|07-27-2012, 10:05 PM||#1|
Joined: Jan 2012
South East Asia on a '96 CB400
Bike: Honda CB400 Project big one of 1996 with a mileage of 102,000 km at start of journey.
Countries: Singapore - Malaysia - Thailand - Cambodia - Laos - Indonesia
Total Mileage: 31,300 km / 19,500 miles
My first roadtrip has come to an end with me and my bike getting back safe to Malaysia where we now had to part. Sorry, it's not really a travel report, as I'm not too much into writing. Just want to share some photos for anyone who's curious, as a tribute to this really amazing street bike. :)
It started as 'Let's see how far I get' trip with an old bike, light luggage and zero experience, but my good ol' CB just didn't want to give up. She brought me from Singapore to the borders of China in the North, Burma in the West, Vietnam in the East, over the equator to Bali in the South and back. Had to say goodbye to my Givi box in Laos, it didn't like the offroad passages too much. Left it at the streetside with the key and I hope it makes some nice rice container for a Lao home somewhere :)
'Just a small loop' a biker on Round-the-world trip said, but it was a good start I think :). I have been living out of a backpack for 8 months and experienced the good, the bad, the ugly of a solo bike trip. Indonesia at the end was absolutely lovely, however was pretty tough to ride in, so it feels like a good moment to stop now.
I'm grateful for all the great people I have encountered along the road, awesome fellow bikers which gave me advice before I started, helped me during the journey or accompanied me for a while on the road, the many new friends I made and especially some really good old friends I could see again after a long time. When you ride alone it's not the places you go or the sunsets you ride by, it's those people who make your journey special.
Very happy to say that no one got injured by me while on the road and neither was I. Nothing was stolen from me and I have never felt threatened by anyone anywhere.
From seeing the photos however one only gets a small glimpse of what a longer motorbike journey is about. When you drive for hours freezing from the pouring rain, moving dead slow through pothole after pothole in the dark with the milestones telling you it will still be another two hours until you reach a town with a place to sleep. Full of sweat in all your gear, eating dust and dirt, getting lost, stopping over and over again to ask for directions with hand and feet, getting into the same greasy, dirty clothes day by day as there is no time to do laundry. Gruesome neck pain, lonely nights in disgusting hotels, dealing with corrupt police and border officers, crazy bureaucracy or trying to find repair and spare parts in remote areas where people don't even have running water...
When you are in such situations you don't get your camera out, though they are a big part of the journey and I'm a lot less naive about it now. However, those are the ones where you think back with a smile and say "Fuck it, I made it through!"
Hope you enjoy the photos :)
Kuantan, Malaysia: Ankle deep water on the street and I didn't have any kind of rain wear. Didn't bother either. The rain usually stopped after max. 2-3 hours and the rain would blow one dry quite fast.
Close to Gua Musang coming from Kuala Terengganu, one of the nicest roads in Malaysia.
Kuala Kangsar, Royal town
Jetty in Georgetown, Penang
Somewhere before Yala in the Muslim part of South Thailand, the military presence was really heavy with soldiers everywhere on foot, scooters, humvees or APC. Some completely masked with assault rifles, shotguns, even grenade launchers. The atmosphere however was very relaxed, they were surprised to see a foreign biker, but smiled, even saluted me. On my way back they checked my luggage once. One of them pointed to my backpack and said "Bomba!!", then they all laughed. :P
Usually I always wear my gloves, however when I took too many photos I rode on without. Biker's tan lines :)
On the 3 pagodas pass not far from the border to Burma, great ride!
Right after the border in Cambodia
Crossing the Mekong in Stung Treang, Cambodia
The poor guy begged me to tow his broken down scooter. Had to retie 2 times, but we made it to the next village :)
At the Preah Vihear temple where the Thai-Cambodian border clashes occur. Quite a lot of soldiers chilling out with their families, raising chicken and ducks. They reminded me I should take photos of the temple, and definitely not of the AA gun
Satellite TV in a foxhole?
Landmine warnings right in the center of a remote village
A kind of street blessing often found along Lao's roads. Such lovely and happy people :)
One of the hardest stages for my roadbike, this killed the holding for the Givi box eventually.
The last 100 km on this road took me 5 hours, the worst day on my journey. Pretty cold up there after dark and I was more than happy to finally have reached Laksao after taking a wrong turn and coming to a dead end with a guard and a barrier. An enormous helipad in sight, still wondering what that was.
One could see young boy play with a stick and old tires everywhere in Laos, simple life but everyone seemed completely satisfied. Young kids often did not even wear clothes, 4-5 yo girls were already carrying the younger ones on their back. Weaving their traditional dresses on old style looms right next to the road. Lovely untouched country.
Was one of the most special moments on the road for me... touching the Chinese border, my secret goal. I couldn't stop smiling for quite a while after that
Crossing over to Thailand from Laos by ferry
"Time for change has come" - Barack Obama, when he saw his old car tires.
Left: My Bridgestone BT39 after 21,000 km in all terrain, awesome tire. On the photo it looks worse than it actually was.
Right: My new Metzeler Tourance. Yeah, not many would put them on a street bike, and even less would really need them
BTW: The front BT39 had about 32,000 km on it at the end, no issues.
After frustrating weeks and months of getting a new passport, export papers, import allowances, police letters, dealing with broken down ferries and "slowly lah" shipping agents, the moment to cross over to Sumatra has finally come.
One of the weirdest moments on my journey... sitting seasick next to my bike on a passenger ferry which was equipped with seats from an old airplane somewhere on the Indian Ocean. That will never be my way of traveling, thats for sure...
Danau Toba... riding on an island created by a gigantic volcano eruption. One of the most beautiful places I have been to.
Some laidback kiwi guy spontaneously decided to have a suckling pig, so I decided to help him eat it...
Indonesian cow power meeting Japanese horse power
Close to Sibolga, my eyes said I'm driving in a ore mine, while my map says: "No dumbass, that's a tunnel on the Indonesian highway."
My map was right...
The reward for getting up at 5am. Was riding 14+ hours to make a big jump from Padang to Bengkulu, more than 600km that day and not much fun on Sumatra's roads.
Indonesian roads are cutting edge.
You can read in my face how much fun it is to drive into Jakarta's metropolitan area - home of only 28 million people - on a rainy Friday evening. Seen some fucked up roads and traffic by now... but this was like Armageddon
On the way to the Dieng plateau... Hati Hati Honda! There is a hole in the road . On the top left one can see where the road continues.
Rudi, the midnite snack man of Wonosobo serving sweet susu and yummy tempe kemul. His hut is where all the chitchat happens ;)
Overlooking the volcanoes of the Dieng Plateau, Central Java
Honda 1 - Clouds 0
It was the first time that the young kids no longer said "Hello mister"... but "You crazy!".
I took it as a compliment ;)
After randomly following steep mountain roads and gravel paths in the Dieng plateau I came across this remote village. The guys looked at me very grim, but once they understood that I want to take some photos they came rushing together like school boys for candy.
At mount Bromo
My baby has reached shores. Unloading of the ship in Butterworth...
Many of the port workers were 70+, still making a living with 125 USD a month.
Here you can see ol' Joe Turtleneck (2nd from right) supervising the onion ramp. Legends say he wasn't seen without a cigarette since the Great Tobacco depression of 1948.
Unloading in Penang, potatoes and onions go first :)
c4traz screwed with this post 08-02-2012 at 01:34 AM
|07-28-2012, 06:31 AM||#3|
Joined: Jan 2012
My bike is registered in Singapore, however getting the carnet from AAM (Automobile Association Malaysia) was much cheaper and pretty hasslefree. I actually only needed it for Indonesia. And yes, one also needs an invitation letter from IMI (Ikatan Motor Indonesia) which you can get by email if you bug them long enough.
Getting the crossing to Indonesia sorted out was a very very long, tiring and frustrating process as wellknown Mr. Lim no longer ships from Penang to Belawan (only the other way round) after one biker on his boat got serious problems with the Indonesian navy despite having a carnet.
Me and another couple on bike in the end could make the crossing from Port Klang to a small port on Sumatra on a passenger ferry. I hope this link keeps on working smooth (contact me by private message, I can provide all details). All other shipping options are so much more expensive. You can read the horror stories about shipping to Jakarta, Dumai, etc ... in the other forums or blogs.
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