The easier (than Russia) import and toll rules are not the only reason to begin this section in Tallinn. The capital of Estonia is a highlight with its beautifully maintained medieval town centre and very welcoming citizens. Heading to Moscow via St. Petersburg we will have a chance to visit some of the many highlights Russia has to offer, including of course the famous Kremlin.
With our hunger for civilization sated and anticipation reaching fever pitch we head east into the great Mother Russia. Reaching Yekaterinburg we change course to South East and head for the Kazakhstan Border, which we will reach two days later. Ever-changing scenery accompanies us, with endless forests giving way to rolling, colourful steppes, our companion all the way through Kyrgyzstan. Along the way we will visit both the new (Astana) and the old (Almaty) capital of Kyrgyzstan, the latter beautifully nestled amongst the foothills of the Tian Shan Mountains. Kyrgyzstan´s natural beauty is a stunning surprise with topography similar to Switzerland. One of the world´s highest frontiers is our gateway to China as we head to Kashgar, where we will receive our Chinese motorcycle registrations. Skirting along the 2nd biggest sand desert on earth we find ourselves in scenery very different from what we imagined China would be. We will ride through one of the world´s lowest points on dry land, climb the western reaches of the Great Wall and scale three 4,000 m passes in a single day, all before reaching the old capital of the Chinese Empire, X`ian, and the China of our dreams. The surrounding nature changes too, from arid desert to lush, tropical forests with a bounty of mangos and other tropical fruit for us to try. We will visit a number of historical, religious and natural sights, all linked by sweeping turns in regions few motorcyclists have ever seen. Crossing over the border into Laos is like stepping through a curtain. Everything feels more calm and relaxed as we ride through a country that seems more beautiful every day. Cities such as Luang Prabang and Viang Vieng emit an atmosphere of warmth welcome and the roads remind us of the twisties in the Alps. The town of Vientane heralds our last border crossing of this section as we change from Laos to Thailand and from riding on the right of the road to the left. Our route will take us past countless temples and ancient sites (for example, the ancient capital of Ayutthaya) before reaching Bangkok and the end of our 16,000 km ride.