Overland Border Crossing

Overland Border Crossing

How do you feel being at the border of two countries?

Not just flying into a country but being able to see the other side, the other country and its land from this side?
Most times travel to foreign involves flying into that country. But after so many years of travelling I find it quite boring. Of course, it is still the most preferred way as it saves time and may be other hassles that I’ve talked about earlier.
For me it is always intriguing when I cross borders overland where I can stand on a no-man’s land and where the territories are marked by welcoming gates if not any other.

Following are a few of the borders crossed (or almost crossed) overland, by road or by train. Some of the European borders mentioned are before the formation of Schengen.

Shankaracharya gate.jpg

Shankaracharya gate, Indo-Nepal border.

India – Nepal: We had consciously decided

Thailand Visa experience and information

Warning – A long post. 😛

Thailand, the favourite destination for most of us, exempts requirement of short term tourist visa for most western countries citizens and for several Asian countries as long as they stay only for 30 days.
On the other end of the scale there are a whole lot of people from countries who have to compulsorily get a visa prior to entering Thailand.

In the middle are some countries like India where generally you are expected to get a visa up front but on certain conditions you may get VOA (visa on arrival) at the port of entry.

The ports of entry are several airports, sea ports and also overland borders. I will list them separately.

hat yai airport

Waiting to board.

During my first

Boundaries of Baarle

In my last post, I spoke about Baarle and how number 2 is so important for it.

What if I tell you that boundaries between the two countries DO NOT divide the town with a straight line and instead zigzagged all through the town?? Through the roads, through pavements, and ….

Zigzagged white boundaries.

The result is that when you stroll around Baarle, you constantly pass in and out of the two nations ! And

Baarle : A unique town in two countries

Hi, why don’t you come over to Belgian side of the bar”. I overheard this sentence a few years back in a small town. Was the speaker joking? His tone was serious enough.

For quite sometime I have been trying to come up with a way to explain this weird town on this earth which I visited a few years back. It is something like ‘a child belonging to two mothers’. And none of them is a step mother.

Okay, let’s try.


It is a Dutch town in the Netherlands. But it is also a Dutch town in Belgium.
It is a Belgian town in Belgium and is also a Belgian town in the Netherlands.

I hope you are not confused as yet. 😀
Some more ?

Baarle-Hertog Vs Baarle-Nassau

It is a piece of Belgian land completely encircled by Netherlands and vice versa.

Don’t cross border by bus to Alor Setar

Never take a bus to Alor Setar to cross border from Thailand… unless you are pretty confident of things.

You do not get a satisfactory or complete answer however hard you try to find on net, in forums, twitter and everywhere else about taking a bus from Hat Yai to Alor Setar, a comparatively less popular place in northern Malaysia. Try in Hat Yai. Go to bus station (also known as Bor Kor So)….

No direct bus for Alor Setar. Even though the place is big enough to have an airport, a railway station and is quite a developed town of Malaysia. Bigger than Ipoh for all practical purposes.

Do not get carried away if in Thailand they promise to drop you at Alor Setar. Because in reality no one knows anything about it. It’s in a different country, you see.

From southern Thailand,

Langkawi Express

Artikel ini dalam Lagkawi mengekspresikan ditulis dalam bahasa Inggeris. Untuk menterjemahkan dalam bahasa anda sila klik teks di atas.
บทความเกี่ยวกับลังกาวีนี้แสดงความสามารถเขียนเป็นภาษาอังกฤษ จะแปลในภาษาของคุณกรุณาคลิก ข้อความข้างต้น.

From Kuala Lumpur I took Langkawi express, a Malaysian train, to enter into Thailand. For your info, Langkawi also happens to be a beautiful place in north west Malaysia. This inter-country train starts in south from Singapore, crosses Malaysia from south to north and enters Thailand.

Initially I was very apprehensive of taking this train, mainly because I never knew what’d happen at the border. But the wish to experience different modes of transport as locals do was much more than my fearfulness.

The train was at 9 PM. Since I had checked out of my hotel at 11 and even after killing time here & there, I was at the KL sentral station well before time. More on KL sentral station in a separate post. Yes, it deserves a separate one.

The only sleeper coach in the train.

I reserved a

My upcoming solo backpacking trip

Some of you are aware that I am going on a 48 days solo backpacking trip to 2 countries…. Two countries where language will be a big barrier. And I am going totally unprepared. A few months back I had booked just the to & fro air tickets and did nothing else after that.
And the time has come now.

After a few days in first country, I will be heading towards neighbouring country overland. This is interesting. Flying into any of the city there can get you a 30 day tourist visa at the airport itself but if you cross the border otherwise, you’ll get only 15 days visa on arrival.

My train will cross border at midnight. I am wondering if the immigration people will wake me up to see my visa papers (like they did when I was crossing into Italy) or wait till next stop which will be in that country. Will the train stop there long enough for visa papers to be made or do I have to get it done at my destination further down ? How do I show that I have enough finances to stay in that country? Will credit cards do?

Thousands of such queries and I am totally

The Retreat Ceremony at Wagah Border

The Retreat Ceremony at Wagah Border

Contd from To Wagah Border

[Once done, we could hear the announcements and the cheering inside the stadium.]

It had started !

We ran.
Without bothering about anything in the world. The whole of half a kilometer. Without stopping.

The stadium was jam packed; there was no space even to go up the stairs. I pushed, squeezed and slowly made my way up there.
There I was. Every single obstacle that we crossed was worth the moment. The ceremony had just begun.

The Retreat Ceremony at Wagah Border

This was after the ceremony

Have you ever watched a live cricket or hockey match between India and Pakistan in a stadium ?

I have.
The whole aura