Continuation of truck the world is not possible as planned. Due to new regulations Thailand has closed transit for overlanding third-country-trucks like ours effective 1.1.2017.
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. 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 so do as we know. So Korea is out of truck-the-world.
One exception is Japan not even 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. We are not sure yet if 20 year old trucks will have to meet current emission standards… Inquiries are being made to keep Japan in on truck-the-world…
Cambodias Port Sihanoukville offers RoRo for trucks like ours just once every 2 years but 40′ Flat Rack, not the safest transportation mode. That is out of truck the-world, too.
We may go back to Saigon/HCMC for RoRo instead.
If Japan keeps closed truck-the-world will not be able to ship outbound Asia inbound Western USA/Canada or the Americas.
The current situation of truck-the-world seems as follows with three options left:
- Driving back through Laos and China overlanding home through Russia following Transsib Railway East to West.
- Flat Rack to Port Kuala, Malaysia, and ship to Borneo, Indonesia and Australia. Unsafe. 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… Shipping outbound Australia West to the Americas or East inbound South Africa or South America is simpler. Or home to Europe.
- Outbound Shihanoukville of HCMC inbound South Africa or South America via Singapore/Port Kuala. Or home to Europe.
Overlanding the world has been and still 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. Transiting Thailand, Korea, or Japan was not even thought of. Just the contrary holds true… Globalization is true for big economy but not for small travelers. They are just subject to illusions…
But like nomads we do not stick to plans. We are unable to forsee climate, economy or politics. We adapt to current changes decently and continuously, no matter what we like or dislike.
That’s the truth of worldwide overland traveling.