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Posts Tagged ‘Lorraine Spencer’

Bike Pick Up Day Bangkok

Posted by TravellingStrom on October 5, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

I had been unsure how to go about getting my bike, mostly due to being in a foreign city without the local lingo and also with all the hassles with Neil’s, Iain’s and now Lorraine’s I was a bit confused. Neil had used an agent to sort his and that was what I was monitoring, they seemed to be asking for paperwork from MrT that he was not providing, or the paperwork was not correct, wrong details etc. It was a scary time. In the meantime while I was in flight, Lorraine had gone and processed her bike by herself, with minimum fuss and very low cost. I only found this out last evening when she posted a detailed description of the procedure. The only extra cost she incurred was a fine for the incorrect details on here paperwork, as supplied by MrT.

I cancelled my pick up from the freight agent and contacted customs. Here is another muck up by MrT. On the AWB, or AirWayBill he had put my Ozzie mobile number, how figgin stupid is that? I had sent him an email days ago with my Hong Kong number and was waiting for it to be modified, he never did so. I had been left a message at the hotel desk from Customs, call between 8-5, so I did, they had been calling my Ozzie number!!!! Anyway, I now wanted to pick up the bike myself and follow Lorraine’s procedure, bugger I can’t. The freight company had already picked up the release paperwork, so now I had no choice, I would need to use them. They had already quoted me $250 for this procedure which I thought was excessive. Half of that was customs which Lorraine only paid a 1/4. I called the freight company and was picked up, we then went to a servo and grabbed 3lt of fuel to take with me, as the bikes tank was empty, then headed into the freight area and started the process.

The manager of HF spoke English which was good, he then sent me with the paperwork with two non English speaking chaps to the customs office where the paperwork was handed over to a lady who also spoke no English. This was no good, but after a short time one of the managers here who spoke excellent English explained the process that I needed to follow 🙂 I asked if I needed this agent and he said no, it is a simple process, so I went back and ditched the agent. I still had to pay some money for their time, but only a 1/4 of their quote and even that was a bit high. So, the procedure from woe to go, ignoring the above bits that already got started, is as follows, assuming you have the release documents from customs.

When you arrive at the airport cargo area, which is called the FREE ZONE, you will need to get a security pass. As you enter the fenced off area with guard house, on the right is a building where you can buy one of these, 27Baht, very quick and easy. In this photo, the entry and street is to my right.

Then walk through the check point and head straight down past the unloading dock areas until you get to the big checkpoint exit gates on the right hand side, stop here.

Look left, there is a building with a walkway through the centre, under there is a 7/11 store, it has a cafe as well and a few ATM machines and a lady sitting next to a photo copier, you will need to get some copies so stop here. They are only 2Baht each, so I had to go buy something with my 100B note just to get change and found a familiar thing 🙂

The copies you will need are 2 each of the following:
Passport photo page
Passport entry stamp
Carnet, any page just copy one and they will use that rather than the carnet itself
Letter from sender about who picks up the bike

Total cost 20baht.

If you do not have a carnet, I think you go pay a fine in a different building, but they wil still process the bike, check before you arrive on this point. Once you have these copies, walk through the walkway into the next building which is the actual Customs area, follow the green arrows into the office area to the right and ask here. They will then process your bike paperwork, which takes about 45 minutes, give it all back with stamps on it, then send you to the other side of the room where another lady takes it, writes an entry into a ‘release’ diary and you are now free to go grab the bike, nearly 🙂 In my case(yours will be different depending on which flight your bike arrived on), I then went into the secure zone, using the entry pass I had bought at the front gate, I had to find cargo terminal 1, gate 36. When I got there, I waited!!!!

DON’T come on a Friday, they are super busy because they do not work weekends. There was a bit of confusion for me, I could not find an English speaker while Lorraine had found a person who stayed with her for the whole process, good luck to her I guess 🙂 It turns out after waiting for an hour I needed to go and pay for the bike storage, if I had known this I would have gone upstairs to the cash counter and paid straight away, but never mind, I paid up, got a receipt and returned downstairs to the loading dock area. Here the paperwork was then ‘processed’ meaning as it had a receipt, they could now put it in the queue to get my bike. Phew, after 4 hours I got to see my bike as they forked it out to the loading docks and with the help of one of the people here, I proceeded to rebuild the bike, which took another 2 hours. As you can see a framework had been added by MrT as per the airline request. I will say there was no damage to the bike, except the stuff I had caused, so shipping the bike seems OK, it is just the paperwork side of things that Mrt needs to get sorted, then he may have himself a good business going 🙂

It was extremely hot and very humid, but the bike was ready and after I had told everyone to put their smokes out, it was fuelled up. This area is a no smoking area, according to all the signs, but nobody cared! I was now ready to leave, I paid my local man a 300Baht tip for helping and headed for the exit gate. During my rebuild, the customs inspector had come to check the VIN and engine numbers, taken my paperwork and issued me with a stamp in my passport and a TVIP, or Temporary Vehicle Import Permit, which lasts for as long as my own visa, around 30 days or so. At the exit gate, the last security guard took my last piece of paper, now with many many stamps on it to show the progress and I was free to leave 🙂 I had come prepared with my new Chinese GPS and although I took a wrong slip road, one of many, I got back to the hotel with no real problems around 4.30pm, a six hour day. I was seriously worn out though, it had been a hot process, so it called for some refreshment 🙂

Lorraine sent me a text around then to see how I was faring, we arranged to have drinks and dinner later, but as we could not find a suitable location within a bulls roar, she rocked over to my hotel which had food and drinks 🙂

It was good to meet up again and we compared stories since we had went our separate ways up in Mongolia, she went to Korea first before coming here. Her bike was in for repairs and she would head off north in a few days. I personally, now that I have my bike, am in no rush to do anything. Unlike her, I had heaps of time with no deadlines for a change, except for the continuing countdown of the Mayan Prophecy of course 🙂 I had a 30 day visa for this country and I am allowed to ride this size bike in Laos and also Cambodia, but not Myanmar nor Vietnam. I had GPS maps of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, but nothing for Laos or Cambodia. Myanmar still has issues with foreign vehicles and it still not open enough, although you can get very expensive bike tours there. Vietnam won’t allow bikers bigger than 250cc into the country. Chris, one of the other China tour riders, is now riding through Vietnam on a cheap 100cc bike, he reckons it takes 3 weeks to pass a truck, a very unsafe way of travel imho, but buying a cheap bike and riding the country could be fun, I will think about it.

Anyway, we had a great evening sloshing back some booze. Tomorrow was lazy day I reckon, for the record, the hotel I am at is about 20km from city centre, which is ideal for the airport thing but not so good for the sight seeing, but I was not that interested in that anyway. The hotel, Siam Place Airport Hotel, was cheap, clean, good food, friendly staff, free and fast WiFi, had beer and massage available, what more do I need 🙂

Cheers from Bangkok

Posted in Around The World, Eurasia | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

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