By Any Means

By Any Means

infobox television
show_name = By Any Means

caption =
format = Documentary
runtime =
creator = Charley Boorman
Russ Malkin
starring = Charley Boorman
country = UK
network =
first_aired =
last_aired =
num_episodes = 6
related = "Long Way Round" "Race To Dakar" "Long Way Down"
website =
imdb_id = 1291484
tv_com_id =

"By Any Means", also known as Ireland to Sydney by Any Means, is a television series following "Long Way Round" and "Long Way Down" star Charley Boorman. Travelling from Wicklow, Ireland, to Sydney, Australia, by a variety of forms of transport.


After "Long Way Round" and "Long Way Down", Boorman and producer Russ Malkin conceived "By Any Means" in late 2007. Travelling across 24 countries, Boorman used modes of transport native to the area he was in. The crew comprised only Boorman, Malkin and a cameraman, Paul "Mungo" Mungeam.


The expedition got underway on 12 April 2008 from Boorman's father John Boorman's house in Wicklow. They rode their motorbikes up to Kilkeel before crossing the Irish Sea and driving down to London. From there they drove down to Dover and boarded a small sailboat across to Calais which they completed in five hours. From there they drove down to Paris in a 1969 Citroen DS and boarded the Venice-Simplon Orient Express which took them across France, Switzerland and Austria to Venice, Italy. They spent some time in Venice, experiencing the daily lives of people on the Venetian canals before boarding a catamaran to Poreč, Croatia. From there they travelled to Zagreb in a Yugo and then to Vukovar where they spoke to locals about the devastating Croatian War of Independence and a tower in the city with over 600 bullet holes in it that still failed to collapse it. They then boarded a train which took them through Serbia and Belgrade and they took a boat down to Danube. Later they travelled through Bulgaria by train, where they compared the hills and pastures on the landscape to the Lake District in England, through Sofia where they stopped very briefly for refreshments before continuing on to Istanbul.

In Istanbul they experienced Turkish cuisine such as Turkish Delight and apple tea which is sold in abundance in the country and they boarded a boat across the Bosphorus and drove across the coast of Northern Turkey in a minibus. It was designed as a public service bus with notices of the towns they would pass on their journey on the windows. They encountered some memorable passengers along the way including one passenger named Fahty (the pronunciation of which is "Farty" - a euphemism for flatulence common in England), this unfortunate conflict of dialect/pronunciation caused some amusement to the team and consequently some upheaval to the point the passenger felt offended and had to depart the bus. They crossed into Georgia to Batumi, where they resumed their journey in an old Russian built Mercedes Van and across to the Black Sea in Baku, Azerbaijan. They noted how polluted the city was, and the difficulties of the everyday lives of the workers who worked in the multi-billion dollar oil industry despite earning very little. They then travelled down the coast of the Black Sea to Iran but on the way they had to switch transport to an old Russian car which was regarded as a Rolls Royce of Russian automobiles and quite a privilege.

They reached Iran, where they joined a truck cargo with over one million kilometres to its name and its drivers who took them through to Tehran, on the way noting how the journey seemed split by lush green countryside in which tea was grown, and suddenly juxtaposed against the desert landscape by only a tunnel which they encountered on the second half of the leg. In Tehran they took a taxi through the city, driven by a tough Iranian female driver and boarded the Iranian Express which took them down to Esfahan, Qom and down to Bandar Abbas on the southern coast, travelling with the Bakhtiari along the way.

From there they took a catamaran across to Dubai which Boorman described as "paradise" before boarding a 270 metre long cargo ship across the pirate waters of the Gulf and the Arabian Sea to Mumbai, India. Boorman found Mumbai extremely crowded and hot, but took the time to visit some pottery makers in the city. He then took a cab to the train station where he boarded a train for the 852 miles journey to Delhi that took 19 hours. In Delhi they took a tuk tuk across the city, where they picked up Royal Enfield Bullet 500cc motocyles to take them to Agra. During this time the cameraman, Mungo, learned of his grandfather's death and seriously injured his leg meaning he had to return to London to receive treatment whilst the others continued. They took a taxi to Kanpur and then boarded a Tata Truck which Boorman was emphatic about through Allahabad to Mirzapur. There they switched transport to Mahindra Jeeps for some 42 miles to Ramnagar Fort. There they boarded a rowing boat on the Ganges for the five miles journey to Varanasi, one of India's holiest cities for both Hindus and Buddhists. Boorman found the city extremely spiritual and a moving experience, witnessing the Sandhya Aarti and cremations at the river side at night and the cleansing.

After some time driving a tuk tuk themselves, they caught the Gorakhpur Express train to Gorakhpur and then an Ambassador 1800 to Sunaili across into Nepal. Due to heavy rainfall the 68 mile trip to Tharu lodge in the Royal Chitwan National Park was a difficult one and they were forced to use 6 different modes of transport in 24 hours including a minibus, Mahindra 275 jeep, a tractor, a Chitwan dug out canoe and even elephants towards Kathmandu in which they eventually caught a taxi. On May 28th it was announced that the old monarchy was coming to an end and a new Republic with a president would be replacing it and they experienced massive crowds in the streets proclaiming the end of the monarchy. After visiting a UNICEF site in the city they took one of the UNICEF minibuses to Kodahi.

Later they took a helicopter trip to Tengboche in the Himilayas which Boorman described as "the most awesome flight he had ever taken in his life" due to the scenery of the green valleys and the looming mountains and Everest. During their time there it coincided with the 55th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary's ascent of Everest, and they met his son, Peter Hillary who was visiting with family. They witnessed a marathon being held there, always won by the Sherpas due to them being accustomed to the thin air at that altitude. They were also under scrutiny on the Tibetan border by the Chinese army as their helicopter teetered marginally into Chinese airspace. Back in Kathmandu, due to the natural disasters that has devastated Burma and Sichuan, they caught a plane to Guangzhou in south-east China, where Boorman received treatment for his dentures. They then caught a cement barge along the Lijiang River in a westerly direction through Xijiang to Wuzhou in Guilin province, spending time with a family who live the entirety of their lives going back and forth along the polluted river. In Wuzhou they caught a bus to Yangshuo where they experienced village life in the area and the rice fields, exploring the deep pot hole mud caves, and enjoying a balloon ride. They then took a minibus through Nanning and Guangxi province to Pingxiang on the border with Vietnam.

From there they rode motorbikes down to Hanoi, where they spent some time learning about the Vietnam War. They then took the 75 miles to Halong by bus and went out onto Halong Bay in a shuttleboat to experience the local pearl trade. The engine of their boat was drenched by a passing wave and they had to be rescued by fisherman, later catching a passengerboat to safety. They then caught a minbus to Nam Dinh and then the Reunification Express train from Haiphong to Dong Ha, a trip of 289 miles. They then rode 19 miles in an open top U.S. jeep to a village named Vinh Moc which had experienced extreme bombing during the Vietnam War as it was a strategical landmark between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. During the war the local villagers built many tunnels to hide, and 17 babies were born beneath the ground between 1966 and 1972. They then visited the Khe Sanh base for further war history. They then reached Dongpanh in Laos and after some part travelled on a Lao Songthaew to Phnom Keng, and they caught a Lod Mei bus through Savannakhet Province. They later travelled down the Mekong past Pakse to Champasak and by minibus to visit the Khon Phapheng Falls in southern Laos near the border with Cambodia, the largest waterfall in southeast Asia. Then via minibus to Veren Kham in Cambodia, they took a rocket boat for two hours which was equipped with a powerful road engine, leaving Boorman confessing it was the greatest mode of transport to date. Past Stung Treng they used dirt bikes to travel across much of Cambodia, including a ferry to transport their bikes across the river, through Kratie and up to Beng Meala to visit the ruins before continuing on to visit the grand Angkor Wat site, encountering a monsoon along the way. .

In Bangkok, Boorman was surprised by the level of commercialisation of the city, comparing the difference between the vastly undeveloped parts of Cambodia like "chalk and cheese" . He caught the Bangkok Skytrain to beat the heavy traffic congestion and took the time to see Thai boxing. They departed Bangkok on the International Express Train in which due to the tight schedule travelled a 24 hour journey down to Butterworth on the border with Malaysia, from which they caught a coach directly down to Kuala Lumpur, leaving Boorman disappointed that they couldn't have experienced that leg further. After seeing the Petronas Towers and a mosque they used a hire car down to Danga Bay, and then Boorman became the first man in history to wake board from Malaysia across the bay 12 miles to Singapore. In Singapore he met with old friends and family and their colonial black and white home there, before boarding the Indera Supala ferry to Bintan. They then drove in a 1971 Holden Kingswood, an Australian car across the island, and then caught a water taxi to Nikoi Island before continuing to the mainland on Borneo.

Release and tie-ins

The show premièred on 7 September 2008 on the BBC and will be shown at a later date on the National Geographic Channel. The book "By Any Means" was published on 23 September and the DVD set will be released on 3 November. [ [ ""] - Mungo's Latest Adventure]


The theme music for By Any Means was performed by Jamiroquai


:"Much of the content of this article is based on the observations from the BBC2 TV series itself"

External links

* [ "By Any Means"] - Official Website
* [ "By Any Means"] - You Tube

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