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Southern Asia Topics specific to Southern Asia, from Iran and Armenia east through Pakistan and India to China / Vietnam / Indonesia.
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Old 8 Dec 2009
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Vietnam Border Crossings

Hi all. What a superb website!

I'm part of a group riding Suzuki DR650 motorbikes through Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam early next year - see www.city2sunrise.org. We're raising money for Sunrise Children's Village in Cambodia, plus other children’s charities in the region.

We plan to cross from Laos into Vietnam at Tay Trang around March 5; and from Vietnam into Cambodia at Moc Bai around April 4.

Various sources suggest that there are problems for foreigners with riding into, out of and around Vietnam. These range from issues with foreigners owning bikes, to issues getting across borders or even getting out of Vietnam with the bikes!

Any advice on how we should approach this? We’d be very grateful.

We're thinking: arrange for 'fixers' (are they reliable), just go for it, or abandon Vietnam as part of the adventure.

Many thanks!
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Old 9 Dec 2009
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My information may not be fully up-to-date anymore, but 3 years ago I was in a group, who tried to enter with 115cc scooters a total of 5 times on 4 different borders in Cambodia & Laos (all 3 international ones in Cambodia, plus Laobao in Laos). No success, but it was a fun trip nevertheless! Our ride report from that trip is at gt-rider dot com Vietnam-forum.

There are many rumours about this topic circulating the net, usually they are false. Like the "under 175cc is OK" - at least in 2006, this was simply incorrect information. Still you often hear this claim.

Lately, it seems that some have been able to arrange entry into Vietnam on big bikes (again there´s more info on the forum I mentioned), but this has involved a large amount of paperwork, a guide, and considerable costs, too - looks a lot similar to entering China the ´official´ way, so not easy, or cheap.

It might give you a better chance to get lucky at the border, if you´re a very small group. We actually came very close sometimes, but our group was too big (drew too much attention including the customs officers, who knew the rules, and always managed to stop us, before we were through!)

There were also offerings to smuggle the vehicles in, but I would not recommend this, as you may end up in trouble later on inside the country, or at the exit border.
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Old 9 Dec 2009
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Crossing Borders in Vietnam

The best place for up to date info is GT riders board ( Golden Triangle) The site is run by David Unkovich ( and if I spelt your name wrong I apologise David) He is based in Chiang Mai and am sure he will be at the HUBB meeting there. Just register and search the board there, mail David for up to date info and post a few travel tails on his site ( he can be upset if its all take and no give). Good luck !

PS It can be done if...you have a letter of invitation from a high up politician, guy just did it on a Harley with a pillion. He did however have an invitation from the son of the prime minister ( who owns a harley, communist don't ya just love em) He also had a guide that I suspect he paid for.

Regards Jimmy
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