Laos and Cambodia borders on invoice?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by llltonic, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. llltonic

    llltonic Member

    I bought a CB400 in Bangkok 2 months ago at On-Road Bike ([email][/email]). Since then, I've covered 10,000 incredible kilometers including Kuala Lumpur, the Cameron Highlands, and Northern Thailand via the Mae Sariang to Mae Hong Son to Pai loop (trip report is coming soon). I have one month left now, and I'd like to take a boat down the Mekong from Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang, ride to Vientiane, and then head south to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh before looping back west to Bangkok.

    However, I haven't received my license plate and green book yet. When I bought the bike, I had expected I'd have it by now (I was quoted 6-10 weeks)... but the shop owner is telling me now that it may take as long as 6 months due to backups at the land transport office.

    So ... the big question: are entry to Laos and Cambodia even possible without a plate and green book?

    I have the invoice, the paid tax receipt, and a piece of paper showing that the registration has been applied for. I also, of course, have the full retinue of GT-rider border crossing documents. I'm in Phitsanulok now on my way north, as I figured I might as well give it a shot: If I've learned anything riding SE asia for the last two months, it's that most things are possible for 20 or 30 dollars.
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  3. danwhite

    danwhite Ol'Timer

    Getting it into Laos or Cambodia is not the problem. Taking it OUT of Thailand is the problem. I crossed into Laos with a greenbook a few weeks ago and the Lao immigration never even looked at it. I have never had a problem with the Khmers either...... Its the Thai side that asks for a whole pile of paperwork.

    You had no problem crossing into Malaysia without documents?
  4. llltonic

    llltonic Member

    Crossing in and out of Malaysia both ways, Thai customs and immigration just waved me by - they never even glanced at my paperwork.
  5. Rustic Charm

    Rustic Charm Ol'Timer

    Wow! Impressive for only two months.

    To me, this sounds a little fishy. What MY is your bike? Can you be sure it is totally legit? If it wasn't legally imported, this could be the real reason for the lack of license plate and green book as the powers that be have been cracking down lately. The owner of the shop sounds a little shifty to me.
  6. danwhite

    danwhite Ol'Timer

    Thats weird. I have never crossed into Malaysia, but on the borders with Lao and Cambodia the Thai paperwork takes a while and is complicated. If no plates I can't really see them letting you through.
  7. llltonic

    llltonic Member

    It's a 2000, from Japan. I purchased it with 7500km on the clock. The shop I went through sells 30 or 40 bikes a month, mostly to Thais. I feel quite comfortable in regards to their honesty. It's not getting the usual 'dodgy' greenbook (VIN restamped to match existing book): the holdup is supposedly due to the government bureaucracy getting a legit new book.

    Thanks to you both for your thoughts. I'm skeptical as well, but I'm in Chiang Rai now. Might as well head to the border tomorrow and see how it plays out, right?
  8. llltonic

    llltonic Member

    Well, as advised, my first attempt here in Chiang Khong was a major failure. The customs house looked through all my papers somewhat dumbfounded, and then, after about a half hour of polite conversation, informed me that it was impossible.

    Their advice: 'come back when you have your green book', or 'leave your bike here and rent someone else's.'
  9. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    I actually gave you a 50/50 chance of making it. After all, it is legally purchased and documented. Interesting decision. Sorry you didn't make it, but good information for future reference. Thanks. :cry:
  10. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Not at all surprised. Only registered vehicles should be allowed across the border. Any vehicle that crosses has to go in the computer & all the blanks should be filled in.

    The Thai Customs staff in Chiang Khong know their stuff, have good experience with GT Riders crossing on a regular basis & have always been very helpful & courteous.

    Your only chance is if they don't want to put it in the computer, then no questions asked, but the problem then arises when you try to come back into Thailand at other checkpoint & they ask for your paperwork to put in the computer to match up with the outwards entry. So no can do.
    99.9% of border crossings want you to be legal, so they are legal & enforce the rules so they don’t get into trouble later on.

    Pull something off at one crossing & you may well pay severely later on at another crossing + the staff at the outward port will get questioned.

    You were fortunate at the southern Thai / Malaysian border as they could not be bothered to put the bike in the computer. Did you return via the same border crossing or another?

    Your trip report should be a beauty & we look forward to some titbits in advance maybe..
  11. llltonic

    llltonic Member

    In Malaysia, I returned via the same border crossing (Sadao). I think I just got lucky that no one cared to look at any of my papers. So rather than pushing my luck and trying to cross to Laos illegitimately, I've decided to do some China travel by plane, and come back to Thailand next year for the Laos/Cambodia trip.

    While hunting for information in Chiang Khong, I happened to run into Peter of Pai Enduro Team fame. He was extremely friendly and full of good advice. He also had a look at my bike's papers and was quite impressed, calling it an example of 'the way an invoice bike ought to be done'. Now if only that green book would hurry on up.

    A few tidbits for David:

    Bo Tea Plantation, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

    Aboard the ferry to Pulau Pangkor, Malaysia

    Look at that blue water! Pulau Pangkor, Malaysia

    sketchy road (extremely steep) above the dam on Penang, Malaysia

    Ah, such curves: Mae Sot to Mae Sariang, Thailand

    After a bath, Bangkok
  12. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Aha. Some tidbits. You little beauty, but where are they? :roll:
    I should know the road shot too, I think. :oops:
  13. llltonic

    llltonic Member

    Oh, right. I added headings in the original post.

    You should know that road, I'm sure :)
    It's pointing north from Mae Sot toward Mae Sariang on the 105

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