For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
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I've been lurking on the forums for a while now-gleaning info from all you wonderfully knowledgeable tech and gear heads. However, i've come to an area that I haven't been able to find info on yet and wanted to pick your brains. I am planning a big expedition tour for 2012 in SE and Central Asia and am currently in the gear acquisition and planning phases. I have a vague route planned-Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam to Beirut Lebanon is leg 1, and Beirut- Mongolia via Turkey for leg 2.
I would like to buy some good maps to plaster all over my wall at home to pinpoint locations and possible routes for this trip. Unfortunately, my home town of Canberra does not have a dedicated map store anymore and i'm not so keen on dropping money on maps from online stalls that give very vague info as to their detail and appropriateness. So the question goes, What is a good source of maps, an effective scale to look for (they would probably end up coming with me on the trip so they would need to be fairly detailed), and is their a particular brand or supplier that is a cut above the rest?
Thanks in advance for any info you can pass on,
The lack of responses probably indicates there is a dearth of experience amongst forum regulars in the regions you plan to visit. I also cannot provide any personal insight, but I can recommend that you visit the site crazyguyonabike, where you will find a plethora of information by reading through the journals covering the locales of interest. And a search for "maps asia" will turn up lots of journal entries and forum discussions about maps and potential routes.
I'd suggest you spend some time researching what is already available and then use the forums and even journal guestbooks to seek more detailed information. You will get much better responses if your questions are not too broadly posed.
It has been my experience that researching and planning tours has been very interesting and absorbing, and is an integral part of the tour. I like your idea of pinning up a map - it would be very motivating to see a likely route gradually emerge. Considering the scope of your proposed tour I think I would pin up a map of the world for this - maps with enough detail for navigation over this route would likely wallpaper an entire house. Ultimately it's unlikely you could carry all these paper maps and will have to consider electronic storage.
And when you do finally set out - keep us posted with a journal on cgoab.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
We've just finished central asia and did SE Asia 2 years ago, and I love the maps.
In Thailand the Nelles was easy to find on all SE Asia countries.
Laos had they're own and was good.
SE Asia is easy to by good maps within a few days.
We got/bought maps from the Vietnam, Tajik Embassy.
Turkey we bought one on arrival that was great.
China we just bought a english and chinese and cross reference them. Cheap $5 for both
Compared to what you have to pay at home they;re good value.
A good tip is if you see other cyclists or tourists, take a photo of their map till you get one of your own.
Fred (crete to china, cgoab)
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