Scooter to Saigon

Discussion in 'Vietnam - Road Trip Reports' started by harrythefinn, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Just a quick note for anyone thinking of buying a Viet registered bike from anyone in Thailand and riding into Vietnam. It is very painless. I bought a Viet rego scooter from the for sale ads in this forum. The baht was exchanged for a Yamaha Nouvo with temp import papers for Thailand and Viet rego card / insurance papers. A quick service, new plug, front pulley, new rear rim and spokes, air filter,oil, and a new pair of rear shocks.

    The bag was strapped on the back, and off I went. First day was Korat to Phom Phen via Osmach and Siem Riep. The Thai exit was just sign and hand back in the temp import paper in the previous owners name. No questions. Cambodian entry the custom just looked at the Viet rego and said "you go" so I went. Day one, one puncture, no mechanical issues, wet twice from rain storms. After some serious partying in PP to let the backside recover (didn't take the airhawk) it was off to Svey Rieng on highway 1, a short hop from the border.

    I decided to stop there for the night and get to the border in the early morning the next day, just in case there were any hassles at the border.In retrospect it would have been easier to ride straight through.

    Day 3 saw a cloudy sky but no rain, about 40 kms to the border at Bavet. Rode in the wrong lane for passport control, and was sent to the foreigners booth. 5 minutes and a exit stamp was in the passport, guy asked if the bike was Vietnam rego, yes, so he said then no problem to cross into Vietnam. Vietnam entry was get stamped in 2 minutes, (multi entry business visa already), Customs guy glanced at the rego card and waves me through. Everyone else was pushing their bikes through the border area, I decided to risk it and just ride slowly, no one said anything, the customs guys even smiled. Finally rode a bike to Vietnam! Been trying for years so it was a bit of an anti climax. The fun now started as I did not have my GPS or a decent map. I had printed out the main crossings and main intersections in Saigon from Google map, I was heading for the companies serviced apartments just north of district 1, roughly 80kms from the border.

    The whole way there was not one sign saying Saigon or HCMC. Google had the road number as 22, all the signs had ALT 1, and the next small town. Mayhem started when the cycle lane started, on the main busy roads motorcycles have their own lane and can't go on the car lanes. So a million scooters all juggling for a spot , all at 40 kms per hour. I have been told Saigon has 7 million scooters, which I can believe is true.In Saigon morning rush hour I nearly missed the turn off onto Dien Phen Phu, which leads north and to my work apartment.It took 2 hours from the border to the apartment. Ride complete.

    No issues with the bike other than lack of speed, lack of power, lack of comfort. So anyone thinking about , just do it. Had a blast. Everyone at work at Saigon Shipyard thought I was nuts, but I would do it again.
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  3. Dougal

    Dougal Ol'Timer

    Good on you Harri, nice one.

    So what you're saying is that a Viet registered bike needs no import/export customs papers in Cambodia?
    And Viet Customs don't check for Owner's name on the registration book?

    What are you doing with the bike? I'm working up in Ha Tinh Province near Vinh City, maybe one of the guys here would be interested in it.

    Pete Dougal
  4. Franksmith

    Franksmith Member

    sounds good harry, when are we going to do a cambo or vietnarm ride??? When are you free?
  5. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Sorry Dougal, been busy at work. My experience is that Viet registered bikes needed no papers for Cambodia. In Vietnam the holder of the ownership paper is the owner, you loose it and someone picks it up they are the new owner. Sold the bike in HCMC, working there in the ship yard, send a e- mail and I will send my local number if you are ever in Saigon.
  6. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Hey Harry,

    Nice to talk with you.
    Hope to see you in our meeting place on Sunday AM.


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