Border crossing help in Southeast Asia

Discussion in 'Asia' started by flyingdutchman177, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    I have been traveling around the Americas and Europe for the past year plus on my GS1200
    Now I want to do Southeast Asia on a smaller bike.

    My original plan was to ride from India to Indonesia but I hear Burma is all but impossible to cross without serious brain surgery.

    So my new plan is to buy a motorcycle in Southeast Asia and ride around Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

    Can anyone shed some light on the best country to buy a small motorcycle to travel on?
    And does anyone have pertinent information on border crossings between countries? For example, I understand their is a size limit of the motorcycle they will allow in to Vietnam. Are there any other restrictions on travel between the aforementioned countries? Also, where do I need a carnet for a motorcycle sourced locally?

    My current blog is "Around the World in 800 Days

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=801516&page=284

    Please help if you have any factual tips
    Thank you in advance for your advice

    Lalo
    #1
  2. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

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    Best place for a small bike to ride from; Go to Chiangmai and get a bike there. You can do laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia.
    A CRF250 is about USD 4,000 and a bit.
    Border crossing into Malaysia is the easiest. Carnet not required. For Laos and Cambodia its also painless. Vietnam may be a little problematic but many have made it through. Myanmar difficult unless a local agent and guide are engaged.
    #2
  3. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    I am going to send you a private message
    I want to get this stuff figured out and you seem to speak from experience
    #3
  4. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    Why buy the bike in Chiangmai Thailand?
    Have you done a trip like this before and speak from personal experience?
    I understand that I need a drivers license in Vietnam to ride there
    I also hear that they don't let motorcycles in over 150cc's but there is one border that I might get a bike in.
    I just want to make this all simple
    I want to buy a bike about 250cc's and ride thru as many of the countries as I can without being stopped at the border and turned around.
    I don't really want to deal with getting a carnet unless one can be obtained easily at the border or somewhere nearby. I just want to show up and ride.
    Can you tell me what problems I will encounter.
    Where the problem areas might be
    And how I can deal with them

    Thanks

    Lalo
    #4
  5. wibble

    wibble Been here awhile

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    I can't help with the other questions but I rode in Vietnam in 2011 with just a UK licence.....

    Have a good trip:freaky
    #5
  6. koh kood

    koh kood Been here awhile

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    #6
  7. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    Ok, here is my plan........
    After doing some research, I have decided to buy a Honda CRF250L in Thailand. You can get a new one there for $5000 or a used one for somewhat less.
    I think it would be best to put the bike in my name but I would need to apply for temporary residency (which I am not sure if it could be done quickly).
    But I understand that if you get the previous owner to sign a copy of his passport, sign a copy of title papers, get a bill of sale and fill out a form for customs, I can get the bike in to Cambodia and Laos without issues.
    For Vietnam, I understand that I might be able to get the bike in at one border crossing in the south of the country for 15 days provided I leave from the same border point.
    Malaysia, I understand, is possible to get in without a carnet as well and just the aforementioned paperwork.
    I am still not clear how to get in to Indonesia with the bike and no carnet. Maybe I can leave a deposit????
    Burma, I hear, I can't get in to without hiring a guide. But maybe things will change by the time I get there this November.

    If there is anything that you read here that you are certain is incorrect, I would like to hear back from you.

    Follow my blog:
    Around the World in 800 Days
    I am 400 days in to it now

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=801516&page=302
    #7
  8. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    I don't want too much of a headache getting across borders I want to visit Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. I want to spend 4 months traveling around there. It would be nice and cost effective to do it all on one motorcycle. I just want to fly in, find a good bike like a Honda CRF250 and just go. I hope to do it all without a carnet and I am not sure how to get one while traveling on the road as I have been for the past year and a half. If I can do 3 or 4 of the countries easily with one motorcycle, then I will buy one and if need be, sell it and buy another motorcycle to get in to the other countries. So what is your recommendation? What is the best country to buy a motorcycle to get around SE Asia with ease? Do I try and put the bike in my name if it can be done quickly or leave it in the previous owner's name and carry the papers you advise in your link? Or as a last resort, do I have to rent a different motorcycle in each country? Thanks Lalo
    #8
  9. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

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    as I understand it ,malaysia is the easiest-without residency.
    #9
  10. blek

    blek Adventurer

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    How about buying a motorcycle in Indonesia, but asking our Indonesian members to buy it for you, then you and the Indonesian member sign a... Well, let's say "Lease Agreements", both in Indonesian and English so you can go without trouble with the motorcycle? The Motorcycle will be registered as his/her (do we have girls here, fellow Indonesians? :rofl:rofl ) name, but you have the Lease Agreements.

    So, the workflow would be like this:

    1. Go to Indonesia.
    2. Ask our members there to help you buy a motorcycle. A new one or used one, both will do.
    3. You go with him to the dealer.
    4. He do the business, you pay the dealer.
    5. Wait a week or two for the license, we call that STNK and BPKB. Used motorcycle can be done in days. While waiting, maybe you can borrow his motorcycle to ride around.
    6. Both of you sign the "Lease Agreements", have a little farewell party, and off you go. :freaky

    You can check the prices for new bike right on their websites, in rupiah. For example, honda's will be: http://www.astra-honda.com/index.php/product

    I recomended Verza. It is cheap, the sparepart is all over southeast asia, and I bet you can easily using other bike's parts. Cannibalizing, in our language.
    #10
  11. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    I live in Malaysia and am in Thailand on my way to Burma now. I agree that Thailand is the best of your mentioned countries to buy a bike.
    The CRF250L is about 5K USD there and about 8K USD in Malaysia. The easy countries for you as you mentioned are:

    Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia

    Vietnam is getting easy but they want in and out the same border.

    Burma - you can come with me but there is a good chance you'll get shot. We have a relationship with the Karen rebel army.

    Indonesia from Malaysia:

    Not too hard with a Carnet, but the problem is there are no consistant rules. Most popular is the ferry from Penang to Belawan/Medan or Klang (KL) to Dumai.

    It is straigtforward but expensive to ship a bike from West (Peninsular) Malaysia to East Malaysia (Sarawalk/Borneo) and then you can ride into Kalimantan Indonesia. Once you are in Inondesia it is easy and straightforward to get from island to island by the PELNI boat system.

    You are better off on a 250 for most of the riding in these countries.
    #11
  12. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    I want to buy in Thailand because I can buy the Honda motorcycle for less money.
    Thanks for the info. I hope to see you next year in Indonesia
    #12
  13. MarcoSavewood

    MarcoSavewood n00b

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    Hi rickypanecatyl,
    Do you know the amount(approx) of a boat ticket for a moto from west to east Malaysia and between Malaysia and indonesia ?
    Thanks a lot !
    #13
  14. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    I've got some guys checking on that right now Marco but the latest info I had was that it was $7.70 RM a KG for a motorcycle to ship from Port Klang (an hour west of KL) to Kuching, Sarawalk "roro" service - (Roll On/Roll off verses door to door).

    Hantarkereta takes about 1 week to ship though you have to bring it to them no later than 2 days early and register a week ahead of time. They have about 4 departures per month spread out fairly evenly.
    #14
  15. MarcoSavewood

    MarcoSavewood n00b

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    Well i was expecting something more expensive than $7. Good News !
    But i didn't know about the waiting week. Bad news..
    Thanks ricky!
    #15