Now available as an E-Book!

Now available as an E-Book!
Save money and a tree- get the downloadable PDF version of "Southeast Asia on 2 Wheels!"

Previews from the book "Southeast Asia on 2 Wheels."

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135 full-color pages of photos, stories, anecdotes, illustrations, journal pages maps and more!In addition to the four major sections on Yunnan, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand I have included some back story on both my first (and unsuccessful) attempt to motorcycle through China as well as how the planning for the trip came together.I have chosen the very best of the more than 4,000 photos from the trip as well as the most humorous, moving and fascinating of the several hundred anecdotes for Southeast Asia on 2 Wheels.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A Motorcycle License: Is it Necessary?

This is a question I get sometimes from other riders. My simple answer is: "Sort of." Unlike the U.S., U.K. and other highly developed nations, Laos & Cambodia operate with looser rules. Basically, I recommend having SOMETHING to show the authorities if you get stopped.  You can get an international license like this one online for really cheap. I like this particular one because it has a hologram on it and is printed on a really 'official-looking' card. In the paper booklet that comes with the international license, you can just mark the motorcycle permit area yourself. Done.

Now about China. In theory, an international license is invalid in China and you need an official Chinese license to get around. Unfortunately, this is off-limits to the visiting foreign tourist. What are you to do? I got stopped several times, and I showed the international license. The cop would call headquarters and talk to someone for a while then let me go. The key to getting out of this: use a lot of English, and speak quickly. If you aren't making trouble, chances are the cops will just let you go to get rid of the hassle. Stay out of big city centers!

Thailand, I got stopped by a cop and he took my license and went back to his car. I ran away. Probably not the smartest thing I've done.

Monday, 28 December 2009

The Best Do-It-Yourself Motorcycle Helmet Cam

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Dobro DoŇ°li "WildManGulice" Members!  We Love Serbia!

While riding through Asia, I built my own "helmet cam" mount for under $10 using some simple things you can find in any hardware store and PC shop. This helmet cam takes about 15 min. to make and works great. Here is a video I made using this mount:






What you need:


  • A cheap, $5 webcam tripod mount like this one. Make sure it is made from plastic and has a metal standard screw mount for digital/film cameras.
  • 2-Part epoxy glue. Get it at any hardware shop. Should be rated to bond plastics.
  • Some coarse-grit sandpaper or a grinder.
  • A plastic motorcycle helmet that you don't mind permanently altering. (no leather helmets.)
  • A soft rubber washer (optional)


How to build it:


  1. Snap the plastic legs off the tripod. Grind down the bottom until it is flat and smooth.
  2. Use a piece of string to find the center of your helmet - this should be directly over the crown of your head.
  3. IMPORTANT: Once you've found the center, mark a space that is about 5-10 degrees back from the center point. When you ride, you will keep your face down. If you mount the camera to the center point, then your camera will always be looking down too. Moving the mounting spot back a few degrees will give you much better videos.
  4. Sand down the area on the helmet you want to mount the camera to. It should be at least as big as the base of the webcam mount.
  5. Use the two-part epoxy mix to attach the camera mount to the sanded spot on the helmet. TIP: If the webcam mount has an adjustment for angle, you may want to epoxy this as well so it doesn't come loose while you are riding.
  6. Let the mount cure overnight. The next day, twist your camera onto the screw mount sticking up out of the helmet. You will need to do this several times to find the perfect spot to 'start' twisting the camera. Once you find the best spot, mark it with a marker so you can find it easy the next time. TIP: Adding a soft rubber washer to the mount can make this easier- it will give you some room to 'nudge' the camera into place to get the perfect angle.
  7. IMPORTANT: Always loop the camera's neck strap through the helmet's chin-strap when riding. If the mount breaks off while riding, your camera will be caught by your chin strap and won't fall onto the road.
  8. Set your camera to "Video" and you are ready to go!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Some memories from the road.

Below are just a handful of photos from my ride through Asia. Hope you enjoy them. There are plenty more posts, maps, illustrations and more throughout this blog, so help yourself fellow riders!


The harsh and rugged mountain passes that lead to Deqen, in Northern Yunnan Province, China.
(Nearing the Tibetan Border)


My bike, parked on a roadside at 14,000Ft (4,200M)
Northern Yunnan


Life on China's "national roads" is much harsher than the new, clean and motorcycle-banned super highways. A local commutes to his job at one of several nearby factories. In the distance is one of the usual heavy-duty trucks that makes life on these roads dangerous and miserable.
(Eastern China, Wuxi)


The nitty-gritty life of southern Laos. This town borders Thailand, separated by a narrow river at the back of the plaza. A perfect resting place for a weary rider!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Fellow Riders Snatch up Copies of "S.E. Asia on 2 Wheels!"

"Southeast Asia on 2 Wheels" (e-Book) version is selling well in its first few months online. Reactions seem positive so far!

Already I've had several riders contact me with comments like these:


"...After I read through your book I felt like I could do this too. You make it much less scary than I had imagined it being. Thanks for all the great info and photos!..."

Sam R.
Delaware, US


"My wife and I have been dreaming of a motorcycle ride through Laos for years. ... We've just loved looking through your book and getting ideas of all the great places we can see this fall."

George and Barbara L.
California, US


"Brilliant book! ... Me and my flatmates want to make a ride through China early next spring and ... we've been looking through your book and getting excited about next year! The drawings are fantastic man. Thanks for your emails and tips mate. We'll let you know how the ride goes."

Will and "the Gang"
Essex County, Britain


"... Every time I look at those pics from Yunnan, I get so pumped about taking a ride like this for myself. Your book [gives] me a lot of confidence in setting up this journey. Love the illustrations too!"

Ivan
Brisbane, Australia

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Thursday, 2 April 2009

Exiting China by Motorcycle - Details

It seems that how to exit China by motorcycle is a popular subject among adventure riders in forums. Recently, I've been asked about the details, so I thought it would be good to include these aerial photographs to help make things clearer. The following explains how to enter Laos from China.
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1. Arrive in Mohan, Xishuangbanna region of Yunnan China. The town is something like a midwestern American 'strip mall.' Find a good place to sleep- there are a few inns or guesthouses to pick from. You will want to start fresh the next day.

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2. Go to the passport processing station (exit/entry station) park outside on the curb and then fill out the standard paperwork and departure card for leaving China as a tourist. Then, mention the bike. (now they are trapped and have to help you get the bike out.) They may tell you to go to Customs. You don't have to go, but humor them anyway - it's just down the street.

3. Back at passport control, haggle with them until they agree to let you take the bike out. You may need to pay a $1 toll. (7 RMB) I showed them the following paperwork: bike ownership papers (fake), registration booklet (small blue booklet), international license. This seemed to be enough for them.

4. Show your passport with the exit stamp to the guard in the kiosk in the middle of the road. You will have to 'walk' the bike until you are out of his sight.

LAOS SIDE.



5. Ride the 3 km through 'no mans' land until you reach the other side. The immigration station looks like a wooden house on the righthand side of the road.

6. Park your bike on the curb to the left of the station - on the road. Follow the regular procedures for a tourist entering Laos. Don't mention the bike to them. Change your money at the immigration station - they have good rates. You will need to get a 'police' stamp while at the immigration house. Show the stamp to the cops in the wooden kiosk next to the immigration station. Then ride on in!

7. Most likely they will not say anything about the bike. I had no customs docs or paperwork for the bike in Laos, and never once was it a problem - either while riding or exiting into Cambodia.

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Wait is OVER! The Book is here!

After working on it for over two months, I finally finished my book: Southeast Asia on 2 Wheels. 135 full-color pages of photos, stories, anecdotes, illustrations, journal pages maps and more!

In addition to the four major sections on Yunnan, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand I have included some back story on both my first (and unsuccessful) attempt to motorcycle through China as well as how the planning for the trip came together.

I have chosen the very best of the more than 4,000 photos from the trip as well as the most humorous, moving and fascinating of the several hundred anecdotes for Southeast Asia on 2 Wheels. I know when you see the final product, you will think it was worth the hundreds of hours of crafting, writing, reviewing and editing.

Whether you are a fellow adventure motorcyclist looking for inspiring stories and tips for the road, or you are simply content to 'ride' from the safety of your living room chair, you will find a great journey in my new book, Southeast Asia on 2 Wheels.

Get it here



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Monday, 16 March 2009

THANKS READERS!

According to Alexa, Chrison2wheels.com has improved it's popularity from 18,300,000 to 4,692,617. That is a large increase in viewership and I have you to thank! Your support means the world to me.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

It's coming... The book!

Over 110 pages of full-color, southeast asia motorcycle journey action! Photos, stories, diagrams, maps, journal pages and so much more! Coming this spring!

I will try to post more bits of the book as they come along. I expect that it should be finished by May or so. In the meantime, here are a few teaser pages of what to expect. Hope they pique your interest.

(see later posts)






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Sunday, 25 January 2009

Info for Riders

Whether you want to buy a motorcycle in China and ride through Laos, Cambodia and Thailand like I did, or you are just curious how these things work you should be able to find some answers below.

Here are some "How-To" articles for fellow riders who want to ride through SE asia. I hope they are of use to the reader. If you have any questions, post them as a comment on this article and I will try to address them in my next post.

How to Enter Laos / Exit China by Motorcycle
How to Enter Cambodia / Exit Laos by Motorcycle
How to Buy a Motorcycle as a Tourist in China
How to Buy and Register a Bike in South Korea
How to Prepare for a Motorcycle Adventure
How to Make a Motorcycle Helmet Camera
How to Travel Super Cheap by Staying in People's Homes for Free

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