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

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  #1  
Old 28 Oct 2012
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Lightbulb Thailand - Cambodia - Vietnam - Laos: where to start & borders crossing

Hello,

We are going to visit Thailand (North), Cambodia (South), Vietnam (South-North) and Laos (North) in January. We are going to rent bikes in one of these countries and travel through all of them. I'm trying to find the best route for this trip. I found some new and old posts concerning these areas but I'm not sure about the current situation concerning paperwork, border crossing etc. in the whole region.

What do you recommend, what do you think?:
- is it possible to cross all countries with one bike rented only in one country?
- is it possible to rent bikes in Thailand and leave them in Vietnam ?
- where to rent bikes and start the trip? [Thailand, BKK??? ]
- which bikes should we rent (we think about dirt roads and maybe some soft off-road) [Honda XR 250 Baja??? ]
- how many days do we need for this tour (minimum)? [minimum full 3 weeks??? ]

Cheeeersss!!!
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  #2  
Old 30 Oct 2012
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Taking a bike into Vietnam - NOT

I would recommend you start in Vietnam with a Vietnam registered bike...I have heard third-hand (that is, other posts here at HU) of people successfully travelling from Vietnam to Cambodia and Laos (I do not remember if they went to Thailand) and BACK INTO Vietnam.\

Speaking to a Vietnamese police officer last week, I was advised that, although there are various restrictions on different capacity bikes in Vietnam, it was legally permitted to temporarily import a motorbike into Vietnam. I then described the obstacles mentioned on previous HU posts (but led him to believe they were my personal experiences) at not being able to import a motorbike. He then telephoned a "contact" (who just happened to be the boss of one of the more popular border crossings) and came back with advice that "it aint gunna happen". His border contact said there was no way they would let a foreign (Australian registered) bike into Vietnam. I even tried the idea of obtaining Vietnamese registration for the bike while it was still in Cambodia, putting the plates on it in Cambodia and then approaching the border, only to be told it can not be done as the bike must be inspected when it is registered. Having said all this, I have heard that Cambodian and Lao registered bikes (particularly of people living near the border) are allowed across, but I was unable to learn how far they could travel within Vietnam.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

John
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  #3  
Old 30 Oct 2012
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When you find there some to rent - i would suggest to start in Laos.

I had a rental car there, and a legitimation to use the car too in Vietnam and Kambodga - i dont think that thailand would be a problem this was.
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  #4  
Old 30 Oct 2012
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Thanks for your help guys!!

I got some info from rentals in SE Asia. It seems that it's not possible to go outside Laos with bikes rented in Laos. It's possible to go outside Vietnam to all other countries but you have to come back to Vietnam. It's possible to rent bikes in Thailand and go to Laos and Cambodia. It's not possible to go to Vietnam (but extremely complicated, maybe with an organized tour).

So can anyone confirm that?

bikes rented in Laos = only Laos
bikes rented in Thailand = Thailand, Laos, Cambodia
bikes rented in Vietnam = Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand

???
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  #5  
Old 31 Oct 2012
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Hi,

Check out RideAsia.net there might be some usefull informations for your trip.

But you are looking for about 7000 to 10.000 km. 3 weeks is defenetly not enough if you want to do dirtroads and some sightseeing as well.
From my expirience I would recommend 2 to 4 month as travelling in Asia is slow.

If you only have 3 Weeks, plan a shorter tour, or fly to different places and rent local bikes for e few days there.

Greetings Heiko
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  #6  
Old 31 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoartur View Post
Hello,

We are going to visit Thailand (North), Cambodia (South), Vietnam (South-North) and Laos (North) in January. We are going to rent bikes in one of these countries and travel through all of them. I'm trying to find the best route for this trip. I found some new and old posts concerning these areas but I'm not sure about the current situation concerning paperwork, border crossing etc. in the whole region.

What do you recommend, what do you think?:
- is it possible to cross all countries with one bike rented only in one country?
- is it possible to rent bikes in Thailand and leave them in Vietnam ?
- where to rent bikes and start the trip? [Thailand, BKK??? ]
- which bikes should we rent (we think about dirt roads and maybe some soft off-road) [Honda XR 250 Baja??? ]
- how many days do we need for this tour (minimum)? [minimum full 3 weeks??? ]

Cheeeersss!!!
Have a look at www.thaivisa.com and www.gtrider.com , the later should provide you with all the information you need for your trip
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  #7  
Old 31 Oct 2012
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Thanks for your posts.

I still got the same answer: nobody knows for sure )
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Arthur
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  #8  
Old 1 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoartur View Post
Thanks for your posts.

I still got the same answer: nobody knows for sure )
Gtriders is a good Source for informations.

Repeating: with the laos 4x4 rental i got the permissions to enter Vietnam and Kambodga.

I hit also china, while following some challenging dirttracks

So you have to find a rental service, who knows what he have to do - what seems to be the tricky Part.

For 3 weeks i would suggest to do one country, when you plan to See more than some capitals.
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  #9  
Old 1 Nov 2012
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You may also struggle to find a hire company willing to let you take their bike to another country ! And will border guards let you bring a bike not registered in your name into their country!
I've hired in Thailand and Cambodia, each time having to leave my passport as a deposit which wasn't a problem but I didn't cross any borders. I know of people taking their own bikes from Thai to Cambodia with no problems, Thai to Laos really depends on which border you arrive at and on which day, it appears to be hit and miss. I've heard it's difficult to enter Vietnam on a bike.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, GTriders is probably the best source of up to date information. The guy who runs the website is based in Chiang Mai in N Thailand which is a good base for starting a trip
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  #10  
Old 2 Nov 2012
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As has been stated if you want to visit all of these countries with one bike you will need to start in Vietnam and you will have to buy one to take it out of the country.

As for the time taken nearer three months than three weeks to do this trip justice, at least six weeks to visit all four and that would be rushing. I would recommend you stick with one or perhaps two countries. If you have not been to SE Asia before I would suggest Thailand as a good place to start with plenty of dirt roads in the north to explore.
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  #11  
Old 2 Nov 2012
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Hey man,

Harryontour, have just done all those countries. See if you can contact him and I'm sure he can give you lots of relevant information about the area.

Cheers Richard
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  #12  
Old 6 Nov 2012
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I have to agree with some other posts here... We are currently in thailand now and we have 23 days time here.
We hired a scooter here, as it is cheap for hire, goes rather fast (I wouldn't drive faster with my GSA here than with this scooter anyways - it's just impossible) and is great fun driving around.
Even with 3 weeks we feel we don't have time enough to see what there is to see in Thailand. We will end up doing rather a lot of roads but we are also stopping at the temples etc to actually see something, as it would be a shame not to since one is here...

So, take it more easy, if you only have 3 weeks and it's your first time in SEA, start with Thailand, rental starts from 150THB but we paid 200THB a day but the bike is in "excellent" condition. You have to leave your passport or 5000THB when renting. We bought our helmets here (prices start at 200THB) instead or renting one (for free btw). At this time, we don't regret it!

Next time we are also looking at doing the other countries, but I think you can be more or less flexible depending on timing and what you are willing to do. Why not renting in country A, do your thing there, give the bike back and take train/bus to the next country if you're thinking it's too difficult to temp. import a bike.....?
Just an idea... ;-)

Cheers from Thailand!
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  #13  
Old 7 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oo-SEB-oO View Post
I have to agree with some other posts here... We are currently in thailand now and we have 23 days time here.
We hired a scooter here, as it is cheap for hire, goes rather fast (I wouldn't drive faster with my GSA here than with this scooter anyways - it's just impossible) and is great fun driving around.
Even with 3 weeks we feel we don't have time enough to see what there is to see in Thailand. We will end up doing rather a lot of roads but we are also stopping at the temples etc to actually see something, as it would be a shame not to since one is here...

So, take it more easy, if you only have 3 weeks and it's your first time in SEA, start with Thailand, rental starts from 150THB but we paid 200THB a day but the bike is in "excellent" condition. You have to leave your passport or 5000THB when renting. We bought our helmets here (prices start at 200THB) instead or renting one (for free btw). At this time, we don't regret it!

Next time we are also looking at doing the other countries, but I think you can be more or less flexible depending on timing and what you are willing to do. Why not renting in country A, do your thing there, give the bike back and take train/bus to the next country if you're thinking it's too difficult to temp. import a bike.....?
Just an idea... ;-)

Cheers from Thailand!

totally agree to the above .....

we rented a 125 scooter for 150 thb/day at Koh Lanta and really enjoyed it to go (2up) and see the island somewhere between 30 and 50 km/h.
No need to go faster, you see a lot and Andrea in the back was taking fotos ....
We are now in Malysia and will rent the next one and see the Cameron Highlands for a couple of days .... after that, give the 125 back and fly to Singapore

Dirtbike is not really neccessary, just look where all the locals go with 3up and a pig in the back

Enjoy

Thomas & Andrea

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  #14  
Old 11 Nov 2012
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Agree with Tom and others. Vietnam will not allow foreign registered bikes in. We hired one for a week there. Advice, if you hire a bike in HCM, take your own bike lock as I have heard stories of folk looking the bike up, only to find it has gone! A staff member of the shop has the spare key, when you return to the shop and tell them of your plight, they have the bike and want you to pay for the "missing" machine.

I think you are pushing it a bit with three weeks. My first trip to Thaiand on a bike was for a month years back when the roads were quite as they were now, and there was still a lot more to see. Amy suggestion is that you just do Thaialnd, presuming this is your first trip to Asia, and get to know the souronds of SEA etc., then next year and the the year after if you are constrained by time, say do three weeks in Vietam, the next one Cambia and Laos. I think you have three far more enjoyable trips. What ever you do, have a great time!

Muzz
Chiang Mai
PS You may find this link interesting... http://www.rideasia.net/motorcycle-f...am-legally.htm
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  #15  
Old 24 Nov 2012
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Be watching this thread with interest... Currently holed up in Spain, have free digs here Just got back from Morocco and figuring out next move. My original intention was to ride east to SE Asia. Even have the dreaded Pakistan visa in my passport..... BUT. I'm really struggling to justify paying £1000 for a piece of paper (carnet), plus $500 to fly the bike over Burma. Weighing up the options, it is very tempting to fly to Asia and rent bikes locally for a better fun per £ ratio. That £1000 would go a long way. Up in the air at the moment... but I have Giant Loop panniers so can throw them on any bike . . . ? Options, options!
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