To avoid being bothered, the basic rule is to buy a motorcycle with a Vietnamese plate. You can buy it in Vietnam, but you will also find in Laos or Cambodia no problem, because many “motorcyclists” end their trip and resell their motorcycle in these countries.
Some customs officers being corrupt, you will sometimes have to pay a bribe to spend with your bike. (See our tips to avoid problems with customs officers and the list of the most common border scams ).
It is theoretically possible to enter Thailand with a motorcycle from Laos or Cambodia, but it is very complicated. Indeed, your name must appear on the blue card, which involves lengthy steps in Vietnam to put the bike in your name.
In addition, the Thai authorities will ask you to fill out shipping information, a crew list, a passenger list and a temporary import and export form. In practice, it is very rare for travelers to continue their motorcycle journey from Laos or Cambodia to Thailand.
Cambodia border – Vietnam
You can cross by motorbike via one of these five border posts:
- Bavet / Moc Bai
- Kaam Samnor / Ving Xuong
- Phnom Den / Tinh Good
- Prek Chak / Xa Xia
- The Thanh / O Yadao crossing
Laos border – Vietnam
You can cross a motorbike via one of these six border posts:
- Sop Hun / Tay Trang
- Na Maew / Nam Xoi
- NamCan / Nam Khan
- Nam Phao / Cau Treo
- Dansavanh / Lao Bao
- Bo Y / Ngoc Hoi
Laos border – Cambodia
There is only one border post to cross on motorbikes:
Beware, although nothing legally prohibits passage with a motorcycle between Laos and Cambodia, corruption is a real problem at this border post. Some backpackers have been denied passage.
Depending on the country, you may need a visa to enter the territory.
- Laos: You must obtain a visa on arrival valid for 30 days. It costs $ 30.
- Cambodia: You need a visa that will be valid for 30 days. You can get your visa on arrival ($ 30) or ask for an e-visa ($ 37) before arriving at the border (which avoids having to pay a “supplement” to the customs officer)
- Vietnam: You can stay 15 days in the country without a visa. If you plan to stay longer, you can apply for a 30-day e-visa (€ 25) before you arrive. You can also make a visa on arrival that can be valid for 30 or 90 days for one or more entries ($ 45 to $ 95). See our visa file for Vietnam .
You will find more information in our visa file around the world .
Must I already know how to ride a motorcycle?
No, it is not mandatory. Many travelers drive a motorcycle for the first time in South East Asia. They are very easy to take in hand and the person to whom you buy it will teach you willingly to drive and shift gears. However, if it is the first time you drive a motorcycle, be very careful on the road, especially in big cities.
If possible, avoid driving in a location with heavy traffic or rush hour traffic. If you want to put all the chances on your side to avoid having an accident, you can pass your motorcycle license at home, before leaving.
Safety on the road
In shorts, flip-flops and without a helmet, the perfect example of what not to do
Do not hide it, driving a motorcycle in Southeast Asia is dangerous. The traffic can be dense, the code of the road is little respected, the roads are sometimes in very bad state and are slippery when they are wet or dusty.
In Laos and Cambodia, there are not many people and people drive quite quietly. In Vietnam, however, you will face a real swarm of scooters. They tumble from everywhere in the big cities.
The road along the coast of Vietnam is also very busy. Apart from the Hue – Danang section which offers beautiful scenery, it is better to take the road that passes inside the country. The traffic is much quieter there.
Here are some tips to minimize the risk of accidents:
- Choose a good helmet and always drive with it, even if it’s hot.
- Do not leave part of your body apparent. Wear a jacket, pants and closed shoes.
- Do not put your bag too far in the back of your luggage rack, it will unbalance your bike. It must be between the saddle and the luggage rack.
- Do not drive too fast and pay attention to the road constantly.
- Never drive at night.
- Take breaks regularly.
- Do not drive when you are too tired and / or drunk.
- Always drive as far to the right as you can from the road, as the vehicles in front of you have an unfortunate tendency to bite on your side of the road.
- On descents, especially on wet, sandy or dusty roads, downshift to use your engine brake.
- Do not brake too sharply, especially with your front brake.
- Follow the rule of “the biggest vehicle wins”. Act as if cars and trucks always take precedence over you.
- When a vehicle is doubling in front of you, it will sometimes be necessary to deport you on the roadside. Decelerate to avoid slipping.
- You will often see motorcycles or scooters driving against the meaning. Be vigilant and obviously do not do like them.
- The locals have the unspoken rule of dealing only with what is going on in front of them. Again, do not look like them and look around.
- Do not hesitate to use your horn to warn of your approach, indicate that you double, etc. In South East Asia, the use of the horn is an integral part of the driving style and often replaces the use of mirrors.
- Really slow down when approaching speed bumps (groups of five or ten transverse white lines). They can be very slippery.
- Pay particular attention to debris on the road, potholes and stray animals.
Even if you are an open-minded person, it is possible that the confrontation with poverty and a culture very different from yours will destabilize you. Cultural shock usually occurs a few weeks after arrival in a country. At first, you are fascinated by this new culture, but after a while, some things that seemed normal to you become unacceptable to you. You feel betrayed and it generates frustration and anxiety in you. No worries, it’s a normal process. To minimize it, find out about the countries you visit, prepare yourself mentally and plan to stay in touch with your loved ones.
I will be homesick
It is possible that you have a little blues after a few weeks or months of travel. Your loved ones will miss you and you will have a little negative vision of your trip. Certain circumstances, such as an event in your family (birth, marriage, death …) or the fact that you are very attached to your loved ones, can amplify homesickness. Traveling too fast can also be a cause, as you will lose some of your bearings. In this case, ask yourself a moment in a place where you feel good. Homesickness often goes away as quickly as it came.
To travel is to flee the real life
For some, there may be a part of flight in wanting to travel. It is sometimes an argument of your family that is afraid to see you go so far and so long. The click that pushes you to go around the world can come from a breakup, the death of a loved one, a dismissal … The trip is not the miracle solution to solve all your problems, but it can be a great source of personal enrichment. It is often also a nice parenthesis which allows to relativize your problems.
I will feel lonely
One of the biggest obstacles to traveling for single people is the fear of leaving alone. Many think of finding a traveling companion before departure, but ultimately very few do. In fact, many tourdumondists, women or men, go solo. Paradoxically, traveling alone favors meetings. You have to go to others. It may seem odd to you if you have not traveled a lot yet, but when you go solo, you finally spend quite a bit of time alone. And, if you are a natural introvert, this is a great way to overcome your shyness.
Are we going to support each other?
For couples, it’s more the opposite question: “Will we get to live together h24 without farting the lead?” There, we can not guarantee you a success rate of 100%. We have heard about couples who broke during a world tour. But it’s finally quite rare and often there was already some tension before departure. In most cases, the couple comes out reinforced. Sharing so many extraordinary experiences is a unique binder.
Find your balance of couples on a trip
I am afraid for the education of children
Leaving with children means no school, often during a school year. However, families of Turdumondists do not give up the education of their children. Parents usually give a few hours of lessons a day during the trip. Sometimes the teacher is even seduced by the project and agrees to do a little remote monitoring.
How many people dream one day to go around the world, but never act? Indeed, it is very easy to find excuses to postpone this project, sometimes indefinitely. Here are the excuses that come up most often.
It’s too expensive
On average, a round the world costs € 15,000, but this is only an average. Tourdumondists arrive to travel a year with a budget of less than 7 000 €, limiting the number of plane tickets and choosing countries in which life is not expensive. In some parts of the world it is possible to travel with less than 10 € per day.
Even without a great salary, it is quite possible to put money aside by limiting as much as possible all your superfluous expenses: living in a roommate or at your parents’ home, traveling by bike or public transport, limiting your going out to bars and restaurants, quitting … everything is a matter of priority.
It’s too dangerous
When you look at the news on TV, you sometimes have the impression of living in a world so hostile that you do not have to leave home. The website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also quite alarmist. Of course, some areas or countries are to be avoided. But they are finally quite few.
It is in fact mainly a fear of the unknown. The barrier of the tongue scares. But in reality, in most countries of the world, you can travel by simply applying the basic safety rules. Of the thousands of Turdumondists who leave each year, very few are victims of problems that actually endanger their physical integrity.
The country security card of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
It’s bad for my career
Going around the world is not seen by employers as a sign of a lack of motivation. On the contrary, it is often a positive point on a resume. Someone who has made a long trip usually has initiative, has good resistance to stress and has a good ability to adapt. It’s appreciated by the employers. Most Tourdumondists find work quite quickly on their return.
You can also take a sabbatical leave or put yourself on standby and thus have the assurance of finding your job when you return. A world tour can also be an opportunity to mature a new professional project, such as starting a business or starting a business.
I do not know where to start organizing myself
For some, planning a world tour seems insurmountable. Indeed, it takes a little organization, but nothing really bad. Our site is here to help you. We did a detailed schedule of tasks to be done each month before departure. Our thematic files should normally answer almost every question you ask yourself. And if that’s not enough, you can ask your questions to other tourdumondists in our community on Facebook .