any problems at the cargo office, we’re happy to hand over our carnet and Darius’ passport but life isn’t always easy…
Miss Kittima (TAC officer) wants to have a “simplified customs declaration form”!!!!
Yes, we got this form from the customs in Betong when we first arrived to Thailand. Later we had to leave it with the customs at the Thai/Lao border. Since then we never received that form again, the customs only wanted to stamp our carnet! But now, it seems, we’re in trouble. Miss Kittima’s solution is simple: she wants us to ride back to the border at Hat Lek (Thai/Cambodia), leave Thailand and, on renewed entry to get the paper she needs for the freight process. It doesn’t come to her mind that we just came from there and its about 500km away from Bangkok. Now, that’s not going to happen.
I insist for another option, possibly phone, fax or even internet – you’d think we’re living in the 21st century…
Still not convinced, Miss Kittima sends us to Bangkok Custom Office on the other side of the city. We should try our “luck” over there. I prefer to take a taxi and Miss Kittima sends one of the office guys with us, for whom she charges us later 10 Euros. The first customs officer we talk to has the same brilliant idea like Kittima: just ride to the border and get the right papers!! I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.
Slowly we’re climbing up the competence ladder until someone has the idea to actually call to Hat Lek and organize that “very important” paper by phone. After all, it’s the fault of the customs not to give us the proper paperwork.
Ok, now that the treadmill of bureaucracy started to roll, we only need to wait for progress.
The Twin has to be made smaller to save costs and the visas for Nepal and India have to be arranged. Very soon the bike is crated and ready to go. Every day we’re receiving a call from Miss Kittima and have to hand over some more papers or photocopy some of our papers. We’re not getting bored in Bangkok!
Eventually, the mysterious customs declaration form arrives. Juhuhhu!!
We’re handing over 1000 Euros in Thai Currency and receiving a copy of a freight form with someone’s else name on it. I can only imagine the problems we could face in Kathmandu and let Miss Kittima change the name on my cargo papers, even she ensures me that we’ll have no problems.
With that photocopy we’re leaving Thailand 1 day before the departure of the bike, not really sure if it arrives to Nepal. Fingers crossed…


preparing the twin for the air cargo to Kathmandu


nepal003.JPG

Posted by Darius Skrzypiec at December 20, 2008 10:21 AM GMT
 

Grant & Susan's Europe Ride 2014.



Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

The weather has finally turned, so Gear Up for your motorcycle travel adventure! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - Gear Up! 2-DVD set until June 30 only. Gear Up! for your motorcycle travel adventure! Get all the info you need to hit the road!

Which bike, how to prepare it, what else to take, how to pack it all in! 6 hours!

"It's another great job, informative and entertaining."

"It's really professional and full of useful information, a must for any traveler."

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'GEARUP' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!