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Cambodia Guide books

Motorbiking Cambodia and Vietnam Tips Download a PDF copy Here


These 5 Tips are from my book; Motorbiking Cambodia and Vietnam.

Hi . Preparing for a motorbiking adventure through SEA can be a rush. Being prepared will make a big difference to having a successful trip. You can wing it and hope for the best, or you can get tips and advice from someone that has done it before. Here are five important tips taken from my Motorbiking Cambodia and Vietnam book to keep in mind for your SEA adventure.

1:Whether you rent or buy a motorcycle, get a good full face helmet. Bring a proper one with, as the ones sold on the street are mostly carting helmets, or half helmets that have no chin protector. Flying rocks from trucks and buses on the chin is not nice, get a full face helmet.

2:If you are going to ride two up, consider getting a 125cc engined motorbike, or at least a 110cc. The 100cc or below motorbikes are just going to work very hard, upping your fuel bill, in addition to being dog slow, especially on tough hills. You may also find that you cannot get up sections of the road two up, or need to rev the engine and slip the clutch, that eventually burns the clutch out. I met a few backpackers stuck with a burned out clutch.

3: Never buy a motorbike without papers or a motorbike that does not match the blue registration card. Just walk away, it is not worth it. The motorbike is either stolen, or the owner lost the papers. (Note, some bikes like Honda Wins might have the engine replaced, then the numbers will not match, as long as the number plate and chassis number matches it should be okay to drive around in Vietnam, but do not expect to easily cross any borders, unless you pay your way over. If police do pull you over, they may confiscate the motorbike if you have no papers for it. You yourself may be in trouble if the motorcycle was reported stolen.

4:Check that the motorbike starts first or second time when both cold and hot. If you need to kick the kick starter 20 times to get it going, walk away. Trust me, there is something wrong that is going to cost you. For that matter, unless you are getting the motorbike for cheap, if it has an electric start, it should easily start with it, if not, walk away as you are heading for expensive repairs down the road Starting problems can be because of cam and valve wear or a blown head gasket or cooked rings. Basically the starter cannot spin the engine fast enough to create enough compression to have it running. When you use the kick-start lever, the engine spins faster and creates enough compression to start. Other starting problems can be the carburetter or ignition system, expensive to repair.

5:Get on the motorbike and go find a long open road and give the motorbike all she has. Do not just drive around the block. I made the mistake as traffic was bad and I was short on time to take it out of town. The motorbike felt fine at slow speeds, but then later when I went on a trip, I could not go over 45 km/h for the vibration was so bad, and even at that speed the exhaust eventually fell off. Every town I got to, bolts were missing. I ended up selling the motorbike for a $125 loss to a mechanic, after I spend $80 in repairs on it.

If you would like to get more tips for Motorbiking Cambodia and Vietnam, see the full book:

Learn the lay of the land, what to see and what to avoid.  With the help of Mr. Swanepoel, choose a motorbike that’s right for you – no detail has been spared.  Find your way, and prepare, by viewing dozens of pictures, which act as landmarks to further simplify the trek.

Related information includes:

  • Buying and selling advice, with trustworthy places to use.
  • How to avoid popular scams.
  • Border crossing between countries – doing it right.
  • Cost, distance and time calculations.
  • Pointed, well-described routes from Saigon to Hanoi, and the Cambodia Loop.
  • Information on transporting your motorcycle by bus or train.

Alone, or with friends, racing across the expansive vistas that make up Southeast Asia is a vacation dream come true. If you love the feel of wind in your hair and don’t mind the occasional bug in your teeth, this singularly unique trip and guide are for you.

Begin your adventure today!


5 International Travel Tips:

These 5 Tips are from my book; 100 International Travel Tips.

Hi . Advice for travel can be found all over the Internet, from friends and travel agencies, government websites, as well as airlines. The problem is not a shortage of information, but an overload of information. Wasting time sifting through numerous tips that in most cases have no relevance to you, often leaves you frustrated while at the same time possibly causing you to forget the actual advice you do need. Here are five important tips taken from my 100 International Travel Tips book to keep in mind for your travels.

1:Make a PDF scan copy of every page of your passport, or take a picture with your cell phone. You can also make hard copies of your passport, and keep it in your carry-on bag. In case your passport is lost or stolen, you will have proof of who you are. Also do the following: take a picture of the entry-stamp page of a country as soon as you pass through customs, as well as any visa that you receive at a customs' border post. People have been allowed to fly home with only scans and pictures of their passport’s pages. If you make hard copies have them certified as original copies. Leave additional copies of your passport, itinerary with hotel bookings, contact details, and flights with family or friends – in case you run into trouble.

2:Do check that your passport was, in fact, stamped when you pass a customs checkpoint. In addition, check the date of the entry stamp, as well as the expiry date of your visa. Scams occur in countries where a passport is incorrectly stamped, or not at all, on entry. You will be fined heavily when you try to exit the country. Most tourist visas are valid for 90 days, in blocks of 30 days. Do check the expiry date of your visa, as you will be fined for overstaying a visa. You may also be banned for a time if you overstayed for too long. An overstay can easily be $10 a day or more.

3:Inform your bank of the dates and places you will be traveling to and from. Banks may decline foreign charges, and even stop your cards, if they are not notified to expect foreign charges. Keep your bank details with you in case you need to contact your bank to have a purchase approved or a stopped-card reactivated.

4:Get a Skype account for free. Load your account with $30 of credit to allow you to call landlines and cell phones, should your wallet and cell phone get stolen. Most hotels and Internet shops will allow you to call, or you can ask a fellow traveler who has a smart phone or tablet to allow you to call using your account.

5:Put a piece of paper in each luggage with your contact details and possibly home address, as well as your itinerary with connecting flights and final destination. One of the main reasons bags are lost, is that tags get miss printed or ripped off, and no one has any idea where the bag should go or who the owner is. Other common causes of lost and delayed bags are late check-ins and tight connections (less than three hours between connecting flights, min 90 minutes suggested).

If you would like to get more travel tips, see the full book:

This book focusses on tips that will make your flight smoother, help you to not be a victim of baggage theft or become another statistic of lost luggage, help you clear customs easier, stay out of trouble and jail for things you may not think you can get jailed for, as well as help you not to fall victim to crime on your travels.

If only one tip helps to save you from being robbed, your bank account emptied, your passport stolen, you jailed for life or executed, or help to make your travels go smoother, then the purchase of the book was a bargain.

Begin your adventure today!


See the best of Bangkok as well as Ayutthaya

If you are thinking of crossing over to Vietnam, see my guide books for Vietnam. Do not forget about Cambodia and Laos, both amazing places to visit.

If you are a bit more adventures and plan on Backpacking South East Asia, or Motorbiking through Asia, consider my guide books for your adventure.

Wishing you safe travels and an amazing vacation.