SILKROAD BY BICYCLE

In acht Monaten 8'800 km von Usbekistan nach Thailand

Samarkand (Usbekistan)
Samarkand (Usbekistan)

06.06. - 15.06.2011: Usbekistan

Am 6.6.2011 geht es los von Frankfurt nach Taschkent und dann zuerst mit dem Zug weiter nach  Samarkand und Buchara, um erst mal in der neuen Alten Welt anzukommen.
Reisebericht / Fotos


Pamir Highway (Tajikistan)
Pamir Highway (Tajikistan)

15.06. - 19.07.2011: Tajikistan und Kirgistan

Von Taschkent in Usbekistan geht die Reise mit dem Velo nach Tajikistan und über den Pamir Highway nach Kirgistan und schliesslich nach Kashgar in China.
Reisebericht Tajikistan / Fotos 

Reisebericht Kirgistan / Fotos


Taklamakan (China)
Taklamakan (China)

20.07. - 22.08.2011: Xinjiang und Qinghai
Von Kashgar (China) geht es per Zug und Bus nördlich entlang der Taklamakan-Wüste durch die Provinz Xinjiang nach Golmud, am Fuss des Tibetplateaus. Von dort wieder mit dem Velo rauf aufs Plateau und dann ostwärts nach Yushu.

Reisebericht / Fotos


Hong Kong (China)
Hong Kong (China)

23.08. - 30.08.2011: Hong Kong

Als Intermezzo eine kleine Staedtereise in die Zivilisation, um mein Double-Entry-Visum zu aktivieren. Wiedermal richtigen Kaffee trinken, englisch sprechen, gutes Essen und sogar englisches TV im Hotelzimmer schauen... 

Reisebericht / Fotos


Tibetisches Hochplateau (China)
Tibetisches Hochplateau (China)

01.09. - 08.10.2011: Sichuan und Yunnan

Da als Individualreisender die Einreise in die Provinz Tibet derzeit nicht erlaubt ist, geht die Fahrt vom Tibetplateau über Yushu um die Provinz Tibet herum durch das Grasland von Amdo und Osttibet durch die beiden Provinzen Sichuan und Yunnan südwärts Richtung Shangri-la.

Reisebericht / Fotos


Nujiang-Tal (China)
Nujiang-Tal (China)

09.10. - 08.11.2011: Yunnan

Von Shangri-la auf 3200m geht es ganz nach Osten über die drei parallelen Flüsse Yangtze, Mekong und Nujiang. Im dicht bewaldeteten Nujiang-Cannyon, umgeben von 4000-5000m hohen Schneebergen, geht es fast schnurgerade von Norden nach Süden an die Grenze von Myanmar.

Reisebericht / Fotos


Stupa in Vientiane (Laos)
Stupa in Vientiane (Laos)

04.12. - 04.12.2011: Laos

Da die Grenze nach Myanmar zu ist, geht es eben nach Laos und dort auf der Route 13 einmal quer von Norden nach Süden durch Dschungel und Berge - mit einem Abstecher durch die Kong Lo Höhle - bis runter zu den 4'000 Inseln im Mekong.

Reisebericht / Fotos


Angkor Wat (Kambodscha)
Angkor Wat (Kambodscha)

04.12. - 26.12.2011: Kambodscha

Nach Laos geht es weiter südwärts durch Kambodscha immer dem Mekong entlang bis zur Hauptstadt Phnom Penh und dann wieder nordwärts zum Tempel aller Tempel, Angkor Wat.

Reisebericht / Fotos Kambodscha / Fotos Angkor


Koh Kood (Thailand)
Koh Kood (Thailand)

27.12. - 02.02.2012: Thailand

Nach sieben Monaten Berge, Wüsten und Dschungle geht es zum Schluss noch zu Besuch zu Freunden im Norden und anschliessend ans Meer im Süden, um dort die Reise in Ruhe Revue passieren zu lassen.

Von Bangkok geht der Flug am 2.2. zurück in die Schweiz.

Reisebericht / Fotos

Blog


Coming home 2

Coming home 10 months after I have left
Coming home 10 months after I have left

Going for a big journey is one thing, but coming home is another. Just today I've got a qoutation from Albert Camus from a cycling buddy:

 

"What gives value to travel is fear. It breaks down a kind of inner structure we have... Far from our own language, stripped of all our props... we are completely on the surface of ourselves. But also, soul-sick, we restore to every being and every object its miraculous value."

 

I think this is very true and gets the very point of the adventure of going for a big journey. And now coming home is another adventure. And it breaks down another inner structure again. After so many months on the road with no home but the tent or a hotelroom, the routine of getting on the bike every morning, looking at the sky and the weather, the impression of so many so different people, animals, landscapes, sounds, smells coming home is like another big adventure. An adventure at least as big as the going away. Coming home with all these impressions, life will never be the same again.

 

After two months of asylum at my parents house in the north east of Switzerland I found a place to stay in Zurich in April. So it was time to go for the last bit of my journey: riding the 80km back home to Zurich. I took some small roads through the hills of the Hinterthurgau, crossed the Lake of Zurich on a ferry and reached Zurich Wollishofen almost exactly 10 months after I have left the town by bike (see photo).

 

This is the end of my journey.

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From +30 to -20 degrees Celsius

Snowcovered hills back home
Snowcovered hills back home

Taking a plane with a bicycle always makes me a little bit nervous since there seem not to exist any definitive regulations and it always depends partly on the goodwill of the clerk at the check-in desk. After organizing a carboard-box for the bike and a taxiride to Bangkok International Airport I was checking in as early as possible with 38kg instead of the allowed 30kg. The woman at the counter did some phonecalls but in the end gave me boardingpass and ticket and I didn't have to pay any overweight!! Yeeeesss! It could have been 40$/kg overweight!

 

After one night in Colombo my plane to Switzerland took off at noon on February, 3 and by sunset we landed in Zurich. The temperature outside: minus 11 degrees Celsius and still dropping! And it dropped as far as minus 22 degrees the following night. The next day - exactly eight months after my departure - I cycled the last few km back home through a beautiful snowcovered landscape.

 

Total time: 8 months

Total km: 8'864 km

Total countries: 7 (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kirgistan, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand)

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The dewdrop has reached the ocean

After more or less eight months and 8800km of cycling I have reached the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

 

After two weeks in Chiang Rai I missed my bicycle. So I took a bus down to Bangkok again just to take my bicycle on the train and head for the Cambodian border at Aranya Prathet where I crossed the border three weeks before. I decided to make a little detour through Cambodia before heading south to the sea. I passed through the colonial City of Battambang and continued from there south to the borderprovince of Pailin, known for gemstones and beeing the last "Khmer Rouge Resort". From here I cycled straight down to Trat at the Gulf of Thailand and took a boat to the remote jungle-island of Koh Kut (picture).

 

The Island is the perfect lonely-beach-paradise and endpoint of my pilgrimage from the Central Asian deserts over the Himalayan Plateau to the jungles of Southeast Asia. So I pass my remaining days here at the white beaches of Koh Kut.

 

On february, 2 my flight leaves at 7 p.m. from Bangkok International Airport direction Switzerland...

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