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Old 22 Oct 2007
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Forget Border-Crossing into Vietnam

Dear riders and drivers,

After I have tried at three different border-crossings (Cambodia and Laos) to enter Vietnam I am sure now: They don"t let any foreign car/motorcycle in their country if you don't have a Laos or Chinese number plate.

Up to January 2007 it was possible to drive to a border-crossing between Laos and Vietnam (e.g. Lao Bao) and to take a bus to the provincial capital to get a permit. THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE ANY MORE.

The only way to drive your private vehicule or motorcycle in Vietnam is to go to Hanoi and speak with police, tourist authorities and ministry of circulations. Best is to be backed-up by your embassy.

In reality: Mission impossible. HOwever, I have just been in Laos and it is no problem to get into this country. And believe me: it is a beautiful place to drive or ride.

Happy travels,

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Old 22 Oct 2007
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Or you could be clever and ask the locals on the Cambodian side to help you take the bike into Vietnam like I did, they will show you a small dirt track that they use to go in and out without customs knowing about it. I did this with my little XRT250 Baja and as it wasn't a super sized bike it didnt get too much attention.

If you get pulled over by the local police (not city) then $10-15 will get you out of trouble. The city police are B*stards and will impound your bike, you can get fake documents anyplace that say the bike was imported into Vietnam before 1995 for emergencies.

There is another option as you can rent a Minsk in Ho Chi City or Hanoi to run around on, but you will need the entire month to travel on one of those.
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Old 23 Oct 2007
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Im with the original poster here, you cannot get into Vietnam with a foreign-registered bike. Only with a Viet-registered bike out of the country, and back in, MAYBE.

My friend tried from Thailand just a few weeks ago, even had a special import booklet from the Thai ministry of transport, went to all intl borders, didnt work.

Smuggling your bike in might work, but remember your bike is then illegally in the country, which might lead you to some serious trouble. You will at best have to be able to smuggle it back out. Theres plenty of day-workers going in and out each day, maybe pay something to somebody to just push your bike thru the customs, while you get your entry stamp. Wouldnt do that myself, though.
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Old 23 Oct 2007
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I'm not the Jason Bourne type but if I can get past the odd border or two and get copied paperwork then that's what I do to get what I want. I'm not someone who makes problems I'm a born fixer I only see solutions not the problems, I don't BULLSH*T and go by cold hard facts so my perspective is solid.

If you read through some of the recent posts you will see that I'm not the only one that likes to use copied paperwork, just go see Mr Lucky @ Lucky Lucky Motorbikes on the main street in Phnom Phen, and he will supply you with all the correct paperwork stamps seals etc for use in Vietnam. $50 or $75 if he doesn’t like you, smile lots and say how nice his place is, and admire all the stolen motorcycles from JAPAN, maybe purchase some new bark busters at a huge discount, or get him to change the oil on your bike. Then just say 'oh I've never been to Vietnam I've always wanted to ride there' easy yes, no problems.

Lucky Lucky Motorcycles Shop

N° 413Eo, Preah Monivong
12258 Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Right I can't make it anymore simpler can I?

Then all you have to do is turn up at any border town in Cambodia go into a bar, or one of those little local coffee shops and ask who is the best person to talk to, it's normally the guy with the gun. $20US WILL get YOU and YOUR BIKE over the border ANY BORDER but you have to haggle, these people ran guns and drugs for the last 200 hundred years so they do know their way around the paths, just don't take lots of money with you or look too rich.

Then like I said keep a low profile, speed and you will loose the bike, stick out too much and loose the bike LOW KEY is how you have to be. Just remember that the places that you are currently in are all about saving FACE, if they can help out a foreigner then that gives them more FACE in their social circle, have fun respect the people and bribe everyone.

Think I'll change my name to McGyver, now where did I put that paper clip?
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Old 24 Oct 2007
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juddadredd, your probably right in that it could be the way (and possibly the only way) to get yourself and your bike into Vietnam. Its just that if were talking, should I say "normal" tourism, or touring with bikes here, it just might be a bit far off. It might work for very experienced travellers like you, who know the area and local ways like the back of their pockets.

Dealing with drug-traffickers and the like, you really need to know what your doing. Normal tourists could easily end up neck-deep in trouble doing the same thing thats easy for you to do.

Ive been trying to get into Vietnam from all 3 international borders with Cambodia & Laobao in Laos, and my experience was that theyre not very helpful, and very few speak any other language than theirs. Didnt feel like I would want to get caught doing something illegal around there. We were offered to smuggle our bikes to Saigon, but didnt go for that.
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