December 17, 2012 in Myanmar
For us a dream has come true: we have travelled on our motorcycles through Myanmar (or maybe to some it is more familiar as Burma). Until now, it was not possible to enter the country officially with a foreign motorcycle. Together with three other motorcyclists we were now the first group that was officially allowed to travel this beautiful country.
Unfortunately, it is still not possible to travel individually and on your own. We were accompanied by a car with driver and two guides; one of them was from the government. Without them we would not have got the permission to travel through Myanmar. But both guides were actually quite relaxed, and during the tour the control eased, so they even let us go on our own. However, we had to stay on the planned route, and we had to stay at hotels that were arranged in advance.
Preparations, negotiation with the officials in Myanmar and the paperwork took four months in total. Our friend Joerg from Bangkok did a tremendous job and has invested a lot of time to make this trip possible – all in his free time! And from what we heard afterwards, the trio was discussed and approved even by the ministry of Myanmar.
But still, only one week before we left it still looked like it was not going to happen. Then we suddenly got the OK from the officials, and only a few days later we were standing at the border to Myanmar. In the meantime, we had to hurry to get everything ready, to sort our equipment and to get the visas from the Myanmar embassy.
In total we were seven days / six nights in the country. We crossed the border at Mae Sot in Thailand, both on the way in and on the way out. In between lay more than 2300 kilometres through Myanmar.
And the whole trip was not cheap. We had to pay for permissions, bribes, visas, guides, sometimes police escort, the car, and hotels, which were not the cheapest. But it was definitely worth everything! We had the chance to visit Myanmar at a stage where in most areas it is still not influenced by tourism.
Maybe, it will soon also be possible to cross the country from India to Thailand, or vice versa; but probably only with guides and a pre-planned route as well. However, a dream for many overlanders would come true – and it would not be necessary anymore to ship the bikes from Kathmandu to Bangkok, which also costs a lot of money.
If you are interested in further details, and you want to travel Myanmar by motorcycle as well, then you can contact our friend Joerg Waldmann in Bangkok by e-mail: djosmann (at) gmail. com
More photos and a detailed report are coming soon….