The bus drive to Incheon airport, through the morning mist felt like a dream as I watched the countryside through the foggy windows falling into sleep occasionally. Soon I found myself in the airplane rising above the clouds. After a short transfer in Tokyo and a long flight over the Pacific, we landed in San Francisco. I entered the passport and customs line. There were more than 10 booths and hundreds of people waiting. I enjoyed the fact that despite the technological and organizational differences, this whole thing was essentially in the same category with most of the other borders I had been through. I remembered the crossing into Kyrgyzstan, where the guards took turns to pose for photos on my bike. I didn't expect such a thing to happen here. For one thing, I didn't have my bike with me. It was waiting for me in a cargo bay ...Read More

The Kyrgyz side of the border was so easy to cross, it will be hard to describe. I knocked on the the door to notify the soldier of my arrival. He wouldn't know if I entered on my own will. He put on his hat. It had a soviet emblem on it. Looks like they didn't feel any need to change the uniform after the independence. He called his friend to have his photo taken on the bike. When that was over, I reminded that I was actually there to cross the border. So they asked for my passport. They looked at other visas and colorful pages and asked if I had a Kyrgyz one. I said "No" and told them that Turkish citizens didn't need one. They didn't know about that but didn't bother checking the book. He stamped my passport and told me to go. I asked for ...Read More

I left Bukhara after an unsuccessful internet connection attempt. When I left the cafe, there were a dozen little Bukharan boys on bicycles admiring my motorcycle. I may be a little older, motorized, and a bit further away from home, but basicly we belong to the same category. Boys on wheels! We played a bit and I gave them some baloons. Then they escorted me out of the center since the road I came two days ago was now closed. On the road, I met some other boys in uniforms with guns and sticks. They were doing radar speed checks ad pulled me over. I gave them cigarettes and started talking with my silly Turkish accent. I talked so much that they had to forget why they pulled me over. Pushing my luck even further, I asked them if they could take a photo of me with the radar gun ...Read More

Baku to Turkmenbashi Ferry I thought I'd through in my $.02 about the Baku-Turkmenbashi ferry as I've received many PM's, emails, etc. about this. The B-T ferry is a rail car ferry primarily and takes on passengers and vehicles(including trucks), space allowing. It leaves on a scheduled based on when the rail cars are loaded onto the ferry and on some occasions, can leave sometimes 2-3 times a day. Once a day is the norm though and ask the Customs guys there info about the departure times and rail car loading to best gauge things. There is a similar ferry to Aqtau(Kazakhstan) but only a couple times a week. The Azeri ferry company that runs it owns a fleet of about 5 ferries. It takes one day to cross the Caspian and docks in the harbor awaiting another one of the previously arriving ferries to unload. Once unloaded, that ferry awaits rail cargo ...Read More

Hi Salva 2 options exist for Turkmenistan; FIRST : 'official tour' which requires 'loi' and requires participation of the tour. This is the option we chose, tour & loi came via David at StanTours (who is excellent). Using this option meant we had an emailed copy of our loi and then when we arrived at Turkmenistan port of entry we were there issued with our standard tourist visa (the visa matched in length the number of days the tour lasts, which in our case was 5 days). SECOND OPTION : 'Transit Visa' Using this option avoids the 'loi' and the 'official tour' thus saving some money. But you have to specify date of entry and date of departure. I would guess you could get away with requesting 7 days for transit (doubt you'd get longer). Transit visa can be obtained in Istanbul or Ankara (Turkey). Even though you have a specified date of entry, ...Read More

In theory you need a paper & stamp for every night you're there .. usually you can get the next hotel to include the camping days in their registration. We took all the slips out of our passports before we got to the border. NO ONE askesd for anything about registration, so we're thinking it's just another way for tourists to spend their money there. Read More

As time passes, and the route becomes somewhat clear, the countries and visa requirements are determined. I'll need to have a flexible entry-exit date for each country I'm going to apply for a visa. So far, the list is as follows: United States (Greencard) United Kingdom (Visa) France (Schengen) Switzerland (Schengen) Liechtenstein (Visa) Austria (Schengen) Slovenia (Schengen) Croatia (Passport) Bosnia and Herzegovina (Passport) Montenegro (Visa) Albania (Passport) Macedonia (Passport) Greece (Schengen) Turkey (Passport) Georgia (Passport) Azerbaijan (Visa) Turkmenistan (Visa) Uzbekistan (Visa) Tajikistan (Visa) (Can be bypassed) Kyrgyzstan (Passport) Kazakhstan (Passport) Russia (Visa) Mongolia (Visa) Russia (Visa) South Korea (Passport) Read More