About Vietnam. In December 2006, I was riding with a bunch of friends, on 115cc Yamaha Nouvo scooters bought in Thailand (yes, we were the funniest-looking team, 8 big, hairy falangs on small bikes!!) and we tried all 3 international border stations with Cambodia (one of them twice) and 1 with Laos. Did not get in, but it was still a great tour around Cambodia & Laos.
There is a persistent rumour about under 175cc vehicles allowed entry, but this, however, seems to be either incorrect or outdated info. Now they do not let foreign bikes of any engine size enter. Did not seem like you could buy your way in, either.
Of course your chances in reality are much better, if you´re alone - if you just happen to be at the right border station at the right time, theres a possibility you might succeed. A bigger group always draws attention, and the "NO-MOTORBIKE-TO-VIETNAM guy" (which surely is there at every border station!) who knows you shouldnt be let in, is more likely to notice, whats going on. I think we were actually close to succeeding a couple of times, but this guy always managed to stop our progress.
And even if not, if you want to take the risk, you can try and hire some local to just walk your bike in, while you go stamp your passport. For us, that would´ve been much harder, because we were so many... we most likely would´ve been checked by the police inside the country, too, because it´s impossible to go so ´low key´ with such a group!
Do note that if you smuggle your bike in, you then risk, among other things, ending up in even more serious trouble than normal, if you have an accident. So think ahead, whether you are willing to accept those risks or not. We were quoted 300 US each for smuggling the scooters on a truck to Saigon.
The guy who arranged the whole trip, has been travelling around the region for 30 years, and he later went to try the same, with only one friend with him, and they also had some magic "special paper" from the Thai Ministry of Transport (that the Vietnamese border guards themselves claimed will work wonders), but still no success. So its not very easy.
Last edited by pecha72; 8 Jul 2008 at 08:53.