Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Southern Asia

Southern Asia Topics specific to Southern Asia, from Iran and Armenia east through Pakistan and India to China / Vietnam / Indonesia.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

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

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 3 Mar 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 5
Vietnam -> Cambodia -> Laos in rainy season

Hi,

My mate and I are planning a trip starting in Hanoi, buying a couple of Minsks, and then slowly touring Vietnam, starting with the north, then heading south and into Cambodia, west across Cambodia and north into Laos and up the length of Laos.
Ideally we'd then head back east into Vietnam from Laos, and sell the bikes in Hanoi again (this border crossing I think gives me the most concern).

Our trip begins on 21st April. I realise this is not exactly ideal in terms of weather. We're allowing ourselves a leisurely 3 months to complete the trip and explore the countryside as much as possible.

Could anyone please give me some advice on the practicalities of the road conditions around this period? In particular, the road conditions around the Ho Chi Minh trail around mid May, and in Cambodia through May-June.
Also the likelihood of being able to cross back from northern Laos into northern Vietnam around July (I understand the road is pretty basic here)?

Finally, 2 bike-related questions:
- If a bike is bought & registered in Vietnam, are there any issues with bringing it back into the country and selling it there?
- I read something on gt-rider about bike insurance that can be bought on the border. Does anyone know details of this?

Thanks heaps for any assistance you can give me. I forsee some serious mud. If any of you are in the area during that period and fancy a drink, let us know!

Cheers
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 13 Mar 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 5
Ok, I guess my question was a bit wide ranging, possibly even rambling. Put simply:
Are the roads in Cambodia passable on dirt bikes through May/June/July?
In particular the more rural roads.

Thanks
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 13 Mar 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ripley, Derbyshire
Posts: 375
Hi, I'm currently Moderated so this might take a while to get to you....

No problems what so ever, once you have finsihed with the Minsks dont take them out of vietnam sell them back to the place where you bought them.

The go to Phomn Phen and vistit my Lucky Lucky look him up in the yellow pages for Cambodia. He will supply you with great bikes and ALL paperwork that you will need, I had a 250cc Honda Baja from him really cheap.

The roads are quite bad but I did them with only 2 weeks riding experiance under my belt. Just remember that under the mud is CLAY, so it's more slippery then you think.

Lee
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 15 Mar 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 24
Brendan,

sorry I could not give you answer about the roads conditions in Cambodia for this time of the year (never been there). Hopefully, someone will provide this interesting info.

As for VN, in year 1995 I did ride a much brave Minsk taking the section from Hue to Kontum/Pleiku via the "Hauts-Plateaux". It was in August, and the road was quite difficult, most parts were not paved (except a small perimeter of a few hundreds around 1 or 2 towns **). At that time, if the road was not a path of sand and mud, it was a strech paved with rough stones that suited only big trucks. I was lucky i did not encounter heavy rain much during the 2 full days it took me to reach Kontum from Hue.

Things have changed I guess. They always ...

I would also be much interested to get an answer to your question about taking a VN registered outside the country and back after having toured Cambodia and Laos. From my last ride in VN in 2006, I must still have the Minsk I left in Saigon at some vietnamese friends' home. I plan to take this same bike for touring Cambodia some time in the near future.

BTW, a few tips for touring SEA:

- in your contry buy a DOT/EU homologated helmet and always wear it during your trip. In VN 2 years ago, they only (most shops) sell cheap chinese crap helmet for 10$. Even in Hanoi, I could not find a decent open-face helmet, so I went with this chinese plastic helmet.

- same thing for rainsuit and waterproof boots. Better to get a good one in a good motorbike cloths shop where you live before going there. Riding wet on bad roads on bad weather conditions, lost in a remote mountain road when the dark is coming, this can turn your trip to a nigthmare. (and during the rainy seasons, it take days for cloths to dry up ... sometimes they seem to never dry up in the humid high altitudes )

----
** if you're heading to Kontum from the north via the "hauts-plateaux", a few tens of kilometers before Kontum, look for an old US airfield whose pavement is still in good condition and is now used (that was the case by the time I was there) as a road section. It was a good surprise to switch from a earth road to a well paved road, and much more stunning when you realize how wide (tens of meters) this part of the road is and that you are in fact riding on an airfield !
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 7 Apr 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 5
Thanks for the tips guys. Sorry for the slow reply, am just back from Indonesia.

Having looked at the websites of adventure motorcycle touring companies in Cambodia & Vietnam, they seem to run trips throughout the area through the whole year. So this bodes well... I suppose we'll just be prepared to get very muddy.

I've been doing small chunks of riding in various parts of SE Asia over the last few years, and all your comments on buying safety equipment in my home country are much agreed with. I'll be getting my gear here in Singapore (where we have the choice of either the cheap chinese crap or the more established brands).
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 5 Jun 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Watford
Posts: 12
hi, im planning a similar trip (buying bikes in HCM then up vietnam, around laos and down cambodia back to HCM). have you found out anything more out about taking vietnamese bikes in and out of the country?
cheers
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 7 Jun 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 5
Hey mate, turns out it's pretty easy actually.
The other countries in the area (except China & Vietnam) honour an ASEAN agreement to let each other's bikes in. But Vietnam for some reason doesn't (or didn't last year) let foreigners into the country on bikes registered in any other countries. However, because we had Vietnam-registered bikes, we had no problems taking them back into the country.

To summarise our crossings:
- Out of Vietnam no issues
- Into Laos, no mention of our bike whatsoever. Which is a mistake, you're supposed to get import documents stamped.
- Out of Laos, luckily for us the guy wasn't interested in our bikes whatsoever. I've heard people sometimes get big fines for this mistake.
- Into Cambodia, the customs guy tried to hit us up for "permits". But we just gave him our Vietnamese ownership papers. He said "I can't read vietnamese". We said "neither can we", smiled, threw a few other bits of paper at him (international license etc), then eventually he gave up and let us in.
- Out of Cambodia, no problem
- Into Vietnam, no problem

Easiest thing seems to be to have a vietnamese registered bike. Even if you can't read the license plate anymore like mine.
Enjoy the trip, should be great!

Btw, put together a vid of the trip, if you'd like to take a look:
Minsk the Mekong on Vimeo

Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 22 Jun 2009
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London UK
Posts: 57
Thanks for all of the information above. I'm planning a similar trip in Winter 2009/2010. Will 'Buy' in Vietnam and 'Sell' in Vietnam after Laos/Cambodia.

Any idea how much a Minsk will cost in Vietnam?

Thanks ... Geoff
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 29 Jun 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue88 View Post
Any idea how much a Minsk will cost in Vietnam?

Thanks ... Geoff
This friends bought them in Hanoi for around 250€. Then rode back to Barcelona with any single mechanical problem.

Shutterfly


YouTube - HIGHLIGHTS -- RESUMEN -- FROM HANOI TO BARCELONA BY MINSK 2007
__________________
___________/)____/)___/)____/)/)___/)___/)________
"Cosas que escapan a los que sueñan solo de noche..."
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 21 Sep 2009
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London UK
Posts: 57
Excuse my late response ... but if you think this reply is slow than you oughta see me ride.

Thanks for the info on the Minsk and the 'Ins' and 'outs' of the various borders ..... a great help, thanks guys.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Camping in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia ilesmark Southern Asia 3 31 Jan 2008 03:10
Border-crossing cambodia -> Vietnam with own car sharkk Southern Asia 1 21 Sep 2007 21:41
Trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos kieran kearins Southern Asia 2 28 Dec 2006 10:06
bike travel in laos, cambodia, vietnam goggstrotters Southern Asia 5 18 Apr 2004 11:05
Laos and Cambodia Story Leavesley Route Planning 10 15 Sep 2003 15:07

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:03.