Traveling the world has quite an appeal. You will take in beautiful sites, meet countless people, and make memories that will last a lifetime. If you decide to do it on a motorcycle, it could be even more thrilling, especially in Asia. You will have much more freedom than you otherwise would have.
As you might expect, however, traveling the world on a motorcycle is not as easy as hopping on a plane. You will have quite a few considerations to keep in mind. You will need to make sure that you are prepared. You should concentrate on a few things before you travel Asia on a motorcycle.
3 things to do before you travel Asia on a motorcycle
HAVE THE RIGHT MOTORCYCLE
Before you travel Asia on a motorcycle, you will need to make sure that you have the right motorcycle. There are more of these than you are aware of.
You will need to know the different types of motorcycles. Each will have pros and cons. Some will also be better-recommended for long distance traveling.
You will need to consider the likes of power, comfort, drivability, and more. Knowing which one is the right option for you is vital. You could also think about getting optional extras added to the motorcycle. These can help with carrying baggage, among offering other benefits.
The kind of road trip will affect this. If you are planning on off-roading, for example, then you will need to put a lot of thought into it.
KNOW THE LAWS
Different countries will naturally have slightly different driving laws. While the generalities might be the same, some specifics could be different.
You will need to be aware of this if they are. You wouldn’t want to be stopped by authorities when you are on your trip, especially over something relatively minor.
Spending a little time researching this could be helpful. If you are in an accident in another country, it will be worth it if you talk to a motorcycle accident attorney.
Speaking with them will ensure that you are legally safe, alongside helping you figure out if you are due compensation. Being informed will be vital throughout this time, regardless of whether or not you are in an accident.
SPEND ENOUGH TIME RESTING
Driving takes up a lot of mental energy. With a motorcycle, there is also some physical tiredness to worry about. After a few hours or so, you will start feeling quite tired. Staying on the road when you feel this could be dangerous. It could lead to an accident.
You should make sure that you spend enough time resting. In many cases, it iss worth stopping every hour or two for a short break.
At the same time, you could hydrate and have something to eat. It is worth planning out where you will stop and rest. Doing so should make the trip much more enjoyable.
Travel Asia on a motorcycle: wrapping up
Quite a few people have dreamt about traveling Asia on a motorcycle. It is not as easy as hopping on and driving off, however.
You will need to keep a few things in mind. You will want the trip to be safe and enjoyable. Taking the time to plan things out will make sure that that is the case.
Keeping the above in mind should more than help with that.
RULES ON LICENCES AND PERMITS
Planning to travel by motorcycle in South-east Asia? First of all, let’s clarify which countries are actually part of it: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor and Vietnam. In some cases, for example Indonesia, there are no regulations that are valid for the entire country.
LICENCES, COUNTRY BY COUNTRY
Brunei: International licence. Drive on the left.
Cambodia: Conversion of the international licence to a licence issued by the Cambodian authorities. This conversion costs around 25 US Dollars. It should be noted that often the rental cars and motorbikes provided offer poor guarantees of safety. Helmet compulsory.
Indonesia: International licence. Drive on the left.
Bali: International licence. It is possible to obtain a local tourist licence by passing a practical test on the spot (only valid here). Drive on the left. Helmet compulsory.
Laos: International licence. It should be noted that, often, cars and motorbikes provided for rental offer poor guarantees of safety. In any case, if involved in road traffic accidents, more often than not, foreign citizens are called upon to pay damage compensation to third parties, both for people and things.
Malaysia: International licence + currently valid national licence. If one of the aforementioned documents is missing, you will have to apply for a Malaysian licence by following the local procedures.
Myanmar: Licence for visitors, issued upon presenting an Italian licence or international licence to the local police in Yangon. By Burmese law, any driver involved in a road traffic accident with a pedestrian is always considered to be guilty. Maximum care is recommended when driving.
The Philippines: The international licence is recognised according to the model of the Convention of Vienna (ratified by the Philippines on 27/12/1973). Use of a national licence is generally accepted by the local authorities for short periods (up to three months from entering the country); in any case, the proper translation in English, declared compliant by the Embassy, is required.
Singapore: National licence with official translation in English (again, certified by the Embassy) or Vienna 1968 or Geneva 1949 international licence. Drive on the left. Helmet compulsory for both driver and passenger.
Thailand: International licence. Helmet compulsory. Drive on the left.
East Timor: International licence. Drive on the left (but you can often see people driving on the right…). Rental is very common.
Vietnam: Since about a year ago you can now drive in Vietnam if you hold an international licence accompanied by a national one (in the past, renting a vehicle of 50 cc or over was only allowed with a Vietnamese licence or with the current regulations, but with the addition of a visa of at least three months, so not a tourist visa). Drive on the left. Helmet compulsory for both driver and passenger.