Monday, May 22, 2023
Sunday, May 21, 2023
Border and water crossings across Asia were the biggest barriers Dr. G saw when he made a pit stop after leaving Duluth, Minnesota to arrive at his home in Montana. His plan to cross Asia at some point if he were to circle the globe again was going to be expensive and burdensome. He entered a "boots on the ground" research mode, having learned not to believe internet information.
His first test of crossing borders with his own motorcycle was out of Thailand and into Laos. The photo below shows his adventure ready Kawasaki Versys 650 in Thailand with the Mekong River and Laos in background.Sending a motorcycle from the USA (Los Angeles or Seattle) to Thailand was possible by air freight or shipping across the Pacific, but he found it was going to be 3-4 times more expensive than before Covid. Exiting Thailand and entering Laos from Thailand was given a "go" at the at an international border with the only requirement being the purchase of third party insurance for both countries.
From Laos into Cambodia by land was also possible, but would require a bit more trickery and some money for a handler/fixer. From his hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia he looked down on the mayhem of traffic and was reminded of his five previous visits. He had used his own motorcycle but had found it was far easier and less expensive to rent a local motorcycle.From Cambodia or Laos into Vietnam on his own motorcycle was possible, but the fluidity of the changing rules suggested the use of a Carnet de Passage, a bond to insure he did not sell his motorcycle in either country, would ease entry requirements. He found that the "smart money" would again be to rent a motorcycle inside Vietnam as he had four times before. $25.00 USD per day for an adequate motorcycle for Vietnam roads and speeds was easily done with cash and his International Driving Permit and USA Driving License.
Coming back into Thailand to fly over Myanmar or onward to Africa was easiest with a Thai rented motorcycle in Thailand.
Yang said, "Jakarta has the worst traffic in the world."
Dr. G had been around the world six times before, and opined that Jakarta traffic could not be worse than Cairo, Egypt, or Mexico City, Mexico, Delhi, India or even his most disliked traffic, the I-5 from Los Angeles, to Irvine, California in the USA.
The two global motorcycle road warriors then spent an hour comparing bad traffic and roads they had experience on their travels around the world. In the end Dr. G said, "# 9 is not going to experience Jakarta traffic. If Franki Yang says it's the world's worst I'll bow to his experience."
As Yang left he gave a thumbs up to Dr. G's latest book, ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLIST: FRAZIER SHRUGGED, saying he was going to take in on his upcoming motorcycle adventure in China, saying,"This book is rich with adventure. I'll be the only motorcyclist in China with a copy, it's priceless."
Frazier replied, "When I see you later this year I'll have finished the Revised Edition of my 1996 book MOTORCYCLE SEX of FREUD WOULD NEVER UNDERSTAND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ME AND MY MOTORCYCLE. It's been my work over the last months of expedition motorcycling in South East Asia, an adventure motorcycle sexpedition."
[Saul Bishop posted, May, 2023]