The Route and Planning

1. Around the world without flying (getting to Australia will be the challenge)
2. Ride and Explore as many countries as possible by motorcycle

My Route:

Why did I choose this route?
Would I choose this route again?
What planning did I do and what websites did I find helpful?
Helpful websites
What paperwork did I need to have arranged before I left?
Other considerations:
What advice would I give for planning a trip how long do you need to plan for?

Why did I choose this route?

I was originally looking to ride the other way around and go to South America first, but after a change of circumstances and a change in bike I decided to ride from the Uk to Australia first. The key point in deciding which way around I went was the time of year. Being May and with summer for Europe it made sense to start there rather than the winter of South America.

To go from the UK to Australia I would have four choices (or so I thought): go through China into Laos; or, go through China and Pakistan; or, go through Iran and Pakistan; or, ship (me and the bike) from Japan. For me, I wanted to ride as much as I could – so I ruled Japan out. I hadn’t heard many good things about Pakistan and if I’m being honest the idea of riding through it concerned me, so I opted for a longer trip through China. I first thought my only option through China was Mongolia – China – Laos (21 days). To cross China one needs to have a guide (on any vehicle that is registered outside of China). The price I was quoted was £7000 when going from Mongolia to Laos, which was clearly an issue. This price could have been reduced by meeting up with other travelers and dividing the cost (as you only need one guide). But, that required finding other people and all the potential hassle that entails!

The routes available to get to Australia

At this point, I didn’t know that going through China into Nepal was an option but then I saw a post on Horizons Unlimited that told me otherwise. A short while later I had another quote in my inbox.

This was the answer I was looking for! It was still expensive, at £2300, since there was only one other car crossing but after the £7k quote it was much more viable.
My next choice after getting past China/Pakistan was, do I take a northern route through Russia – Kazakhstan then into Kyrgyzstan; or, do I go south into Turkey – Georgia – Azerbaijan before crossing the Caspian sea into Kazakhstan – Uzbekistan – Tajikistan and then Kyrgyzstan.

I had two options to get to Kyrgyzstan for the China crossing. The northern route through Russia or the Southern route through Turkey

I opted for the south and whilst that meant I would face the uncertainty of the ferry that crosses the Caspian sea (it has a reputation for having no time table and there are stories of it taking maybe days and even longer to cross), it would however mean that I didn’t have to go and get another visa from London, since like China, Russia also requires that you obtain the visa in your home country.

If I had opted for the route through Russia, due to the visa, I would have to leave as soon as I had received it and crossed into Russia within 30 days. Whilst completely possible I didn’t want to delay my leaving as I had now booked my China crossing and had to be at its border in 76 days!

Would I choose this route again?

The short answer is no. Whilst is it gave me the chance to achieve my dream, for which I am very thankful for, with more experience and knowledge acquired I would opt for either the China into Pakistan at about £1000 instead of £2300 or Iran into Pakistan at a £0 cost for a guide. I have heard many stories from now friends that have done either of those routes. Before I left it was fear that stopped me for opting for this route.

What planning did I do and what websites did I find helpful?

I actually planned very little! All I planned was my route, the climate and where I best at which time of year, I estimated the rough length and figured the rough cost, planned which counties I would go through to get to Australia and what did I need to know in terms of requirements and safety. For me I plan very little so that I can explore the countries for myself.

Helpful websites: – Visa requirements and basic information regarding countries (UK only – each country has there own).
Horizons Unlimited – Large forum of travelers with up to day information. They also have a Facebook group and they do gatherings in a variety of countries each year which can be a great way to meet like minded people as well as get information.

What paperwork did I need to have arranged before I left?

  • Passport
  • Chinese visa’s – I only required to have the Chinese visa before I left. As it was the only one on my route that required for you to apply in your home country. Also having the India would have been nice in hindsight so I wouldn’t of had to wait in Nepal. All other visa I got on the road at the borders or online as E-visas. Check your countries government website to see which ones you require.
  • Registration document for vehicle (V5 in the UK)
  • Carnet du passage – not required depending on which countries you travel through, quick google of required countries will let you know if you require it. I used “CARS” company to arrange mine and went for the credit option which is the option to pay more in fees but I do not require a large capital as a deposit.
  • International driving license (available at post offices in the UK)
  • Yellow fever certificate
  • I haven’t been asked for it yet but I would take any documents with you that show its road legal in your home country (for UK the MOT certificate if the vehicle is older than three years).
  • Insurance for Europe – after Europe insurance can be bought at the borders in most cases if required.

Other considerations:

  • Health and travel insurance
  • Vaccinations (Paperwork for yellow fever may be required for your trip)

What advice would I give for planning a trip how long do you need to plan for?

Find out what visa’s you need and which ones you can get on the road (check the validity – the time it is valid for before you need to enter the country)Research the countries you plan to go on Horizons Unlimited and other websites.
Find out what is the best time of the year to go to your desired place
Go to your doctors or travel clinic to find out what vaccines you need (you will need to know roughly when you will be in each country)
Know paperwork you need to have before you leave (see above but do your own homework also)
Get your travel insurance
If traveling with a motorcycle know that any bike can do the trip, some just excel in different areas. Don’t let choosing the right bike delay your trip. If its reliable and you have it do it
You should plan until you know it’s both possible and likely your plan will succeed and the pay attention to the final point. (For reference I had the knowledge already but the planning to go from the UK to Australia for this trip took me 6 weeks including the time to get the guide and Chinese visa in place).
The final point is stop planning and just go! If you keep planning you will never leave and it will just be a dream that won’t ever come true. You only ever have now, go and do it.

Where will you go next?

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