Thinking of Riding a Bike in SouthEast Asia

Hello GoBikerz!

Yes, we know how much you love to grab your swanky motorbikes to explore new territories and trails. If South East Asia is where you are headed to, you would wanna know a few facts crucial to this bike tour.

Though South east Asia is a popular tourist region with travelers from all over flocking to savour the local delights, one can always find some exotic trails on which very few have ridden. That’s what we like about the South East… beautiful scenic locales, street food galore and so many people to meet along the way. And the best thing about motorbiking it around, is that you have the freedom to do as you like, when you like and take your time absorbing each location. But before you head there, here are some useful details for planning prior to the trip.


Licensing and vehicle restrictions in South East Asia

When it comes to vehicle licensing rules in the south east, you will need to polish your knowledge about what works here. Sometimes your home country license will do, but on occasions, authorities insist on seeing an international driving permit. You may even be expected to sit through a local test to be allowed to ride in those parts.


Home versus International

A note to our motorbike touring enthusiasts from the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand – your valid home license for a motorcycle will do. However, the vehicle you are allowed to manoeuvre is restricted to your license. So if you posses a four wheeler license, even if it is an International one, you will not be allowed to ride a motorcycle.

Some may feel that slipping a dollar or two to a traffic cop can get you scot-free but that’s a risk we don’t recommend. Some real trouble could be awaiting you at the travel insurance office, where you will surely get caught to have your license and permit seized. So beware of this small, but often overlooked, detail as a confiscated license can be a real trip dampener.


Ride what you’re comfortable with

Also it’s almost impossible to switch to a bigger engine motorcycle if your license restricts you to a gearless two wheeler. So sort this aspect out before you take off and find yourself in foreign lands.

We actually think this rule is for the best since you ideally should be owning a proper license and be riding a motorcycle around for a while before planning to take off on unknown trails. In fact Vietnam and Thailand rank quite high in road accidents; not that Bali, Indonesia and Laos are that far behind frankly speaking!

However, these countries are more open to International Driver’s Licenses.


Finally a few basic tips that will come handy when mo-bike riding in

South East Asia:

1. Prefer a full face helmet even if the humidity gets to you cause the traffic is unruly, unpredictable and you don’t wanna run a huge medical bill.

2. Put on protective clothing and don’t just venture out in shorts, a tee and flip flops.

3. Don’t speed, especially on narrow uneven trails

4. No drugs or drinks when riding

5. Choose to ride in the day than at night.

Pretty simple, really! So what are you waiting for? Get out those maps and plan your South East Asia biking expedition today. And please let us know which routes you preferred and if you had any trouble getting around.

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