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  #1  
Old 10 Dec 2012
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Motorbike trip SE Asia starting in Hanoi advice

Hi

I am planning a motorbike trip around SE Asia starting in Hanoi on 9th January 2013 and would appreciate any advice from anyone who has done the trip on things like what kind of bike is needed (min engine size etc), names of good road maps or whether iphone offline maps are a better option, any recommended roads or routes, good websites for info, especially what the border crossings are like and any recommended sites, accessories to pack, documents i should carry etc.... as you can see, i am just starting out but would appreciate advice or links to where i can find the info. In the meantime i will be finding out what i can. To summarise the trip here is a rough plan:

1. Buy motorbike, helmet and accessories in Hanoi
2. Travel south towards Dalat, Vietnam and cross in to Laos at the nearest border crossing.
3. Travel north and cross in to Thailand to start in Isaan territory in the North
4. Drive down through Thailand down the east side and down through south Thailand
5. Enter and drive down east Malaysia
6. Possibly visit Singapore
7. Possibly go to Sumatra
8. Either sell bike or drive up west borders Malaysia and Thailand to China (if can take bike in to China) alternatively sell bike here, fly to china and buy a bike in China)
9. Travel on to Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal and India either by motorbike or by public transport.

Thats the rough plan and at the moment i am in the UK, arranging a CBT motorbike test (upto 125cc) to then get insurance cover. I will also get an international driving license but i am not planning on taking the time to get a motorbike driving license in each country i visit.

Thanks in advance, Wix
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  #2  
Old 13 Dec 2012
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Hello and welcome wixtravel,
You have a great trip planned, I have done something similar on a bicycle so know a little about the place. First of all a 125 is fine for the job, a Honda wave 125 is the most popular and some would say best bike in Asia and getting anything bigger would not be easy.
Getting around SE Asia is easy but China all but impossible so stick to the countries of the region.
You will need a full licence, a cbt is not enough and will not be valid, your insurance will not be valid if you need it and you will not be issued an international driving permit without one so you need to sort that out first.
Use the search facility in the top corner of the page and all of your questions are answered here somewhere or scroll down the Southern Asia section.
Mark
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  #3  
Old 13 Dec 2012
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You dont want to ride the east and south of Thailand, the north east arounbd NAN is Spectacular, then cross over to Chiang Mai and then across to ther west before heading south, most of th ecentral south is hot flat and boring

I have not been further south then bangkok
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  #4  
Old 14 Dec 2012
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CBT or full license

Thanks for the replies, they are really useful..

Really surprised a CBT license won't be enough though, is that not enough to take the bike across borders or not enough should you be stopped by the police?

As far as insurance i was going to take it out here in the UK after taking, what i thought, would be my CBT test but maybe i will look in to the full one if need be.

I was going to get the international driving license whilst here in the UK and i thought that taking that, my CBT license and full driving license would be enough?

I'll have a search of the hubb though,especially about the CBT thing...

Thanks again though
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  #5  
Old 14 Dec 2012
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If you read the small print on any travel insurance document it states must hold a full motorcycle licence and will only cover you up to 125 cc unless you take out a specialist policy, people have been caught out by this and had large medical bills as a result. As far as I am aware a full licence is required to ride abroad anywhere outside the UK and doubt that you will get an international driving licence with a cbt, you can always ask the AA or RAC as they issue them in the UK.
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  #6  
Old 17 Dec 2012
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OK thanks Mark, thats really useful to know, i will definitely check that out about the CBT or full license for the insurance and yes i think you are right about needing the full license to be legally allowed to drive in other countries - i was going to just stick with the CBT but if i can't get insured then i may well have to get the full license..
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  #7  
Old 22 Dec 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wixtravel View Post
Hi

I am planning a motorbike trip around SE Asia starting in Hanoi on 9th January 2013 and would appreciate any advice from anyone who has done the trip on things like what kind of bike is needed (min engine size etc), names of good road maps or whether iphone offline maps are a better option, any recommended roads or routes, good websites for info, especially what the border crossings are like and any recommended sites, accessories to pack, documents i should carry etc.... as you can see, i am just starting out but would appreciate advice or links to where i can find the info. In the meantime i will be finding out what i can. To summarise the trip here is a rough plan:

1. Buy motorbike, helmet and accessories in Hanoi
2. Travel south towards Dalat, Vietnam and cross in to Laos at the nearest border crossing.
3. Travel north and cross in to Thailand to start in Isaan territory in the North
4. Drive down through Thailand down the east side and down through south Thailand
5. Enter and drive down east Malaysia
6. Possibly visit Singapore
7. Possibly go to Sumatra
8. Either sell bike or drive up west borders Malaysia and Thailand to China (if can take bike in to China) alternatively sell bike here, fly to china and buy a bike in China)
9. Travel on to Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal and India either by motorbike or by public transport.

Thats the rough plan and at the moment i am in the UK, arranging a CBT motorbike test (upto 125cc) to then get insurance cover. I will also get an international driving license but i am not planning on taking the time to get a motorbike driving license in each country i visit.

Thanks in advance, Wix
.
Hi Wix,

Don't stop when you get to Dalat.

In fact, from Hanoi, continue all the way south to Saigon.
Stopping at all the places, Hue, Hai Vann pass, dropping into Da Nang and then Hui An.
Onto Nha Trang, Mui Nie, Phan Thiet, Ca Na, just to name a few.
Then a couple of days in Saigon., River delta etc.
From Saigon, loop back through the mountains to Dalat.
Then continue West into Cambodia.
Any where you fancy after that, as I have no knowledge of Cambodia.

Oh, and licences are not really required in Vietnam, the police roadblocks will simply "wave you on", and just continue to stop the locals.

vette
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  #8  
Old 27 Dec 2012
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great reply vette, thanks, i am just deliberating now whether to do the whole trip or just part as i haven't had chance to do my full UK bike test in the UK before i go so wont have any insurance.... i may start by hiring a bike for the north vietnam loop as a test to conditions, danger and the police and if all is good try buy a bike when back in Hanoi but really appreciate the route info, sounds great, i hear Highway 1 is to be avoided so will have to check the map to see if your route does avoid highway 1 where possible.
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