Riding a motorbike around the world

Many people say the voyage is impossible and it is true that I have to go with my faith firm. When you believe in your ability and understand the limits of your motorbike, then you can conquer all challenges, whether it is a barren desert between Pakistan and Iran, a harsh European winter or the mighty Andes of South America. Just do not give up and travel carefully.

Hi Khoa, when did your passion for travelling start, especially riding yourself to conquer the destinations you choose?

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Riding a motorbike around the world
Perhaps this passion began when I was a little boy, often studying the old world map my father hung in the corner. I often watched television, especially programs on travel and nature, at that time I wanted to travel to amazing places like those on the programmes, but that was impossible for me. Growing up, I started going to school, then went to work, and when I had money, I started going out there. I chose to go climbing for my first trip, then when I had a motorbike, I drove to places further afield. Then I travelled even further to many other provinces, regions, across Vietnam and then abroad.
On average, I go backpacking every two weeks. Until now, I have experienced approximately 200 trips. I have travelled to all provinces of Vietnam, Southeast Asia and some European countries like Germany and France. In Vietnam, I like Lam Dong the most. This land of Tay Nguyen has a lot of interesting and challenging off-roads and trekking roads, besides Lam Dong is located near Saigon where I live so it is convenient to get to. As for foreign countries, Thailand and Laos are my favourite, because they are located near Vietnam, have beautiful scenery, cheap travel costs and the locals are friendly.

From your 200 journeys, which memory is the most impressive and unforgettable to you?

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Riding a motorbike around the world

It is very difficult to pick just one because I have countless memorable memories on my journeys. There are the times when I asked for free places to sleep at night in Cambodia and Laos or slept at the bus station on Cameron Plateau in Malaysia. Another time was when I got lost and suddenly discovered a beautiful and little known route – Ta Nang – Phan Dung through the three provinces Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan. Or when my motorbike was seriously broken while I travelled alone in Thailand, but the local people supported me a lot even though we did not understand each other’s languages. Every memory is impressive and memorable to me, those experiences opened up other corners of the world full of the beauty of nature and humans that I had not known before.

You are starting your first days of the trip around the world by motorbike from 1st June. Where did you get this idea?

Travelling around the world is probably the dream of many people and I am not the exception. I have thought about this since the first days I went backpacking, but perhaps the idea became clearer and more realistic over the last two years. I started preparing everything with the highest determined spirit. These two years are the time I researched necessary papers, journeys of people who have gone before me and travel tips of each destination. From Lunar New Year to the end of May is when I solved all the matters that still needed attending to before the trip. Many people in the world have completed this journey, and in Southeast Asia, Singaporeans, Malaysians and Thais have done this. Some people even went with older vehicles and lacking necessary tools. So I think there is no reason for us Vietnamese people not to do this.

Can you share with Wanderlust Tips readers more detailed information about your journey?

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Riding a motorbike around the world

I think the journey will last 600 to 700 days and I plan to divide it into 3 durations: 200 days to travel from Southeast Asia to Europe, 200 days in South America, and 200 days to explore Australia and getting back to Vietnam. If I have enough money and time I will go to Africa because I am not likely to have opportunity to travel like this for a second time. Actually, the total cost for the trip is huge, so I have called for some sponsorship and professional partnership.
As for the vehicle, I think any model of motorbike is fine. For such a long journey, I choose a Honda Wave RSX 2008, 97cc. It was my first motorbike, so I am attached to it and have a lot of memories associated with it, I believe that it will bring motivation and luck to me in the upcoming journey.

What difficulties did and will you face?

The first difficulty I encountered was that nobody in Vietnam has ever gone on this journey, so I can only ask international friends who have completed riding motorbikes around the world before. The next difficulty is about the papers, Vietnam is not in the association of countries issuing international driving licenses. Therefore I have to find information of countries that can issue this permit to Vietnamese citizen. For the other countries, I took all efforts to finish the procedures and convince them to issue the license for me. In addition, there are many risks such as traffic accidents on the road because I will have to move constantly, moreover I also must arrange visas, plan where and when to apply for my next visa, prepare for situations when my motorbike is broken on the road even before beginning the trip, I tried to repair as well as remodel it as much as possible. The weather is also important, as I plan to cross deserts in Iran and Pakistan in the heat of summer and encounter extremely cold winter weather in Europe. To overcome those challenges, I can only prepare necessary information along with good remedies, and finally I must play it by ear. I do not know what will happen but I will try my best to have the most complete journey.

Do your family and friends support you knowing about your daring plan?

Most of my family members and friends support me, especially my dad who encourages me a lot. However, my mother is quite nervous, that is understandable. I also explained to her in detail what I prepared for the trip, and I also bought insurance to protect myself, and my mother feels more reassured now.
After all, this is not a reckless or life-risking journey of a thoughtless and superficial young man who travels despite all risks, but the result of seven years of training, learning experiences and challenging personal limits constantly from easy to hard, from near to far, and from my own failure.

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Riding a motorbike around the world

After finishing the journey, what is your next plan?
If my trip is successful, I will write a book about it. It will be a travel diary book for children and a photo book, all the money I get from that will be donated to poor children in Vietnam. I also intend to go to a farm in Dalat to rest a few months and then get back to work, and then get married.

Nowadays, backpacking trends, especially on motorbikes, are becoming popular, but there are risks. What advice would you give to those who love this type of travel?
To be safe, above all you have to be careful, you should practice to travel to close destinations and then go to further and more difficult places. Before the journey, it is recommended to find out about information thoroughly, bring necessary tools and protective equipment, if you go in a group, you must be disciplined and responsible.

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