Help me plan my SE Asia trip

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by brecchi, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    The pertinent details are:

    1. Will likely go in April. Plan on 6-7 weeks. I know it will be hot.
    2. Would like to see Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore.
    3. Initially wanted to buy or rent in Bangkok, skipping Vietnam because of the cc restriction. But now I'm considering renting/buying in Saigon and including Vietnam in my travels.
    4. I've read a lot about border restrictions, especially the new ones in Thailand. Would appreciate any advice on this.
    5. Budget of a few grand.
    6. Particularly interested in a Honda PCX 125 or 150. I like scooters too.

    I've done extensive motorcycle traveling both in the US and through the Americas for extended periods of time. Not so much in left hand drive countries.

    Thanks for any advice!
    #1
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  2. rosmoe

    rosmoe Been here awhile

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    Check out GT-Rider for the latest info on riding in South East Asia. Think I would fly to the countries you want to ride & just rent a bike there Can be a big hassle doing the border crossing on a motorcycle. In Thailand I would rent out of Chiang Mai & explore the great roads & sights in the north. 10 days or 2 weeks you can see a lot. Then fly down to Krabi, pick up another bike & check out the area. I stuck a little arrow on my left hand rear view mirror to remind me what side of the road I should be on. Not really needed in traffic, but on some of the small mountain roads where there is no traffic, it is easy to forget. A lot to see in Bangkok, but best done on public transport. Don't even think of riding a motorcycle in that city, plus it will be very hot & humid. Stick with the subway or skytrain. You will have a great time.
    #2
  3. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Thanks, I'll look into that. I do like the idea of crossing borders with the same machine, unbroken through all the countries I want to visit. I guess I will have to decide if it makes sense.

    Do you guys think my itinerary is too ambitious considering my timeline? I initially was going to fly into Bangkok and get a bike there, leaving Vietnam off the itinerary.
    #3
  4. rosmoe

    rosmoe Been here awhile

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    I would certainly not miss Vietnam, lots to see there. Your time seems to be about right, you can wing it as you go. Do get a International Drivers Permit, the cops in Chiang Mai will want to see that if you are stopped. Don't have one, will cost you 400 Baht.
    #4
  5. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Cool, I was wondering if I was rushing it by including Vietnam. It seems my best shot for a bike would be to rent or buy there. Is one preferable over the other?
    #5
  6. Pukaii (kyle)

    Pukaii (kyle) n00b

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    If you want to buy a bike in this part of the world you must have a work permit.
    Renting a bike is not hard here specially Thailand. Im living here in Thailand if you have any question about Thailand feel free to ask, I will try my best to help.
    #6
  7. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Thank you, I didn't know about needing a work permit to buy a bike. Im actually thinking a 150cc scooter might be a good choice to rent.

    Are you aware if rental places will allow you to cross borders with Laos, Cambodia, or Malaysia? I do also realize that I can only cross twice by land in one year without applying for a Thai visa.
    #7
  8. Pukaii (kyle)

    Pukaii (kyle) n00b

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    About crossing without a visa I'm not the expert, none of my friends ever did. But about bike rental it is a lot easier to re-rent the bike after you cross each boarder and also much cheaper. They will charge you much more if you rent the bike from Thailand and cross the boarder ,but most town that have a boarder will got the shop that willing to prepare a paper for the bike you rent from them to go across the boarder. 150cc. bike for me I think a bit under over taking power. You should see how we driving here you will understand, its really different but at the same time making sense. and for the Bankok shop that do allow bike to cross the boarder I will keep asking around for you
    #8
  9. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Thanks Pukaii. Ive asked a couple of shops already and they have told me that they will not rent to cross a border, that I would need to buy. But according to you, I don;t think I will be able to do this.
    #9
  10. Pukaii (kyle)

    Pukaii (kyle) n00b

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    I did talk ti one of my senior friend his name is Tum, He do a lot of trip that need to cross the border with his expat friends. I think you should email him, his email is theunit@mac.com
    If any one can give you the best advice, for me I think he's the man. I also will keep asking around for you.
    #10
  11. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    OK, I will email him, thanks. I've also asked about this on HUBB - there are so many conflicting stories, I am realizing that I will likely have to play a lot of this by ear.

    I'll copy and paste a bit of what I wrote over there to add to what I've already written:

    "I'd like to see Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. And maybe cross for a day bike-free into Myanmar.

    I'll most likely be flying into Bangkok. I'm not sure after researching this whether its better to rent or buy and what borders Ill be able to cross. I do know that I can rent in Vietnam and visit Laos and Cambodia according to Tigit in HCMC.

    I also know that I'll only be able to cross back into Thailand twice by land. I'm thinking of getting a bike or scooter in Bangkok, heading north and possibly crossing into Myanmar for a day off the bike when I'm in the Chang Mai area. Then down south into Malaysia (on the bike), Singapore (off the bike) and back into Thailand where I will return/sell the bike. Then bus to HCMC, rent there and head north to Hanoi, then back to HCMC through Laos and Cambodia. It would be nice to then bus back to Bangkok, but I will have already used my 2 land crossings for the year so I'm thinking I may have to fly back in order to catch my flight back to the States from Bangkok.

    Does this sound doable within my timeframe? And are there a bunch of things I'm not thinking about, legally/borders or otherwise?"
    #11
  12. fuzzg

    fuzzg n00b

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    Hey, I got a 110 cc Hinda Blade from Tigit and it was faultless, helpfull people and will give you advise on latest border crossing info. I'd say 6-7 weeks is doable but won't give you much time to relax but that depends on what you see/where you go. I done 10 weeks around Vietnam, Laos & Cambodian in 2017 and didn't even attempt to land border between Laos & Cambodia, instead went back into Vietnam for 1 day (and to get my coffee fix).


    FuzzG
    #12
  13. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Nice - so it seems like its very doable to rent in Vietnam and visit Laos and Cambodia, even if you need to go back into Vietnam to avoid the Laos/Cambodia border crossing. Thanks for the info.
    #13
  14. imjustin

    imjustin Adventurer

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    You may skip Singapore; we are a small city-state with not much nature/nice scenic views, and everything is really expensive here.

    If you do make it all the way down to the South of Western Malaysia (i.e. Johor Bahru), and you still decide to cross over into Singapore, pls pick a good time to cross the border/causeway. You do NOT want to be stuck in the 2-3 hour traffic jam that is the 100,000 motorcycles that cross from JB into Singapore every day for work.

    With that said, if you do come to Singapore, drop me a PM. I'll be happy to show you around for nice food! :)
    #14
  15. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the offer Justin - I've always wanted to visit Singapore, at least for a couple of days. I wish I could be there for the F1 race! I will contact you if I make it there.
    #15