Motorbiking in Asia forum

4 months around SE Asia

  • Lostbeachbum

    Click here to learn more about Lostbeachbum
    Joined Travelfish
    9th September, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 40

    Hey everyone,

    My name is John, I'm 27 from the US and have been riding most of my life, over 100k miles. I'm leaving on my RWT next month and SE Asia is my first stop. After spending a few weeks exploring Thailand's South Coast starting in Prachuap, I'm flying into Han Oi to buy a WIN or similar to start a 3 1/2 month ride through Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia-Thailand-Malaysia.

    My basic route: Take the Northern and Northwestern loop from Han Oi, then get my Laos visa in Dien Bien Phu. From there my rough plan is to spend alot of time exploring the small towns of Northern Laos, Northern Thailand and Northeastern Cambodia. I love getting off the beaten path and experiencing local culture, these areas seem the best to do that. I'll loop around and do the HCM trail, eventually making my way back into southern Thailand where I'll do some island hopping, then Malaysia and Singapore (via KUL). I plan on flying out of KL to New Zealand sometime in February. If anyone is doing a simlar trip around the same time and wants to meet up, let me know.

    John

    #1 Posted: 10/9/2011 - 23:49

  • Advertisement

  • megeb

    Joined Travelfish
    10th June, 2011
    Posts: 10

    Hey John!

    A friend and I are planning on doing SE Asia(at least Vietnam) by mortobike around that time as well. We are both 20-something American girls, who met last year while teaching in South Korea. My experience on motorbikes, is actually limited to Vespas, so we may be below your level of desired companions, but we'd be happy to meet up if our paths happen to cross. We don't have a set itinerary, but probably won't be looking to get a bike until 2nd week of November.

    Cheers,
    Megan

    #2 Posted: 13/9/2011 - 21:01

  • Lostbeachbum

    Click here to learn more about Lostbeachbum
    Joined Travelfish
    9th September, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 40

    Hey Megan,

    Wow, 4 replies in a row, you must me anxious to get on the road! I'm happy to meet up with you girls along the way, riding skill isn't a big deal as much as the pace of travel. I travel slow, don't plan ahead and hang out in remote areas with locals and try to stay away from party areas. I do like to party, heavily, but I'm more of a dive bar on the beach with a few people kinda guy rather than FMPs, been there done that... I'm very into food, scenery, culture, history, meditation and getting lost. Give me a shout when you get into VN. By 2nd week of November I will probably be somewhere around Sapa.

    John

    #3 Posted: 14/9/2011 - 03:46

  • megeb

    Joined Travelfish
    10th June, 2011
    Posts: 10

    Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!! No idea how that happened!! I'll let you know when we are heading into Vietnam, and hopefully we'll be able to meet up!

    #4 Posted: 14/9/2011 - 05:21

  • ridetheworld

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2011
    Posts: 6

    Hi John.
    Interesting plan you have. Really.
    There are some issues you have to consider when crossing borders here in South East Asia.
    Regulations in general: It is not easy to take bike from country to another. To make this even more challenging, different countries have different rules and when we are in Asia, different custom officers seems to have different rules too.

    Tolls and taxes: Again, different rules in every country. Be prepared to spend time, tobacco and money with paperwork.

    Insurances: This is the most important. Bike insurance has to cover all countries you plan to ride. And you might have difficulties to have your Vietnamese bike insured to Thailand or Malaysia, not even speaking about Singapore.

    In case you are willing to ride in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, the easiest might be to take the bike from Singapore. Singaporean bikes do have easy access all the way to Thailand. After that, everything is up to insurance companies.

    Check www.bigloudrides.com and contact those guys for more information. They might be able to give you a solution.

    Nasai

    #5 Posted: 14/9/2011 - 10:28

  • Lostbeachbum

    Click here to learn more about Lostbeachbum
    Joined Travelfish
    9th September, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 40

    Thanks for the advice ridetheworld. I am prepared for any problems with boarder crossings along the way. After dozens of hours of research, I'm confident in my plan. I'm in contact with several people who've made the same trip and some who are doing it right now. The consensus is that small VN registered bikes roll through the boarders with relative ease. A $10 or $20 in your passport makes things alot smoother. The trick is knowing which crossings to take. Worst case scenario, bike gets confiscated and I'm out $300-$400. If I have any trouble bringing my bike into Malaysia or want to rent a bike in Singapore, I'll look you up. Thanks!

    #6 Posted: 14/9/2011 - 21:58

  • Lostbeachbum

    Click here to learn more about Lostbeachbum
    Joined Travelfish
    9th September, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 40

    Thanks for the advice ridetheworld. I am prepared for any problems with boarder crossings along the way. After dozens of hours of research, I'm confident in my plan. I'm in contact with several people who've made the same trip and some who are doing it right now. The consensus is that small VN registered bikes roll through the boarders with relative ease. A $10 or $20 in your passport makes things alot smoother. The trick is knowing which crossings to take. Worst case scenario, bike gets confiscated and I'm out $300-$400. If I have any trouble bringing my bike into Malaysia or want to rent a bike in Singapore, I'll look you up. Thanks!

    #7 Posted: 14/9/2011 - 22:01

  • Lostbeachbum

    Click here to learn more about Lostbeachbum
    Joined Travelfish
    9th September, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 40

    Well, my plans changed around a little bit but I'm still doing this trip. Spent the last 2 months in the Caribbean riding around Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago. I fly into Bangkok on Dec 6. My basic plan is to spend a few nights in the city then head to Siem Reap to buy a bike. If I can't find one there that has Vietnam papers, I'll go to Phnom Penh where I know there is a shop that has a few. No set plans really once I get the bike. I'll probably just take it slow and explore along coast as I plan on being in Sville or one of the Islands for Christmas/NYE. If anyone is doing something similar and wants to meet up, shoot me a PM or my contact info is in my profile. Safe riding everyone,

    John

    #8 Posted: 30/11/2011 - 00:53

  • MattEdge

    Joined Travelfish
    7th December, 2011
    Posts: 4

    John - I just rode got into Phnom Pehn today from Chau Doc, Vietnam. I have a honda win that I bought in Hanoi with Vietnam papers. I am planning to sell in the next couple days if I find a buyer either here or in Siem Reap. Unfortunately, I'm running out of time and plan to head to Bangkok on Sunday from Siem Reap. Let me know if you are going to be there and want to take a look. You can best reach me @ mtedging@gmail.com.

    #9 Posted: 7/12/2011 - 02:25

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6339
    Total reviews: 10

    Lost,

    If you end up doing the west bank of the Mekong (Nakhon Phanom, That Phanom, Mukdahan, Khemmerat) look me up.

    #10 Posted: 7/12/2011 - 07:21

  • Advertisement

  • Lostbeachbum

    Click here to learn more about Lostbeachbum
    Joined Travelfish
    9th September, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 40

    Thanks for the offer MM, I'll definitely look you up if I'm in the area. Matt, I would love to check out your bike but I won't be in Cambo that soon. Maybe early next week. Goodluck with the sale though!

    #11 Posted: 8/12/2011 - 22:23

  • MattEdge

    Joined Travelfish
    7th December, 2011
    Posts: 4

    No worries. Think I'm actually gonna ride to the border to see if I can get it into Thailand tomorrow. If not, I may just sell it nearby or try to get back to Siem Reap. I'll let you know. If you're in Bangkok and wanna take a look there, that could work out too (if I get it across).

    #12 Posted: 9/12/2011 - 01:51

  • Lostbeachbum

    Click here to learn more about Lostbeachbum
    Joined Travelfish
    9th September, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 40

    Hey Matt, I picked up my bike here in Phnom Penh a few days ago. Having a full service done then heading for the coast. Note to anyone buying or bringing a bike into Cambodia. There are NO parts here for any bike that's not a scooter. If you have a Win, Bonus, Minsk or GN125, have a good service done before you get here and or bring spare parts with you. Also note, riding in SE Asia is not for the faint of heart or inexperienced rider. I see sooo many stupid kids hobbling around and bandaged from head to toe because they don't know how to ride or drink and drive, most of the time both. Here in Cambodia there are no laws or rules of the road beyond if it's bigger get out of the way. These people have absolutely ZERO common sense while driving and apparently have no fear of death either. A dangerous combination...

    #13 Posted: 20/12/2011 - 22:09

  • johnysac

    Joined Travelfish
    25th October, 2009
    Posts: 71

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Hey Guys
    That applies to all of Se asia . No Road sense at all I have been here 5 years and every death is from a stupid manouver . i e I think i can turn in front of this container truck while he is making a right turn and can not see me . Oh it ran over me now i am dead . or i will ride fast with no helmet and no lights on the wrong side of the road . Look friends i am cool . Oh the taxi did not see me . Now I am dead . Treat every driver as a mooron and ride slow and its ok . I agree with you about parts in cambodia with the minsk and bonus but the win has the same engine and drive gear as the wave and dream scooters the win is not a problem any where . Only place for minsk parts is hanoi . even saigon is drying up now

    Happy holidays Johny

    #14 Posted: 22/12/2011 - 14:55

  • Lostbeachbum

    Click here to learn more about Lostbeachbum
    Joined Travelfish
    9th September, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 40

    One of the best decisions I've ever made was to ride around SE Asia. The bike is a POS but it's been a great time. Hanging out in Kep now been bouncing around the islands for awhile, this region is beautiful. Thinking about heading North soon into Laos stopping in Phnom Penh for a night or 2. If anyone is doing anything similar let me know. Safe travels!

    John

    #15 Posted: 18/2/2012 - 23:54

  • Criggy

    Joined Travelfish
    21st February, 2012
    Posts: 13

    Hi John,

    I'm curious to hear how you got on with border crossings with your motorbike.
    I'm planning a trip next month (Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos-Thailand) and looking to do at least the Vietnam part by bike. Depending on how simple it is to move the bike between countries, I may choose to sell the bike in HCMC (buying it in Hanoi) or take it with me.
    Also, can you pass on any information regarding buying your bike? How much did you end up paying? What is the general ballpark figure? I saw your initial plan was to buy in Hanoi, did you end up doing this? Any advice on this?

    Thanks for any help,

    -Chris

    #16 Posted: 22/2/2012 - 09:22

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.