Guide book outside Chiang Mai

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by natcholand, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. natcholand

    natcholand Member

    Hi everyone,

    As I just bought a dirt bike in Laos in Luang Prabang, I would like to know if it's possible to find the Guide Book written by David Unchovich (hope I wrote that well) somewhere in Laos in a Library or any other shop? I got his map for Laos (which you can find pretty much everywhere here) and I am totally impressed by the work this guy has done.

    For those who are planning a trip abroad and want to buy or rent a motorbike in Luang Prabang in Laos...I now got the adress which I'll put in few days on this board. I've got all the papers for the license, the ownership, the insurance, technical inspection and it's the guy who sells the bike that does all the paper work. So far, I got pull aside twice and the police seemed impressed by the paperwork and the big stamps...no farang fee so far! I'm going through Laos, Cambodia, South of Thailand and Malaysia and I'll make a trip report after my trip and tell you how it went. I'll try to find a scanner and show you example of the paper I got here with the bike. Also, for those who own a Yamaha TTR 250 (Raid) (the one I bought here), I found a great website with everything about that bike: http://www.ttr250.com . You can even find the 300 pages book from the company to fix anything you want.

    Other things, I tried buying in Kunming (China) before and unless you want to buy a Chinese brand (and new because otherwise it's practically impossible for the customs to give you the papers) don't think about it. I spent 4 days going around every possible office with a chinese friend and it's only possible with a new bike made in China and even then, I didn't try. In other words, if you had the same stupid idea as I, go get a few cheap chinese beer and relax in an hotel for 3 or 4 days...the result will be the same as mine afterall anyway!

    Thanks in advance to anyone who answer me about the guidebook!

    Serge

    The Raid sur la route...
     
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  3. natcholand

    natcholand Member

    Hello...is there anybody out there? I'm in Vientiane right now and I'd like to get just a small answer....

    The Raid sur la route...
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Serge
    If you're really desperate for a copy of the book I can post one to you.
    You'll just have to leave some money with a mate in Vientiane.
    How does that sound?
    How's your riding so far - any chance of some reports?

    Davidfl
    Keep the power on
     
  5. natcholand

    natcholand Member

    That sounds pretty good to me! If you can give me the direction of your friend, I could go right away and pay him in advance. We are waiting for a visa for Cambodia anyway, so it would be perfect for us.

    So far, we have only done three days of riding from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng, from Vang Vieng to Ngum Lake and finally Vientiane. It's going much slower than we thought, but it's fine, we've got enough time. For those who think about crossing Laos in 4 days, it's definetely not a good idea...if you want to go out of the road 13...150 km a day is probably what you should plan unless you want to sit on your bike the whole time!

    We got pull aside at Ngum Lake by two lazy officers. They checked our papers and pointed at some line in Lao and ask 200 baths. I played the guy who didn't understand anything (which was partly true) and kept on saying that the police in Luang Prabang approved all the papers (which is true but who cares!). They got tired and let us go after 10 minutes without any charges. Our rule now is: when we see a small police stand on the right, we look on the left!

    I should also say that if you want to buy a motorbike in Luang Prabang in Laos, the guy to rely on is Ban Veingxay. I've got his phone number if anybody is interested and his shop is right in front of Jaliya Guesthouse close to Lao aviation. He'll arrange everything for you for the papers (insurances with AGL (which you have to change if you get out of Laos, immatriculation, technical inspection, sell contract in English and Lao with the authorization of the mayor of Luang Prabang (that's the way it works here)). If you don't bargain too strong with him, you'll definetely get the best service you could imagine. Without even asking, he changed us both front and back tyres, brake pads, spark plug, changed the oil and oil filter, cleaned all wire cables, changed the chain, gave us a bunch of tools and was even smiling! He doesn't speak english, but anytime you show up, he calls a friend that knows it pretty well. The only problem is that he doesn't always have bikes. Usually, he goes in Cambodia and buys a 8 to 10 bikes at a time and doesn't go back until he got rid to all of them. Anyway, he can help you find one, he's got the resources! He knows about gt-rider.com because he has a sticker and said the guy on the picture stoped once to get his bike fixed!

    The Raid sur la route...
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Serge
    Sent you a message on whom, how much & where to pay the money.
    Good luck.

    I have to laugh about the police near Thalat, that must be at the turn off to route 10 & Vientiane, just near the dam. You are not the first to get hit by the cops there. They seem to like touching farang up & picking up some beer money, if they can.
    But my overall experience in Laos is that the police leave you alone. I've only ever been stopped once or twice, & just once paid - a hundred baht to the same guys at Thalat! Its a bit of a joke really.

    Davidfl
    Keep the power on
     
  7. natcholand

    natcholand Member

    Thanks a lot for the information! I think we'll do as you said and just wait in Chiang Mai. I'm not even sure we'll have time to get in the north of thailand because we're planning to stay in Cambodia for a while and do some volunteering there. We going back on the road tomorrow after we get our bike back. We got everything fixed by Mr. Furnk (something like that) close to the Novotel Hotel in Vientiane. Our back chuck had a terrible time in the natural park close to Ngum lake...I think we were charge a little too heavy to do dirt road! We had a bunch of other things to get fixed and I most say that the prices are ridiculous for the talent that guy has. I'm sure his name is already mentioned somewhere in this forum anyway!

    The Raid sur la route...
     
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Serge
    Wise move to just pick up the book in Cnx when you get here.
    Yeah, Fuarks does get a mention on this board a few times already.
    You just need to spend a little time & take a look.
    The last mention is at
    http://board.gt-rider.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=105

    Certainly sounds like your having a good time, please dont forget to make some Trip Reports in the Laos Forum.

    Also say hello to Fuark from David in Chiang Mai.
    Has he bought any Africa Twins yet?
    He was planning to when I was there in November.
    Have you met Stan the French photographer XR250 rider yet?
    He's been everywhere in Laos, way ahead of me!

    Davidfl
    Keep the power on
     

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