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Old 14th October 2014, 20:29   #1
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Default Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

I really hope this project becomes a reality. We could all drive down and get cheap car accessories from Bangkok

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The idea of driving down to Bangkok in a car or bus from any northeastern state may become reality by 2017, with India signing a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar on opening four-lane motorways to promote trade and tourism from the northeastern states into that country, and on to Thailand, and eventually Cambodia and Vietnam as well.

Noting that the proposed trans-Asian highway was a very old project that had failed to take off so far, security sources said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keen to operationalise a planned superhighway linking Guwahati to Bangkok via Mandalay and Yangon, Myanmar’s former capital.

The sources added that the external affairs ministry was also exploring the possibility of starting passenger bus services between Moreh in Manipur and Mandalay. New Delhi wants the bus service started as soon as possible.

The trans-Asian highway is part of the “Mekong-India Corridor” intended to link Indian markets with China, the sources said, saying the PM had told officials to convert the “Look East Policy” into “Action East Policy”.

The Northeast Frontier Railway was given a six-month deadline to commission tracks linking the border states to augment infrastructure development.

The new superhighway will open up new oil and gas opportunities off the coasts of Myanmar and Vietnam, and enable easier access to Japanese products made in Thailand, the security sources said. The trans-Asian highway will also be connected to NH2 to facilitate an opening direct from New Delhi to Southeast Asia. The many stumbling blocks to the project are being cleared on a priority basis, the sources added.
Source : http://manipurtimes.com/news-article...ews/item/12688
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Old 15th October 2014, 10:10   #2
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Default re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

If this happens it will open a lot of new driving destinations. I have already written to the Myanmaar embassy asking for details if I could drive down with my car. No response as yet though.
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Old 15th October 2014, 10:39   #3
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Default re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
If this happens it will open a lot of new driving destinations. I have already written to the Myanmaar embassy asking for details if I could drive down with my car. No response as yet though.
Sadly Myanmar does not allow any vehicles of Indian origin to pass through its borders at all. You can walk into Myanmar, but can't take your vehicle inside it. The Locals in Moreh (India) and Tamu (Myanmar) travel with their vehicles across the border for trade but that's about it. We won't be allowed as of now.

It had come in the news that Narendra Modi has asked to hasten up India's look east policy and this highway is a major part of it. BRO is building the bridges and roads in Myanmar. The section connecting the Thai border areas to Myanmar are already done. It's just a matter of time this will open.

I am going to run with my Swift Diesel the very moment the border opens, have already seen the dream, so there is no backing out. Going to take a break from whatever I am doing for a month. Mumbai to Bangkok distance as per the highway route which is being built is 6500 kilometers . With careful planning and leisure driving, it should take 1 week's time.

Last edited by humyum : 15th October 2014 at 10:40.
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Old 15th October 2014, 10:41   #4
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Default re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

The driving distance seems to be about 2500Kms, from Assam to Bangkok! I'm not sure whether this would be economically feasible unless you're a trotter with no other work.
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Old 15th October 2014, 11:07   #5
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Old 16th October 2014, 10:14   #6
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Default Re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

Well I dont know if its a step in the positive direction but yesterday I ahve received a reply from the Myanmaar Embassy asking me to submit the following:

1. Copy of my Passport.
2. Copy of the vehicle registration certificate.
3. Photo of the vehicle I intend to take.
4. Day by Day plan in Myanmaar.
5. The dates of entry and exit.
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Old 16th October 2014, 10:35   #7
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Default Re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

For this to work we will need simplification of

1. Carnet de Passage rules. Maybe like to simple carnet for UK cars prior to their joining the EU. This will also involve acceptance of each others licenses.

2. Insurance issues

3. Passport & visa issues

I am sure there are others but these come to mind immediately.
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Old 1st November 2014, 21:57   #8
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Default Re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
For this to work we will need simplification of

1. Carnet de Passage rules. Maybe like to simple carnet for UK cars prior to their joining the EU. This will also involve acceptance of each others licenses.

2. Insurance issues

3. Passport & visa issues

I am sure there are others but these come to mind immediately.
AFAIK. Carnet for an Indian vehicle is not yet acceptable by Burma or Thailand (this accepts a Carnet of Malaysian origin though!).

But even if these countries take a cash deposit as surety for not selling the vehicle in-country, so long as the vehicle returns by the same route , it should not be a deterrent, for the intrepid Indian traveler (read BHPian )
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Old 2nd November 2014, 11:02   #9
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Default Re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

This is indeed a great initiative. I just hope it doesn't completely destroy the pristine jungles of the North East of India and of course, Burma/Myanmar.
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Old 23rd November 2014, 18:54   #10
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Default Re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Well I dont know if its a step in the positive direction but yesterday I ahve received a reply from the Myanmaar Embassy asking me to submit the following:
Well , at the least, it looks like a positive gesture !

There are certain problems with such plans that involve expeditious diplomacy coupled with huge investments, environmental backlashes, insurgency refueled by the arrival of MNCs and last but not the least, the stability of the regime on the other side of the Border.
Though the plan is quite ambitious and sounds appeasing, it might be a better idea to rather build and develop the public infrastructure the Northeast lacks as of now and then proceed towards connecting into the South East Asia . Otherwise I am sure these projects will only stir up the hornet's nest akin to the situation in Central India. Here the problem will much more be troublesome and embarrassing and might end up into secessionist movements that would be immidietely welcomed and supported by the PRC.
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Old 24th November 2014, 21:14   #11
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Default Re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

Just a thought. Apart from the economic viability are there any imminent threats for someone intending to go on such a long road trip. The far east sure looks attractive but you cant miss or ignore the probable threats and the terrain too.

P.S I would love to click my Mumbai Regd. Swift with the backdrop of a Go-Go Bar though!!!
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Old 10th December 2014, 18:30   #12
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Default Re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

If this happens, it would be a great step forward in integration of nations and their culture.
Imagine you can take your car with all its convenience and cover many nations, halting at multiple places, getting to know their culture, making acquaintances. What a fun trip it would be.
Engineering colleges will then go for their summer training at Bangkok.
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Old 17th December 2014, 13:34   #13
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Default Re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
This is indeed a great initiative. I just hope it doesn't completely destroy the pristine jungles of the North East of India and of course, Burma/Myanmar.
much as I love cars, driving and urbanisation - I wonder - civilisation at what cost. I have been to some remote places in Meghalaya, Assam, Northern India. While I felt people in these areas are deprived of benefits of modern civilisation, the environment has benefited a lot. Hmmm don't know if there can be a way out.
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Old 23rd December 2014, 12:53   #14
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Default Re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
This is indeed a great initiative. I just hope it doesn't completely destroy the pristine jungles of the North East of India and of course, Burma/Myanmar.
Yes that is indeed a valid concern. But there is a motorable road present(albeit not a proper highway). If deforestation is the solution then I doubt its success.
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Old 25th March 2015, 10:07   #15
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Default Re: Planned Super Highway from Guwahati to Bangkok!

It is now possible to drive to Mandalay/Bagan/Inle/Yangon in Myanmar with an Indian car. I researched on it a fair bit for my recent North East trip, but abandoned the idea of getting to Mandalay because of the high costs involved. I am giving below the information I gathered.

The body that issues the permit in Myanmar is Myanmar Travels & Tours (MTT), a government agency. It is however not practically possible to obtain this permit without an experienced travel agent who has done this before. There are three agents who do this, of whom one is of Indian origin and offers the best prices. I have his contacts and should anybody be interested in trying him, PM me.

To obtain the MTT permits, you need to submit the following documents to them through the agent

- Carnet de Passages (I checked with AAI and they are issuing this for Myanmar. The Indian Carnet is being accepted now)
- International Driving Permit (The one issued by AAI is acceptable)
- Passport copies
- Passport sized photographs
- Photo of the front and the back of your car clearly showing number plate
- Detailed daywise itinerary in Myanmar (you cannot deviate from this even by a day. Night halts have to be as per this itinerary)

The agent will obtain this permit for you and it takes about a month's time. A copy of the permit will be sent to you based on which you can get your visa from the Myanmar Embassy in Delhi.

When you arrive at the Moreh/Tamu border crossing (you have to arrive at the exact day as per the itinerary or else the entire permit is invalid), the agent will be waiting at the checkpost making sure the checkpost has got the permit documents from MTT. Once you are cleared you can proceed in. The agent gives you a temporary registration which you display on your dashboard. The official procedure I understand is that a government escort car accompanies you all the time (this is in addition to your own agent) and they report on your movements everyday to the government. In reality, I understand, the escort only joins you in Mandalay.

The best price quote I got for organising all this (your meals, accommodation and fuel are extra)

1 car - 1 or 2 persons - USD 1900 total
2 cars - 3 or 4 persons - USD 2800 total
3 cars - 5 or 6 persons - USD 4600 total

I was doing a solo drive and therefore decided $1900 was a ridiculous price to pay. However if a convoy of 3 cars and say 6 people is formed, the cost can come down to $800 per person. Still high, but a lot lower than $ 1900.

I tried bypassing the agent and applying through the embassy in Delhi. This is useless as the embassy is simply a courier sending your documents to MTT. After one month I simply got a response to talk to MTT. I did speak to MTT, but obviously, nothing moved and I gave up.

A potential plan is

Day 1 - Tamu - Kalay (Road constructed by Indian BRO and reportedly OK)
Day 2 - Kalay - Monywa (This is a horror stretch and strictly 4WD territory in the rains. Possibly High GC non 4WD can do it in the dry season)
Day 3 - Monywa - Mandalay

After that it is your choice of where all you want to go.

It is not economical to go to Thailand and come back. It can be done, but you have to double the costs above and its not worth it.

Until the costs come down, I don't think it is worth doing this journey.
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