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I only have an European car drivers licence and I'm wondering if it is possible to rent/buy a motorcycle somewhere in South-East Asia and ride it. Is it allowed in some countries in that area? Or are there countries where it's not checked at all if you have a licence?

Highly related to this question, but now I'm looking for answers about South-East Asia.

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In my experience, and that is just my experience, they don't check for a licence. That doesn't mean they don't ask for a licence, but I rented motorcycles in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia without anyone asking me for any kind of licence. I have no idea what would happen if you are stopped or something happens and you don't have a licence, so I would strongly suggest getting a license –  JordanBelf May 7 '13 at 0:17
If you don't have a valid license, you're likely to invalidate any insurance (travel insurance and hire insurance), which could make any accident you have immensely expensive.. –  Gagravarr May 7 '13 at 9:52
There may be some rules to differentiate motorbikes from scooters based on engine capacity. I'm sure I've heard you can drive scooters without a licence in some countries. All the tourists crash their rental scooters in Thailand though so it might not be a great idea for your safety. –  hippietrail Aug 16 '13 at 9:08
Thank you for the addition, I'll look into it. Great generalisation as well. –  Bart Arondson Aug 16 '13 at 9:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

No there is not. All countries in South-East Asia require licenses to drive a motorcycle, and even more so to rent one. That even goes for more remote locations like Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

I want to add that there are countries like India where driving yourself is a REALLY bad idea. If you are in the countryside and have an accident where you injure someone or damage something valuable (a holy cow for example), there is a risk that a mob from a local village attempts to kill you. Literally. Expats in India are generally not allowed and are forced to have a driver. So please check for each country if it's smart do drive by yourself.

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