The BEST episodes of Charley Boorman: By Any Means

Every episode of Charley Boorman: By Any Means ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Charley Boorman: By Any Means!

By Any Means is Charley Boorman's television series, following the Long Way Down star's epic adventure from Wicklow in Ireland to Sydney, Australia. Pushing his love of two wheels to one side, Charley uses over 110 modes of transport to traverse land and water, exploring 25 countries and three continents on the way. Charley Boorman embarks on a second series of By Any Means, this time starting his adventure in Sydney and travelling up the Pacific Rim through Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan, to finish in Tokyo, Japan.

Last Updated: 12/17/2022Network:BBC Two
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Ireland to Turkey
star
9.00
87 votes

#1 - Ireland to Turkey

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/7/2008

He's taken the Long Way Round and the Long Way Down; now Charley Boorman is travelling to Australia using as many modes of transport as possible. Preparations are underway as Charley plans the three-month expedition. A few knock-backs, several training courses and some minor route alterations later, the three team members are ready. They head northwards for the shores of Kilkeel and the start of their adventure.

Directors: Russ Malkin
Nepal to Vietnam
star
9.00
29 votes

#2 - Nepal to Vietnam

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 9/28/2008

After a spiritually enriching time in India it's now time to head north towards Nepal and what better way to start this next leg of the journey than on tuk tuks, one of Charley's favourite modes of transport. Charley and the team enjoy it so much that they decide to buy one! The journey continues as the team head towards China using various forms of transport including an elephant in Nepal and a hot air balloon.

Directors: Russ Malkin
Turkey to India
star
8.50
58 votes

#3 - Turkey to India

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/14/2008

In the second programme of the series Charley and the team are belting through Europe and the Middle East at high speed (apart from one embarrassing, unscheduled halt as a result of the elderly Citroën they're driving running out of petrol). Boorman is an engaging, if laddish, companion yet, thankfully, he seems to have controlled his notorious flatulence. Although when he meets a Turkish man called Farty, he can't control his giggles.

Directors: Russ Malkin
India to Nepal
star
8.00
87 votes

#4 - India to Nepal

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 9/21/2008

Charley and the team are separated from Dubai by the Persian Gulf, where a scheduled container ship will depart for India in a matter of days. On reaching India the team head to Delhi after soaking up the street culture of Mumbai. Disaster strikes as one of the team is seriously injured and has to drop out, with an emotional goodbye and a return to London for medical attention. One man down but determined the expedition will continue, the team travel on through India.

Directors: Russ Malkin
Vietnam to Indonesia
star
8.00
58 votes

#5 - Vietnam to Indonesia

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/5/2008

Now in far flung Vietnam, Charley joins thousands of local bikers and makes his way over to Halong Bay to see the beauty of the Thousand Islands. He then gets behind the wheel of a US jeep to visit some of the most significant places from the Vietnam War. After a stop off in Laos and Cambodia, Charley travels south through Thailand and Malaysia, but as the team embark on their final leg of the journey, the boat springs a leak and begins to rapidly take in water.

Directors: Russ Malkin
Indonesia to Australia
star
8.00
58 votes

#6 - Indonesia to Australia

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 10/12/2008

Tension fills the air as the team's water-logged cargo boat begins to sink on the way to Borneo. With the boat out of action they find another way, and eventually arrive with the vaccines in a village up the Pawan River. After a stop off in Bali, Charley embarks upon a series of boat journeys navigating his way across the Indonesian archipelago. From speedboats to hand built traditional phinisi boats, he makes his way to Kupang and, finally, Australia for the final leg of the journey.

Directors: Russ Malkin
Taiwan
star
7.50
58 votes

#7 - Taiwan

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/1/2009

Starting in the city of Kaohsiung on the south-west corner of the island of Taiwan, Charley stops in on the country's largest Buddhist monastery, Fo Guang Shan. From there he travels north and tries his hand at cricket fighting and then samples the edible creatures - tempura style! After jumping on board the Taiwanese high-speed rail train, Charley heads up into the Alishan Mountains where he hand-picks tea leaves with award-winning tea farmer Hsiu-Mei. Dirt-biking through the amazing valleys of the Taroko Gorge, Charley finally arrives at the capital, Taipei, where he prepares to board a cruise ship for the 376-mile cruise to the port of Okinawa, Japan.

Australia
star
7.00
29 votes

#8 - Australia

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/27/2009

Charley leaves Sydney with a huge biker convoy in tow, and during his journey up the east coast of Australia he meets unique characters, travels in a replica Spitfire, tries his hand at cattle mustering on horseback, and even gets bitten by a snake. Always heading north with Tokyo in sight, he gets a feel for the true Australia in his endearing and jovial way.

Papua New Guinea
star
7.00
58 votes

#9 - Papua New Guinea

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/4/2009

Charley arrives in Papua New Guinea, where he goes dirt biking with a group of locals on a previously unridden and dangerous route. This country has one of the worst reputations in the southern hemisphere for hostility, so Charley has to have his wits about him. He heads for the remote village of Gapun, home to an isolated tribe and located in the middle of 30 miles of mangrove, but only accessible by water. Always heading north with Tokyo in sight, Charley really gets under the skin of this beautiful, unexplored country.

Indonesia
star
7.00
29 votes

#10 - Indonesia

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/18/2009

Charley, crushed by the disappointment of not being able to get into West Papua on foot, is forced to take a series of commercial flights in order to resume his journey north to Tokyo. Picking up his route in Indonesia, Charley is excited about a new country and a new adventure ahead. Beginning in Makassar in South Sulawesi, Charley travels up the island and drops in on a Muslim wedding. There he sees another side to how the ceremony is celebrated and even enjoys the delights of home-cooked food. After getting back in the saddle with the Indonesian Harley Davidson club, Charley samples the interesting local cuisine - bat and dog meat.

Philippines
star
7.00
29 votes

#11 - Philippines

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/29/2009

Charley is reeling from the disappointment of having to catch yet another commercial flight in order to reach the Philippines. He touches down on the island of Manado, embarking on an epic journey across the Philippine Archipelago. He then tries his hand at anchovy fishing off the island of Camiguin, before hitching a ride with the Filipino navy to the town of Cebu. On his travels, he witnesses the national pastime of cockfighting, jumps in a coco biodiesel bamboo car and sees the impact of World War II first hand.

Japan
star
7.00
58 votes

#12 - Japan

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 11/8/2009

Finally arriving on Japanese soil, Charley heads straight for the Naha navy base to learn more about the battle of Okinawa. From there, he spends 24 hours onboard a local ferry that takes him to the mainland. Meeting up with Tarquin, a twelve-year-old train fanatic, they travel to meet his father Humphrey and jump on Italian motorbikes to check out the landscape and local scenery of Japan. Charley's great love of motorbikes continues when he visits the workshops of custom-built bikes and awesome design studios. Visiting Hiroshima on the anniversary of the Peace Memorial Ceremony, Charley feels a sense of sadness, yet achievement at how the community have united and moved on from the devastation of the atomic bomb. Finally, getting a thrill from riding one of Japan's most renowned rollercoasters, then visiting the country's highest mountain, Mount Fuji, Charley takes in the breathtaking views before riding the final leg of his epic adventure to reach Tokyo.

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