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  #1  
Old 8 Nov 2011
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help: 1st time planning trip through SE asia

I am planning on flying into Bangkok in mid-late December and buying a decent but cheap motorbike and using it to travel to Koh Phangan Island, back to Bangkok, then through Cambodia, into Vietnam staying in Ho Chi Minh then making my way up to Hanoi. When I get to Hanoi I will sell the motorbike before returning home.

That’s the plan. Or at least the basics.


I have never tried to purchase a motorbike before and certainly not in a foreign country. I need all the help I can get. If you know anything about any of these things it would be much appreciated:

-what kind/model of Motorbike I should be looking for and at what price
-where to find such a bike in Bangkok on relatively short notice
-information about insurance and license requirement for a trip like this
-road conditions through the area and local laws and other things I should have to worry about
- border crossings

-what kind of research should I be doing before I leave
-amazing places to see on my trip through South East Asia
-any and all advice for me on my adventure

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH!
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  #2  
Old 8 Nov 2011
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Sorry, no foreign motos into Vietnam, unless you´re very rich OR get very lucky (... and I don´t know, if you can really base travel-plans on that!) But flying into Vietnam, and buying from there, does seem to give access to Vietnam and its neighbours, except China.

"what kind of research should I be doing before I leave" - well, you could browse this very site for a few weeks for starters

my short take on the countries in that region here (and the scooters pictured there are a great option also for a 1st-timer in Asia!):
Chicken Chasers
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  #3  
Old 8 Nov 2011
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change of plan

What if i flip the order of my trip and fly into hanoi first get the bike there then go to HCMC through cambodia and end in thailand? could that work.
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  #4  
Old 8 Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilley View Post
What if i flip the order of my trip and fly into hanoi first get the bike there then go to HCMC through cambodia and end in thailand? could that work.
That will work, Don't forget Laos
Keep your eye on the conflict at the Cambodian/Thai border, maybe have plan B to go through Laos and cross into Thailand at Savanakhet
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  #5  
Old 15 Dec 2011
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It's easy to start in Ha Noi, then head to Saigon in the south.
$45 a month, unlimited miles.
Take 3 weeks to get from Ha Noi to Siagon.
3 days in Saigon, and 3 days on the train back to Ha Noi.

When you arrive Siagon, throw the bike on the train, green cargo box at end of train, and get the sleeper berth back to Ha Noi.
Bike cost about $35 and $50 for you in a sleeper.
Arrive ha Noi, give the bike back - simple

From Ha Noi, fly to where you want with Air Asia, very cheap.

vette
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  #6  
Old 16 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twobob View Post
That will work, Don't forget Laos
Keep your eye on the conflict at the Cambodian/Thai border, maybe have plan B to go through Laos and cross into Thailand at Savanakhet

That could work, and I believe it´s been done several times (...but do also note that there have also been some reports of having difficulty entering Thailand, discussed lately here in the HUBB, too).

And another possible downside could be the selection of bikes available for purchase in Vietnam, compared to Thailand, for example.

To the OP: ask yourself, do you absolutely need to be able to go to all possible countries in that region, especially if it´s your first trip there?

For example, I did a trip on a Thai-regoed bike in 2005, that went from the eastern seaboard of Thailand to Pailin (Cambodia) then Phnom Penh - Kratie - Stung Treng, then crossed to south Laos, then headed north to Savannakhet - Vientiane - Luang Prabang, then negotiated to put the bikes (we had 4 of them) on a river boat, and sailed 2 days north on the mighty Mekong, then crossing back to Thailand in Huay Xai, and finally enjoyed the fantastic mountain roads of northern Thailand on the way back south.

This was about 4000 kms and 3 weeks (but you could very easily double that time & mileage, just depends on how long your holiday is!)... the scenery, climate, people, language, culture, architecture, food, , etc – they all changed many many times on the way, it is quite fascinating, how different things you can see there in an afterall relatively small area. I´ve done many other great trips to these countries before and after, but I still rank that particular trip into my top 5 motorcycle trips ever (maybe the Mekong trip was the icing on the cake). Note, that we only went to 3 countries, and these are all in the ´easily do-able´ category these days.



A couple of pics from the boat trip... and below the so-called "vertical runway" in Vientiane (google it - it´s an interesting story!):
Attached Thumbnails
help: 1st time planning trip through SE asia-loading_7002.jpg  

help: 1st time planning trip through SE asia-cruise_7096.jpg  

help: 1st time planning trip through SE asia-vient_6441.jpg  


Last edited by pecha72; 16 Dec 2011 at 08:35.
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  #7  
Old 19 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
It's easy to start in Ha Noi, then head to Saigon in the south.
$45 a month, unlimited miles.
Take 3 weeks to get from Ha Noi to Siagon.
3 days in Saigon, and 3 days on the train back to Ha Noi.

When you arrive Siagon, throw the bike on the train, green cargo box at end of train, and get the sleeper berth back to Ha Noi.
Bike cost about $35 and $50 for you in a sleeper.
Arrive ha Noi, give the bike back - simple

From Ha Noi, fly to where you want with Air Asia, very cheap.

vette
.
I have just found more information about getting the bikes back to Ha Noi.
They don't go on the same train, in the box car.
The information I got was wrong.
They go on a seperate freight train.
And the cost is $33 for each bike.
On a truck, it will cost about $29
One should deliver the bike to the train station, 3 days before you want the bike travel to start, they will protect the bike with thick cardboard to prevent scratches.

vette
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  #8  
Old 21 Dec 2011
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Ok all,

We arrived at Saigon today, 21 December 2011.
We made our way to Ga Sai Gon, which as you guess, is the main train station in HCMC.

The cost for sending our 2 Honda bikes, back to Hanoi is $28.62 each.
We handed them over, where they remove the mirrors, then drain most of the petrol out the tank, so just arrive with it "on the red" and they wont bother.
The mirrors are put in the space under the seat, for safe keeping.
The front, the spedometer, headlight, the indicators, are all wrapped with loads of toilet roll for first protection.
Then the bike is covered in pieces of card board, to protect seat, and all the other side paint work.
It looks a good protection job.
You keep the keys, and they take your passport number, and phone number, so you are the only one who can collect it at destination, and they call you when to collect.
Like I said, we dropped it off about 4 pm, and the wrapping and paperwork took about an hour for the 2 bikes.
They told us the train will arrive in Ha Noi on Sunday, so not bad, just 4 days.

Quite cheap also I feel.
Our return to Ha Noi, will be by soft sleeper, and that costs $78 each, but thats the best beds, the cheaper beds are just $60 each, takes about 48 hours I believe.

Vette
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