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A Review of the Tour Companies We Hired

China International Sports Travel manager@cist.com helped us arrange the entire China portion of our expedition and every aspect was professional and courteous. They can probably arrange a bike trip as well. Although I had built it up in my mind to be a huge task, the whole process was actually quite simple to arrange and we made all of the arrangements in less than one month using e-mail extensively to communicate. BTW, I don't get anything if you go with them. This is a genuine good nature referral. Same goes for Iran. Hire a tour company to get you safely through. We used Pasargad Tours in Iran and they were top notch info@pasargad-tour.com

These two will let you dictate you itinerary. Haggle on price (we didn't). It doesn't cost as much as you might think. We found both companies to be very honest and straightforward when it came to price. While on the road, if our schedule deviated from the plan they will charge extra but never did they gouge us like some of the stories we've heard about other companies.

In Pakistan you can get by without a tour company, contact the Consulate in Lahore, tell them what you're doing and request advice.

The number one question people have asked about our expedition isnıt what you would expect. No itıs not "What was the most fascinating place you visited?" or "How was the food?" Nope it was, "How were you able to take that much time off?" For me it was simple. I quit my job.

"Šbut how did you pay your bills? What did you do with all your stuff?" Simple, we pre-paid our bills in advance writing checks and sticking them in addressed, stamped envelopes. Chandaıs mom mailed them for us when they were due and I wrote a MAIL BY date on the back of each one to ensure they wouldnıt be late. We continued to pay rent and utilities. Thatıs not difficult either. Many utilities allow pre-payment for service. I just sent in a big check to create a credit balance with the ones that allow this. Oh, the second most asked question about the expedition was, "Are you going to carry a gun?" Which I think is an absurd question but I will answer it since so many ask. There arenıt many countries that will allow you to carry a concealed (permitted or not) weapon. Most will immediately confiscate it. And most require you "declare" firearms upon entry. So, if declaration results in confiscation and failure to declare results in confiscation and penalties (including imprisonment) itıs just not worth it. Not to mention the argument that you are probably safer and better off without a gun. They have a tendency to escalate situations to the point where they are used. Diplomacy is my weapon. Still, we did consider security an important issue so we put Doug in charge of security. Heıs a former Navy Soldier and understands the mindset of would-be bad-doers. He made sure there were always objects within arms reach to defend ourselves.

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