Transsibiria and/or the silkroad

Silkroad vs Transsibiria and Overland and Vanlife adventure

In addition to the Pan-American Highway and Trans-Africa, the Silk Road continues to captivate us self-drivers. Still there are countless possibilities of route selection, even if some optional countries sound a bit more adventurous today in 2021, such as Syria, Afganistan or Iraq.

Above are the today more common routes times quite roughly sketched in, for which more current travel blogs can be found. 

For me, the Transsibiria route (above in blue) - with the simplicity with which the route can be traveled. With only one visa and one currency you can travel a 10`000km long distance and see and experience a lot. Who try to completes this on the shortest possible way, has maybe another problem  ;-)

Off-road adventures off the paved roads are also tempting, from the Road of Bones (Yakutsk-Magadan) to the BAM Road (Novoselovo-Tynda). For the latter I have already presented here in the 4x4tripping blog a nice, if somewhat lurid video or travelogue: Roadstosomewhere. Another video of the BAM and ROB Road is not less impressive.

In my eyes, these tend to be more myths such as the Deathroad in Bolivia and a much greater adventure would be off the beaten path at any time tangible. 

The Transibiria also offers great options at the end. Via (car) ferry Japan and South Korea would be reachable, but also North Korea would be possible by land.

On the classic Silk Road, there are other obstacles to overcome besides some visa issues. Myanmar and China currently have the biggest restrictions for us self-drivers, here there is guide compulsion, and autonomous driving in the country is at least in your own vehicle and without a guide only with great hurdles or not at all achievable. 

"It can't be done" - is never the case with such projects, someone is always the first to show that it can be done with the necessary perseverance. Therefore here also my somewhat vaage formulation.

This also includes trips to Butan or North Korea - which can become possible with the necessary care in planning and preliminary clarifications.  An Iraqi I know drives every year by car from Switzerland to Iraq and says that this can be done without any problems - to give another example. 

To the silk road there is the Website with a lot of Tips to Visas and the current travel situation. You also should watch the Facebook Group:

We self-drivers look for the necessary information together and take the rest as an adventure. If you don't want to plan by yourself and/or you like to travel in a bigger group - you will be happy with the tours of Seabridge. These offer currently also North Korea for 2021 as a bookable option, which is why I mention them here at all ;-)

Travel blogs: Euroasia / Transibiria for inspiration:  Eurasiaoverland 1part 2,  part 3

In times of Corona, of course, Transsibiria is more attractive, less PCR test, less quarantine, less visa. But currently there is no progress neither on the Silk Road nor on the Transsibiria. In the W├╝stenschiff forum you can find a list of all relevant border crossings and their status. Today (06.3.2021) the trip would end after turkey.

Articles going deeper:

ROB - the old Road of Bones and the R504 Kolyma Road