Photo: On the road to Banlung.

Motorbiking in Asia forum

Buying a scooter in thailand/taking it elsewhere

Posted by littletimmy on 29/9/2012 at 09:24

Can scooters/bikes bought in Thailand be taken to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos? Only reason i ask, is i read on here Laos and Cambodia don't welcome each others bikes?! I look to buy a bike in a Thai friends name (as falangs cannot owner motors over there) who i think i can trust, and at the end of my SE loop, giving it to them as a gift.

Questions, can i take a thai bike across boarders? Can i do it with the bike NOT being "mine". Any other laws i need to be aware of? I understand its the bike that is insured as apposed to the driver in Thailand so no problem there. I am also applying for my international drivers license to cover that.

Also whats a reasoable price for a cheap scooter over there? I only want to pay maybe 10-15k baht.


#1 littletimmy has been a member since 19/8/2012. Posts: 22

Posted by exacto on 29/9/2012 at 16:17

MADMAC used to mention not being able to take his motorcycle across the bridge to Laos due to customs or whatever other regulations. Hopefully he'll comment on the latest developments, but I'd be surprised if you could take a scooter across that many borders.

Given your budget and depending on the length of your trip, you may be better off just renting scooters for a few days here and there where you need them. I like your idea of buying the scooter in Thailand and leaving it with a friend as a gift at the end of your trip, and you could still do that for the Thai portion of your holiday and just rent a scooter in Laos as needed, for example.

If you do wind up crossing one of those borders with your bike, I'd love to hear about it. Cheers.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,762
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Posted by MADMAC on 29/9/2012 at 22:01

For reasons that perplex all I have talked to on the subject, you can not ride a motorcycle across friendship bridge 2, but you can, apparently, ride across at friendship bridge one (and now I suspect you can ride across 3 as well). As for crossing into from Laos into Cambodia and Vietnam, I have read here on travelfish you can not. I have not met anyone else who has tried. I have some friends (Thai) who are part of the Mukdahan Motorcycle club, and they said you can not ride from here to Vietnam.

For 10-15k you will get a old Honda Wave or the like. MIGHT (or might not) be reliable, but with it's small wheel base it will not be a good highway bike. They're too unstable. Also, the saddle is horrible and your ass will be nice and sore after an hour sitting on it. Those bikes are for in and around town, not touring. I know some people do do it - and believe me I understand the appeal (since I ride a lot out here), but from a safety perspective, as well as from a comfort perspective, you really need a bike that can keep up with the flow of traffic and has a wheel base sufficient to deal with the potholes you will encounter.

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Posted by sayadian on 30/9/2012 at 02:11

'but with it's small wheel base it will not be a good highway bike.'
'you really need a bike that can keep up with the flow of traffic.'

In S.E. Asia I don't think you can emphasis those two points enough if you want to stay in one piece. As an ex-biker I thoroughly concurr with Madmac

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Posted by littletimmy on 30/9/2012 at 09:05

Ok guys thanks for the replys the budget can be played with. What budget would you say would be suitable to my needs?

#5 littletimmy has been a member since 19/8/2012. Posts: 22

Posted by MADMAC on 30/9/2012 at 09:34

Well, your first problem is going from country to country. You could very much simplify your problem if you toured one country. For instance, if you started in Bangkok and then drove North all the way to Chiang Rai. That's a long ride with lots of stops and lots to see and do. Then come down via Loei, to Nong Khai and down the Mekong on the Thai side. VERY long ride. At Ubon Ratchathani you could then head either to the Coast or back to Bangkok. This ride could easily take a month, especially if you stop for a few days at certain locations.

The bigger problem in Thailand, though, and what makes Vietnam appealing on this front, is buying a bike. To buy one, you need some sort of residence visa and an address. You'd have to figure out how you want to do that if you want to ride in Thailand on your own bike. In Vietnam I don't think you need this. So logistically it's tougher in Thailand to buy the bike. I can't speak for Laos or Cambodia - I'm not sure what their rules are.

As for type of Bike - you might be able to find a decent used CBR 150 - the smallest bike I would tour on - for about 50,000 baht. That should still have some warranty on it in case you have trouble and you might also be able to arrange a buy back when you return, although there would doubtless be no guarantees.

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