India to Sri Lanka?

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by Bentebent, May 12, 2012.

  1. Bentebent

    Bentebent Adventurer

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    Alright, so the big trip is currently in it's planning stages and I'm looking into ways getting myself and my motorcycle from India to Sri Lanka. At first, finding out about the Scotia Prince made my day but apparently it's been suspended due to economical problems. Word about them trying again but with a smaller ferry but I doubt it, they're certainly not trying hard to get any info out about it.

    Now I'm looking at Dhanuskodi - Talaimannar, is there a border crossing there? Could I jump on a ship with my bike and get over to Sri Lanka without being shot? I've heard rumblings about re-opening a ferry service there, now that the war is over, but nothing official.

    Otherwise, I guess air freight is all that remains? How expensive would that be?

    Any help is appreciated!
    #1
  2. Bentebent

    Bentebent Adventurer

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    Guess this wasn't a very common question :hmmmmm

    So, Dhanuskodi seems to be out and I doubt it'll ever be restored. Still no news on the Scotia Prince so I'd say some kind of freight (air or boat) for the bike and myself flying over is the only chance. Hasn't anyone here done something similar or heard of anyone doing it? Don't really know where to start looking for someone who will ship my stuff...
    #2
  3. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Well, if there are no ferry lines at the moment, and now that the sea area between the countries is no longer a warzone, I guess if I had the time, I´d try to charter a lift with a proper sized fishing boat or something. Could be a more adventureous journey than some might want, though (...and do note, that I have really no idea, if it would be "safe", or the possible troubles, especially with customs at both ends – I know for a fact, that India is tough on paperwork!)

     ​
    Actually I thought about Sri Lanka, when I was travelling through India, but this was when the war was still on, so definitely no going any other way than airfreight to Colombo, was too expensive. But I did send my bike by air from Chennai to Bangkok at the end of 2007, and for this I used a company called Shell Air, located in central Chennai. If you need to freight the bike, maybe they could help you out. I´m not sure, if they can be found on the web – if not, then I might still have some e-mail address on my old mails, can´t check it right now, but if you think you might need it, please send me your e-mail!
    #3
  4. Bentebent

    Bentebent Adventurer

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    Yeah, getting a lift with a fishing vessel or something similar would be awesome. Not sure if possible though, will look further into it.

    Thanks for the Shell Air tip, found them on the web. Will try and get in touch with them soon, will update this thread when/if I find something out.
    #4
  5. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    The distance is actually shorter than I thought... IF (and that´s a big IF!) you are able to find passage from Pamban Island in India to Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. But that´s the region, where I´d probably go to ask around at some fishing ports.

    Google maps once again seems a bit too optimistic about routes, because there´s a “ferry line” drawns between those places... maybe there has once been such a service, like in the ´80s or something!

    But do note this: you can´t just hop on a boat these days, and sail to another country, not yourself only, and definitely not when accompanied with your vehicle. So you need to get in touch with both countries immigration and customs, and let all of these instances know, what you´re up to, BEFORE you make a crossing. Otherwise you risk getting into some very deep trouble (the authorities may very well have a nasty habit of assuming that everyone, who does not enter through the normal points of entry, is a spy). But like I said, I have no personal experience from there, so I don´t really know how it would turn out. Still, this is something to be wary of.

    BTW, if you want to check out our trip, even though it´s +4 years ago now, the “blog” (well, sort of!) can be found here:

    http://www.moto1.fi/blog.htm

    http://www.moto1.fi/blogB.htm

    http://www.moto1.fi/blogC.htm
    #5
  6. rideceylon

    rideceylon n00b

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    Hi there, I'm a Sri Lankan and turning up on the beach on an Indian fishing boat with a bike strapped on the back is going to get you into a lot of crap! The coast is patrolled heavily by coast guard and navy boats from both India and Sri Lanka as there is a lot of illegal fishing, human trafficking and drug smuggling in those waters. If you don't get shot at first you'll most probably get arrested.

    The ferry was unfortunately very short-lived and most of us didn't even get a chance to try her out. Would have been great if it was around. I'm afraid the only legal way is to air freight the bike or get it shipped. If it's just riding your looking for, there are bikes for rent in Negombo, a town just north of Colombo. You can get a Honda XR250 for about 20USD per day.
    #6
  7. Aargee

    Aargee Been here awhile

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    I've been to the very end of Talaimannar in India & I can say with confidence that it's simply not possible LEGALLY to jump the 80 odd Km between India & Srilanka. The coast is not only heavily guarded with a hovercraft, but it is also considered OUT OF LAW on such an attempt.
    #7
  8. koots_roots

    koots_roots gonzo adventurer

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    you can rent a baja 250 from Hikkaduwa (surft town south of Colombo) for about 1300 SL rupees ($10 USD) per day.i just got back a few weeks ago and spent 24 days travelling all over the country and would recommend it! if your limited on time, don't overlook the hill country - its a dreamy place for two wheeled travel. at some point ill get around to writing a TR, feel free to ask any questions in the meantime.
    #8
  9. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    I asked the same question on Horizonsunlimited on behalf of a friend and got no reply so am guessing it is not very easy or often done, you are more likely to get an answer to this type of travel related question there.

    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/
    #9
  10. 300kg

    300kg on our 1st RTW trip

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    We are currently in Sri Lanka with our Transalp 600.
    We had to ship it from Mumbai (around 500€ with crating) while we took a flight from Chennai to Colombo.

    Sri Lanka is definitely worth the money of the shipping!!
    This island is paradise!!


    We will be going back to India around July, if in the meanwhile anybody hear about a new ferry to India, please let us know!
    #10
  11. Bentebent

    Bentebent Adventurer

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    Thanks for this info! And thanks everyone else who has given answer while I was absent. The trip is still being planned, life gets in the way and all that shit. Plans changed a bit since I made this thread, but hopefully something will happen soon™.
    #11
  12. muddysoles

    muddysoles The cubicle traveler

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    A little late.. ok very late but did you end up doing this trip?
    #12