Getting There: Transit Musings... - Treadlling SE Asia: Round Three - CycleBlaze

October 20, 2016

Getting There: Transit Musings...

Early Starts

I'm no fan of 0400 starts to a day's travelling, but when the flight leaves at 0630 it doesn't really leave you with many options. Now, first light starts to a day's cycling is another thing altogether. The early morning light slowly revealing the scenery, the fresh snap of the morning air, the people and the wildlife starting their day, the birdsong of the dawn chorus - it's all magic I never tire of.

The phone alarm went off at 0400, giving just enough time to dress and coax the ever tolerant Friendly Local out of her deep sleep and into some clothes for a quick dash to the airport.

I drove...

She never has been a natural early riser and I fear this may have been the last time - when finally capable of speech she informs me for now on it's Uber or a taxi for me ... fair enough too: 40+ years, it's been a good run.

So here I sit in Kuala Lumpur airport, in transit waiting for my evening flight to Yangon. Red eyed, half awake and penning this entry .... three hours to go.


I've been planning to get back to Myanmar to pick up my bike and continue the ride from the day I aborted my last trip over six months ago. I mostly travel on a NZ passport and reserve my US passport for return trips to the states. Very absent mindedly, I forgot to check the expiration date on my NZ passport, not realising it expires in March - less than six months. Airlines refuse to fly you if you have less than six months on your passport... But wait, it gets more complex...


Although I travel on my NZ passport, I've been living in Australia for more than twenty years. I have a 'Special Category Visa' created especially for long term Kiwis living in OZ. So I need the soon to expire NZ passport to first exit and then re-enter OZ. And I now need the US passport for the airlines to fly me and to enter Myanmar and Thailand. I had to patiently explain all of this to the nice young check-in lady at the Air Asia counter this morning.

To add to this complexity, there is no ink stamped 'Special Category Visa' in my NZ passport. It's all done electronically through the biometric chip implanted in the passport. I fear getting on the plane back to OZ this time will be much harder with less than six months left on the passport.

I've already applied and am waiting for OZ citizenship, that should simplify matters for the future. All of you US Trump presidency refugees get into the queue. I'm more than 40+ years ahead of you...

Add one to the list of new travel worries . That sign wasn't here six months ago ...
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The packed Scrum gathering at the entry for the final Myanmar flight. The closer you get to Myanmar, the more chaotic the crowds gets. Many of my fellow travellers were young male illegal workers being sent back to Myanmar.
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