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Thread: Questions

  1. #1
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    Questions

    Will the stock tires that come with the LHT suffice for touring Laos and Cambodia? They are WTB Slickasaurus, 26x1.5, blackwall. The other parts of my journey, the other 80% I would think, are all on road. Should I splurge on 2" XRs?

    Anyone know how to draw money along the way in SEA and China? I'm currently living in Singapore.

    What's the earliest time that one can attempt the TransAm West to East?

    Thanks! =)

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    I toured in Laos last January (the dry season) but I've not yet been to Cambodia. I was riding a Bike Friday with Schwalbe Marathon 20" x 1.5" tires with kevlar, and they worked out great. I was touring in the northern half of the country and the roads were mostly excellent. The same is true for the roads I was on in Thailand.

    For money, I brought travelers checks, US$ cash, and an ATM card. I didn't use the ATM card because of the high fees involved. Also, Laos has very few ATMs and extremely low value paper money. No coins were in circulation while I was there. I'm not sure I saw any ATMs outside of Vientiane & Luang Prabang. There may have been one in Luang Namtha. The maximum amount of money you could withdraw in Laos was under the equivalent of US$100 because of the immense amount of paper you'd get back and the inexpensive prices for everything.

    In Thailand, ATMs are everywhere. Still, it was a better deal for me to exchange cash or travelers checks.

    I read that in Cambodia, the US$ is used everywhere and ATMs dispense them.

    One small suggestion for future threads: it would help if you make the thread title more descriptive of what you're asking about. A lot of folks won't bother to click on a vague title like "Questions". Something such as "SE Asia tire & money questions" would be better.

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    Wow, thanks for the reply! Just to add another question: are there any parts in SEA or China that really should be avoided? I know the southern four provinces in Thailand are rather dangerous, but that's all I've got.

    Thanks for the help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadash View Post
    What's the earliest time that one can attempt the TransAm West to East?
    Conditions obviously vary from year to year. McKenzie Pass is often snowed in until July, but you can use Santiam Pass instead (McKenzie is nicer). We started June 11th in 2007 and were fine. Sometimes folks start in mid May, but that is probably pushing it. Depending on the year you might get by with earlier. Personally I would not plan for much before June 1 unless there was some room for a last minute change.

    Just for reference check out the following link to see past opening dates of McKenzie Pass:
    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGIO...yClosure.shtml
    It is often open to bikes a week or maybe two before the official opening for cars. The date listed in the link is the date for cars. It is nice if you can hit it while it is not yet open to motorized traffic.

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    Senior Member kk4df's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadash View Post
    Will the stock tires that come with the LHT suffice for touring Laos and Cambodia? They are WTB Slickasaurus, 26x1.5, blackwall. The other parts of my journey, the other 80% I would think, are all on road. Should I splurge on 2" XRs?
    Go ahead and splurge. I love the Marathons on my LHT. I immediately swapped out and put Marathons on, along with KoolStop brake pads before it left the bike shop. I may move up to the XRs after I wear out the regular Marathons.
    Surly Long Haul Trucker, 54cm
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    Success is a journey, not a destination. Stop running.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadash View Post
    are there any parts in SEA or China that really should be avoided? I know the southern four provinces in Thailand are rather dangerous, but that's all I've got.
    I don't know if you intend to bike through Malaysia. If you do, the single worst day when we biked from Singapore up to Kota Baru was the very first day from Singapore to Kota Tinggi. I would urge you to take a ferry from the eastern end of Singapore (if it still exists) across to Malaysia, and bike up to Kota Tinggi on the back road.

    I haven't biked in Thailand south of Bangkok. Northern Thailand was wonderful. I normally don't mind biking in cities, but Bangkok is simply awful for biking. I had to do it on two occasions, and it was both dangerous and extremely unpleasant.
    Last edited by axolotl; 09-05-08 at 06:37 AM.

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    If you do, the single worst day when up biked from Singapore up to Kota Baru was the first day from Singapore to Kota Tinggi.
    Why do you say that? Traffic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadash View Post
    Why do you say that? Traffic?
    Yes, nonstop traffic after we entered Malaysia. The next day, however, from Kota Tinggi to Mersing, was the best day. Almost no traffic, and riding through forest with lots of macaques scampering across the road and then hiding in trees looking at us as we rode past.

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    Ooo..thanks.


    Just to add another random question::

    Would it be "dangerous" to wear a camouflage-patterned raincoat around in SEA and China? It's Goretex, and it's either this or a $13 poncho. =(

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    bump?

  11. #11
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    Another random question: what are those black strips that come with the tubus tara?

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    I had the slickasaurus tires on for 2k miles. I used them because they were free - right. However, I had several flats from pushing the bike through stickers and riding too close to the edge of the road in the goatheads. The banks in China that I went to were the government banks. I was there in Aug. 07. Traveled by motorized vehicles from Beijing to Kathmandu and used a debit card the whole way without a hitch. They had these debit machines out on the street corners every once in awhile, I couldn't get those to work. I always had to go in the big red banks. I had a Bank o' merica card and it worked every time. A friend had a regional/local bank card - he had trouble getting cash sometimes. He had to go to the teller window and stand in the incredibly long and slow moving lines!!
    Someday soon I hope to go back to China and it will be on a bike. Simply the best touring scenery imaginable. I was almost in tears riding in the Land Cruiser all day....day after day. Best of luck to Ya!

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