Enter Burma the 1st of December.

Discussion in 'Myanmar - Road Trip Reports' started by Renzobkk, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. Renzobkk

    Renzobkk Ol'Timer

    Finally a trip that i am been follow for long time. 16 days of exciting riding include Shan State.
    I will keep you guys update, meantime here the itinerary and map:

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    If you got FB, here i am:
    https://www.facebook.com/ThePeacefulRace?ref=hl

    If somebody been there...please..ADVICE :thumbup::wink::thumbup:

    Ciao!
     
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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Wow, looks exciting! Which bike will you take? Have fun and can't wait to hear all about it!!!
     
  4. Renzobkk

    Renzobkk Ol'Timer

    We got permit to enter with our bike, i will drive my GS 1200 ADV.

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  5. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    You are going to have a great trip and an adventure you will remember for a looooong time. Be careful and enjoy.

    You are following the same route as we did in these two trip reports, with a couple of modifications...We went to Mawlamyine on the first trip, but bypassed it on the second trip. Your first day from Myawaddi will be the most difficult, unless the new bypass route under construction is open by then. It is a fairly difficult first 50km but it has been done by others on a GS and also Versys. Just take your time and use caution. Watch out for the trucks, they will not give you any breaks going over the mountain, but are fairly courteous on the rest of the roads. Avoid riding at night at all costs.

    Our rides were 'pilot tours' for your trip and we found that we were trying to cover too much distance in too short of time. Many days we rode well into the night. We started to call the 'Night Rider Tour'. Therefore they added a couple stops and increased the number of days for the tour. It should be more enjoyable for you.

    We finished at Inle Lake and backtracked, however I am familiar with your northerly route. I drove my truck to and from Keng Tung but that was quite a few years ago (2007) and things have surely changed, so I can't really give you any current information.

    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/37836-A-Ride-Around-South-East-Myanmar

    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/39415-On-the-Road-to-Mandalay-December-2013

    http://daveearly.com/2007/07/14/the-burma-road/
     
  6. Renzobkk

    Renzobkk Ol'Timer

    Dear Dave,
    Sorry if I answer only now but I took a few days off of town. Thank you so much for your reply and useful link that you gave me, really interesting! The video with Destination is really nice.
    According to the organizers the roads are passable and apart from some points with gravel roads, this is should not be a major concern.
    I was plan to mount off-road tired but they told me that it is not absolutely necessary.

    What instead seem to be a common problem is the food poison, something that nobody really want when there a road-schedule to keep on.
    The food that is often found at lunch- stop is pre-cooked and kept in the wrong conditions...then bacteria at full blast! Call me too concerned but my stock of tuna cans and small bottles of olive oil to me I carry with me, at least white risotto is served :) . Did you experience the same, any tips?

    Another question: The GS prefer the 95 gas,do you have had problems with local octane gasoline?

    If you come in Bkk please let's meet up for some chit-chat.

    Ciao & Grazie
     
  7. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Actually we found the food to be quite good. We even had Italian food and Pizza a couple times. The Burmese seem to use oil in dishes where Thai use coconut milk. We had a lot of seafood, and most dishes were quite delicious. There were only a few roadside stops for lunch which were not planned in advance, where the food could have been questionable. Two people did have stomach problems, but they were here directly from Germany and were not used to Asian food in general. Most of the overnight locations, and I find most tours are staying at the same locations, were of resort quality and the meals were excellent, with more food than we could eat. Still to be safe, take along some stomach medicine and anti diarrhea medicine just in case. It sucks to be ill on the trip.

    As for the tires, I agree there is only about a 50km stretch over the mountain that is really bad road. The main obstacles were stones and large rocks. Off road tires wouldn't make a big difference and would be less comfortable on the long road sections. Your GS is probably equipped with Metzeler Tourance or similar and are probably the best choice. You can see in the photos for yourself and judge the difficulty depending on your riding skill. i don't know the octane level of the fuel, but none of the bikes seemed to have a problem. A GS1200 and a couple ER6N did overheat when caught in delays going over the mountain, but they just turned them off and let them cool down and continued. There are places along that route that have water available from hoses which the trucks use to cool their brakes. I would advise putting your panniers and top box in the support truck for the first day (if not the entire trip) from Mae Sot/Myawaddi, as you will need to squeeze through some pretty narrow openings if you want to get around the trucks.

    Everything is part of the adventure. I think you will be fine. Don't over plan too much, just take things as they come and enjoy.
     
  8. Renzobkk

    Renzobkk Ol'Timer

    Hello Bikers,
    First of all i am so sorry if took me about 3 months to post some photos. Unfortunately work commitments have kept me away from what I love doing most , riding bikes and share with others biker, the feelings that we collect during the journey.

    Hard to describe emotions and feelings that I experienced on this trip in the company of 11 other experts bikers from around the world. The natural beauty of the landscapes encountered along the way. The people that came into contact with big bikes and the surprise and obvious interest for this. There has always been a fabulous friendliness, whatever their origin and religion. Purely Asian in the central part, more Indian in the west, Chinese in the north and finally strain Shan in the territory that for about 40 years was (partially still) at war with the Burmese state to declare independence. Only recently has formed "peace treaties" that allowed us to get into this remote part of the Asian mountains. I'll try showing you some pictures that i selected over 6,000. Enjoy fellas!

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  9. blackwolf

    blackwolf Active Member

    Great pics and trip report.

    However, the big question is: how did you get permission to cross the restricted Taunggyi to Kengtung road, most of which is off-limits to foreigners?

    Who did you contact, obviously MTT somehow, but when I emailed them about 2 years ago, 3 times in fact, there was never any response. Even travel agencies were unreliable.
     
  10. Renzobkk

    Renzobkk Ol'Timer

    Hi Blackwolf, and sorry for my late replay.

    This trip was organize by Impulsive Tour that have HO in Chiang Mai. They are very expert (and right connection) for all Indochina and the guy behind this agency is a great biker himself. he organize in very detail every trip, include document set, assistance on the road, and local marshal follow us.
    Is not cheep but as you notice, we get in territory close for many.
    BTW
    The Dainese officially FB post a story fo this trip. Cool!!!!!
     
  11. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Impulse Tourism is owned by my good friend Armin Schoch. He has been in the travel business for 25 years and actually operated in Burma from 1994. He does deal in mostly high end European clients, but as they say "You get what you pay for". David Unkovich and I entered and circled N. Vietnam in 2011 with Armin on our own bikes. I have also made two trips to Myanmar with Impulse. I believe he may also be the first to do the Taunggyi to Kengtung and Mai Sai route. Well, actually Top Gear did it first. :) . Highly recommended.
    http://www.impulsetourism.com
     
  12. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Dave,
    I did the full loop across the Shan state with the North Siam Roadrunners last November. This was the first bike tour across, as far as I am aware. 10 Royal Enfields and it was a magical ride. They will be doing it again this year too.
    Here's the trip report.
    http:// http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/40701-Bullets-over-Burma-Epic-2-week-Loop
     
  13. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Ian, I remember reading your epic trip report. Armin usually arranges his trips in December, and will also do again, so you were a month before. As you know, all these trips must be arranged through a Myanmar agent and I find many tour companies are using the same agents and traveling basically the same approved routes and locations. Irregardless, it is still an epic journey and well worth doing. I haven't seen you for quite some time. I am glad you enjoyed yourself. Thanks for the correction. :thumbup:
     
  14. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Dave,
    I found Burma fascinating and different, with so much to see. Not easy to arrange a trip I'm told and I don't know who our local agent was. Some huge riding days and arrivals after dark. Seems no way around that at present, as they are the approved night stops. A lot of re-patch tarmac roads too which made it harder. We didn't do the central motorway section to Naypyitaw.
    Taunggyi to Mong Ping across the Shan state is probably the toughest part, as it's much slower and a long way. But when you see the local men of the Palaung (I think) villages walking along the road in leather skirts, you know you are "out there". The eastern part over the mountain and down into Mong Ping is a severely broken up road; huge holes, rocks, landslides et al. It is much the same as the Dawna mountains section out of Myawaddy, but longer. Tough in the dark too, which it invariably will be due to the distance from Taunggyi, so you have to be careful; 1st and 2nd gear only for a couple of hours. We rode down in tight convoy to maximise lighting the track. Remote, almost no traffic and not a good place for big heavy road bikes. Mong Ping (Mine Pyin) to Chieng Tung (Kyaing Tung) is not a great distance but over a high mountain range and poor road, so also slow going. The run down from Chieng Tung to Takhilek is easy though. Big wide good tarmac, very similar to Luang Namtha to Huay Xai, in Laos. Same sort of distance and road condition.
    If the bike you are riding can't cope with the Dawna section comfortably, the eastern Shan state will be tough indeed. Ideally you would ride a serious offroad touring bike (like the bike I saw you on last, although don't know what it was), or of course, a go-anywhere Royal Enfield Bullet....
    It seems Burma will continue to open up, so future riders should be able to take their time a bit more and experience the Shan state in greater depth. So much of interest there. Personally, some of the main tourist spots of central Burma did not really inspire me, as many of the old temples and buildings have been rebuilt like new. I hope Chiang Saen never gets rebuilt like Bagan has.......
    See you around,
    Ian
     

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