Bangkok to Paris

SE Asia – China – Central Asia – Caucasus – Turkey – Europe

Jan-Nov 2009
17,000 km
11 months

“If we could keep going, where would we go?” one of us said to the other as we neared the end of one of our earlier trips. The dream of an extended journey became a reality for us in 2009. Chris took a year’s unpaid leave, and we bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok.

Our route took us to Paris via Thailand, Laos, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France. We cycled just over 17,000 km, and took other transport for about 3,000 km for a total overland jouney of about 20,000 km in just under 11 months.

Route Map

Blog, Photos, and Articles

Blog on WordPress

We kept a blog as we travelled at Chris and Margo’s Wanderings.

If you’re interested in a particular country or phase of the journey, go directly to the first relevant post from one of the links below. Read forward by clicking newer post at the bottom left. Preparations | Thailand | Laos | China | Yunnan | Sichuan | Shaanxi | Gansu |
Xinjiang | Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Tajikistan | Uzbekistan | Turkmenistan |
Azerbaijan | Georgia | Turkey | Greece | Albania | Montenegro | Croatia |
Bosnia-Herzegovina | Slovenia | Italy | Austria | Germany | Switzerland |
France | Home | Statistics | Closure

You can also navigate Chris and Margo’s Wanderings using the category cloud in the right panel of the blog.

Alternate Blog

If you are in a country where WordPress is blocked, you can read the blog’s content for this journey from here instead:

Preparations | Thailand | Laos | Yunnan  | Sichuan | Shaanxi | Gansu | Xinjiang | Kazakhstan |
Kyrgyzstan | Tajikistan | Uzbekistan | Turkmenistan | Azerbaijan |Georgia | Turkey | Greece |
Albania | Montenegro | Croatia | Bosnia-Herzegovina |Slovenia | Italy | Austria | Germany |
Switzerland | France | Home | Statistics |Closure

Photos

Trip photos are organized into three Flickr collections:
SE Asia & China | Central Asia & Caucasus | Turkey & Europe

Articles

An article was written in December 2008 (before we left) in the Atlas e-News published at CERN.
An article was written for the TRIUMF web site when Chris returned to work in January 2010.
Margo wrote an article about the Pamir part of the trip which was published in Georgia Straight in April 2011.

Planning

We spent a full year researching and planning this trip. We spent countless evenings on the internet, in the library, or taking bike repair classes. We weighed every item we considered taking with us on kitchen scales, and compiled a spreadsheet to total our base load.

Please refer to our Trans-Asia 2009 Plan for details and links.

We’ve reviewed these planning pages since our return and have commented in red text based on our experience.

Background Reading

World Heritage Sites: A Complete Guide to 878 Unesco World Heritage Sites
Unesco Publishing 2008, also see Unesco World Heritage Centre Official Site
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze, Peter Hessler
Red Dust; A Path Through China, Ma Jian
Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Treasures of Central Asia, Peter Hopkirk
The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia, Peter Hopkirk
Eastward to Tartary; Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus,Robert D. Kaplan
The Turks Today, Andrew Mango
Balkan Ghosts; A Journey Through History, Robert D. Kaplan
….and much more.

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