Malaysia to India via Thailand and Myanmar advice please :)

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by Globerider86, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Globerider86

    Globerider86 n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1
    Hi there,
    This is my first post here
    I'm planning a trip from Australia to England starting in January next year. I was hoping i could see Thailand and Myanmar, now ive heard from mixed advise regarding Thailand (including from the Thai Consulate) and ive been told for Myanmar i will need to join a group. Has anybody passed though here recently, or knows what i will need ?
    Any advice would be appreciated
    Thanks in advance

    Ps im a British citizen if this helps.
    #1
  2. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,143
    Location:
    NSW, far south coast.
    Here is a good start https://www.facebook.com/groups/1024579897597702/

    Thailand introduced a guide system on March 1st 2017, many have tried their luck at the border from Malaysia and Cambodia and have managed to get in, from Laos it is more problematic, from Myanmar it is impossible, but that won't bother you because you aren't going that way.

    Myanmar requires a guide, no if's no but's. It's join a group guided by a Burmese national or not enter. Two tour groups that come recommended or Osuga and Myanmar Senses Family ( FB only ) We used Myanmar Senses in march this year and were very happy with their services.

    I hope this helps.
    #2
    vsambaiah and Pecha72 like this.
  3. CANBERRANOMAD

    CANBERRANOMAD Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    29
    I will be leaving Australia in Jan also following a similar route to you it seems. I have a thread on horizons unlimited under the same name discussing this. I plan on entering Myanmar early April if you are interested in teaming up. I have another rider and an older couple in a campervan for a total of 4 people so far to do the crossing. If we can get enough numbers of bikes I would prefer just bikes as I think the van might be a bit annoying if I'm honest. PM me if you are interested in joining or head over to horizons unlimited.
    #3
  4. zulu-5

    zulu-5 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    soviet Sydney
    Hi everyone, I'll be travelling the same way next year. The problem is that Burma is in the way and cannot be avoided. Unless I go via China, which is even stricter and significantly more expensive. I also live in Australia and can come back and explore Burma any time I like. For now though I just want to get through it as fast as possible. Not interested in sight seeing. Is there a way to just truck the bike across it? In a minivan or something? To the Indian border.
    #4
  5. CANBERRANOMAD

    CANBERRANOMAD Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    29
    Head over to the hubb, travelers seeking travelers thread. I am in the process of organising a tour across Myanmar for a period of 7-10 days to cross. It will likely be $1000 USD or cheaper at this stage.
    Not entirely sure you can transport the bike through Myanmar as you may still need to get the carnet stamped or a TIP at which stage you are tied to the bike whether you are riding it or not and good luck convincing the border officials you don't intend to ride the bike at all inside Myanmar.
    #5
  6. zulu-5

    zulu-5 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    soviet Sydney
    I'm ok with the officials and carnet and all that. I just don't want to pay the tour operators for a "tour", which I don't want. I just need to traverse Burma and spend as little money and time as possible doing it.
    #6
  7. CANBERRANOMAD

    CANBERRANOMAD Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    29
    Don't know what to say mate sometimes you just have to swallow the pill. Up to you on what to do but I think trying to do it alone will likely cost you more than these dumb tours.
    #7
  8. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,867
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    I doubt the 'trucking the MC across Burma' idea. What convinces the authorities you're not gonna ride the bike at some point? That said, i haven't tried.
    I have airfreighted my MC from Chennai to Bangkok 10 years ago, back then Burma was not possible at all. You should be able to send the other way by air, from BKK or Kuala Lumpur, for example. I'd probably send to Kathmandu Nepal, as customs clearance in India is probably a nightmare.
    #8
  9. zulu-5

    zulu-5 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    soviet Sydney
    I was sort of looking forward to riding through India and into Bhutan (which is also guided, but significantly cheaper and smaller) and then into Nepal. It is a ride after all.

    Judging by reports it is possible to ride within Burma by yourself, but you'd be stopped by many military/police checkpoints and would have to wait for the main "tour group" with "guides" and "permits". Plus guarded "forbidden" zones. I found a few freight companies that even ship elephants across (believe it or not). Let's see what they say.
    #9
  10. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,867
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    Not sure if you can call Bhutan 'cheap'...
    About 200 Usd per day for crossing & guide, when i last checked, probably gone up.
    #10
  11. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,143
    Location:
    NSW, far south coast.
    Z
    zulu-5 I think your thinking is a little flawed. I crossed Myanmar last March with my wife and 6 other bikes. If you get a group of that size together then the cost could be $850 US ea as ours was, for 10 days/9 nights. I too was reluctant to go with a guide, it is totally opposite to our way of doing things. But by the 2nd day I was totally relaxed with it. We went with Myanmar Senses and the "guides" soon become your friends. I highly recommend this outfit.

    I'm sure if you seriously break down the cost equation you'll probably find that $850 US over ten days, which includes hotels, breakfast, evening meal and most sight seeing, will in all likelyhood be cheaper than freighting your bike. To top it off Myanmar became one of the highlights of our trip. There are things to see there that you simply will not see anywhere else. The people having had very little interaction with foreigners aren't jaded with tourists/foreigners, like they are in the rest of Asia. This was also very refreshing.

    If you are prepared to spend $250 US a day for Bhutan, ( current price ) I can't see your logic of not spending less than $100 a day for Myanmar. If it is just to tick the box, then anyone can cross into Bhutan at one of the border towns, as long as they go no further. (I forget which one it is.) An Indian friend that crossed both Myanmar and Darwin-Timor with us, rode through Bhutan for about 10 days ( Indian passport holders get free access ). Said it was far and away the scariest 10 days riding he's ever experienced ( Now, remember he's Indian, so thats saying something! )

    Oh, I'm unaware of any westerners crossing into Myanmar and riding freely, other than the occasional one from Mae Sot and that is only for the day. Can you please supply the quote, "judging by reports". Additionally we also learnt that it is impossible to freight a vehicle across Myanmar. It's classed as importing a vehicle. So you may as well get on it a ride. Trust me you won't be disappointed.

    The way I see it, if you don't want to pay to cross Myanmar, then your best bet is to fly with Thai airways from KL to Katmandu. But are you actually saving anything, I doubt it?
    #11
    Radu Carta likes this.
  12. zulu-5

    zulu-5 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    soviet Sydney
    yep. you're right, I saw $50 somewhere before. My mistake. But at least Bhutan can be avoided altogether, just ride around it. Burma cannot.
    #12
  13. zulu-5

    zulu-5 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    soviet Sydney
    I'm sort of going by HUBB discussions so far of which there are quiet a few. The prices vary from $1500 to $2500 (US!!!) a pop. I'm sorry but I won't pay that. And getting 8 bikes together plus their schedules in synch sounds like a mission. So far everyone I ask has said no. How did you manage to get all 8 to show up at the border on the same day?

    I agree that Burma is a fantastic country. Being from Australia I can come back, hire a dirt bike and go bonkers with local guides. Which I'm planning to do anyway.
    #13
  14. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,143
    Location:
    NSW, far south coast.
    Hey zulu-5 all I'm trying to do is pass on personally obtained recent and ACCURATE information, if you want to ignore it or doubt it, thats your call. I repeat we paid $850 US per person. (10 days/9 nights) I got the group together quite easily. There are a surprising amount of people going through. All I did is put a post up in the HUBB and people will respond. When you say you will go and you commit and pay a deposit people will show up.

    Your comment, "Being from Australia I can come back, hire a dirt bike and go bonkers with local guides". demonstrates extreme immaturity on many fronts. Are you aware that it is an offence to have an accident in Myanmar? Let me re-phrase that. As a condition of being granted a tourist visa for Myanmr, it is illegal........yes illegal to have an accident whilst in Myanmar. Circumstance, regardless of what they are do not count. Have an accident and you will be charged for breaching your visa conditions and believe me, they do enforce this law. We know an Australian whom nearly got 5 years jail because two old geezers, two up ran him down. Secondly you will not find motorbikes for hire in Myanmar capable of going "bonkers" on. They ride clapped out ancient Chinese two strokes.

    What ever you do, the best of luck.
    #14
  15. zulu-5

    zulu-5 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    soviet Sydney
    hey dude, it's cool. I really do appreciate all replies. I meant no disrespect.

    I meant that Burma is great to explore on its own. And me living almost next door is easy to get to. I spoke to Zach already. and to a few tour companies there. Some do hire out decent dirt bikes and do some pretty cool guided trips. Chances are by the time I get there the situation will improve even more.
    #15