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Old 1 Sep 2011
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Is Buying In Cambodia Our Best Option?

I started researching on buying in Thailand, but from what I have read here on the HUBB it would appear that Cambodia may in fact be the better option. Some of the info is dated (2004) and there is a lot dedicated to Vietnam (which due to conflicting information we have decided we do not even want to try. Cambodia, Laos and Thailand sounds good enough for us!).

Has anyone recent experience with buying (as a tourist) in Cambodia? Or in Thailand/Laos? We will rent, but the idea of being able to cross borders on the same bike (or scooter, we do not need to have big bikes) is very appealing to us!

Are there separate rules for scooters? We are also thinking about the Honda Wave. Any must dos or things to avoid????

Is it even possible as a tourist to buy and register bikes? Is it easier to do so with a scooter?

Just a little background information on our situation. We are currently in Mongolia and selling our 650's here, as the original plan of shipping from Vladivostok to South America has proven to be more money than the bikes themselves are worth. That leaves us wide open in terms of possibilities, but also back to scratch with planning! We have decided to tour SE Asia until Christmas, as we can always rent if not buy. Then it will be New Zealnd or the States with the plan to buy there.

So we are really looking at 4 months riding South East Asia, and planning in it about 2 weeks in advance!

Any recent experiences would be welcome!


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Old 1 Sep 2011
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I don't know about buying, since we were there on our own bikes. But you could have a look at Ride Asia, a mostly Thai bikers website but I am sure they have a lot of info for you

In Cambodia there's a great guy called Dara in Phnom Phen who has a bike shop where he repairs, rents and occassionally sells bikes.

His contact I wrote under repair shops, so have a look there.

Good luck and have fun!

greetz Els
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Old 2 Sep 2011
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Thanks Els!

I had not heard of that forum before, so for anyone interested, this is exactly the thread I was hoping to find here:

RideAsia.net • Best country in SE Asia to buy a bike for touring??

All the pros and cons on buying a bike in SEA and all the posts are from 2011! And some ideas on where to buy


Still trying to figure out the legalities, but when I find out I will post it here!

Last edited by gypsyprincess; 2 Sep 2011 at 03:52. Reason: Hit the submit button too fast!
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Old 2 Sep 2011
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On the subject of what to buy, I was told by locals in SE Asia always buy a Honda wave if you can afford it, other Japanese as second choice, Korean as third and never Chinese.
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Old 9 Sep 2011
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I arrive in Bangkok in Oct, first stop on my RWT. I'm spending 4 months riding through Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia-Thailand-Malaysia. Flying into Myanmar and Singapore via BKK. My plan is to rent a bike around Prachuap or Hua Hin and spend 2 weeks along the Southern Coast, then fly to Han Oi, Vietnam and buy a small 100-125cc, probably a Honda Win since they're so cheap, easy to repair and source parts for. After many hours of research, buying in Vietnam seemed like the best option if you plan on making Vietnam part of your route. The other option was to buy in Cambodia but then you have to rent in Vietnam. Too much paperwork in Thailand. Since I already have my Visa, it just made sense. Most reports I've read about people riding through SE Asia bought a cheap smaller bike (Win, Minsk, Bonus, etc) in VN and sold it in various countries or just donated it. There are several people on GT Rider.com doing the same trip right now, I'm meeting up with a few of them along the way.

Here is my basic route. Take the Northern and Northwestern loop from Han Oi, then getting my Laos visa in Dien Bien Phu. From there my rough plan is to spend alot of time exploring the small towns of Northern Laos and Northeastern Cambodia. I love getting off the beaten path and getting deep into a culture, these areas seem the best to do that. I'll loop around and do the HCM trail, eventually making my way into southern Thailand where I'll do some island hopping, then Malaysia and Singapore. I plan on flying out of KL to New Zealand sometime in February. Have fun and good luck. Don't over think this too much, there are many backpackers who just fly into Vietnam, buy a cheap bike and hit the road, no gear besides a helmet. Absolute worst case scenario, besides a serious accident, is the bike gets impounded and you lose $3-$400, no big deal.
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Old 10 Sep 2011
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Hi Sherrie,

Try 'Two Wheels Only' in Phnom Penn, Cambodia (just google his website) and Tony (ex-pat from the UK) will be able to point you in the right direction with current up to date information.

It has been a couple of years since I was there, so you would be better to ask someone on the ground.

I had a bike off Tony there, and it was a cracker; he looked after me as a fellow biker as I was 'new' and travelling on my own, above and beyond any kind of business, and even sorted stuff like recovery etc a month later when I broke some bones after a run in with a cow up towards the Lao border. Again going above and beyond, and didn't charge anything like he should've done for the repairs etc.

Highly recommended as a decent human being (as a lot of fellow bikers are) and I will look to use him again myself when I get the opportunity to ride this amazing country again.

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Old 4 Oct 2011
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We Bought Waves In Malaysia

For the record, we ended up buying new Honda Waves in Malaysia because it was the easiest! They were about 200 Euro more per bike, but considering we saved 120 on the tourist visa in Cambodia (plus about a month of time) and 500 in school fees for the non immigrant visa in Thailand, the extra 200 on the bike was in fact less than what we would have spent. It took 2 business days and required only our passports and the money. Everything in our name, road tax and one year insurance (for Malaysia) included.

Second hand would have been cheaper again, but not significantly so. I dont know about prices for bigger bikes, but everyone recommended the Wave for this region so that is the one we went with!
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Old 29 Oct 2011
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Final Follow Up On Buying A Bike In South East Asia

We just wrote a post over on our blog on what we found out about buying bikes in South East Asia for anyone in our situation and thinking about the best place to buy and the legalities of it! It looks at Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia, with the link for Vietnam coming back to the discussion here on the HUBB.

If your thinking about buying here we hope it helps a little with the decision making process! We being myself and the German half of the partnership, onkellarle on the HUBB. (We need not discuss the creepiness of that name) :-P The HUBB - The HUBB

The post is here:

Buying A Motorcycle In South East Asia - Unleash Your Adventure

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