Asian Trip: Plans & Changes

Here’s how our trip developed and changed as we went along:

ORIGINAL LIST OF THE PLAN:

  • Istanbul & north coast Turkey: 2 to 3 weeks, depending when we can leave. to ca. 26 June
  • Georgia: 26 June to 10 July
  • Aserbaijan: max a week to 17th July.
  • Turkmenistan: Max 5 days as the tourist visa is too expensive. Just drive through unfortunately. 19 – 24 July
  • Kazakhstan: transit to Uzbekistan
  • Uzbekistan: 14 days to ca. 6 August (mainly Muslim architecture, not too much nature, maybe desert…)
  • Kyrgyzstan: about 2 weeks to ca. 20. August (mainly nature and walking)
  • Kazakhstan: about a week to ca. 27. August (just drive through) Might need a week in Almaty to get a visa.
  • Russia: max 1 week, just drive through really.
  • Mongolia: min. 3 weeks, more likely 4 to mid or end September
  • China, incl Tibet, hopefully the borders stay open!: 3 to 4 weeks to the end of October
  • Nepal: 4 weeks to the end of November
  • India: Almost 3 months to the 20 February, 2014

Our original plan finished here in India with a shipment back home.

 

“Providing we have the necessary visas sorted, we’ll be departing Germany on 30th May 2013.”

This was the opening sentence for our planned route as we began our adventure with Mighty Bruce. For Helen the trip would end in India, while Jens always hoped to continue to SE Asia and perhaps even Australia.

We actually started a day later on 1 June 2013, then as time and kilometres past quickly by, changes began to be made. Here we try to present our chronology and reasoning for the changes:

STOP PRESS!! Our latest news items as we made (or were forced to make) the decisions:

26 December 2013: The SE Asian add-on is booked!

 

With friends, Christian, Annelie & Adam relocating to Hanoi, we had the perfect opportunity to extend to SE Asia, shipping from Chennai to Bangkok,

then the opportunity of a then rare land crossing of Myanmar appeared:

STOP PRESS!! 1 February 2014: Myanmar tour now booked!
 
so we had our continuation, still finishing with a shipment back home:
  • Myanmar: 14 days to 5 March
  • Thailand, north: ca. 1 week 12 March
  • Laos: A month, to ca. 9 April
  • Vietnam: 2 to 4 weeks, depending on where we can leave Bruce
  • Cambodia: 2 to 4 weeks to latest mid June
  • Thailand, part 2: 6 weeks until the beginning of July
  • Malaysia: a month? To August or September
STOP PRESS!! 13 March 2014: Vietnam with Bruce is a No-Go! We are terribly disappointed! 
In the end, we still travelled to Vietnam, but without Bruce.

After this, it was still too early to leave and on the advice of many travellers we met, we decided we’d like to see Mount Kailash in Tibet, Tajikistan & Iran:

STOP PRESS!! 14 June 2014: The routing has changed! We’re driving home, not shipping!

  • China: 4 weeks to mid August
  • Kyrgyzstan: just long enough to get some onward visas sorted
  • Tajikistan: the Pamir Highway! Around 3 weeks until beginning of September
  • Uzbekistan: a couple of days just to transit
  • Turkmenistan: only 5 days: a transit visa is all we can afford (another guide country)
  • Iran: up to a month if we can manage to be without a guide, mid September
  • Turkey: 2 weeks?
  • Greece and back to Bonn: up until the end of October / beginning of November.

 

STOP PRESS!!
23 August 2014: Tajikistan is OFF!
30 August 2014: Iran is OFF!!!

 

So, with the Tibetan borders closed and our Tajikistan and Iran entries cancelled, then Tajikistan reinstated, we continued with:

  • Tajikistan: the Pamir Highway! Around 2 weeks until end of September
  • Kyrgyzstan: a couple of days’ transit
  • Kazakhstan: 7 to 10 days, mainly transiting to Uralsk
  • Russia: Maybe 2 weeks including a few days in Moscow
  • Latvia, Lithuania, Polandand back to Bonn: up until the end of October / beginning of November.

 

How did it all end up? Check out our Route Progress page

 

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3 thoughts on “Asian Trip: Plans & Changes

  1. He guys…that is amazing !!! I stepped in too late in the blog but have read every line…all the best to you guys…Vienna hat hottest summer ever, 40 degrees recently and millions of mosquitos….

    Like

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