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Motorcycle travel in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India...

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  #1  
Old 11 Jun 2013
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beginner in asia

a little advice please....
been looking at asia for a while and I have around 2 months (maybe a little more) this Christmas to get out there for a nose around, so I have a few questions if you don't mind..as i'm looking to book my flights soon as poss..
from about dec 20th to end of February

cant decide on india and Nepal or Thailand laos etc (without flights)
is this a good time to do india as i'd like to go see the mountains etc
or am I better off in thai, Vietnam etc and if I buy a scooter can I take it between the countries of thai,laos,cambodia,vietnam?
will I need carnet or am I better off renting....
a friend was coming but hes backed out so i'm on my own...
I know 10wks aint loads of time to look around the whole of asia but a good taste would be nice
thanks for any help in advance
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Old 11 Jun 2013
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The Himalayas in winter on a motorcycle? Southern India will be much better.

Can't comment on Vietnam, but in the time frame you describe northern Thailand is a perfect choice. Likely Laos and Cambodia also.

RideAsia Motorcycle Community will give you detailed information on SE Asia.
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Old 12 Jun 2013
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I recommend you do Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, VIetnam - it is the perfect time for travelling there. And you can easily take a scooter across the borders, none of the countries requires a Carnet. The Himalayas are not possible in winter...
Have fun!
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Old 13 Jun 2013
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thanks for the replies guys
that just sealed it then...
with being able to ride between these 4 countries without a carnet also just makes my life easier and I can come and go as I please.. with the visa sorted etc
gonna book my flights tonight to Bangkok and Roberts yr mums brother as they say in England...
looked up that site chris and there's some lovely ride reports in Thailand.
thanks guys. there'll be many more questions to follow but maybe in other sections too.
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  #5  
Old 13 Jun 2013
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I agree with Chris and Heike, SE Asia will be great at that time, get a flight to BKK and perhaps a bus to somewhere out of the city to rent, others might suggest where the best deals are if it makes a difference.
You cannot take a foreign registered bike into Vietnam but it is easy to rent one there. I know it is easy to take bikes between Thailand, Laos and Cambodia but am not sure about rented bikes but again loads of bikes to rent in each country so rent in each one and take a bus to the next.
Do take all of your own riding gear particularly your helmet, what is there is crap, a summer riding jacket and gloves will be all you need.
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Old 13 Jun 2013
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cheers mark...
looking at my flights at the moment got it down to 544 return...
aint booked yet but looking good
been wanting to do this a while so if I book the flight I have to go
thanks for the advice on Vietnam.. its another thing to think about as I was thinking of buying something cheap to ride around.
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  #7  
Old 13 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
You cannot take a foreign registered bike into Vietnam but it is easy to rent one there.
It used to be like this, but for about 1 year now, foreigners have been able to do this, at least from one border station, I can´t remember which one, but there are threads about this at the HUBB.

Even if you could not do it, Thailand, Cambodia & Laos are all wonderful places to visit on a bike. I´ve had some of the best rides of my life in those countries. Malaysia is officially a carnet-country, but in reality they seem very relaxed about it at land borders.

Indonesia is also totally fantastic, but you might face troubles to get in on a bike bought elsewhere. There was somebody at the HUBB, who´s done this however, on a bike he bought in Vietnam.
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Old 13 Jun 2013
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that's it i'm booked...
out on the 21st dec and back 27th feb

oh I so cant wait now...

£567 with a company called wise miser

lots of research etc to sort now
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Old 14 Jun 2013
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I see your already booked but its popular to buy the bike in Malaysia and ride north up through thailand.
Buying in Thailand is not straightforward for a foreigner from what I have read. You have to do Major amounts of paperwork which is why I believe its not a popular place to buy compared to Malaysia or even Vietnam.
But from Bangkok you can fly to any neighbouring countries cheaply.

As for renting there are companies in Chiang Mai that rent out 250cc bikes like the Honda Baja xr 250 that you can take into Laos but may have real issues getting into vietnam.Not sure the rental agreement would allow it anyway.They run about $30 US plus per day so for 2 months it adds up.

I just cam back from a 2 week trip in Laos. I rented a Honda Baja from Vientiane for $33 US per day. Its a perfect bike for SE asia but despite assurances the bike was in great condition I had heaps of trouble with it. Local mechanics were no help whatsoever. To them it was like asking them to overhaul the engine on a space shuttle. They didn't want to touch it.

So if you rented in Thailand and took it to Laos or Cambodia and had major problems your looking at significant cost to get it back.

No matter where you go I would buy a Honda Wave, a scooter essentially but it has some get up and go. I know lots of people have bought new in Malaysia, done the their trip and sold to other travellers at the end of the trip. They are cheap, reliable and zippy for a 125cc
Having a bike that any mechanic in any village can work on is crucial in my opinion unless your mechanical yourself.
Scooter workshops were in just about every village I drove through in Laos and once I broke down right in front of a mechanic. As I said above he was no help at all.

Or if you buy a bike in Vietnam you can take it across the border into Laos, Cambodia, Thailand. Quite a few threads on this. Again just sell it an the end of your trip. Also there is a business in Ho Chi Minh city that sells second hand bikes (its a popular company with foreigners) and has a buy back policy at the end of your trip.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 14 Jun 2013
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Also Im doubting any company in Thailand will let you take a rented scooter into Laos or beyond
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Old 14 Jun 2013
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Originally Posted by realmc26 View Post

No matter where you go I would buy a Honda Wave, a scooter essentially but it has some get up and go. I know lots of people have bought new in Malaysia, done the their trip and sold to other travellers at the end of the trip. They are cheap, reliable and zippy for a 125cc
The best bike for SE Asia!
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Old 14 Jun 2013
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Also Im doubting any company in Thailand will let you take a rented scooter into Laos or beyond
Also the rental company will want to keep your passport as a deposit, so without that you won't be crossing any borders.
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Old 14 Jun 2013
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have you been to Nepal in Feb?

Its not that cold!!! Much warmer than europe. Yep if youwant to ride up into the mountains itself like Muktinath or Manang, then it will be cold, but feb is a not bad time to visit as the mountains have clearer views than March to Sep.

Day time temperatures in Pokhara are about 17 to 20c in Feb. Nighttime is nippy but never freezing.
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Old 24 Jun 2013
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thanks for your tips guys.
a small 125 is to be honest my preferred choice of bike if not a c90, I just want to plod around enjoying. my plane actually goes to Vietnam then onto Thailand so maybe it might be worth me getting off in Vietnam if its easier to get a small bike to take around into other countries,
where do I get the motorbike insurance from?
are visa's easy to get at the borders? or do I need to sort before arriving there?......
sorry if i'm asking too much
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