Hey everyone, I am planning a trip to Vietnam in august-september, not to sure of the dates yet, but I want to do a lot of it one motorbike. I want to take my time and enjoy the culture an scenery. If anyone is interested in joining me or has any advice it wouold be great.
I was also thinking about other countries in the region. I am in Australia now but I lost my job and I think I have to go back to the states. So I wanna blow the rest of my money and travel it up. If anyone knows other countries to do this in I'm all ears.
Who wants to join?
i am planning to ride from Hanoi to HCMC next year. I was looking at renting, but have now decided because of the length of our trip and the fact we don't want to ride back, we will probably buy bikes in Hanoi. We will probably see how expensive it is to have a guide, I think we are more likely to be able to visit the more interesting sites of the main route.
The only thing I will mention is that you will likely not be covered on your travel insurance for riding a motorbike, and even if you are the fact that you won't officially be riding legally without getting a vietnamese licence will mean the insurance will be void anyway. I think small accidents/damage is very cheap to pay off/fix. Your problem will be if you have a bad accident and need evacuating to a nearby country with better medical services and then medical expenses wherever that is. This could be very costly, I would say the likelyhood of this is very low, but know the risks and consequences.
No doubt about it, riding a motorcycle is fun. Great visiblity, wind in your face, sense of speed, all true. But, the downside of riding in SEA is huge. It is very doubtful you will be riding legally. You will need a local driver's license to be legal in most SEA countries. Since you won't have one, you will be at the mercy of the local police. That means you are going to be at fault if anything happens. The police are going to side with their countrymen, not you. This will cost you money no matter who is at fault. This can be small money to bribe or pay the fine for minor infractions. It will be major money if others are injured. Your SEA adventure is not going to have a happy ending if you are injured or you hurt others. This is where insurance must be considered. Try to obtain insurance that will cover you, your bike, property damage and other people. Make sure it is valid even if you are not licensed for that country.
I am gong to suggest Cambodia for a moto journey. Plenty to see, not much traffic on most roads, and very corrupt police. This will be to your advantage. They won't expect you to have a local license, license plate, registration, insurance. Not 5% of the riders in Cam. have the proper documents. You will just have to work out what is an acceptable fine/bribe for your infraction. It will be small money compared to VN or Thailand. Be sure to read Gordon's helpful website on Cambodia and neighboring countries.
Good luck with your planning.
I learnt to ride a motorbike in Vietnam, and did a few day trips on bikes rather then the whole journey through. It is a challenging place to ride as the traffic in the cities is crazy, but it is a great experience.
I wasnt stopped by police while I was there, in fact I didnt even think that my licence wouldnt be valid there (oops), one thing my 'teacher' neglected to tell me. There we loads of tourists on bikes, and I doubt they all had local licences so I guess the police must turn a blind eye to it?. On the downside, the guys above are right, if anything happens you won't be insured and will have to pay for that yourself.