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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  • 1 Post By Motor Rambler
  • 2 Post By Tomkat

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  #1  
Old 12 Aug 2023
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Europe to Vladistok ride via Central Asia

I have been planning on doing a ride from Ireland crossing Europe, Central Asia, Mongolia, and into Vladistok Russia before shipping the bike back to North America.
But given the war in Ukraine and heavy sanctions on Russia I am wondering if it's even possible to ship anything out because of it or not? I would love to see this part of Eastern Siberia but am also not too keen on supporting the Russian government or the Russian economy by giving them my business, but geographically this is the best route I can think of that would take me through Central Asia and Mongolia and actually being able to ride coast to coast across EurAsia.
I thought as an alternative, from Mongolia go south into and through China down into South East Asia to Singapore and ship the bike home from there. But it looks like logistically getting my bike into China and riding through is very prohibitive costly with having to register the bike in China, getting a Chinese drivers license and then also having to hire a guide to escort me through. The only other alternitatve was possibly having the bike shipped across China whether it's from Mongolia to Laos, or from Russia to Hong Kong to ship home directly. This trip won't happen for a couple more years and hopefully by then the Ukrainian war may be over and relations with Russia could possibly normalize again but with out a crystal ball. There's no telling where we will be then. But if anyone out there have answers, solutions or have done such a ride recently I would be glad to read them.
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  #2  
Old 12 Aug 2023
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Hi,

Never done it so no experience here, but just my two cents:

The longer you wait, the more chance the trip will never happen.

Shipping through China just to ship it back home sounds to me that this will be more shipping around the world then actually riding the bike.

I understand the thoughts of not wanting to support russian economy right now, but if one would think like that there wouldn´t be many countries in the world to visit. You want to support China for example ?
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  #3  
Old 12 Aug 2023
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Originally Posted by Motor Rambler View Post
...not too keen on supporting the Russian government or the Russian economy by giving them my business...
Unless you cherish a "z"wastika in your hart, there is no reason to visit the russians.

Just plan your route and ship the bike if necessary.
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  #4  
Old 12 Aug 2023
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If people avoided visiting countries because of illegal invasions, the UK, US and some others would be quite short of visitors. Let's not even get into countries with massive human rights abuses that we are happy to visit and trade with. But people are people and I believe it's wrong to judge the people of a country by its government. Travel is best undertaken with an open mind, if that bothers people, don't travel. But please don't preach at others where they should or shouldn't go on political grounds. This is not the forum for it.

In response to your question, yes, such a journey is perfectly possible.

Today's possible routes east inevitably go through Russia to a greater or lesser degree. Going through places like China and some of the SEA states is a right headache. Crossing points from Europe into Russia are open, and Russian embassies are issuing tourist visas. If you use a visa agency it's easier. Baltic crossing points are reputedly on a go-slow, taking 3-4 days to let people through and confiscating any Euros they find. The best way is probably via Turkey and Georgia. Quite a few people have done that and it works fine. From there you can either head north to the Trans Siberian Highway (which is very long and a bit boring) or go round the Caspian to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which will take you down into the Central Asian states. After those, head north from Almaty which will take you up into Siberia and the road to the east is yours.

From all reports, people who go to Russia as guests are treated as guests. Your biggest problem is likely to be that western cards don't work there, so you'll need to arrange to get sufficient cash before entering the country. You will be able to change USD to RUB easily, EUR maybe not quite as common but certainly possible. Look into opening a Tinkoff debit card account for foreigners if you're expecting to be in Russia for some time and don't want to carry large amounts of cash. You should be able to buy road and health insurance locally from somewhere like Rosgosstrakh.

It's a great trip and will present plenty of challenges. Hope you get to do it.
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  #5  
Old 15 Aug 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomkat View Post
If people avoided visiting countries because of illegal invasions, the UK, US and some others would be quite short of visitors. Let's not even get into countries with massive human rights abuses that we are happy to visit and trade with. But people are people and I believe it's wrong to judge the people of a country by its government. Travel is best undertaken with an open mind, if that bothers people, don't travel. But please don't preach at others where they should or shouldn't go on political grounds. This is not the forum for it.
I disagree - this can certainly be the forum for it, and it is a perfectly valid aspect of discussing travel. And yes, it is a perfectly valid position for, let's say, a Vietnamese person to not want to take a vacation in the US, or a Greek Cypriot to avoid going for a vacation in Turkey. Just because YOU are not bothered, doesn't mean it's wrong for other people to be.

Furthermore, I think there's an argument to be made that there are big differences a) in visiting a *potentially* hostile country - let's say a Taiwanese person going to Shanghai - versus a country that is *actively* throwing ballistic missiles at civilian populations in its neighbor and kidnapping children; and b) in visiting a country that has *internal* tensions between the government and (some part of) the population, where you can reasonably say that your cash is supporting the local population to a greater extent than your visa fee is supporting the government, versus a country that is *invading and trying to conquer another sovereign country* - and not even with the fig-leaf of regime change followed by a withdrawal (as with the US/UK-led coalition in Iraq and Afghanistan), but actually occupying the other country and wiping it off the face of the map.

If the OP has these concerns in their travel plans, who are you to tell them they are wrong?
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  #6  
Old 15 Aug 2023
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Originally Posted by Motor Rambler View Post
this is the best route I can think of that would take me through Central Asia and Mongolia and actually being able to ride coast to coast across EurAsia.
There's no real way to get to Mongolia except through Russia - if you want to experience the country, you could always fly in and rent/buy a bike locally.

If your goal is to ride coast to coast across Eurasia, you could go from Europe through Turkey into Georgia, faff about with trucking your bike into Azerbaijan and take the ferry into Kazakhstan; ride the contiguous Central Asian states as you like, then take the Kyrgyzstan-Laos tour across China, and ship out from a major port in Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia. Or continue down to Australia.
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  #7  
Old 15 Aug 2023
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Originally Posted by AnTyx View Post
If the OP has these concerns in their travel plans, who are you to tell them they are wrong?
If the OP doesn't wish to visit a particular country that's fine by me. Probably best not to ask how to do it in that case. As I've said elsewhere, travel is best done with an open mind. Take in all the facts and make your own decisions. I do not support others telling potential travellers they shouldn't go somewhere based on their own subjective political views. Political arguments can be poisonous in a forum such as this, which is probably why the admins have also said in the past that they don't want political discussion.

Go, or don't go. If you don't want to go, fine, but there is no need to inflict your moral judgements on others, lest you get back what you don't want. : peace:
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