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Old 13 Sep 2013
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Planning a Bike Trip for South East Asia, Require Assistance


So me and a friend want to take a 3 month bike trip all through SE Asia. Starting in mid to late November 2013

We want to fly in, buy a bike and be able to take them all around. Such as Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and perhaps others.

Is this a feasible idea? What will I need in terms of paperwork to cross the borders? Which would be the easiest country to buy a bike from to take it across boarders? (I heard Malaysia you just need a passport with an approved stamp) Is this true?

What do I need to cross boarders with a vehicle?
I have tried searching the site and reading the guides but it all is still very unclear to me.

Some clarity and guidance would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 14 Sep 2013
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Malaysia is your best bet by far. There is a fairly recent thread on this in last couple of months.
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Old 14 Sep 2013
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If you want to do Vietnam, you'll need to buy/rent in Vietnam. You cannot enter Vietnam on a bike that is not registered in Vietnam.

Malaysia and Thailand are your best options for buying and registering.
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Old 15 Sep 2013
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Now I was under the impression you could take foreign registered bikes into Vietnam but there were engine size restrictions, a fair few have also reported one crossing allowing big bikes to enter as long as they exited at the same point


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Old 15 Sep 2013
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Engine cc limit for Vietnam seems to be just a rumour on the net, never really proven anywhere. There is a sizeable language barrier with them, though. I once tried with 115cc scooters, and did not succeed, but maybe it was the size of our group, that got their attention. It is Asia, so nothing is written in stone.

For about a year, travellers report to have been able to enter on big bikes, but only through one specific border crossing with Laos (and this does sound strange, usually it is every international crossing, or none at all)... so at the moment there seems to be a good chance to do it this way, but really no guarantees of anything.

Southern Asia section has threads about this.
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Old 15 Sep 2013
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My brother is living working in in Ho Chi Minh city as an English teacher I have asked him to try to find a definitive answer to this
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Old 16 Sep 2013
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Hopefully he can get the latest update on crossings

My latest update, handed my notice in at work. Boss was understanding and guaranteed me work on my return. (",)

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Old 20 Oct 2013
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Yes, you can buy a bike in Malaysia and ride the countries you mentioned except for Vietnam which have unclear policy on foreign bikes. Anyway, Cambodia is also following the China policy of requiring a guide to enter the country. However, if you are travelling solo or two they seem to relax on this rule.
Malaysian registered bike does not need carnet to travel in the ASEAN countries just temporary import permit obtain at the border.
In my opinion, if you have a smaller bike or middle dual purpose bike (600 cc equivalent) it is much easier to deal with if you have any technical problem. Kawasaki is made in Thailand a popular and cheap to run. BMW is also popular but pricey. Less pricey and common bike is less attractive for scums.
Hope this helps.
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Old 24 Oct 2013
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Hi People, I'm presently in Laos having ridden here from Vietnam on a Vietnamese registered rental 125cc Yamaha. I crossed the VN/LAO border a week ago along with a French couple who had bought a second hand Honda Wave in HCMC. We had no problems at all at the Na Meo crossing although the French pair had 3 days earlier been refused permission to bring their moto into Laos at the Tay Trang crossing. The word on the street is that at the moment Tay Trang is unpredictable whereas Na Meo has been a reliable crossing for several months now. I have met several Thai riders on big Thai registered bikes and the way I understood it they come through Laos and Vietnam quite regularly having put in paperwork for a "tour" GT riders website has some useful info on crossings and the "rules" at present. For what it's worth, riding in Vietnam is almost as bad as India but Laos is an oasis of calm. Beer in both countries is good and cheap and the natives are friendly. Ride safe.
Mike is riding the twisty road in the sky
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Old 25 Feb 2014
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What's news on the border crossings??

Hello from Bali!
I am currently planning a trip with the same route… My bike will be temporarily imported from Indonesia to Thailand and from there I want to ride Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam as well.
I was wondering if you had done your trip yet and can provide me any more informations about the border crossing. I have tried too, to find use;flu information online and it almost seems impossible.
I'll be riding with a small bike, 225cc only.

I am very grateful if I could get some help and advises

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Old 16 Apr 2014
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Vietnam Ride

Just returned from Vietnam ride last week. Me and 5 other Malaysian rented Honda Future 125cc bikes and ride the South of Vietnam. We rented the bikes from Flamingo Travel, Head Office in Hanoi, 66 Dao Duy Street. Tel 0439260938 and Branch Office in Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City, 30 Do Quang Dau, district 1, Tel +84 986751020. Website flamingotravel.com.vn

Price for the rent all inclusive, unlimited mileage was USD12/day/bike.

We started from HCM city - Phan Thiet - Nha Trang - Dalat - HCM city. Total distance covered approx 1074 km.

It was such a fun and nice tour. There are some 8 million bikes in HCM city and much more I think. Still I consider it is one of the safest bike riding country. Why? Simply because all bikers obey the speed limit which are 30PKH in city and build-up areas and 50KPH in normal trunk roads. However, most bikers there have high 'Give Way" tolerance attitude.

You can also, from the company mentioned above, rent the bike from HCM city and deliver the bike in Hanoi.

Safe Ride
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