Day 330 Bangkok (Thailand) / motorbike GS Dakar RTW overland adventure traveller

  • Left 9am
  • 2nd March 2015
  • Miles rode 65 (104km)

I had three things to do today, visit the ‘Thai Customs’ office, get new tyres fitted to my bike at 4pm and meet Rob for a beer in the evening.

I woke with a fuzzy head as I watched Ireland beat England in the ‘6 nations’ last night and the beers were flowing. Ireland deserved their win, their forwards were were strong and relentless in defence as were England but, England gave away far too many penalties.

So after a coffee I got on my bike and rode into central Bangkok to the Thai Customs offices to ask if they could extend my ‘temporary importation’ of my motorbike beyond the date they had already given me (the date was 18th March, the same as my visa) so I could leave my bike in Thailand whilst Olly and I travelled ‘backpacker style’ to Cambodia and Vietnam. I would then return, collect my bike and leave Thailand for Malaysia. 

It took 1 1/2 hours listening to various customs officers say ‘NO’ a hundred times before they realised I wasn’t leaving and they took me to the Manager of the department. He also said NO! Two reasons, firstly they cannot extend the ‘temporary importation’ past my visa date and secondly I cannot leave Thailand without my bike. He said if I extended my visa to the date I wanted the ‘temporary import’ I could return and he would grant it to me. I wanted to have an additional 30 days from today. This made no sense to me as he had already told me I couldn’t leave the country without my bike and he knew that’s what I wanted to do? He also said I could leave the bike without the authorisation and pay a fine.

My options were;

  1. Ride my bike to Cambodia and leave it at the hotel I previously stayed at in Siam Reap as the manager said I could leave it there for 30pence / day. I didn’t want to do this as it would mean Olly and I would have to separate for one day going there and one day returning, whilst Olly is more than capable of getting a bus, crossing into Cambodia on his own our time together is precious and I didn’t want to waste it.
  2. Leave my bike in Bangkok without authorisation and pay the fine when I eventually leave the country, 10,000 baht (£200).
  3. Get a visa extension for 1,900 baht (£38) and return to the customs office tomorrow and hopefully get the customs extension.

Easy decision; I got back on my bike and rode 30km to North Bangkok and found the immigration offices. Wow, they are modern, massive and I was shocked at the length of the cue to get in! There were hundreds of people after visa extensions. I completed the paperwork, took photo copies of my passport, existing visa etc, stuck my photo onto the form and waited. At 3.15pm I left the immigration offices with my visa now extended to April 17th (30 day extension to my previous one).

I rode the 20km to Asiana Moto. It was 3.55pm when I arrived. I first contacted Asiana Moto when I was travelling through India in September or October as I knew I would need new tyres in Thailand and they are the only Heidenau dealer here. I rode away with my second set of new Heidenau tyres (3rd set of tyres on this trip) with a smile on my face.

I was too tired to meet Rob so headed back to the hotel.

It was 8pm when I got back having covered 100km on Bangkok’s busy roads. Beer time!