Buying & Riding A Motorcycle in South East Asia

Why I am NOT Renting a Scooter in SE Asia
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The great north-south rural highway is called the Ho Chi Minh Highway; follow it across almost the entire country. Although there are far less services available along the rural route, the Vietnamese are incredibly warm people and will usually help you however they can.

Besides, learning how to get out of such jams puts hair on your chest, don't it? OTP Tip: When planning your route, remember that rain in the mountains means sun on the beach and vice versa. Also, even when you need to travel along the coast, you can easily hop off Highway 1 and putz along smaller side roads. A great way to learn about the sights along the way is by asking the Easy Rider crew for tips.

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Step 4: Find a Bike, and Make it a Minsk Once you arrive, the first step is to find a bike that won't break the bank. This will require a few days, a bit of tenacity and some bargaining skills. The Soviet-made Minsk is reliable, simple, durable, can handle all the dirt roads you will inevitably encounter and will carry all your crap through rain and shine.

Search for For Sale flyers in hostels, restaurants, internet cafes and on the street. If you are in Hanoi, swing past the Minsk Club to look for leads. Some people have been lucky and found bikes on the Internet before they even arrived. You'll likely buy your Minsk from another backpacker, one who has a month's less money and a month's more experience bargaining like the Vietnamese. You'll need to sit at the bargaining table with some tricks up your sleeve. Find out the strengths and weaknesses of both you and the seller. His strength lies in the limited supply of bikes -- so the more sellers you can play off each other, the better.

His weakness is time and an immediate need for funds to continue traveling. To knock the price down you must find the weaknesses in the bike: point out what's broken, how old it is, anything you can find. Dance with a few sellers for a bit, then seal the deal over a few pitchers of bia hoi. Play your cards right and he'll buy you all the spare parts you'll need to sweeten the deal.

backpacking Southeast Asia on a motorbike - Thailand - Cambodia - Vietnam - 2015

Don't fork over the cash until everything is to your satisfaction. OTP Tip: You get what you pay for. You may not need a brand-new bike, but you don't necessarily want the cheapest bike you can find. Bargain for a good deal, but make sure the bike you buy will actually make it all the way to Hanoi.

Tool around the Minsk Club Vietnam website then fine-tune your knowledge with our guide. Have the seller explain how to start her when she won't, fix her when she's broke and maintain her along the way. As with everything in nature, the older the bike, the more quirks she'll likely have.

Step 7: Get Some Supplies You'll need to prepare yourself for this journey. Every rider should carry the tools and supplies he needs to make roadside repairs. Your bike should come with tools. Some extras you will need: spark plugs, chains, spare lights and brake cables. As for the belongings you already have in your backpack?

Shed the junk, keep the basics. You'll have to carry everything on the back of the bike, so keep it lightweight. Step 8: Tune Her Up Wheel her to a mechanic for a full rub-down. Make sure the less obvious components are working as well: namely, the horn, brakes and lights. I am yet to take on Cambodia by motorbike but I plan too. Like I said, in my opinion it is the best way to explore a country. Southeast Asia has so much to offer and you miss bits of this on those long bus rides or quick flights you decide to take to save time.

If you have time rent or buy a motorbike and explore the best way. On a weekly basis, I get asked questions about biking around Southeast Asia so I decided to list most of them down and answer them for you.

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Without further ado, here is my guide to buying and selling a motorbike in Southeast Asia. In Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, an international drivers permit from your home country, will be enough to avoid trouble with the police.

Renting a Motorbike in Southeast Asia

A local licence is required in Vietnam, however this is very rarely enforced. Surprisingly, no. We have all heard those horror stories of twenty somethings on gap years that have got into an accident and ended up owing thousands for medical help. Instead cover your ass and spend a few hundred bucks on Travel Insurance.

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I never ride without it and would recommend world nomads. You can click that link and get a quote for free. If you do purchase travel insurance through that link we will get a small commission at no extra cost for you. Think of it as you saying thank you for this article and just so you know, we really appreciate it!

Which bike to buy in Southeast Asia

But now we had seen enough, and decided it was time to discover a new country - Thailand! Learn about daily maintenance and you will save yourself a lot of breakdowns. Now our "real" trip into Thailand was almost ready to start, but we had one last "little" thing to do: We had to get Thai third party insurance for the motorbikes. OTP Tip: When planning your route, remember that rain in the mountains means sun on the beach and vice versa. Leave your Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Travel Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled.

Ok on to the next question! Police can put you in jail or impound your bike. Although it may sound daunting, seeing Southeast Asia by motorbike is truly the best way to experience the region. It allows you to get off the well-worn tourist track and see something unique. It will push your body to its physical limits and you may at times even want to give up. This pain is part of the journey and it will help you discover your own potential as a person. On our recent summer vacation to the US, wherein we indulged and relaxed and soaked up quality time with many of our favorite people, we Read More.

When planning a weekend trip to Seoul, we struggled with how to spend our time. All we had on the books was a food tour around Seoul Just, wow. We love riding scooters and motorbikes in foreign countries! The last ride we had was in Koh Samui, Thailand some time ago. We really enjoyed it and hope your readers can do it as well. Search for:. This week, we have a fantastic guest post from Agness and Cez of eTramping.

They love to travel the world and seek out unique adventures. While we are well versed in road trips , we have only done so by car. Geography Southeast Asia is massive and you need to take that into account when selecting your route. For example, the major road between Hoi An and Nha Trang is a rather dull mostly highway drive. Use these situations as an opportunity to take a night bus or train. On that note, even if you are planning on going off the grid, get a SIM card.

They are cheap and a basic plan only costs a few bucks and can rescue you if you get stranded in the middle of nowhere.

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