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India to Myanmar to Thailand Road Trip

It’s 2016, and the international highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand is operational, but we are far from making this trip happen. One thing I can promise you guys is we won’t give up on this dream. We are definitely going to make it one way or the other. It’s kind of difficult for me to write this post because I am very disappointed that we are not on this amazing road trip already, but we owe it to the people who follow our journey closely the update on our plan and stuff.

Breakfast & road trip 1

There is actually only one reason we can’t make this trip happen right now, and it’s about the money. We underestimated the cost of this trip in the beginning because it’s not only about gas, economy hotels and street food, but car permits and official paperwork are what allow us to actually drive on this trip.

But first, before I get into the headache, I want to show you guys our plan.

RouteMap_Full

Starting Point: Pune, Maharashtra, India

We live here so we will start this trip from here. We have a few groups of people who want to join us in this trip, but they live in Bangalore and Delhi so we will decide the meeting points later.

The Route

Breakfast & road trip 2

We have been back and forth about the route because Sadik actually wants to add Nepal and Bhutan in this trip. I think that will be too much. Also I want this trip to be about celebrating this new international highway so it should be all about this route at the moment.

And here is our route. This trip is about 6,000 km and 100 hours of driving. We will talk about this in detail in the coming post.

India

Pune > AhmadNagar > Shirdi > Manmad > Malegaon > Dhule > Indore >  Bhopal > Jhansi > Kanpur > Lucknow > Faizabad > Ghorakhpur > Muzaffarpur > Siliguri > Dhupguri > Alipurduar > Guwahati > Nagaon > Dimapur > Kohima > Imphal > Moreh

Myanmar

Khampat>Mawlaik>Kalewa>Monywa> Mandalay>Meiktila>Naypayitaw>Bago (Hpayar Gyi) > Waw >Kyaikto >Bilin> Theinzeik> Thaton >Hpa-An> Kawkareik >Myawaddy

Thailand

Mae Sot > TAK > Pistanulok > Nam Nao > Khon Kaen > Bangkok

*** We may change the route as per your feedback and further information. We will make sure you’re informed about this 🙂

Time

Pune- Kerala road trip 8

We are starting this trip on October 29th 2016, Saturday. 3 Weeks drive for one way trip. We are shipping the car back to India while we are going to take a flight home.

What to Look Forward to

roadtrip2013dec2.jpg

This is going to be one of the most important road trips of our life. We’re not only going to enjoy it, but we want to spread the messages about nature, adventure, food and cultures of the land we will pass through. We will visit the key cities where we can, hopefully, stop for a few days to absorb the vibrant cultures and make new friends. We are definitely going to be vlogging and blogging the entire journey. I want to take a lot of pictures as well so I can share with you guys and also use them to inspire myself in the future.

We are open for suggestions, contribution and collaboration and whatever going to make this trip happens and better. I think we can come up with a little coffee table book after this as well.

What Do We Need

Stuff from the trip 13

Like I said, we still don’t have enough budget to make this trip happen. I don’t mind driving my little car across the mountains and the ocean because I believe in us. We need car permit with a bank guarantee that costs as much as thrice the valuation of our car. I was like “Should we do this on auto rickshaw?” when I heard about this rule for the first time. Well, you will get the money back later when the car returns to India, but it’s still a huge amount for common people.

As for the paperwork, we have to work on it ourselves because we can’t afford the agent who asked USD 7,000 to just process it. It’s a very big challenge so we decided to give ourselves some more time to plan better and source some fund, hence aimed this trip during Diwali vacation this year.

How Do We Work It

Lavender Blood book 2013

Sadik and I have been thinking a lot about our budget and the way to make extra cash for this trip. We come up with random ideas, but we really do consider some of them very seriously. We are thinking of publicize my book, Lavender Blood, not only online, but hard copy as well. We think of selling our book while traveling, like at night markets and stuff. We also think of selling homemade products like curry paste and cookies and hope that we would make enough profit to help us. Our friends also suggest crowd funding and sponsorship programs to support our journey for which we might offer them something meaningful in returns.

How I feel

flower market Bangalore 6

To be honest, I am disappointed in myself quite a lot because I had so much time when I first envisioned this trip. Now that the road is actually ready to drive, we are stuck here. I should work harder, so by November, it can actually happen. But hey, look on the bright side, in November, the weather is going to be nice and chilly, and it’s going to be perfect for a cozy trip we’ve dreamt of. And how cool we will be celebrating holidays on the highways? It sounds good to me.

I will write about the key cities we wanted to explore in this trip in the coming post 🙂

Love,
Tes

98 comments to India to Myanmar to Thailand Road Trip

  • mike bourke

    TES, you started out on this blog by saying,,, its now 2017, a year later and no sign of this happening, if anything its more difficult now than two years ago. as I don’t see anyone, other than me commenting on here I can read this is a NON RUNNER anyway I will keep checking for INFO as other followers appear to have…gone to ground.. unless you have moved all this to a new BLOG ???????????????? regards MIKE

    • Tes

      Well, money is a big factor here, and I’m too very disappointed to say the dream seems faraway at the moment 🙁 I think a lot of people lost the excitement when they got serious about it and found out about the cost, too. But well, I’ll make sure my dream is still alive when we have enough money to go for it 🙂

  • mike bourke

    Good on you , KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE…not always easy. Yes as you say people lost interest when they found out about THE COST AND THE RED TAPE INVOLVED and the “agencies” in Myanmar “milking” motorists for totally outrageous sums of money but that is nothing new ….it would be easier for you to make a trip via Pakistan – Iran- Turkey to Europe… all you need is a Carnet and some visas .. buy a van and make it into a “simple” Campervan with a couple of beds and a cooker … keep it simple and travel light… a reliable older van u can stand up in NO ELECTONICS in the engine and anyone can repair if need be, also the value of the van is lower so Carnet is cheaper, …………….. Wilde camping along the…….. way as they say…..Come West Along The Road. FOOD FOR THOUGHT.. From not an “expensive menu”

  • sudhi

    I would like to visit myanmar in next year may for one day with bike. This one day trip what documents are needed

    • Tes

      You will need visa, permit, your hotel booking, your whole itinerary, international driving license, your vehicle paper and your vehicle permit. I don’t think you are allowed to ride unattended in Myanmar with your own vehicle so you will need to have a guide. I don’t recommend you to take your own bike if you plan to visit there just one day. It would be easier and cheaper to go by air and use public transportation there. But if you don’t mind spending a lot, go for it and it’s so much fun to ride in new places. I recommend you to contact travel agents to know more. They will help you more about the information and the estimate as well 🙂

  • mike bourke

    ONE DAY…By the time you get thru Customs /immigration /and general run around you wont have much time to get anywhere…depending on opening/ closing hours/ 24hr open ?? or your day is 12 or 24 hour duration BUT seeing as I have not done this ..crossing.. from India I am only going on other blogs from Travellers who have made the trip. I have crossed on foot from MAE SOT in Thailand / day trip, 12hrs max. wishing you luck and safe travels……………….

  • mike bourke

    TES, I did not no that Indian passport holders are not allowed to drive in Pakistan BUT you holding a Thai passport and driving licence with a vehicle registered in your name will get thru, after that no problem once you have visas, no carnet required after turkey, no borders/ customs in mainland Europe…………………. RE BLOG ON 7th…… Come west along the road….

  • mike bourke

    an easier trip by far, no major outlay, apart from carnet, and that is calculated on the value of your vehicle. keep it simple, no 4×4 needed. good roads all the way Distance is probably less than to Khon Kean Iran is supposed to be very welcoming to travellers, and I have driven from Ireland to turkey, in an old van converted to a “campervan” no problems u can buy insurance at the border if required….. anyway something to do while you wait for the Myanmar trip….

  • mike bourke

    hi Tes ..did you give anymore thought to the trip to Turkey ????? regards Mike

    • Tes

      Not really, Mike.I kind of confused myself about what I really wanted to do. I’m still looking forward to doing the India- Myanmar-Thailand Trip. one of my new ideas is backpacking across the borders, thinking if I leave my own car out of the picture, I can knock down a huge portion of an expense. I’m still reading through online posts how other people did their trips as well. I remember reading a thread of a couple crossing the border from Myanmar to India that you shared earlier; and although it seems challenging, it’s quite doable. Still, driving ourselves would be much more fun though 🙁

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