Martin's South East Asia Trip Chapter 1 - Arriving


Thai tourer
Jul 22, 2008
Nakhon Ratchasima
This is the story from traveling all over South East Asia in the summer 2008. There are pictures from the tour on my website
I'm a 50+ guy from Sweden working with Internet communication and felt that I needed a break and decided to take a couple of month on my bike.

At home I drive an old Ducati Paso but felt I needed something more reliable and manageable out in the mountains. So after reading som travel stories my choice fell on the Honda Transalp, a 2005 years model. I never regret that choice. A tremendous machine for the purpose.

I started out with planning the transport. Called some Swedish shipping company and asked for a price on shipping a bike to Bangkok. The suggested price one way was appx 1500 Euro! Then I talked to a girl working for one of the shippers that mention the container price is actually only 100 Euro per cubic meter. So I packed my bike in a neeth packed on 2 cubic meter (Hondas original shipping gear) and got the price down to 250 Euro one way. Nice!

I red some scary stories about shipping to Bangkok and tried out with a recommended agent in Bangkok, they wanted 14 000 Baht and a bank guarantee on 4 times the bikes value. No way! I contacted the Thai custom and was forwarded to their Euro office in Brussel, Belgium. There I got a document describing procedurs for temporary import of Vehicle to Thailand. Only small costs (100:s of Bahts) and no Bank Guarantee needed for Motorbike. The document is available on this link on the Internet

To be able to ship the bike you need to disconnect electricity (battery wires) and empty the tank from Gasoline. You can put yor personal gear and bags in the bike packet. The shipping from Gothenburg, Sweden to Bangkok took about 6 weeks. Weight for my bike was appx. 200 kg. The shipping company in Sweden managed the Swedish customs and gave me the company name on their partner company in Bangkok. You might need company names as sender and reciever of the goods as most shipper only works with companies. You can use any.

When the bike arrived to Bangkok the harbour authority contacted me and told me where to get the bike. I needed a shipping document that I recieved from the shipping partner in Bangkok, I visited them on arrival. With this document I went to the custom office (in the Bangkok harbour) and the temporary import department. Everybody was real nice and helpful and I got the document for temporary import in 30 days. You MUST have this paper when exporting the bike again. Hold tight to it.

Then I went down to the harbour where the bike was and contacted the officers on place. They also was very helpful and contacted the customs for clearence. After custom inspection everything was set. Not a baht to any agents and just a couple of hundreds for administration and storing from arrival to I got it. The workers also was very helpful and helped me in getting the bike toghether (have to dismount front wheel for getting down height of bike in container). Some gas in the tank and som hundreds to the helpful workers and off we go, me and my bike.

The bike clearence took me appx one day for administration and a couple of hours for mounting the bike. I went out in the Bangkok traffic and regret my choice not to buy a GPS, there was a lot of driving before finding the way out from Bangkok, a horrible town to drive motorbike in, all signs refer to highways and your not allowed to go on highways with motorbike! For cruising on the streets you really need help, I constantly used MC taxis for guiding me in and out from Bangkok, worked fine.

My plan was some vacation and visiting some friends in the south of Thailand (Phuket and Koh Samui) before hitting the North and the mountains. Reserching Laos in the North and if possible cross Laos and then do NortEast Thailand (Isan) and Cambodia before going back to Thailand and Bangkok. Everything worked out fine and now I am back home again. I will write more about the trip in the coming weeks, starting with South Thailand next week.

See you

Nov 14, 2004
Marty, you must have had a blast, post the trip and picks, yea hows the sweedish under 21 net ball team going, still hot!!

Read your post soon .....Scott :p