South East Asia to Nepal.... a few questions

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by Franqkbernard, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Franqkbernard

    Franqkbernard n00b

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    I would like to plan a trip from South East Asia (departure country flexible including VIetnam, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, etc) but would like to buy a bike from there and drive up to Nepal.

    After reading a few comments on the possibility of such a trip it seems there would be some issues with border crossings and the country of origin (from which i'd buy the bike).

    Has anyone been through a similar journey and could weigh in on this.

    Cheers!
    #1
  2. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    It´s been a few years since I´ve been that way, but for buying, I´d look at Thailand or Malaysia. You don´t mention, what kind of bike – scooters are everywhere, and can be bought cheap, another upside is that their spare parts are also everywhere. Bigger bikes are not as common, but can be found in places like Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.

    The “overlander´s map” in that region has changed considerably lately. During my trips there, Burma was practically closed for foreign vehicles, and has opened up a lot, but you still need to pre-arrange a guide. Unfortunately Thailand has just a while ago tightened their regulations for temporarily imported foreign vehicles. That could be a stumbling block, but I really do not know the details, I hope someone who has visited more recently, can help you out on that (Thailand used to be a breeze, and I fail to accept it has suddenly become impossible, probably not but I just do not know).

    Another thing almost guaranteed to be a major headache with this kind of plan, is the carnet (Carnet de passages en Douane). You need to get the bike to India to complete this type of trip, and I´m quite positive they will not let the bike in without the carnet. You would need to first contact the Automobile Association in your country of residence, and ask if they can provide you the carnet for a vehicle you have bought in country X, and if they can´t do that, then they should be able to forward you to another AA, that hopefully can do this. Getting the carnet issued usually means you have to post a bond, the amount needed may depend on the bike and also the countries that you plan to take the bike into. (A word of warning, this is just an example, and I hope you will not run into this same problem: a lot of people want to buy bikes from India, and ride them to Europe, but they need the carnet to get any bike to Pakistan, and AFAIK, it is nearly impossible for foreigners to get carnets for bikes they bought in India – that is actually one major reason, why foreigners, who plan to overland, more often buy bikes from Nepal).

    Once you get a more clear picture of what you want to do and where, then I might know a few nice rides if your plan takes you to India, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia or Indonesia.
    #2
  3. Franqkbernard

    Franqkbernard n00b

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    Yeah it appears buying one there would be a massive headache if heading to Nepal.

    Guess i'll have to settle for doing Cambodia, Laos amd Vietnam and not shoot up to Myanmar and such.

    Thanks for the tips, i'll ask you more about some great roads when i get there
    #3
  4. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    I would suggest renting in each country and travelling in SE Asia then flying to Kathmandu or Calcutta and renting again there, it should be possible to take an Indian registered bike into Nepal for a couple of weeks if you want to see something of both countries.
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  5. Franqkbernard

    Franqkbernard n00b

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    Probably the best bet, thanks for weighing in!
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