Taking a Motorbike across borders in Vietnam, Cambodia, Loas and Thailand

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by kynan, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. kynan

    kynan n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
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    Hi

    My plan is to purchase a bike in vietnam and cross into cambodia, back into vietnam, into laos and then finally into thailand.

    I thought this was going to be easy but have come up against a lot of "you cant do that" from people.

    the issues seem to be with the import/export of the bike when its in a vietnamese owners name. (apparently to get it into my name is possible but difficult and would expire when my visa expires, this does not work).

    has anyone done this type of trip with a bike purchased in one of these countries? Any tips or information would be helpfull.

    If you havent tried it but just think its not possible that isnt helpfull :huh

    thanks kynan. :freaky
    #1
  2. farfetch

    farfetch this is what I look like

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
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    Location:
    Australia...touring
    I'm also looking into this end of Asia. I just pulled into Australia, so i wont reach thailand until late december. Where do you find information concerning border crossings in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Can i even take my 1150GS into those countries? I've heard some news about size restrictions on motorbikes. Sounds like you've done some research, can you give me any pointers,.. would appreceate any advice
    thanks

    Chris
    thelongestfriday.com
    #2
  3. LaudJohn

    LaudJohn Been here awhile

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    Thailand, Laos and Cambodia will not be a problem. A little bit of customs paperwork at the border. You may need to leave the bike and go into a town in Thailand and get insurance but that's cheap. In Laos you need local cheap insurance as well but that is available at the border.

    You will not be able to get your bike into Vietnam.

    Malaysia is also easy. Singapore is a hassle with some paperwork for the tolls but doable just expensive.

    If you ship your bike from Darwin to Singapore I have heard that the local Automoblie club will meet you at the docks and trailer the bike to the Malaysian border for about $70 .. if you are a member of a riciproical club.

    I have ridden my Cambo registered bike in Laos, Thailand and Malaysia without problems.

    I am thinking of riding my OZ based bike up some time as well.

    A carnet is only required for Indonesia, not the other countries mentioned.

    I hope this helps,


    cheers

    LaudJohn
    #3
  4. petefromberkeley

    petefromberkeley -

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    www.horizonsunlimited.com
    #4
  5. MuddyMick

    MuddyMick MuddyMick

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cambodia-Biker Paradise
    Hi, MuddyMick here, I am new to this site and live i PP, can you give me a clue as to how to submit a new topic? Just cant seem to find how to do it. I would like to post my own topic about riding here in cambodia.

    Mick

    muddymick@hotmail.com
    #5
  6. psyc3oo2

    psyc3oo2 Ceiling Cat

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NYC, Vietnam, Thailand
    I am looking to do the same trip starting around January 15th 2010. I will start in Ho Chi Minh city and plan on hitting all 4 countries. I am budgeting about 2 months, but I am flexible and have more. Hit me up on PM if you are interested on a riding buddy.
    #6
  7. van-cleef

    van-cleef keep rollin

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    BKK, Thailand
    #7
  8. cat herder

    cat herder n00b

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    Hi Guys,
    A bunch of us are looking at doing the same trip in Oct 2010, we want to buy bikes in Vietnam and sell them in Thailand, anyone know of any problems in doing this, and any particlar bikes to choose or avoid

    cheers
    #8
  9. audigirl

    audigirl Adventurer w/Camera

    Joined:
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    Bay Area, California
    I just came back from riding through Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia with my friend and husband. We bought Minsk's from Cuong in Hanoi (CuongÂ’s Motorbike Adventure, 1 Luong Ngoc Quyen) and rode south for 2,500 km. Luckily we had no problems at the boarders since we had the registration paper for each bike.

    We were interested in shipping the bikes home and since Cambodia didn't check our bikes in at the boarder, we decided to end the adventure in Cambodia versus riding back into Vietnam to Hanoi. So I'm not sure if you would run into problems leaving Cambodia with bikes since they would not have a record of you entering the country with them. On the other hand, I'm sure you could pay off the boarder officials to let you through.

    LaudJohn mentioned having to leave the Thai boarder to get insurance and have it in Laos, but we didn't run into that issue.

    Hope this helps!
    #9
  10. audigirl

    audigirl Adventurer w/Camera

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    Bay Area, California
    I just came back from riding through Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia on a Minsk. I bought it in Hanoi from Cuong (he's well known in Hanoi) and shipped it home from Cambodia. Although I have no experience selling a bike in Thailand, just thought I could share a few experiences with you.

    Prior to our adventure, we applied for a multiple entry visa to Vietnam and single entry to Laos. When we crossed into Laos from Vietnam, Laos changed our visa from one month to one week simply because we were importing bikes. Additionally, when leaving Laos, all three people and three bikes had to be accounted for. When we crossed the friendship bridge from Laos into Thailand, we had to sign a paper stating we would leave the country with the bikes or pay a $2,000 US dollar fine.

    Based on our experience, I'm not sure you would be able to leave Thailand without the bikes. Out of the four countries, Thailand had the most sophisticated boarder system. They imputed our passport information and bike information in computer systems, versus write it in a log book like Laos. It would probably be easier to leave the bikes in Laos or Cambodia or even Vietnam.

    Regarding the type of bike, we found two options. Buying a Minsk or renting a Honda dirt bike. We didn't rent the Honda dirt bike because they needed a $4,000 US dollar deposit and $7,000 US dollars if the bike got stolen. Additionally, we would not be able to leave the country unless we hired a guide. Granted the guide was cheap, but we didn't want to go that route. In the end, buying a Minsk was a good choice because they are easy to work on and we could find tires for it along the way. Cuong will also buy the bikes back from you, so you don't need to mess around trying to find a buyer.

    Hope this helps and have fun on your trip!
    #10
  11. BloodyBigAussie

    BloodyBigAussie Traveller

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    Ozzie but doing RTW in Thailand now
    Thanks for the info Audigirl:photog I am heading that way shortly ........sounds like fun
    #11
  12. DanTheMan07

    DanTheMan07 Been here awhile

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    Good info Audi girl, im here now in Sa Pa, Vietnam and picked up a bike a week or so ago from Cuong in Hanoi. Also planning on riding to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand.

    Is it possible to cross by land from Cambodia to Laos?

    So from your info on Thailand i guess its not possible to sell the bike in Thailand? Would you have an idea if it would be possible to take a round trip flight out of Thailand with bike still in country? My plan right now is to do a round trip flight to Nepal from Bangkok, then pick up the bike and continue south.

    Any info on getting the bike to Malaysia? Singapore?

    thanks

    DTM
    #12
  13. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    I guess it's like that for most of us wanting to contribute/share Kynan, thread seemed to have been a bit hijacked, so not to be left out, we are are also going to Thailand early April and are planing a 1-2 day trip with GT rider. I know this will be just a tease

    Have a great trip
    #13
  14. audigirl

    audigirl Adventurer w/Camera

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    I don't have any info getting the bikes into Malaysia or Singapore. From our experience, Laos and Thailand were strict about us entering AND leaving the county with the bike. I'm not sure if it would be any different if you shipped them and could show proof you still got them out of the county.
    #14
  15. itsfridaymoanin

    itsfridaymoanin n00b

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    TL;DR I've taken a Vietnamese motorbike, Honda Win 110cc (paper not in my name) into Laos and Cambodia, no problems. A smile and patience go a long way. Showing frustration / aggression = nobody helps you.

    Vietnam / Laos (Bo Y border)
    Bought a Honda Win 110cc in Ho Chi Minh City. I have the blue Vietnamese registration card (not in my name). I ride around Vietnam for a couple months and want to cross into Laos at Bo Y, Vietnam. This is the Southern most part of Laos that touches Vietnam, literally just a few km North of the Cambodian border. I get out of Vietnam with the bike no problem (besides navigating the exit process in the near empty building - no issues with the bike). Upon entering the Lao border, I check in my bike and receive a small receipt. I get my visa and think I'm home free, but at the final gate to leave the border area and enter Laos, they turn me back, pointing to a green paper. I offer the small receipt from when I entered the border, but it's not what they want. They say I need to go back and talk to the Vietnamese. I go back and chat up the Vietnamese customs guy, talk with him about his family for 10 minutes (it's a pretty slow border crossing). Finally I ask him a third time for a green paper for the motorbike (with 200,000 Dong in my passport) and I finally get the answer I need: if I had a car, I'd need a customs paper, but the motorbike is no problem. He refuses the passport with the money still inside :)


    This is bad, because the Lao say I need something from Vietnam and the Vietnamese guy says he has nothing for me. I go back to the Lao and look around asking for a green paper. Finally after peeking in the "Customs" window (not the "Visa" window) I see the green paper the guy at the gate was showing me. I pointed to it and pointed to the motorbike. He asks for a paper from Vietnam. I tell him "I go to Vietnam and ask for paper for motorbike and he say no problem" I continue to stand there for a minute and repeat a couple times "Vietnam say no problem" Eventually, the Lao guy starts filling out the form. He gives me the green form and a receipt for me.

    I go back to the gate and the Lao agent sees the form, lets me through.

    Laos / Cambodia (Hwy 13 by the 4000 Islands)
    Leaving Laos, I drive through a gate to enter the Lao border zone. I notice a sign as I pass through that says "Customs" and think maybe I need to check in there. I turn around (I'd already ridden 100 meters or so) and enter the little shack and hand all my paperwork to the Lao guy reading the newspaper with his feet on his desk. He takes my motorbike receipt and makes a stamp on my passport.

    I continue through the border with zero episode. Everything is standard, no mention of the bike, no customs slip, nothing.

    I haven't gone back to Vietnam yet, but want to just to prove you can do it, and tell whoever I sell the bike to in Vietnam that you can go all over. Will update on that episode.
    Safe travels everyone!
    #15
  16. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    There has been a major change just a while ago. Now foreign bikes seem to be allowed into Vietnam from at least one border station, several succesful entries in the last few months. So Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam are now do-able on your own motorcycle, that does not have to be regoed in Vietnam any more.

    Check out this thread:

    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/route-planning/vietnam-border-crossing-59059-4
    #16