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นิตยสารท่องเที่ยวภายในทวีปเอเซีย(ภาคภาษาอังกฤษ) เนื้อหาภายในเล่มเป็นการเดินทางด้วยScooterจากอินเดี ย-เนปาล-จีน-เวียดนาม-ลาว-ไทย
An Exotic 60-Day Journey from India to Thailand on Vespas
Last year, theres a story of 2 Thai young men, Chalermpol and Chalermwat Inhan, who traveled across the Asian countries introduced to NOW magazine. The most interesting thing of this story is about how they approached their destinations. These two boys chose Vespa, a classic two wheels vehicle, as their main vehicles for a journey passing their favorite classic countries; India, Nepal, China, Vietnam, and Laos.
They spent several days in Kathmandu and then continued to Bodori , the area linking Nepal and Tibet. For Chinese people, they claim that Tibet belongs to their country but Nepalese people only that Tibet is always Tibet. At this area, they had to climb up 300 kilometer to the mountainous area and climb down again. That was a big effort that they put on their way.
A trouble broke in their trip again when they were entering China border. According to the Chinese regulations, to bring in their Vespa to Tibet, they had to pay vehicle tax as expensive as a buying price of the new one. Also, as Tibet still considered as a state of war, they must hire a tour guide and a jeep carrying stuffs for their trip. Moreover, they had to apply for Tibet visa which was valid for 21 days only. Traveling from the borderland to Lhasa normally takes 7 days, which means they only had 14 days for traveling in Tibet. That was not enough for crossing to China and they had to pay about 100,000 TBH per each for that. Having limited budget at that time (about 50,000 TBH) and being in discouraged mood, the two brothers could stand up again with encouragement from Thai friends via a website and decided to change their plan to continue the journey. They gave their Vespa to a Nepal friend who was a hotel boy and then caught a flight to Hanoi in Vietnam.
The two young travelers restarted their trip from zero in Hanoi and were seeking a new Vespa from the town. Even though Vietnam is the country where Vespa has expanded its manufacturing base into, the price of a scooter is still very high comparing to Thailand. With limited budget, they therefore had to buy a secondhand Vespa instead while other unnecessary items were sent back to Thailand, only several clothes were kept with them. One Vespa and two young men, the trip to China was a real adventure.
In the 7th in Vietnam, big problems took place again when they had to fill engine oil. In town, they could not find any 2-stroke engine oil so they had to wander around the suburb to find their Vespas blood. Luckily, they finally found few bottles of 2-stroke engine oil in a small old gas station. Again in the 8th day, an electricity system of the Vespa was damaged and the vehicle mechanic could help them. However, the problem was solved again when an electrician came to help. Then, they continued their trip to China again.
Hardly passed the border, to continue their journey with a Vespa, they had to buy a Chinese scooter license plate and replaced it to the older one. Their destination in China was Kunming as it was the only town that they knew.
Normally, the map may display a very short and easy route to the users. In fact, the road to Kunming in China is very difficult as it is mostly in a mountainous area and
has variety of unexpected incidents along the way. There were landslides in many parts. Sometimes, they had to stop and wait until the way was cleared. Once, they luckily followed the way that suggested by the truck driver and easily passed the toll way checkpoints as theres nobody came out the box to face cold air. The piles of the toll way are set as high as a seven or eight-floor building because they have to climb up the mountains all along the way. The weather in China was also really fickle. One side of the mountain was raining while another can be covered with snow or hot air. That trip therefore was so full of color of life with real nature. A night before reaching Kunming, the two brothers stopped for rest at Mei Li
Departed from the border checkpoint, they continued their trip from Sapa in Vietnam to Leh, Dien Bien Phu, and Oudomsay in Laos. At Laos border check point, transporting their vehicle seemed to be their big problem as the Vespa was not bought legally but the problem however was solved by the bus driver. The bus driver has parted the Vespa into pieces and reassembled them in Laos.
Going down south about hundred kilometers in Laos, the two brothers reached a town called Phuan. They felt like coming to home town as everything were similar to Thai style such as foods, songs, and landscape. Luang Phrabang was the next town they visited where did not disappoint their expectation. She was a real world heritage town.
After a 2-night stay in Luang Phrabang, the two young travelers was heading back to Thailand via Thalee border checkpoint in Loei province where Lao people call Kaenthao. The road linking to the border was so bad so they had to stop and took a rest on the way. The political situation in Laos has always been as ever. So, when they took a rest in a tent on the way to the border, Lao soldiers came to watch out their activities during night time and investigated them. Perhaps, tourists were still to strange for their feelings. Eventually, they were arrived Thailand with great warm feelings.
One thing they gained from the long hard trip is the love in their motherland as they felt it clearer after comparing to other countries they visited. Thailand always gives them good things while other countries can not. For instance, India has hi-technology like nuclear bombs but its people dont have even rice to eat or Vietnam has a plenty good land for doing agriculture but its people are still living with unhappy face.