I am sending my car back home to Germany and will go on by public transport!
Some days ago I decided to send home my car! Reasons are a summery of more, so I try to explain here in detail:
Driving in the Asian countries is big fun, but it is also quite stressful and so I have to focus on the streets on a 100% basis what keeps me away from enjoying the landscape. I just have to look always on the street and cannot check on the beauty left and right.
Driving a car in Asia is expensive! It is not more expensive, than back home, indeed it's cheaper, but in relation to travel by public transport, it is tremendous. 3000 km by car cost me around Euro 170,-, where else a bus would cost about Euro 20,- or even cheaper.
Every now and then a service is to be done, which leads to more costs.
Repairs are on the start, which means even more cost. Not a problem, but repairs here in Asia are not related with a guarantee, that it will hold the next 3000km! :-)
I am approaching the island area! To see all the islands I either have to ship my car over, which brings a lot of costs or I need a place to keep it, which costs just a little bit, but is always related with potential problems (burglary) and forces me to come back to places I had already been to.
Going from India to Thailand, hopping from one island of Indonesia to another and finally jump to Australia brings again tremendous costs in ferries.
The car gives me the flexibility to drive anywhere I want, to stop anywhere I want, to reach points, where no one else comes. But I had to realize, I rather stay with nice people in a not that perfect place, than being at the perfect place, but alone.
When I am meeting people and a group is formed, having a car means not being compatible. Which means, I can not join in for a trip together to another town. It's always a re-union instead of keeping together.
All the time I stay somewhere or do visit something I have to make sure, my car is safe. Even when I stop for a lunch break, the first concern is, where to park the car. And yes, Asia is big, but you will not find a place to park easily! :-)
It is not sure or not easy to bring a car into Vietnam. You need a special driving license, you probably have to bribe the border staff, you all the time can get stopped by a corrupt policeman.
China at the moment to travel by car is out of question, because they still want Euro 5000,- entry fee for the car!
In Australia I am obliged to have a car. But the costs and import rules (clean the car, that no bacteria can be found, for example) to bring the car are so high, that it is more easy to rent a car there. And with saving all the money to bring my own car, I can easily rent one there!
The decision was not an easy one!
It was not an easy step for me, especially as I have dreamt about driving into Hong Kong with my own car for many years, but I had to say to myself, that at some times in life you have to adapt to circumstances and change directions.
The character of my trip will totally change and when I write these lines my eyes turn to get moistly, but I think it is the right decision. If not, I have to do it again in 10 years! :-)
How to ship a car back home.
Shipping home a car is quite easy these days. Lucky me I am in Mumbai which is a major hub for cargo ships. It is one of the cheapest cities to send a car home from Asia.
You still need a shipping company, that has the contacts to the harbor and can organize all the paperwork. Customs paper, permit for the harbor, loading, etc.
As I will not be in Germany when my car arrives I need help there. A friend already told me he could drive it down from Hamburg to Munich, but the even better option now is, that the car could get sold (including all the equipment) the second it arrives in Hamburg to a dealer, who will redirect it to the Arabian peninsula.
Oli lost the bet
As most of you know, there is a bet running, how far I will come. Although it is not mentioned, that I have to arrive in Hong Kong with my car to win the bet, it is obvious, that I lose it, the second I send my car home. The winners will get contacted and the stake paid soon after the shipping.