Two years of planning paid off when all the pieces came together for a much anticipated overland trip to Yunnan Province, China. 7th Dec 2011, all 5 riders set to go and will be joined by 2 pillions in Chiangmai, Thailand. Got a Chinese tour agent amongst a few which is mandatory by Chinese regulations if you're travelling with own vehicles in Chinese territories. Our agent, a 58 year old ex goverment officer based in Urumqi, Xinjiang province, suggested that we can make do without the so called mandatory 4WD escort as claimed by most operators that I contacted. He didn’t even demand deposit prior to our entry. I was very anxious and worried about his possible no show at the custom border. Nevertheless, he was there at Mohan border and all went well from start till the end. From riding on ice in Shangrila, mindblowing sceneries, extreme sub zero temperature, worst that you can imagine public toilet experience, the long wait at international border crossings, taking the less travelled back roads and the flood evacuation exercise warning in Hatyai. Every moment was priceless. Following images summarized our 28 days of journey covering from Singapore - Malaysia - Thailand - Northern Laos - China. Day 1- 4 Singapore - Hatyai - Bangkok - Chiangmai - Phu Chi Fa - Chiang Khong After almost 10 hours cruising Malaysian NS Highway, we arrived Dannok and headed straight for Hatyai Junction Railway Station. Train left at 1810hrs same day, managed to get 2 1st class tickets and 2nd class sleeper for the rest. Few hours spent on massages, some others making purchases for Thai prepaid card while waiting for the train. 1st class still looks cramped with all the luggages squeezed in. And woke up to the sight of recent Bangkok floods. Arrived Hua Lamphong and purchased the next train to Chiangmai the same day. Some 9 hours later, we're in Chiangmai train station. All this arrangements allows us to save an extra day and your train ticket and cargo fees covers your hotel, petrol and mileage. Called up Phillip Gibbins, owner of Rider's Inn and he's left with only one room which can accomodate 3. So we had to source for 2other rooms where 2 pillions will fly in from Singapore the same night. Nevertheless, we dropped in Rider's Inn. Been wanting to meet him. And caught up with Round the World Rider's, Alex and Andre from Germany. In the meantime, Umar and Hus tagged Phil, who's hosting few friends up to Doi Ithanon where they met fellow Singapore rider, Deen who is on a solo trip with his wife. I managed to get a decent room few soi away for 400 baht. Bike week was going on coincidentally so most rooms were full. It was my 5th visit to Chiangmai but this was my 2nd time staying there. The rest of the time were a touch and go affair. So a couple of us walked quite a bit around time before me and Kaz head for the airport for our passengers. Next morning, had breakfast at Phil's who has been helpful in giving us route suggestions for day's trip to Chiang Khong. He called it fun route. He even downloaded the routes into our GPS. Here's Dave from the US. He's doing some charity ride soon in Cambodia All set to go We made our way to Chiang Khong via Phu Chi Fa Arrived Chiang Khong late. Day 5 Chiang Khong - Boten Distance covered: 269km Left early morning hoping to catch the 1st barge to Huayxai, Laos. 1st barge only available at 10am. Barge costs 500 baht and purchased Laos insurance for 200 baht which covers for 7 days. Insurance and ferry ticket booth Doesn't take long to cross and once we're in, took us almost 2 hours to settle all our necessary personal and vehicle documentations. A couple of stretch with road works going on but other than that it was a super road. Sue handing out candies Until we've reached Boten Custom House Rode further in to find a ghost town Checked into Royal Hotel run by Chinese. Room cost 150 Yuan. Called our Chinese agent later the night to arrange for timing at the border. At this point, I knew he will show up.