With the opening of the India-Thailand highway, the subcontinent has now been connected to South East Asia, making it possible to drive all the way from New Delhi to Bangkok, and further down to Singapore.
However there are other cross border routes that are absolutely scenic, enough to give you an adventure of a lifetime.
1. Kolkata to Thimphu
Distance: approximately 900 km
Time taken: 20 hours
It is definitely a task to get your documents in order if you plan to visit the Bhutanese capital by vehicle. The gateway to Bhutan is a checkpoint at Phuentsholing, the last stop being Siliguri near Darjeeling.
Be warned, the road can be severely bumpy at places both in West Bengal and the happiest country in Asia.
2. Delhi to Shangri-La (in China, not the hotel)
Distance: 4000 km
Time taken: 60-70 hours
This trip takes you from the plains of Northern India to the foothills of the Himalayas, through Nepal and into China. Passing Agra and on towards Chitwan National Park, this tedious drive will take you through Kathmandu, the Everest Base camp and into Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. From Lhasa is another long leg that might just get you to seventh heaven.
Sadly it can take 4-5 months for travellers to obtain a permit to drive in China.
3. Mumbai to Colombo
Distance: 2000 km
Time taken: 25 hours
Thanks to the drive-in ferry connecting Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu to Colombo, it is possible to drive to Sri Lanka now! Begin your journey in the capital and drive your way around the tear shaped island exploring from Kandy to the Jaffna peninsula.
4. Denver to Alaska
Distance: 5000 km
Time taken: 54 hours
There’s nothing more epic than driving from one part of the USA to another while crossing an international border. The route takes you through the dry mid west from Denver to Montana, across the border into Canada. As you drive through the plush greenery of British Columbia towards the Alaskan border, the scenic images are just hard to get out of your mind.
5. Paris to Florence
Distance: 1200 km
Time taken: 13 hours
This journey embodies the Renaissance in itself, as you feel the romance of a classic European holiday. Pass the mustard fields of Dijon, the foothills of the Alps in Chamonix and drive into the rustic countryside of Tuscany. From the fashion capital of Milan, head further down towards the city where legends like Da Vinci once lived, Florence. If you’re lucky, then you might just see the Duomo by sunset.
6. Lima (Peru) to Rio De Janeiro
Distance: 4500 km
Time taken: 59 hours
On the Transoceanic highway, experience the best roads in south America as you drive along the country side of three countries – Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. The highway was built to better trade between the coasts of the continent and indeed it has. Be ready to have a blast once you arrive in Rio and remember to brush up on your Spanish and Portuguese.
7. Beijing to Astana (Kazakhstan)
Distance: 5300 km
Time taken: 80 hours
This route will take you from the northern regions of China, to the Gobi dessert of Mongolia, through the Tundra forests of the Russian border and finally to Astana.
It sounds scary, but you might be this close to having your Silk Route experience.