Moritz Ecker - Blog



The Singapore border welcomes you with a forest of prohibition signs. Don’t smoke, don’t get of your bike, don’t drive to fast, out of the line of in the wrong line. And of course there’s a massive fine if you break a rule. I was afraid I would get checked

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So, here I am in Malaysia and back in the Muslim world. Not that there hasn’t been a mixture of religions around, especially Muslims in southern Thailand but the difference is which religion the government prioritizes. 

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My first impression of Thailand was that it was spectacularly unspectacular. Flat, hot and light traffic on pretty well maintained roads – perfect cycling conditions and I got back to my old European speed. 

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Crossing the border to Laos I was reminded that in Laos everything might not be in best order when the border police asked to pay all kinds of made up stuff, among other things they asked me to pay for the entrance stamp which is obviously a scam but what can you do? They must be really bored up there spending their whole time thinking about how to rip of people. But it was already getting dark and since I didn’t want to camp on some unexploded ordnance dump near the border I payed my extra 9$ and didn’t say goodbye.

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Vietnam seemed to me like a sweet version of China, the people are nice and they haven’t built everything up with skyscrapers and motorways. And there are tourists! At least on my first day after a long an fairly steep climb to Sa Pa. After that I didn’t see any more foreigners.

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China #3 – Sichuan/Yunnan

From Sichuan on the climate became wet and and the landscape turned into a real jungle (a bloody mountainous one).  Sichuan is an earthquake hotspot and I’m glad none went off while I was pedaling my way through. I imagined being on a road cut into a wall of rock when the earth starts shaking – scary.

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China #2 – Gansu/Qinghai

The first thing I realized coming from Xinjang to Gansu is that everything seems pretty ‘normal’. No more police controls on every corner, the petrol stations are not guarded like a military post anymore and the internet speeds up from crazy slow like in the modem days to just plain slow.

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China #1 – Xinjiang

So, after 4 days waiting at the Chinese border it finally opened on the 5th day. First thing that surprised me after a massive security check was that while on the Kazakh side of the border were only a few small houses in the steppe, the Chinese have built quite a decent town here in the middle of nowhere.

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Kazakhstan #3

almaty night

After Bishkek the road leads back to Kazakhstan and it’s only 200km till Almaty the former capital. I parked my bike for two weeks here in Almaty to take some rest, eat and also to flight back to Berlin to spent some time with the two most amazing things in the world – visa applications and dentist visits.

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