Truck the World Leg 6 | Politics Leading to Dead Ends?

Continuation of truck the world was delayed due to new regulations by Thailand DLT closing transit for overlanding third-country-trucks like ours effective 1.1.2017.

Furthermore South Korea did sign but not ratify the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, effective 1977, and does not accept temporal import of German vehicles at all. Just like China, USA, Japan and many others. In contrast to those South Korea makes null exception offering no way for German plated vehicles while other countries do so as we know. So Korea is out of truck-the-world.

One exception is Japan not signing Vienna Convention but accepting Carnet de Passage and claiming additional authentification of German CdP by Japan Automobile Federation. Japan also requires inspection and registration of German vehicles even for temporary import. Since the regisration process is adressing new German cars being sold in Japan we did not expect our 20 year old truck meeting current emission standards… Inquiries showed that inspection and registration of our truck will cost about 5000 US$. So Japan is out of truck-the-world, too…

Cambodias Port Sihanoukville offers RoRo just once every 2 years. Same with required 40′ Flat Racks required for our truck.  So this is out of truck the-world, too.

Same with outbound Saigon/HCMC currently not offering any RoRo.

The current situation of truck-the-world leaves three options:

  1. Driving back through Laos and China overlanding home through Mongolia, Russia and Eastern Europe following Transsib Railway East to West.
  2. Waiting for 40′ Flat Rack to Port Kuala, Malaysia, and ship to  Australia. Truck shipping to Darwin is extremely costly and laborious because of Australia’s compulsory vehicle  disinfection process. Motto: Stop disease at the gate... We have past experience with camper fruit fly inspections driving from one Aussie state to the next…
  3. Try to enter Thailand and overland to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Shipping inbound South Africa or South America via Singapore/Port Kuala. Or home to Europe.

Overlanding the world has been and is dependant on and a result of political, economical and climate changes. These tend to occur abrutly while you are on your way… not amusing but real life. Funny enough that transiting Aserbaidjan, Iran, or Stan-States was expected to be a nuisance for overlanders. But it was comparatively simple.

Transiting Thailand, Korea, or Japan was not even thought of being a problem at the beginning but the contrary holds true… Globalization is true for big economy but not for small travelers.

But like nomads we do not stick to plans. We are unable to forsee climate, economic or political changess. We adapt to them decently and continuously, no matter what we like or dislike, one truth of worldwide overland traveling.

Truck the World 2017 Leg 5 | Backpacking Indonesia

Truck-the-world’s  expedition truck was not allowed to enter Thailand due to Thai DLT regulations effective 1.1.2017.  Coming from Cambodia Thailand is transit country for Malysia and  Myanmar. For now we skipped all  these countries.

Instead, we took a break from trucking but backpacked 11 of Indonesias islands during late 2017/early 2018 including Bali, Lombok, Sulawesi  and Java and visited Flores, Rinca, Komodo, Siaba Besar, Sumbava, Padar and Medang by boat.

To be continued…