Trip from Hanoi/BKK to Istanbul

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Kerstin, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Kerstin

    Kerstin n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
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    3
    Hi everybody,

    my friend and me want to drive from Hanoi or BKK (I live in Hanoi, she in BKK) to Istanbul with an Ural sidecar to raise awarness about domestic violence in Asia. As you can imagine it's pain in the a%$ to get everything organized. The biggest problem we have is to get a Carnet du Passage issued, either in Vietnam or Thailand. We want to buy the bike in either one of the countries and get it registered there as well. Has anyone done this before and can give us some advice? I know it's easier when you start in Europe but we wany to do it the other way.
    Moreover, we don't want to enter China twice (expensive with guide) and want probably ship the bikes from Thailand to India (we want to be on that boat as well though :1drink), anyone has any experience?
    I know it sounds like a crazy plan but we are are too crazy girls and really up for an adventure, so if any one has any advice or anything that could help we would appreciate it a lot.

    Thanks in advance.

    Kerstin
    #1
  2. deaninkl

    deaninkl Been here awhile

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    Location:
    KL, Malaysia
    Hello Kerstin, firstly, I doubt you will find any Urals in Vietnam or Thailand. It may be possible to get Chinese made Chang Jiangs in Vietnam, as the Police my use them, but I think still difficult. As you live there I assume you have an idea for that?

    You would have to get the bike somehow from Thaland to India, as Burma is not possible to travel through, I have not heard of people doing that, and I have read that again its difficult to get shipping to India from Thailand (I don't know why). I have read of people airfrighting bikes to Katmandu and India from Bangkok.

    As for the Carnet Du Passage.....again sorry but I think difficult at least in Vietnam as there is probably no agency issuing them there, Thailand may be easier. It is possible in Malaysia, but the bike would need to come from there I guess.

    It might be possible to have the Carnet issued in a third country, ie somewhere in Europe?

    For such a journey it would be worth looking at the website "Horizons Unlimited" they have a lot of information and many links to people that have taken bikes overland.

    Good luck and I hope you can find a way to do it.
    #2
  3. canoli

    canoli human

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    Jul 26, 2008
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    2,713
    Location:
    Not from round these parts.
    about Thailand...

    I have never seen a Ural here so your best (only) bet is to import it. However understand that you will get taxed roughly 300 % of what the value of the bike is just to bring it into country. This is one of the primary reasons why you dont see a whole lot of "big" bikes here. While Horizons Unlimited has some good info about SE Asia on it, I HIGHLY RECCOMEND that youy talk to the local embassy\ consulate about what your plans are. They can offer accuate advice and in country POC's to help.

    Sounds like a good trip. Good luck :thumb
    #3
  4. BitShuffler

    BitShuffler Adventurer

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    Location:
    Hanoi
    Have you considered entering China sans bike and purchasing one there? When I briefly looked into a similar trip it seemed like there were a few dealers selling CJs/Urals in Nanning, just over the border. The bus ride from Hanoi is pretty cheap and only takes a day. I'm not sure what the implications for obtaining a carnet would be though...

    In Hanoi, it might be worth speaking to the guys at Explore Indochina ( www.exploreindochina.com ), they run a fleet of Urals for tours and might be willing to sell you one or point you in the direction of someone else who can - either in VN or CN.
    #4
  5. Kerstin

    Kerstin n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
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    Hi guys,

    thanks for all the advice. Apparently it's possible for my friend to get the Carnet for a Thai registered bike with the RAC because she's a UK citizen. A friend of her just did it a few weeks ago. Now the problem seems to be to get it into Vietnam. As we both would live here the last few months before the trip we would like to have it here. We need to do some adjustments to the bike before we leave and my Minsk mechanic in Hanoi has experiences with Urals and other bikes, plus he's good and I trust him. You guys have any experience or advice how to get a foreign registered bike into Vietnam? Again any advice is appreciated.
    Does anyone know which bikes with a sidecar are available in Thailand? If possible not more than 3.500 USD.
    Thanks.
    #5
  6. deaninkl

    deaninkl Been here awhile

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    KL, Malaysia
    Hello kerstin,

    The only bikes sold in Thailand that are "cheap" are locally assembled small bikes, definately not suitable for side car work. Large bike can be bought but if they are legal (there is a big black market for stolen big bikes there, but of course no papers) they are very (very) expensive as there is a 300% import duty, similar to Malaysia and Singapore. SAs an example a BMW R1200GS costs over US$ 45,000 in Bangkok. So your budget of 3,500 USD is not realistic.

    A Chinese made Chang Jiang costs about US$ 3,500 - US$ 4,500 depending on the spec. and where you buy it. I do know of people who have bought them in China and riden them to India via Tibet. I do think as Vietnam has close ties with China that you may find Chang Jiangs in Hanoi. If you know a mechanic there then that's a good place to start?

    Another alternative would be to forget the side car, and buy two small road bikes in Thailand, maybe 125's or 250's. These would be much easier to ship, and for local mechanices to repair enroute. For sure trying to get spares for Ural's or Chang Jiang's in India or other places will be very difficult (and both of these bikes are quite un'reliable).

    Good Luck
    #6
  7. Evilstare

    Evilstare Adventurer

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    Location:
    Thun, Switzerland
    Hello there...

    If you're in Hanoi, get in touch with Digby or Cuong from Explore Indochina (www.exploreindochina.com). I know that they do have and operate Urals and may help you out. They're super nice guys too!

    I know that some french guys got some Minsk motorcycles from Cuong and rode them home from Vietnam to France - maybe the yhave some Infos on how they did this too, concerning Carnets and What not.

    Cheers
    Ray
    #7
  8. robbymilo

    robbymilo Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Indonesia
    Hi all...
    lil OOT from the main topics, but i have the same trip plan... starting from KL and end at Mecca.. doing my Hajj ritual, at 2011.

    the plan: my mom goes by plane, and myself using motorcycle. Same in here, kinda worried about carnet du passage issues...
    #8
  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    846
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Hi Kerstin,

    The Tiger Retro with sidecar is cheap as chips and 100% legal.
    [​IMG]

    I bought one a couple of months ago for running local errands and it's a fun little scoot and cost 50,300 Baht with tax, insurance and registration included. (That's about US$1600)

    Saw it at the Bangkok Motor Show and decided it would be damn cute and economical for my staff to run orders to the post office. My son loved it as well-
    [​IMG]

    Rear view:
    [​IMG]

    It's super easy to order a Tiger Retro 110 with Sidecar.

    I went to the Tiger-Sachs website http://www.tigersachsclub.com and filled out the online order form.

    Received a phone call the next day that the bike was in stock and ready to ship.

    Filled in another order form (a bit redundant but oh well) and transferred the payment and the bike was delivered to my office the following day!

    How is that for efficiency?! Tiger took care of all the paperwork and registration too- awesome!

    I've never bought a vehicle on the internet like this and must say it's amazingly simple and efficient.

    Never seen one of these on the road yet here in Thailand so no doubt it turns some heads.

    Tiger delivered my Tiger in a Tiger :rofl
    [​IMG]

    Gave me a quick run down on the bike- as you can imagine it's pretty simple. My son jumped right in and was like, COME ON DAD- TAKE ME FOR A RIDE NOW! [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Took it for a quick spin around the parking lot and well, gee, having never ridden a bike with sidecar before I have to say it does take a little getting used to! [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    And someone please explain to me what that front brake is all about?! I've never seen such a contraption- when you get on the front brake instead of fork dive you get with normal bikes the Tiger Retro actually jumps UP at the front- it's the weirdest feeling and I'll have to ride it some more to figure it out. Warning to anyone else who may get one of these- you pretty much lose all turning ability when you get on the front brake. The front end comes up and straightens out and it's almost impossible to get the bike to turn if you are heavy on the front brake.

    Anyway- this thing isn't meant to go fast and the rear brake is linked to the sidecar wheel as well so unlike regular motorcycles the rear brake is actually quite effective as it's braking 2 wheels.

    Apparently the Tiger Retro tastes good too [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    A bit off topic- I wasn't actually expecting Tiger to deliver the bike so quickly and I bought it for my staff to run orders to the post office. I told them I'd get them the Tiger if they got their drivers licenses. Cuz, like typical Isaan girls they've been riding scoots for years but never bothered with a license.

    So while I'm waiting at the office for the Retro to show up they go to get their licenses and guess what- they both FAILED the test! [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Oh- one more thing - everyone who's seen this bike has been asking about it- There's something about this unusual contraption that just seems to make people smile and laugh. I did some driving around my Moo Baan and all the parents and kids and security guards were smiling and pointing at the farang on his retro scooter and his son in the flashy sidecar. The sidecar is pretty roomy (for my 3 year old) [​IMG] - but I think tall folks will have a hard time sitting in it. (Actually I haven't tried sitting in it yet...)

    Well, my worker bees will make another attempt for their licenses on Monday- wish us luck!

    Happy Trails,

    Tony on a Tiger [​IMG]
    #9