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Nepal To Bangkok Overland


muaythaist

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The highway system exists to connect the countries but you would have major difficulties with obtaining all of the necessary visas and permissions, dealing with poor road infrastructure, payoffs for police and public official corruption and the likely need to procure the services of a 'fixer' in Bangladesh and Myanmar, where irregularities occur all the time and vehicles can be impounded summarily. There is also the risk to your physical security in this part of Asia, where you and your belongings can vanish at the drop of a hat. Park your car or cycle overnight and it could easily be gone the next morning. Perhaps a good way to begin your quest would be to visit the embassies or consulates of each country that would be egressed from, transitted through or arrived in (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand) where you currently reside to get their views and recommendations. With sufficient advanced planning and funds to overcome all obstacles, such a journey is certainly possible. Good luck.

Edited by Fore Man
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The highway system exists to connect the countries but you would have major difficulties with obtaining all of the necessary visas and permissions, dealing with poor road infrastructure, payoffs for police and public official corruption and the likely need to procure the services of a 'fixer' in Bangladesh and Myanmar, where irregularities occur all the time and vehicles can be impounded summarily. There is also the risk to your physical security in this part of Asia, where you and your belongings can vanish at the drop of a hat. Park your car or cycle overnight and it could easily be gone the next morning. Perhaps a good way to begin your quest would be to visit the embassies or consulates of each country that would be egressed from, transitted through or arrived in (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand) where you currently reside to get their views and recommendations. With sufficient advanced planning and funds to overcome all obstacles, such a journey is certainly possible. Good luck.

You could go North from Thailand through China,and Tibet but the Chinese are still in the 15th century regarding tourists.The Chinese are afraid of losing their hold on the people. :o:D:D

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The highway system exists to connect the countries but you would have major difficulties with obtaining all of the necessary visas and permissions, dealing with poor road infrastructure, payoffs for police and public official corruption and the likely need to procure the services of a 'fixer' in Bangladesh and Myanmar, where irregularities occur all the time and vehicles can be impounded summarily. There is also the risk to your physical security in this part of Asia, where you and your belongings can vanish at the drop of a hat. Park your car or cycle overnight and it could easily be gone the next morning. Perhaps a good way to begin your quest would be to visit the embassies or consulates of each country that would be egressed from, transitted through or arrived in (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand) where you currently reside to get their views and recommendations. With sufficient advanced planning and funds to overcome all obstacles, such a journey is certainly possible. Good luck.

Did not know, that it is now possible to drive through Myanmar. Before average tourists were only allowed to fly, let's say, from BKK to RNG and RNG back to BKK, from and to the same place. Laos would be the easier option, if you can manage all the way through China.

But I think, TV is the wrong place to look for that kind of travel advise. People here are experts in knowing routes from the tiniest village in Isan to Pattaya. :o

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i wasnt talking about driving .. oo no, way above my budget!

i am trying to find out if you can do it by bus. to save money basically

yes im tight

i need to be

Sorry, there are some very "remote" places... you would have to pass, as this would lead you through Parts of Assam, Manipur, there are Roads crossing into Myanmar...

Try the lonely planet forum "asia"

here some samples form google maps:

MapII.gif

zoomed in a bit..

MapI.gif

Looks like Dacca to Imphal and from there to Mandalay... I could Imagine that there is cross-Border-Trade so then there are trucks, maybe no buses - ah... well I don't know!

as I have traveled India, Kashmir and Nepal in the 70ties, I figure it got to be a heck of a trip!

Arunachal Pradesh is breathtaking beautiful, but one of the most remote regions in the world!

Edited by Samuian
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Highly intriguing. I guess you are looking for information at other places also. Please let us know the outcome when you finished your research, and........tell us how it went after actually completing this trip.

This revives memories of my overland days (70s, 80s). Good luck!

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Looks like Dacca to Imphal and from there to Mandalay... I could Imagine that there is cross-Border-Trade so then there are trucks, maybe no buses - ah... well I don't know!

So, if the OP could manage to hide somewhere in a truck at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border to avoid the impossibility to get a visa for crossing Myanmar, maybe, just maybe, the truck driver could stop 50 m inside Myanmar to report the passenger. And then he needs a lot of money to buy your way out of hel_l.

But, if the OP has all the energy and luck of an experienced hard core traveller, he could try to find a boat from Bangladesh to Thailand.

The Chinese route to Laos on the other hand is very, very long. Many things can happen. Border regulations change frequently and travelling on your own in remote Chinese areas with a tight budget could be a big mistake.

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i wasnt talking about driving .. oo no, way above my budget!

i am trying to find out if you can do it by bus. to save money basically

yes im tight

i need to be

Its possible but its depend on available budget and how much time you have.

if you give me some information, maybe I can give some information.

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I just finished watching the series "By any means" , Charlie Bohrman from the series long way round and also long way down did this in the middle of last year they encountered huge resistence when it comes to travelling through this area, would suggest getting a copy and having a look, its a real Mans adventure but plenty of hassles.

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There is a bus from Kathmandu to Lhasa than by train to Beijing(Himalaya express), by train to Hanoi by train to Saigon(very beautifull), from Saigon by bus to Phnom Peng, by car to Aranyaprathet, by bus to Udon, by bus to Chiang rai or Chiang mai, or from Aranyaprthet to BKK and Chiang Mai by train.

some ideas about prices.

Train Beijing -Hanoi 10 000 Baht, leaving Beijing at 16.15 arrival on third day at 08.10 Hanoi

Visa China 2500 baht

visa Vietnam 3300 baht can apply by Internet;

Peace of cake

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There is a bus from Kathmandu to Lhasa than by train to Beijing(Himalaya express), by train to Hanoi by train to Saigon(very beautifull), from Saigon by bus to Phnom Peng, by car to Aranyaprathet, by bus to Udon, by bus to Chiang rai or Chiang mai, or from Aranyaprthet to BKK and Chiang Mai by train.

some ideas about prices.

Train Beijing -Hanoi 10 000 Baht, leaving Beijing at 16.15 arrival on third day at 08.10 Hanoi

Visa China 2500 baht

visa Vietnam 3300 baht can apply by Internet;

Peace of cake

Lhasa to Beijing? That is really the long way around! It might be safer though.

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i wasnt talking about driving .. oo no, way above my budget!

i am trying to find out if you can do it by bus. to save money basically

yes im tight

i need to be

Sorry, there are some very "remote" places... you would have to pass, as this would lead you through Parts of Assam, Manipur, there are Roads crossing into Myanmar...

Try the lonely planet forum "asia"

here some samples form google maps:

MapII.gif

zoomed in a bit..

MapI.gif

Looks like Dacca to Imphal and from there to Mandalay... I could Imagine that there is cross-Border-Trade so then there are trucks, maybe no buses - ah... well I don't know!

as I have traveled India, Kashmir and Nepal in the 70ties, I figure it got to be a heck of a trip!

Arunachal Pradesh is breathtaking beautiful, but one of the most remote regions in the world!

The Indian govt has closed Arunachal Pradesh to travelers and tourists...generally only journalists and scientists get to go there. As for bus through-passengers; I doubt it. Seems like a cheap air ticket is the way to go.

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There is a bus from Kathmandu to Lhasa than by train to Beijing(Himalaya express), by train to Hanoi by train to Saigon(very beautifull), from Saigon by bus to Phnom Peng, by car to Aranyaprathet, by bus to Udon, by bus to Chiang rai or Chiang mai, or from Aranyaprthet to BKK and Chiang Mai by train.

some ideas about prices.

Train Beijing -Hanoi 10 000 Baht, leaving Beijing at 16.15 arrival on third day at 08.10 Hanoi

Visa China 2500 baht

visa Vietnam 3300 baht can apply by Internet;

Peace of cake

1000km Kathmandu-Lhasa by an old bus through snowy mountain passages, which could be closed for weeks

3700km Lhasa- Peking with old trains and no reservations

4000km Peking-Saigon with old trains and no reservations

1000km Saigon through whole Cambodia on terrible roads

...

Peace of cake not for everybody

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There is a bus from Kathmandu to Lhasa than by train to Beijing(Himalaya express), by train to Hanoi by train to Saigon(very beautifull), from Saigon by bus to Phnom Peng, by car to Aranyaprathet, by bus to Udon, by bus to Chiang rai or Chiang mai, or from Aranyaprthet to BKK and Chiang Mai by train.

some ideas about prices.

Train Beijing -Hanoi 10 000 Baht, leaving Beijing at 16.15 arrival on third day at 08.10 Hanoi

Visa China 2500 baht

visa Vietnam 3300 baht can apply by Internet;

Peace of cake

1000km Kathmandu-Lhasa by an old bus through snowy mountain passages, which could be closed for weeks

3700km Lhasa- Peking with old trains and no reservations

4000km Peking-Saigon with old trains and no reservations

1000km Saigon through whole Cambodia on terrible roads

...

Peace of cake not for everybody

The OP asked go over land, this will be always a little bit of an adventure :o .

If he go in summer, the crossing the Himalayas by bus should not be so much problem.

IMHO he will see unbelievable beautiful scenery's. Take for instance to rail road between Hanoi and Saigon who follows the coast, he can stop in Danang, Hue and so on, very beautiful.

The only thing he need is time and money. In fact he gave me an excellent idea to do this trip by myself.

There are even 2 Dutch company who can organise this. They can take care all train reservations, Visa and accommodations. They also have individualized services who help you locally getting the right train, showing you your seat guide you to hotel and so on.

http://www.tiaratours.nl/reisaanbod.htm

http://www.koningaap.be/www/index.php?m=aa...meen&s=azie

Tiara tours are experts in individualized travels by train. they even organise a trip Amsterdam-Bejing by self drive car.

Sorry its in Dutch,

but I think that Thomas Cook can do this for you also.

OK maybe not a peace of cake for everybody, but if you are in good health and have a little bit sense for adventure I don't see so much problems.

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Kathmandu

Lhasa

Lanzhou

Chengdu

Kunming

Lao Cai (Viet/China border)

Muang Mai (Lao side) Sam Nam (Viet side) Laos/Vietnam border

Louang Phrabang

Vientiane

Chiang Mai

It seems to be possible to cross the Lao/Viet border & Lao/China border at these places. Google Muang Mai, Lao Cai etc. & you will find a couple of interesting blogs by people who have done it.

Buses, trains & walking should get there.

This sounds like a great trip - just make sure you have a hard arse, a hard stomach & plenty of patience.

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I've been from Chengdu to Bangkok by land, through Laos. Just have to have your Laos visa ahead of time. The bus from the last city in China (forgot name) was actually going directly to Vientienne, though I got off and explored north Laos a while.

Getting through Tibet is going to be the expensive part. You can go from Kathmandu to Llasa by tour only (least used to be that way). Then about a 5 day 4-wheel drive trip to Chengdu, or that new train to Beijing.

If the purpose was to save money, probably cheaper to fly. Would make a great story though.

Through Myanmar would not be the way to go, too many off limits areas near Bangladesh/India border and in Shan state.

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I did that in the other direction in 2003, so my story is a bit dated. And I still had to fly from Zhongdian, northern Yunnan, to Lhasa. It's definitely not cheaper than the Biman flight (KTM-Dhaka-BKK), but it's a great trip. Check out my story on my website:frankinasia

Go to "English Version", then to "Travel Tales" and find the stoies "Roundtrip in Asia" Part 1 to 3, published early 2004.

Or use these direct links to download the pdf-files: Up the Mekong, Yunnan, Tibet, Nepal, Everest Trek

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some corrections to what above has been said:

1.the train Lhasa-beijing is neither an old clanker nor a hi-speed, but its a modern Chinese train-in the right class with added oxygen etc. for the Tibet sferes. More info+pictures+links-a bit over positive-on seat61.com

2.of course there is not any need to make that big detour via Beijing-via Chengdu-Kunming/Yunnan is by far the shortest possible way-and has very, very decent overland trains too-till Kunming. and then the daily overnight Chinese sleeperbus direct to Vientiane-Laos-no need at all to get visa in advance-just as at NongKhai's bridge-pay on entry.

3.BUT; noone has even asked/talked about this: both this Laos visa and the possible ways VERY much depend on the nationality of the poster question-noone cared to mention that.

4.a China visa-normal tourist-wait 4 days- done in BKk currently cost 1200 THB at Embassy-but more for USA and some other nations, and a little less for Thai. BUT; in Katmandu NO normal Chinese visa for westerners are issued-only Tibet permits-this is too long a story to explain.

5.by all means both the borderprone areas in BOTH India and Myanmar=Birma and the borde themselves are closed for westerners-even with expensive permits. and this is not really an area either where ''bribing through'' will open the ways in Birma

6.just to compare: cheapest way is usually overland KTM-KOlkata, cheap flght to BKK (about 140/150US$+low cost for bus+India visa). Flights direct from KTM cost a ot more.

so I suggest one reads first the many same-same questions+answers posted on a travellers forum that usually knows the details: thorntree on lonelyplanet.com. May perhaps even slash a few

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some corrections to what above has been said:

1.the train Lhasa-beijing is neither an old clanker nor a hi-speed, but its a modern Chinese train-in the right class with added oxygen etc. for the Tibet sferes. More info+pictures+links-a bit over positive-on seat61.com

2.of course there is not any need to make that big detour via Beijing-via Chengdu-Kunming/Yunnan is by far the shortest possible way-and has very, very decent overland trains too-till Kunming. and then the daily overnight Chinese sleeperbus direct to Vientiane-Laos-no need at all to get visa in advance-just as at NongKhai's bridge-pay on entry.

3.BUT; noone has even asked/talked about this: both this Laos visa and the possible ways VERY much depend on the nationality of the poster question-noone cared to mention that.

4.a China visa-normal tourist-wait 4 days- done in BKk currently cost 1200 THB at Embassy-but more for USA and some other nations, and a little less for Thai. BUT; in Katmandu NO normal Chinese visa for westerners are issued-only Tibet permits-this is too long a story to explain.

5.by all means both the borderprone areas in BOTH India and Myanmar=Birma and the borde themselves are closed for westerners-even with expensive permits. and this is not really an area either where ''bribing through'' will open the ways in Birma

6.just to compare: cheapest way is usually overland KTM-KOlkata, cheap flght to BKK (about 140/150US$+low cost for bus+India visa). Flights direct from KTM cost a ot more.

so I suggest one reads first the many same-same questions+answers posted on a travellers forum that usually knows the details: thorntree on lonelyplanet.com. May perhaps even slash a few

Good to notice, that there are also travellers on TV.

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Hi, thanks for all your replys, so much more in depth than i was anticipating. It seems it will be probably much cheaper to fly than go by land. As this was the only issue, I'l take a cheap flight

thanks again

Edited by muaythaist
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It is a fairly straight forward and magnificent trip from Neal to Bangkok. You will need tro secure a Chinese visa ahead of time. When you get the type "L" tourist visa best not to cite Lhasa as a destination. Beijing or Shanghai set off no alarm bells. Check with some f the travel dudes in Kat and they can st you up with the Tibet group travel papers--even if yu are alone. You will probably be turned away at the border if you do not have this--and ou probably will not need it again. so you enter China at Zhangmu. The road from zhangmu to Lhasa is really rough--but it is beautiful. Time thngs right and you can pass right by Mt Everest.

You can catch a kntty chicken bus to Lhasa--or at least i that direction. Then another and then another. Ihave don it with three buses. I neotiated with the drivers for each stage of the journey and i guess it totaled about 200 kuai for the trip. Probably they won't sell you tickets in the bus stations, (It's Tibet) so just deal with the drivers. They are pretty fair an appreciatre the money (It's China). But becasue the road is so bad it is a better bet to just ask around --Lhasa, Lhasa- and find a four wheel drive vehicle to take you--maybe 200 to 300 Kuai and 8 hours instead of 24. Once you hit Lhasa you are home free. You can get by train in a real round-about fashion down to Kunming Ort use a combination of train and bus to that area of Yunnan. Anyway, bus to the Lao border--you can get your visa there and then just down through Laos by bus to Thailand, where you can take a train to Bangkok. If you need more info let me know--Joshua

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I lived in Bangladesh from 2002 to 2004 when I was a VSO volunteer up in the north-east, near the border with the Indian states of Meghalaya and Assam. I used to go over from Sylhet to the north-eastern states of India quite regularly. We also used to get a bus from Dhaka to Kolkata for some R&R. The bus we took was the international bus and cost in 2004 about GBP10 return. We had to get out at the Benapole border and do the formalities but otherwise it was a direct service. It took all day though and that particular border crossing point is notorious for corruption. To get a tourist visa for Bangladesh, you need to get a letter of invitation (presume you can get one from a hotel in Dhaka if you book ahead).

Check out this site for details:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/bangladesh/transport/getting-there-away

I also believe that they opened the final bit of the rail line between Dhaka and Kolkata after I left, which would be a nice trip.

There were no border crossings between Bangladesh and Myanmar and I believe that is still the case. So, your options for onward travel are to leave by air (Biman flight to BKK via Yangon or TG flight direct to BKK – neither are particularly cheap). Or you could go via one of these two border crossings:

The Akhaura - Agartala (in Indian Tripura) crossing

The Tamabil border crossing (1 hours drive east of Sylhet) to the Indian state of Megahalaya (a friendly border crossing with no trouble ever experienced from the staff there) and then by local shared taxi to Shillong and on to Gauwahati where there are flights (although I wasn’t aware of any to BKK).

It is true that you need to pay a departure tax at the Sonali Bank (either in Dhaka or in Sylhet). Sonali Bank in Dhaka is way down town so prepared for the mad traffic jams, and in Sylhet it’s easier to find being in town on the road leading to Sylhet airport.

Getting a visa to India isn’t a problem but don’t mention that you want to go to Guawahati, Shillong, etc because they can be difficult about that, telling you that you can’t go there for security reasons. That’s true about some areas e.g. Nagaland, Assam but not for just going to Shillong or Guawahati.

From India, I’m not sure how you get to Myanmar … maybe someone else has some information on that … good luck!

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Hi, thanks for all your replys, so much more in depth than i was anticipating. It seems it will be probably much cheaper to fly than go by land. As this was the only issue, I'l take a cheap flight

thanks again

(Royal) Nepal airlines have a few flights a week. I flew Kathmandu to Bangkok recently (Nov). Not expensive.

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Looks like Dacca to Imphal and from there to Mandalay... I could Imagine that there is cross-Border-Trade so then there are trucks, maybe no buses - ah... well I don't know!

So, if the OP could manage to hide somewhere in a truck at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border to avoid the impossibility to get a visa for crossing Myanmar, maybe, just maybe, the truck driver could stop 50 m inside Myanmar to report the passenger. And then he needs a lot of money to buy your way out of hel_l.

But, if the OP has all the energy and luck of an experienced hard core traveller, he could try to find a boat from Bangladesh to Thailand.

The Chinese route to Laos on the other hand is very, very long. Many things can happen. Border regulations change frequently and travelling on your own in remote Chinese areas with a tight budget could be a big mistake.

You can transit Myanmaar, you just have a real struggle to take a vehicle in (some have managed but its a HUGE difficulty and beyond the means of most mortals)... But as a foot passenger type you can get a Myanmar visa. I know someone who entered from the western side and did a couple of weeks touring.

Edited by LivinLOS
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