"Yes, welcome to Syria" respond all three men, while pointing over their shoulder to the building I was about to enter. At first blush, the Syrians are a lot more welcoming than the Turks. People are friendly, yet seem much more reserved and carry themselves with a distinct sense of pride. Most speak a few words of English.


Our "Carrousel d'Administration" begins. We already cleared Turkish customs, police and immigration in 3 easy steps, but now the real work starts. The big challenge of the day is Jan's entry into Syria, as he does not have a Carnet de Passage, a document widely used in Africa and Asia to ensure vehicles don't stay in host countries, where they are then sold on the black market. The carnet is tied to a deposit you make equivalent to the value of your vehicle, or more depending on the countries your carnet is valid for. Note to self, don't lose the motorcycle.


After an hour and a half, at least 11 stops between customs, immigration and what have you, we end up with a fist full of paperwork, neatly filled out by the various officials and bearing the names of us, our parents and our motorcycles. All gets copied and logged by hand, the usefulness of which we do not question as we consume tea and cigarettes offered by the customs guys who think we're quite the circus.


Our insurance paperwork is interesting.



See the links below for more details on the various places we visited throughout Syria.








Syria slideshow





Syria - DAMASCUS, Embassy of Canada
Address: Lot 12, Mezzeh Autostrade, Damascus, Syria
Postal Address: P.O. Box 3394, Damascus, Syria
Tel.: 963 (11) 611-6692, 611-6851, or 611-6870
Fax: 963 (11) 611-4000

Syria - ALEPPO, Consulate of Canada
Address: Al Sabil Street No. 2, Al Rabat Avenue, Sector 12, Aleppo, Syria
Postal Address: P.O. Box 1250, Aleppo, Syria
Tel.: 963 (21) 268-4160
Fax: 963 (21) 268-4100


Iranian Embassy

Address : Autostrad, Al-Mazzeh, Near Razi Hospital, Damascus - Syrian P.O.Box: 2691
City : Damascus
Telephone : 963 (11) 6117675 ,6116459,6112378,6110594

Fax : (+963-11)6110997,6116431

Border crossing

Visa: Yes (+bribe, but less than Turkey)

Carnet: Preferred, but not needed. We got through without, although I did have one.

Bike insurance: Yes, mandatory at border

Intl. drivers license: No

Entry point: From Gaziantep to Aleppo

Exit point: Daraa