Land Trip from Malaysia to London

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1. Posted by ymay (Budding Member 6 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hi,
I and my husband are planning a road trip from Malaysia to Europe - London. From some of the previous post, i can see that there are past travelers that had gone through such road trip. I am not sure if there are any travel organisation or convoy groups that organize such trip. I would like to get advise on the route, do's and don'ts and all relevant information pertaining to border crossing.

Thanks

May

2. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 601 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

When you mean land trip I am assuming you mean by a private vehicle and not public transport. You didn't say what countries you are looking to go through, some countries to bring a vehicle over means jumping over a lot of bureaucratic hoops and sometimes you need documents prepared in advanced. Once you know the countries you want to travel through research the crossing border requirements. As for a convoy tour it is unlikely you will find one that crosses countries let alone continents, though if you find someone who is travelling in your general direction perhaps you could join them and form a convoy, maybe not all the way but at least part of the way.

3. Posted by ymay (Budding Member 6 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hi,
Yes, we would like to drive our own private vehicle, traveling from Malaysia into Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France to UK.

Am aware that there is a organization (Adventure overland) that do organize such trip but it will starts from India and the price per person is quite un-affordable for us. As such, we were thinking of doing it by ourselves.

4. Posted by UliS (Respected Member 104 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

From Malaysia into Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Russia, Latvia, it should not be a real problem doing it without a tour, but as far as i know you will need a Chinese driving license, and you should not do it in the winter, it can be unbelievable cold. And ask your automobile association what you might need for crossing the different borders.
Without yor own car you need only the visa (Russia might be a bit complicated).
https://wikitravel.org/en/Driving_in_China
Thailand > Myanmar > India is now possible, but with your own car you need a very expensive permit/tour for the Myanmar / India border, if you continue further west in Pakistan you might have to use a eskorted convoy from Quetta to the Iran border.

5. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 443 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I'd start with emails to the embassy of each country you are intending to travel through. Ask them what is required to travel in your own vehicle through their country,
They should reply with a link to their customs procedures (will you require a 'Carnet "CPD" etc etc.)
Without checking I think Vietnam and China will be a problem but that's just a guess from the problems a friend had trying to do that journey on his motorbike (he ended up shipping it from Russia to Thailand).
You will have to choose your vehicle very carefully as there are substantial distances on that route where there will be very little (if any) emergency assistance available and the roads are only roads in name. Across parts of Eastern Russia and Mongolia the roads are predominantly dirt roads and river crossings (not just bridges or ferries) can put a lot of stress on a vehicle.
Also the time of year will have a major affect on the journey due to the cold weather and/or the rain washing out roads, raising river levels.

Add to this that the price of the Carnet is related to the price of the vehicle, an expensive vehicle may be necessary but it also makes the journey much more expensive.

It's a journey I'd love to do but unfortunately I'm fully aware that I don't have sufficient finances or the mechanical ability to try it.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Oct-2018, at 03:58 by Andrew Mack ]

6. Posted by ymay (Budding Member 6 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Thank you everybody for sharing their comments.

Yes, i believe the first few things i would need to do is to start to get in contact with the various countries embassy and check with them if possible to drive on my own private vehicle and how much the CPD and visa would be to plan out the budget.

2nd to do is to review the season of the various countries being traveled to avoid too cold temperature and possible some storms

we are thinking of getting a 4x4 for this expedition; so the 3rd would be to source for one which is reliable for all weather. We were thinking of getting a Triton or Hilux. Not sure if there's any suggestions from others about this type of vehicle.

my other major concern after going through the blogs would be to ensure i am in good health. I do have high blood pressure and am on medication. I am not sure whether this would raise concern when am driving through high altitudes location where there would be oxygen-deprived conditions. So, probably the 4rd would to go through a complete body checkup and ask the doctors for advise.

I believe there are many people that had attempted this adventure. I hope i can get comments on the above based on their experiences.

Again, thank you everyone for sharing.

May

7. Posted by UliS (Respected Member 104 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

From Laos to Vietnam, China, Mongolia does not involve high altitude except you go also to Tibet (regulations for going there are much more complicated), under 3000 meter it should not be a problem.
If you can find it in your country or in SE Asia, Lada 4x4 are all over the former east block countries, easy to find spare parts and people who can repair it, otherwise Toyotas might be more common in these countries and better the simple models .

8. Posted by UliS (Respected Member 104 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

If you do this trip without your own transportation it will be much cheaper and without all these complications.

9. Posted by ymay (Budding Member 6 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hi UIis,
When you say without own transportation, do you mean renting a vehicle or go by public transport?

10. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 443 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Modern cars tend to use a lot of electronics which help the performance/efficiency of the motor but can also cause major problems when it goes wrong. Unless you intend to carry lots of spare parts (sensors etc) and electronic code readers (and their instruction books) then I'd suggest you use a vehicle with as little electronic equipment as possible.
Having said that, if neither you or your husband is a reasonable mechanic then I wouldn't recommend the journey at all. There are some very big areas where you may not see any other people for days and will be a long way from assistance.
It's a journey I'd love to do (either northern through Mongolia/China, or southern through India/Myanmar) but I know my mechanical skills are inadequate.
I thought longer about doing it on a motorcycle, where I could push it in the event of a major mechanical problem, but the distances involved (especially on the northern route) could mean pushing a heavily laden machine for many days... which I'm certain would be beyond my physical capabilities.
There must be some adventure travel forums that could assist.
If you where planning to use a motorbike I'd suggest Horizons Unlimited, ADVrider and rideasia forums, where they have lots of experience of these journeys.