Overlanders spotted in Asia

During the first few years of our life on the road we didn’t encounter many overlanders, especially farther in the orient. Today, few daredevils travel the once well-trodden hippy trail from Europe to India, and because South East Asia is tough to reach overland without a shipment even fewer overlanders venture there.

Overlanders in Asia

This is an overview of images I could find of overlanders we met along this journey. Mind you, there are more vehicles and fellow travelers glued into our minds but we just forgot to take photos of them.

Overlanders in Asia

In Istanbul we met a German family with a converted VW bus. Note the 2CV roof mounted on the top of the van.

Our first meeting with fellow overlanders was in Istanbul on a campground when having the Land Cruiser’s first serious repair done at the Toyota dealer: A family of four in an intriguing looking VW/2CV contraption.

And just before crossing into Iran, in east Turkey, we met the incredibly courageous Magali and her animals.

Magali traveled for four years on a horse and a mule from France to China and back via Russia.

Next was the first Toyota in a long line of Toyotas. And strangely, most of them were white.

Erwin and Bastienne from the Netherlands forging a river in Iran in their Land Cruiser BJ75.

Surely the “best4x4xfar” wasn’t too far away.

Gert and Miranda from the Netherlands in their Land Rover Defender 110 in south Iran.

Our first and only encounter with a Renault 4×4 was on the border of Iran and Pakistan, where we met three pensioned Italians.

Two old Renaults Saviem driven by three close-to-eighty-year-old Italians.

Just before buying our Land Cruiser, I (Coen) was smitten (still am) by the looks of the Land Rover Series. We came very close to setting off in one and that might have led to a completely different adventure.

Arjanne and Wessel from the Netherlands about to enter Iran from Pakistan in their Land Rover Series III.

On the one and only Official Foreigners Campsite in Islamabad we met up with loads of overlanders and I regret not having taken images of all the nice people we met and their rigs.

Dorrit and Coen, from the Netherlands in their VW LT28 roaming around Asia and South America.

But the few we have here left a lasting impression in one way or another.

Tim from Germany on his way to India with 5 friends in their oversized Mercedes bus.

We had been looking into this big-ass MAN truck called Nosy, which was for sale for a reasonable price. The downside was we would have to get a special driver’s license to drive it. It proved too much hassle and we abandoned the plan. Spotting it in Islamabad with its new owner and dog brought big smiles to our faces.

Sjoerd and his dog Els, from the Netherlands, in their old MAN truck on their way back from India.

Some chose out-of-the-ordinary modes of transport, like this Vespa.

We meet a young Italian on his Vespa on his way to Vietnam.

We decided to backpack a stretch into China from Pakistan and in Kashgar we met up with Stephen Stewart and his gang who had made the choice to cross China with 5 vehicles.

Stephen Stewart from the UK with his Unimog U1300L and 4 friends on their way through China and Mongolia.

Another Series at the Medina Guesthouse in Gilgit, Pakistan.

A British couple in a Dutch Land Rover Series camping in Gilgit, Pakistan.

We met Andreas on several occasions, but having camped together at the highest Polo Tournament of the world was something special. The T2 holds something special for us and we admire it for its incredible space inside. The latter is something we can miss in South America (in particular Patagonia), where due to the cold climate a rig with a bit more comfort inside is nice.

We meet Andreas from Austria with his VW T2 automatic various times in Pakistan.

Philippe bought a very nice Land Rover V8 from a bankrupt Paris-Dakar team, but he soon discovered that a the petrol costs were going to be his bankruptcy.

Philippe from Switzerland with his Land Rover Defender V8 in Pakistan.

Not really an overlander as he bought his vehicle in India but worth a mention anyway: Tony has lived in North India for many years where he bought a sturdy Royal Enfield and has been roaming the country with it.

We meet Tony and his girlfriend on their Royal Enfield in Ladakh, India.

The first Pinzgauer we met had six wheels and harbored a sweet family of three from Switzerland. We spent a week camping together in Ladakh, India.

We spent some time with a Swiss family traveling in a 6X6 Steyr Puch Pinzgauer.

When we headed down the road to Manali (north India), we noticed a familiar orange flag in the distance and we thus recognized my namesake on his bicycle: Coen. We had met earlier in east Turkey just before entering Iran.

Meeting World Cyclist Coen from the Netherlands for the second time.

We first met up with Irene, Pierre and Tobias in Erzurum, Turkey while waiting for our Iranian visa. And we kept meeting them on intervals between there and India. Every time we spotted the special green T2 van we couldn’t help ourselves smile from ear to ear.

We camp with Pierre, Irene and Tobias from the Netherlands who are traveling in a converted VW canteen van.

The name Agonda beach (Goa) has been whispered from Overlander to Overlander for ages. This special little beach didn’t have the necessary amenities to call itself a campground but most overlanders who visited the beach didn’t care for that as most were ready for a break from hectic India.

Eric and Caroline [foreground] and Henk and Marianne both with their Land Cruisers on Agonda beach in Goa, India.

We shipped our car from Bangladesh to Singapore and learned Emil and Liliana had done the same from French Guiana. We met up with these two amazing Guinness Book of Record holders and shared beers with ice cubes.

We met Emil and Liliana with their Land Cruiser FJ60 in Singapore.

Farther up the peninsula, in Malaysia, we meet a well equipped BMW with their owners, whom we got hooked on the Settlers of Catan over the weekend we spent camping near the Cameron Highlands.

Pat and Helen from the UK on their BMW R100 GS Paris Dakar in Malaysia. Two up on a motorcycle for 5 years!

In Thailand we met the first overlander trailer combination. Dirk and Marieken were testing out their RTT on the trailer. Later they converted to a bigger Toyota, but kept the trailer concept.

Dirk and Marieken from the Netherlands with their Land Cruiser trailer combo in Thailand.

We met these two young guys with hunger for kilometers in the north of Thailand.

Gunther and Claus from Germany, 2 years and 110.000 kilometers with their Land Cruiser HJ78.

In Laos we met our first cool Mercedes truck. Plenty of room in there!

Josef and Dorothea, from Germany, travel Asia in style in their Mercedes Benz LA 911.

We met this Chinese rig right under the Potala Palace, Tibet, and they seemed thrilled to meet us and left us with a bunch of DVDs of their trip.

We came across this well equipped expedition rig in Lhasa, China.

In Cambodia we met yet another Dutch couple with a Land Rover.

Meeting up with Marly en Sander and their Land Rover Defender in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Okay, this awesome rig doesn’t fit the description of overlanders as the two young Thai owners were merely escaping the big city for the weekend, but it is equipped to do so one day. We met at a jungle camp near the Laos border.

At night in our Jungle Camp we get to young Thai visitors in an extreme Jeep Pickup.

The last overlanders in Asia we met on driving a brand new Toyota and were on their way to Japan and Russia: Mario and Maria were on their last stretch of their 8-year journey.

Karin-Marijke posing with Marja and Mario from the Netherlands in Kuala Lumpur in front of their Land Cruiser.


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