The Route

My route

United Kingdom > France > Switzerland > Austria > Slovakia > Hungary > Romania > Bulgaria > Turkey > Georgia > Azerbaijan > Kazakhstan > Kyrgyzstan > Tajikistan > China > Pakistan > India > Myanmar > Thailand > Japan > Canada > USA

Where am I now

 

 

6 thoughts on “The Route”

  1. Hi, It was great meeting you both in Islamabad, Pakistan…and spending part of the afternoon hearing about your adventures and philosophy’s of life. Too old to do it myself, it is great to live through someone else’s experiences. Pedal on…pedal on!! Ayisha

  2. Hi Shayl, sorry to pick your brain again!. Really interested to see how you got on cycling into Myanmar via India?. Also, how did you juggle the visa application for Manipur route with obtaining a Myanmar visa. I am being told 20 days wait, after getting my Myanmar visa? Really appreciate your thoughts as I would love to take this route, rather than flying in. I hope all is well with you. Mark

    1. Hi Mark

      Glad to answer questions. I got my visa in Calcutta which took three days and applied for the ‘special land border permit’ at the same time, this gave me time to cycle to the border since the permit is sent via email. You actually need to have proof (an email from the travel agency with payment accepted) that you’ve applied for the permit in order to apply for the visa. It all worked pretty nicely, except that the ride from Calcutta to Siliguri is boring and busy (hitch a lift if you don’t want to do the 500km+), but after Siliguri it’s very nice. The email for the permit is this [email protected]
      Tell them you want to apply for the’special land border permit’ to cross into Myanmar. It will cost you $100.

      1. Hi Shayl, that’s very helpful. I wondered how you balanced getting the visa and the land border permit. How did you find the riding on the Myanmar side and the transit through the border?. Again thanks Mark

        1. Hi Mark, sorry for the late reply and thank you for the donation. The only difficult part of the process is knowing the exact day that you will cross the border which they ask for when you apply for the permit. Here is my timeline.
          20th Jan – Send email to exoticmyanmar travel agent to request the ‘special land border permit’ under the assumption that this correspondence will take at least a couple of days.
          22nd Jan – Correspondence with exotic Myanmar is completed and electronic payment is confirmed, I gave them the 23rd of February as my border crossing date (a month to cross)
          23rd Jan – Go to the embassy in Calcutta and apply, pay the $14, fill the form, give a single passport photo, show them the email confirming that payment for the permit has been made.
          26th Jan – Collect my visa from the embassy and check that it is correct.
          Leave Calcutta and cycle to the border which is aprroximately 1600km at it’s shortest. (I cycled the straight road from Calcutta to Siliguri, it was dirty, camping was impossible and boring, but it’s flat and the surface is okay, I’d recommend hitching a lift) I then went to Darjeeling which I really liked, then went west to Alipurduar, Guwahati, Dimapur, Kohima and Imphal. There are some nice hikes, interesting temples, rhino and tiger sanctuariies in this part of India, so worth take a few days off the bike if you have the time)
          16th Feb – The permit is emailed to me.
          22nd Feb – Arrive in Moreh, stay the night ready to cross the border in the morning. (The road from Imphal to Moreh is tough and has some big climbs and little in the way of food, take stuff from the Imphal ‘Mothers Market’)
          23rd Feb cross the border with the permit printed out to hand to the border police on the Myanmar side. You must print the permit, otherwise they’ll make you wait for a very long time.

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