Scooter/motorbiking in Laos or Cambodia
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Nov 26, 2012 7:06 AM Last Post By: manol
Oct 23, 2012 4:43 AM
I'm travelling through Cambodia and Laos in January 2013 and really interested in riding some motorbikes or scooters around. I've never ridden one and don't have a motorbike licence, but would still really want to do this because it sounds awesome. I just have a few questions.
Do I need an international motorbike licence to ride all sort of bikes, scooters?
Are there any motorbike tours, guides in Laos or Cambodia?
Is it illegal to ride without a licence?
That's all my questions but if anyone could help me out I would really be appreciative
Oct 23, 2012 7:01 PM
Oct 23, 2012 7:51 PM
Oct 23, 2012 11:33 PM
3Laos is blessed with an abundance of potholes and terrible drivers.
Oct 24, 2012 2:18 AM
4In a Laos bus from Luang Nam Tha to Huay Xai earlier this year we came across a French girl on crutches with a very swollen knee and infected grazes there and on her hand, plus some minor cuts here and there. She had come off a scooter in the middle of nowhere attempting to reach Plain of Jars from Luang Nam Tha, not a small distance. Luckily she had a friend with, but they still had to seek medical assistance in a local clinic where she described having a plastic carrier bag draped over her to catch any blood.
They were on their way to Chiang Mai in Thailand as that was the closest international standard hospital. Long journey in some discomfort!
Obviously accidents happen in any country and there´s no adenture without risk, but you need to be aware of the risks. And you not having driven a bike or scooter before is not an ideal start.
Oct 24, 2012 4:12 AM
5In Cambodia an international drivers' license is of no use. If you get pulled over you need to produce a Cambodian license. If you don't have one you will have to give the policeman a dollar or two. Then you drive off. Still without a license.
So I say, don't put too much effort into getting an international licence.
Oct 24, 2012 2:40 PM
I am gonna be doing some scootering in laos in december for a couple of weeks. Arriving on December 12th in Vientiane. I will be renting a 125cc auto scooter and probably heading up north. I have some experience riding scooters already but this will be my first time touring.
If i was you i would get a guide or hook up with a buddy who has a little experience riding. Check this link out for guided scooter tour cambodia, they seem pretty good and reasonably priced. http://www.khmerways.com/tour/
If your around in laos december 12th, if you like we could hook up. I prefer riding with a buddy. There's kinda quite a bit of stuff to learn when riding scooters. All you need to hire a scooter in laos is your passport or deposit for the bike.
Oct 24, 2012 10:05 PM
7If you don't have any experience in riding motorcycles you'll be taking your life in your hands especially in Vientiane. Hire a bicycle or catch a tuk-tuk.
Oct 24, 2012 10:19 PM
Oct 27, 2012 10:41 PM
9You're right of course OP, it does sound awesome . . . . and it is. There's nothing quite like hitting the open road on 2 wheels. I concur with the good information dogeatinghotchips has posted, but would add one other point.
In the climate where you are travelling it's much more comfortable of course to 'dress down' (board shorts, singlet, thongs), but it's not just sliding along a rough road on your back at 60kph you have to worry about. Sunburn and wind burn are a big problem for westerners who spend hours on the open road feeling a cool wind on their face but forgetting their arms, legs and neck are 100% exposed to the tropical sun.
So don't forget to cover up well (helmet, jeans & jacket) and wear a good sunscreen.
Oct 28, 2012 12:59 AM
10there is another post on laos motorbiking in this forum i've been writing in with lots of interesting info.
Oct 29, 2012 4:49 AM
I am in Vang Vieng and have just had an amazing day's tuition and accompanied ride round Vang Vieng's "Loop" with "Uncle Tom's".
I'm only posting because I am so impressed, no connection to the business.
The guy speaks perfect English despite being Welsh :-) and has a lifetime's experience of dirtbiking / bikes.
email@example.com No website.
Obviously he will cost you more than just hiring a sh*tty bike. His bikes are decent quality dirt bikes, he maintains them well. And he does not hire his bikes to take away, he only does accompanied tours.
If someone's experienced he can take them up beautiful mountain trails and exciting biking.
If like me you have driven a car, or a tiny moped, or just a bicycle, he can give you good lessons at your pace and take you out on a trip to suit your confidence and competence.
I'd say that if you plan a day or 3 with Tom into your trip, you'd be having the safest experience without compromising on the excitement.
If you want an idea of cost, PM me - I'm still travelling so unlikely to respond quickly. Broadly it is comparable to some organised tours - but can be 1 to 1 if he's free/you book in advance.
Edited by: CautiousCapy
Nov 2, 2012 2:52 AM
I am new to posting within threads so be patient please:) myself and boyfriend are currently travelling SEA and using all types of transport. We recently did the mae hong song loop from chaing mai to pai...mae hong son and back again approx 600km we did this on scooters with a group of people. Had a great time, many punctures though we all travelled as a team and stopped for each other! Safe as long as you are very careful and drive sensibly. We have came down to the islands in thailand to relax and from this week end we travel back to the crossing at huay xai and plan another scooter trip around laos for approx three weeks:)
If anyone has good distance information between huay xai and luang nam tha...ouomxay and road conditions I would be very grateful.
Nov 3, 2012 2:52 PM
13check out the following posts on thorn tree that i've been posting in recently regarding riding a scooter up in the north. Loads of useful info. I will be riding for 16 days in the northern mountains starting from Vientiane on dec 13th. Love to hook up if your around at that time.
Edited by: dootz
Nov 5, 2012 1:39 PM
14Dont know where you from but riding in Laos is much different than riding in Faragland. Also, bike rental companies will hold your passport till you return bike. Something I was not willing to do so couldn't rent.
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