Indochina by Motorbike

“Indochina by motorbike”.  Yeah, it does sound exhilarating especially for travelers across the Indochinese peninsula (Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam).  Crossing borders by motorbike can be one of the greatest adventures one can do.

Photo of motorbikes parked on a sidewalk in Vietnam
Motorbikes are a common sight all over Vietnam, swarming like bees on the roads

Legally, this is possible especially if you have an international license.  But roads in Southeast Asia can be knotty. No matter how experienced you are at riding bikes, accidents happen.

Any traveler should be wise enough to get a travel insurance if road trips on a motorbike are on his travel list.  If you want to get on it, try to watch first how the Vietnamese riders drive.

As of this writing, I am on my third visit to Vietnam.  I have come to love it as my second home.  Even so, I cannot defend the country from hilarious remarks like “I think I’ll get run over by a moped and die on the spot on the streets of Vietnam”.  The Vietnamese way of riding motorbikes is actually one of its peculiarities that entice more tourists.

Observing traffic patterns in a foreign road doesn’t even make one rider fit for cross country riding.  There are other must-dos before hitting the road.  Many travelers recommend purchasing motorbikes as it spells less hassle if you can present your own registration papers through the borders.  Naturally, some borders won’t let you through unless you are the registered owner of the bike.

It is recommended to purchase motorbikes to cross borders in Southeast Asia
Some borders in Southeast Asia don’t allow tourists through unless they have registration papers of the motorbike

And of course, making sure that your motorcycle is fit for the road is essential, from the tires down to the gears and accessories every wise rider needs like the stuff you can see through this link  Exploring countries on a motorbike must not only be in style but also securely.  Whether you purchased a dirt bike, a scooter or dual sports bike, sites like may come in handy before mounting on a long road trip.

Though I have no first-hand experience with this, I’ve also heard stories about difficulties faced by international tourists in crossing borders because of corruption.  Sometimes, it’s not just the papers that you should be ready with but also bribes.

It may be risky but cross country riding is a great way of seeing the off-the-beaten-path and knowing the locals in a more intimate manner.





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