Here is a map of the route we are planning to follow:
We plan to leave from my grand-parents’ house in Kazimierz Dolny, Poland and reach Istanbul cycling through Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Romania again, Bulgaria and finally Turquey.
From Istanbul we will fly to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and cycle around the Stans with the following highlights: Bukhara and Samarqand in Uzbekistan, Dushanbe, the Wakhan Valley and the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan and the Song Kul and Issyk Kul lakes in Kyrgyzstan, before reaching Almaty in Kazahkstan.
From there we will take a train to Urumqi then to Beijing, where we plan to spend 1 or 2 weeks. Another train journey will follow to Hong Kong.
From Hong Kong we’ll get back on the bikes and cycle overland all the way down to Singapore, through China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaisia.
After a stop-over in Bali or Lombok (still to be decided), we will fly to Australia for the last part of our journey. We’re not sure of our plans at this point, but we’ll probably cycle from Sydney to Melbourne before taking a ferry to Tasmania to explore the island. From Hobart we could catch a plane to New Zealand, where we would like to tour around the South Island.
We might, alternatively, decide to fly straight to New Zealand from Beijing in order to get there in time for the rugby world cup in October, and finish with South East Asia, who knows! We will decide as we cycle.
We’re curious to see how much of that plan we’ll actually follow!