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Location: Aussie travelling through South East Asia
KLX in Medan
Hi I am in Medan Sumatra at the moment you can buy a KLX here now as a new unit not sure how much but I will find out they are not bad but a little slow after the 1200 (but I left that in Pattaya ... I will be back soon baby :-)) but the 250 is good for Indonesian roads and good in the heavy traffic.
I wouldn't skip any country just for not having big bikes! At the beginning i was thinking to a bigger bike just for the fact that we'll be riding in two on the same bike but it's really not a problem i don't plan to use big highways anyway!
ok, so eventually the final state we choose are Thailand - Vietnam - Laos - Cambodia (perhaps malaysia if time and money will allowed)
I'll be flying in bangkok (cheaper option i found) the 22nd of july and i'll be leaving the 4th october.
Considering weather, time, bike to buy etc my first idea is
take an internal fly from bangkok to hanoi start a "round trip":
north of Vietnam first, then Laos, thailand from north to south, cambodia, and south of Vietnam where i hope to sell the bike (if there is still something to sell=). Then if time is enough fly/ferry to malaysia.
Any advices?.. i've read everywhere and many people are confirming that north of vietnam is amazing as well as laos, any place you particularly advice me to see?
Also, in your experience is it better to get the visas before arriving there?
problem is that the closest place where they issue them is in Paris (like 800km from me)
The northern loop Hanoi-Sapa-Den Bien is at times a challenging but top ride as the road in parts is still under construction there's also a stretch of 300 ks without any obvious accommodation.
I was offered 500 us bucks for my Minsk in Ho Chi Minh City and it was a mess, I only paid $250 in Hanoi, there is a shortage of cheap Minsks in Saigon and the touts and hotel owners are aware of the demand from tourists.
Try and get your visa for VN before you go, applying in Paris may end up being easier. The rest ok
I would not get the Vietnam Visa in Paris, or Europe for that matter. It is much much smoother here. Phnom Phen is highly recommended and Laos is good as well. BKK should also be fine/ If you get it in Europe it will be a major hassle. Here you apply and after 4 days you pick it up. During that time, just do a short trip off the main route. But, you can also apply for an Visa in Advance online that you than get on arrival at Hanoi Airport. No idea which company is good, but I it seems to be working smooth as I've seen loads of people with that.
It ain't the nicest drive in Vietnam, but if you haven't seen Halong Bay, than go. North of Halong the island madness still goes on, the if you follow the coast the drive gets better, from there you can than cut back west and join with the north-west-loop.
They are everywhere, all over the Country, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Flores, Timor,....
You will not be able to legally buy them, but buying and selling "privately" is easy and fast. And they offer a "classic" round headlamp so it alos looks proper
Honda has the Tiger and Honda also just launched the CBR 250 here. Kawasaki has the Ninjas and the little D-Trackers. Suzuki calles them Pulsa or something and they got some Indian made crap here that I wouldn't touch.
I'm presently doing the same trip. My best advice is go to less used borders, this should reduce bribes, i've only had to give a little extra to one guy going from Thailand to Laos and that was on a public holiday so was expected. Otherwise no hassles.
Thailand will put what appears to be a stupid price on your bike (mine Suzuki GN125 bought for $500US was valued at $2000US) but found out when travelling there that that is probable close to the cost of a second hand bike here. They give your bike a 30 visa and you a 15 day visa if you come over the land boarder so get a 1 month thailand visa in advance.
Also i would advise getting a Honda if possible, everyone i have meet with Minsk are carrying as much weight in spare parts as gear. Most break down every 50 to 100km this is what some love about them to me that is just a pain in the ass. Also there are alot less now than there where as they are all getting turned into parts.
Honda's are everywhere in all countries you will not have trouble getting part (which i am at the moment in Laos they don't have the piston and rings i need). The wave or bonus both seem good bikes, i meet a fin on the way to Danang and his wave was able to do over 70km/h which is as fast as you need for Vietnam.
If you get anything over 170cc in Vietnam it has had 140% tax added when brought into the country so they will cost you over $2000US for an ok one.
Hope this helps
ENjoy your ride
If you want some info (although mostly just stories for my family) my blog is
Oh and rain isn't that much of an issuejust stay off the front break. Also bring your own helmet and gear if possible as the stuff they sell in Vietnam is shit.
I'm planning to do a similar trip this year but was also hoping to make a quick stop over in Hong Kong. But the general picture I get is that it's difficult / costly to get a bike into China. Is that the case? Is it possible to ride from Hanoi to Hong Kong?
Agreed, not a fan of rain either....but then I'm English, I'm used to It! lol
But, just returned from the Mae Hong Son loop in N Thailand where it rained pississtently. It was cool, as soon as the heavens opened we pulled into a street shack/shop, had a coffee/water/tea, made friends with the locals who thought we were crazy and continued when it stopped.
It breaks up the riding, stops your backside from getting sore, and you'll get some great photos.
Location: Aussie travelling through South East Asia
Sounds like what most of the Indonesia trip I did was like but great fun. I am in Kanchanaburi now, south of you, after the Three Pagodas pass I am heading to the Mae Hong Son loop sounds great. BTW not much rain down here.
Has anyone ride the Ho Chi minh trail?.. i'm finding many website advertising it, but sometimes it seems a bit like a tourist trap, do you know if is worthed? also, you need to go with a guide or you can sort it out with a good map (If available)?
I'vedone from Danang to Plieku and it's lovely but too many buses and not enough other traffic. yes that sounds stupid, what it means is in that area the buses will drive use every inch of the road because they don't expect to much traffic.
Now the bit you want to ride (i think as i haven't done all of it) is from danang up to Hanoi on it as the buses and trucks mostly go up the main road and the back road in the mountains has alot less traffic. Also around Dalat is awesome you have to have a play around there.
Enjoy the ride. I've been in south east asia for six months ridering around now and it has been a blast
Hehe off to do china in a few days yes more more more...
Location: Aussie travelling through South East Asia
Hey Blairn how are you doing China mate as it seems to me almost imposible from what I can find out. Well pretty damned expensive any way and I have heard Vietnam is also becoming more laxed with there CC policy so I want to give that a run while I am in SE Asia
P.S. The northern Thailand roads are fantastic to ride just got back from Mae Hon Song and Mae Saelong to Mae Chong to Chiang Mae what a ride
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