• Travel tips

    5 Tips to Have Super Smooth Overland Border Crossing

    Overland Borders are always unpredictable. They are vulnerable sometimes even if you are super-duper innocent. The security measures keep changing from time to time. Therefore, sufficient research and preparation are compulsory before reaching the borders. Some borders are only open for a few months in a year due to weather issues, example as Karkara Valey Border which only opens from June to October every year due to the extreme weather. The hassle and the danger in overland border crossing must not be compromised in any situation.

    1. Proper Documents 

    Make sure you have acquired all documents such as visa, permit required by the visiting country before reaching the border. If the visa is to be granted on arrival, make sure you have prepared the passport size photographs in a few copies in advance preferably 2 copies for each country and other supporting documents required. Most of the overland borders doesn’t have the facility to  take photos. Don’t overlook the information captured in your passport. We normally only care about the name and passport number. Keep in mind that a simple mistake of your height noted in the passport could easily lead to chaos, even a few centimeters just like what I faced at Laos-China border.

    2. Operating Hours of The Borders

    Since the security measures changes from time to time, the operating hours of the particular border changes too. Best way to know exactly, ask the local people, especially the truck drivers who are heading towards the border (if they are friendly ask for a hitchhike). Do not approach the taxi drivers. They may manipulate the information just to grab your money. Another ways is, try to google for the the Federal Council/Custom Department/Immigration Department of the particular country.

    3. Be Confident, hide your nervousness

    The chances for interrogation is very high during overland borders especially when  you are solo or when you are a very uncommon traveler in that route. It also a very painful process sometimes. So, be cooperative during the checking. The process can sometimes irritate you. Don’t show your anger. Try to be polite with the officers even if they are rude. The process can easily put you under stress, but try to hide your nervousness and show confident body language to avoid deeper extended checking.

    4. Pack your kindness until finishing your crossing

    Overland borders are targets for many forms of syndication among few countries. That is beyond our control. To escape from being a scapegoat, simply do not help anyone to carry their bags even they are handicapped. Pack your kindness tightly until you finish your crossing. Do not entertain anyone during your process of crossing borders. I have experienced during China Kazakhstan Border crossing, where one of the passenger (elderly man) was very helpful and friendly to me during the journey asked me to carry one of his bag. without second thought I helped, luckily nothing happened. After the cross I regretted for my immature action and the reason for it was I am obliged to him.

    5. Do not carry any prohibited items.

    Be rational when taking some items crossing the borders. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. A legal item in your country can be illegal in other countries. Respect their systems and law. Importantly, make sure your smartphone /whatsapp message box/gallery and your laptop are not corrupted with inappropriate pictures and videos. Maybe it could be not yours truly, could be a forwarded picture from your friend. But remember, when you get caught no one will be there for you to help. So, make sure they are completely clean. The officers have all the rights to check your phone and camera thoroughly. Additionally, do not try to photograph the facilities and officials around  the borders, especially the army around the border.

  • Mongolia,  Transsiberian Train Journey

    TRAVELERS ARE PEACE AMBASSADORS

    Normally, travelers don’t want chaos during their travel

    Well behaving is the norm when visiting people’s home. Such behavior naturally expressed by all of us regardless of any religion, ethnicity and culture we are belongs to. This is truly because people’s home or country is not our comfort zone/territory and it is full of uncertainty. Anxiety in uncertainty gives positive impact here.

    Travelers normally on ‘Self Searching’ mode

    When someone is self searching mode, in another word they are on peace searching mode too. Self searching mode eventually trigger continuous learning process about anything. During travel, such learning get deepened and the true meaning of what they search revealed in front of their eyes. Not how they believe blindly what the media portray at homeland. So, they learn, they teach, they share and subsequently, they start to care other beings.

    Become more adopt to any available options

    Leaving the comfort zone is one of the biggest challenge any traveler faced. Especially solo traveler. Everything will be new. Options, situations, ways, people, language……. Survival in such situation easily push them to adopt anything available.

    So, do you think all these positive behaviors and attitudes only get expressed mainly because they are out from their home/comfort zone? Maybe it is true for very small numbers of travelers  but, it’s not true for all. Naturally, travelers are always take care the reputation of their country origin. Not to impress but to express their true identity, especially when they travel solo.

    Halima Barrie

    During my stay in Sunpath Hostel, Ulaanbaatar in 2015, I came to know Halima Barrie (below image). When I asked her where she is from she replied very differently, “I’m from this earth , wherever I go that is my home” OMG…….. what an embarrassing moment for my immature ice breaking question, with little smile, she continued “Why don’t you ask me how is my day instead, Suresh?…….. Why my geographical location is so important?, perhaps I’m belong to this mother earth where you belongs to my  brother and interestingly I am a human being like you”………hahahahaa,  I got burned really good this time.

    Halima Barrie

    World has no borders

    Finally, I realized that what she meant was utterly true. The entire geographical regions of this earth truly belongs to the entire population of this earth as how the resources of this earth and peace belongs to all. Unfortunately nowadays, peace becoming more expensive and untouchable point for many.

     

    Sincerely, meeting  Halima completely changed my perceptions and the way I see this world. Since then I realized, traveling is not only to see the places and meet people, it should for peace promoting effort as well. It is every traveler’s responsibility too..

     

     

     

  • Silk Road

    Almaty Metro System-Unique Architecture with Modern Touch

    Almaty Metro System

    To be frank, I really underestimated Almaty in all aspects at initial stage.

    This is common for a amateur traveler like me.

    However, seriously I love Almaty, especially the way the city  developed and maintained.

    Very clean city and very safe city too for travelers.

    If you are a public transport dependent traveler, than this is really awesome place

    where public buses and metro train services are very much available at any corners.

    The beautiful snow caped mountains which are running parallel to the town makes your navigation much easier.

    About the people, they are very friendly and very helpful.

    watch the video for further info…..

    http://chikkubukkurayilu.blogspot.my/