Map and information on Vietnam, Click Here
My second failure to enter a country! First China, and now Vietnam. I was really annoyed about this one because I was assured by the embassy in Vientiane everything was OK, no problem for the bikes. Also the difficulty in getting there over bad roads, and the realisation that we would have to go back over that same way we came. (Read the end of the Laos chapter for an explanation of the road conditions).
Anyhow, the problem was, if you have a bike of over 160cc, you must get special permission to enter Vietnam. Most embassies apparently can organise it for you, but why didn’t the Vientiane embassy tell us about it???? The border officials refused all our begging, pleading and grovelling to let us in. They told us our only option was to go back to Vientiane to get the appropriate documentation, which meant 4 days solid riding, as well as however many days it took the embassy to get approval. We decided it wasn’t worth the wait.
Our next destination was Cambodia, but you can not yet cross from Laos to Cambodia, which is a pity, because the main attraction in Cambodia, Angkor Watt is not far from the southern Lao border. We had to cross back into Thailand, and ride around Cambodia to the border post at Poipet.