By Jerry Cook I don’t think anyone in the group really was ready to leave Myanmar. We were enjoying this country immensely. After 11 days, with the last few having been some of the best riding of the trip so far, it was time to cross the Mai Sai border and enter the infamous Golden Triangle region […]
By Jerry Cook Prior to the expedition, nobody in the group really knew what to expect of Myanmar. It was a bit of an unknown. Tourism has only been encouraged by their government since 1992 and really hadn’t opened up to travellers until the general elections in 2010 when a civilian government was installed. It’s not a […]
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By Jerry Cook Arriving at the Thailand / Myanmar border, I was excited to bring the group into the fourth country of the Asian Overland expedition. There is a tangible excitement to brining a motorcycle tour group into a new country and the unknown adventures that lay ahead. The border procedures were surprisingly efficient, thanks to the […]
By Jerry Cook When I looked ahead at the tour itinerary and saw that my birthday was going to be in Krabi, Thailand I knew it was going to be a good one. I was right! I woke up in our beautiful hotel, the Anyavee Resort to many messages from friends and family all around the […]
By Jerry Cook Singapore & Malaysia When I was growing up, I was fortunate to spend many a Christmas and school holiday in Singapore. Being only a relatively short flight from my hometown of Perth and with my relatives living there, it was the ideal family getaway. I have many fond memories of carefree teenage days […]
By Mick McDonald We started our final week off by visiting one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, the Terracotta Warriors, it truly is an immense sight to be gazing over 1000s of warriors tasked with standing guard over Emperor Qin for eternity, from 2000 years ago. The site was only discovered in 1974 by […]
By Mick McDonald We woke to a virtual blizzard that only seemed to intensify as the day wore on, it was our last day in Tibet and we were descending nearly 2000mt from the, now snow covered, Tibetan Plateau to what is known as the Mongolian Prefecture, and the town of Golmud, however Tibet had […]
By Mick McDonald The drive out of Lhasa was the usual, epic mountain panoramas, glaciers, high altitude turquoise lakes and posing Mastiff dogs the size of Serengeti lions! We had hit the tourist trail and saw at least 5 other tourists on the route. On top of lofty mountain passes our car seemed to attract […]
By Mick McDonald Oh My God! These were the words most uttered as we drove an unbelievable fairy-tale landscape of snow-capped peaks, narrow canyonlands dissected by a raging torrent far far below, pine forests, Impossibly scenic monasteries located on a knife edge ridge and a landscape dotted with Tibetan style farmhouses that would command a […]
By Mick McDonald We have forgotten what week it is as we farewelled the wonderful Laos, the 3 hour ride to the border, with the obligatory flat tyre, was a fitting way to end our time in Laos as it was yet another scenic overload over the final mountain ranges into China The border itself […]
Our first day in Laos and the wonderful leafy capital city that is Vientiane, with its French influenced cafes and coffee shops selling wonderful patisseries and serving refreshing lemon smoothies. We visited the Laos version of the Arc de Triumph, made out of cement donated by the US, for the airport!! We also visited what became an eye opener and yet another example of man’s capacity to inflict suffering upon each other. During the Vietnam war Laos had a B52 planeload of bombs dropped on it every 8 minutes 24/7 for 9 years straight, that’s 580,000 tonnes or ordinance of which 30% remained unexploded, making Laos the most bombed country in human history!
We hit the for what must surely be Thailand’s most legendary motorcycle road, the Mae Hong Son loop, even in a Hilux we were excited to get onto this road famous for its 1864 curves.
Our 4th week on the Asian Overland saw us hit the “Road to Mandalay”, the very name conjures up images of wooden wheeled carts being pulled by Brahmans and steered by a family wearing bamboo hats along a track that winds its way through endless rice fields, and that’s exactly the scene that greeted us we wound our way north. We reached the incredible Bagan, a 25 square mile plain on the mighty Irrawaddy River in central Myanmar. Bagan is a maelstrom of temples with up to 4000 Buddhist temples from the 12th & 13th Century AD, its often referred to as Ankor Wat on steroids but minus the crowds.
Moving into our third week on the road, we look towards exploring our fourth country within south-east Asia. Myanmar is within reach, but not before discovering Thailand’s ancient history in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sukhothai Historical Park. Here lie the ruins of the 13th century Sukhothai Kingdom, which is alleged to be the […]
Week One: And so, it begins, one of the most extensive research trips that we have ever undertaken. Lucky enough to be doing this trip is myself, founder of Compass Expeditions, Mick McDonald and our resident paramedic who has worked on many of our rides, including our Simon Pavey and Charley Boorman events, Sarah Taylor. […]
Words and Images by Mick McDonald. Mongolia, the very word conjures up images of wild horseman galloping across and ancient empty steppe landscape, with bow & arrow in hand, which today, isn’t that far from reality in what is the most sparsely populated country on earth and where the locals still practice the three “manly” […]
Words and images by Craig Jackson. I am sitting in a stone hut, 6 x 3 foot, it is steaming hot and an old bloke is stoking a fire to heat it from the small room outside. I am at 3200 mt and the small room has four other sweaty people in it. It is […]
Wednesday 27 June Day 11 We have ended the tour safely, but I’ll send updates for the missing days. A rest day so we had a slow start but went for a short ride to explore a local volcanic lava field. The eruptions happened just 8000 years ago, and the lava dammed the rivers to […]
Sunday 24 June Day 8 Saturday was a rest day and we needed it. I went for a horse ride and the had a siesta., Sunday, we retraced our path away from the lake on a dry and dusty road (it had been muddy and puddled on Friday). I had another problem when my bash […]
Story and photos by Mick McDonald. Part #1 For the first time in nearly 3 weeks in Mongolia it’s raining, and raining hard, of course it’s our first day of our first ever 14-day Mongolian Magic tour. We struggle out of the capital Ulaan Baatar though a maelstrom of water filled potholes with manic bus […]
Day 2 Mongolia It was a full-on day. New bikes had been delivered, old bikes fixed, and the weather was cool but sunny. We left at 8.00am and got back to the hotel at 7.45pm. We started by visiting the Genghis Khan statue. It was enormous – the biggest horse in the world apparently. We […]
Peter Grace and his brother Dave have joined us on our inaugural Magical Mongolia motorcycle tour and Peter has kindly allowed us to follow along with their journey via his daily updates. I reproduce it here for you word for word without amendment. Many thanks Pete. Enjoy! Craig Compass Expeditions. First day in Mongolia […]
Our friends at Born to Ride Magazine have ran this great story featuring our new 104 day major expedition, The Asian Overland – Darwin to Beijing. The Asian Overland is a great long distance adventure that does not require you to have any off road riding experience as over 95% of the route is on […]
Kyrgyzstan at the very forefront of the “last frontier” when it comes to motorcycle touring, a place so new to tourism that Lonely Planet doesn’t have a guide book on it, yet! Deep within Central Asia this incredible country offers bikers an unparalleled diversity of towering snow-capped peaks, stunning alpine valleys, fast flowing glacial rivers, […]
Click Here to read about WEEK ONE of the tour Story by Ryan Heath Images by Mick McDonald The next day we are off the bikes but the adventure does not stop. Early in the morning we board two former Russian army trucks that transport us to the stunning alpine valley of Altyn Arashan. […]
Story by Ryan Heath Images by Mick McDonald It is fair to say that when I told people I was travelling to Kyrgyzstan the most common reaction was, “you’re going where?” I think there was an assumption that any place that ended with “stan” was not a travel destination of choice. People seemed […]
Mongolian Magic Motorcycle Tour www.compassexpeditions.com 15 March 2017 Compass Expeditions is excited to announce our latest unique riding destination, Mongolia. “This is definitely one of the most exciting, remote and rarely visited regions left on earth, its true last frontier stuff”, says Compass Expeditions director Mick McDonald, “Mongolia is always a standout highlight for […]
We were approached by a group of 6 friends who were looking to do a private week long motorcycle tour of Cambodia in November. They were looking for something a bit different and so we organised a trip with XR250s and a bit of adventure involved. Below is the sixth of the e-mails that were […]
We were approached by a group of 6 friends who were looking to do a private week long motorcycle tour of Cambodia in November. They were looking for something a bit different and so we organised a trip with XR250s and a bit of adventure involved. Below is the fifth of the e-mails that were […]