Remote Asia Travel

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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Listed here are many of our questions from guests.  If there is something not covered below - there always is - please email us and we'll give you a clear answer quickly.

Fully Guided Tours


In most cases you can refer to our terms and conditions page for some answers.

Q: Where do we sleep at night?
Q: What's included or not on the trip?
Q: How can I pay my deposit?
Q: How can I pay my balance?
Q: The security deposit, what's that all about?
Q: I'm a vegetarian, is this a problem?
Q: My health is really poor, can I still go with you?
Q: What are medical facilities like while on the trip?
Q: What happens if I decide to leave the trip early?
Q: Do I need to sign a contract or anything like that?
Q: Can I change the itinerary?
Q: I don't like groups, can I hire a guide only?
Q: Are we there yet?
Q: Can I ride Pillion or in a support vehicle?
Q: Are my guides armed?


Motorcycle Rentals and Tours


Q: What do you supply with the motorcycle rentals?
Q: Do I have to leave my passport with you?

Q: What should I bring or not bring?
Q: What happens if I damage the bike?
Q: Where can I pick up or drop off the bike?
Q: Where can buy gas for the bike?
Q: Do I need a driver's permit?
Q: Where do I stay on the trip?
Q: Where do I pick up my bike?
Q: What kind of bikes do you have?
Q: How much luggage can I bring on a motorcycle?
Q: How many bags can I bring on a motorcycle?
Q: How much should I plan to spend on a self-guided trip by motorcycle?
Q: What currency can I use in Laos?
Q: Is it safe to ride? I've heard there are bandits on the road!
Q: What's the weather like?
Q: Do you have insurance on the bike?
Q: What happens if I have an accident?

Q: What about theft of the bike?
Q: Can I leave some luggage in Vientiane or can you ship it around the country?
Q: What about if my bike breaks down?
Q: What about if my bike stops and I can't get it fixed?
Q: Do I have to look after the bike at all?
Q: Can you book flights and hotels as well as tours on my trip?
Q: Can I ride the Ho Chi Minh Trail?
Q: What is the fuel range on a bike?
Q: How much is a beer Lao?



Fully Guided Trips in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand:


Q: Where do we sleep at night? 

A: We will stay in hotels or guesthouses.  You have many options for accommodation for a trip but some locations have limited resources.  Your budget sets the level for accommodation.  In some cases services are quite good but you can expect basic accommodation.  Sometimes the power goes out or maybe there is an Asian toilet but overnight stops are the best quality for the budget we can provide.


Q: What's included or not on the trip? 

A: Each tour has a set variable of included and excluded items.  A full list of inclusive/exclusive will be in your quotation for a custom tour.  Tours such as our 10 day set departure tours have this listed on the page.  We try to get it all done so you just ride and not worry about anything.


Q: How can I pay my deposit? 

A: We are set up to accept funds international via Paypal and International Wire Transfers.  We do not take checks, money orders or bank drafts.  Laos banking is not quite as developed and can be difficult with these items.


Q: How can I pay my balance? 

A: Same as above. 


Q: The security deposit, what's that all about? 

A: This applies only to our motorcycle tours. Our bikes are in great condition.  If you damage it on the trip, we have to fix it.  Your security deposit holds a certain amount of money for damages.  We have a list of prices and items we’d be happy to email you.  We are very fair on damages to the bikes but remember we are in Laos, not your home country and things cost out differently here.  All parts are imported and subject to higher taxes.


Q: I'm a vegetarian, is this a problem? 

A: No, we can accommodate this.  If you have specific dietary requirements, we need to know in advance.


Q: My health is really poor, can I still go with you? 

A: Depends.  Email us more about it and we’ll let you know.  We make these decisions based on the activities of your trip.


Q: What are medical facilities like while on the trip? 

A: Laos has basic medical facilities.  The best medical treatment is in Thailand and you should have travel insurance that covers medical expenses such as emergency transportation.  Some Embassies in Vientiane have medical services such as Australia and France.  In most severe cases, patients are sent to Thailand for treatment.  Udon Thani is 50 km from Vientiane and has excellent facilities.  In Vietnam there are western medical facilities in Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Hue.  Cambodia has limited facilities but direct flight options to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.  Your medical insurance should be checked and double checked to see you qualify for evacuation.  We are Remote Asia and try to get you further off the beaten track.  In these cases teh closest medical facility might not be what you are used to.  In rare cases it will require emergency transportation to Vietnam where visa upon arrival is not avaialble.  We will do our best to get you to the closest, most accessable medical facility.  Please remember that all emergency transport must be paid for by the client at the time of service.  Emergency helicopter evacuation can cost upwards of USD $2500.00 per hour.  We will contact your home Embassy in the country you are in and inform them of your condition and immediate needs. 


Q: What happens if I decide to leave the trip early? 

A: This is a decision you make and any unused portion of your trip is lost.  Return transport to the nearest place with further transport and accommodation is your own expense and we will help you get there.  If you are on a motorcycle tour, the bike will be transported for you and the fees for this will come from the security deposit placed on the vehicle.  You are not permitted to leave the group with your bike to return without a guide.


Q: Do I need to sign a contract or anything like that? 

A: Yes, we have a waiver and you will need to read and understand before you sign.  It is available for review on our site, click here.  Please also review out Terms and Conditions.


Q: Can I change the itinerary while on the trip? 

A: On set departure dates, no.  If your tour is a custom trip for your group only, Yes.  If you do decide to change the itinerary, this is your choice and it will most likely incur more cost you will be required to cover on the spot.


Q: I don't like groups, can I hire a guide only? 

A: Yes, we create trips for 1 – 200 persons outside our regular set departure trips.  Our website if full of suggested tours and we enjoy creating custom trips for you and your family.


Q: Are we there yet? 

A: In your itinerary, it will contain information on distance, time and expected arrival time.  Delays happen but we try to anticipate what may happen. In some cases it is due to weather or mechanical failures.  When dealing with Lao Airlines, they are prone to cancel a flight if not enough passengers on on the plane.  In cases of unexpected events, we think outside the box and are based in the region.  A travel agent in Germany may not be able to help due to the time difference and lack of resources, we are here to help no matter what.


Q: Can I ride Pillion or in a support vehicle? 

A: On our motorcycle tours, - Yes, in some cases we can support this but on the Set Departure Dates there is no support vehicle.


Q: Are my guides armed? 

A: Yes.  Your guides are armed with vast information on the tour route and have an ammunition of patience and experience for you to rely on.  At no times will a guide handle a fire arm unless it is on a display.

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Motorcycle
Rentals and Tours:

Q: What do you supply with the motorcycle rentals? 
A: All rentals come with a Lao Sim card for a mobile phone (you need to add time to it), Remote area tool kit (complete tyre puncture repair plus many items), helmet provided your head isn't overly huge or small, bungee cords to secure the bag to the bike rack, itinerary planning so you have an idea where your holiday is going, avialbility to call us from 07:00 to 22:00 for anything you might need, suggestions on where to stay/eat, tips on what to see while you are cruising around, pre-trip breifing on your bike and road conditions (45 minutes plus), A reliable operator in Laos!

Q: Do I have to leave my passport with you? 
A: Our rentals are secured with your passport.  A photo copy will serve you well on the trip.  The bike has a high value and a cash deposit of USD $5,000 is usually too high for a customer.  Bikes are not able to be taken out of the country (unless special situations are present) and your passport is the guarentee you will return out equipment.

Q:  What should I bring or not bring? 
A: For guided tours, our suggestion is as follows.  Self Guided are about the same and you'll have a remote area tool kit provided.
  1. Bandana  
  2. USD for your entry visa for Laos as well as a passport photo. There are ATM machines in Vientiane and I’ll even stop on the way out if you like so you can hold a little personal cash.  Clients always ask how much they should have per day.  In your case, all is included except soft drinks, beer and alcohol, dinner in Luang Prabang and meals on arrival day.  Here’s the simple answer. A beer cost about $1.00 per bottle.  Dinner in Luang Prabang might run $20 or more depending on your tastes.  Personal gifts are up to you and I estimate $50.00.  Taxi to/from the airport is USD $ 7.00
  3. Gloves
  4. Ride clothes are mentioned above.  If you have your own gear – wonderful, bring it. Nothing fits like your own stuff.
  5. Night clothes: t-shirt, light pants or shorts, shoes for night (sandals/Teva)
  6. We've no comment on underwear but plan sensibly…
  7. Toiletries
  8. Camera, batteries (low quality available on the road)
  9. Personal items
  10. Plastic Ziploc bags to keep phones, money and valuables dry.
  11. Large plastic bag to keep what you strap to the bike dry.  I can supply this as well if you don't bring one.
  12. Hat for time off the bike (provided it's sunny)
  13. Raingear for those that want it.  Downpours happen and don't usually last long but when it is rainy season are to be expected. 
  14. Sunscreen, small tube.

Things not to bring:

  1. Tools, no need for this.
  2. Candy for children along the way, we'd rather see this happen.  It's not a positive thing, find something valuable, maybe even educational!
  3. Your work. You can talk about it for sure, but it’s a holiday.
  4. Alcohol or drugs.  This is where we sound a little too parental. Please be aware we have a zero tolerance for drug and a medium/high tolerance for alcohol use when we are on a motorbike tour.  Riding motorcycles safely and not endangering the group is very important to us.  We are all adults and able to make our own choices but we would ask you to refrain from extreme/excessive drinking and refrain from drug use for the duration of the tour.  Riders that fail to ride sober will be refused to participate, sent back to Vientiane by bus at their own expense and no refund as the bike will have to be shipped and incur expenses we are not anticipating.  This may sound a bit harsh but we've had riders that failed to realize that riding sober is a matter of life and death not only for them but others on the roads here. Riding in Laos has its own hazards and adding to it doesn't make any sense.
Q: What happens if I damage the bike? 
A: Our bikes must be repaired from damages you sustain on the tour.  We have a set list of replacement parts and our prices are in USD/Thai Baht/Lao Kip.  Repairs due to rider sustained damage are evaluated at the return of the bike.  By agreeing to use our equipment, you agree to repairing any damage you did while on the trip - whether is was your fault or not.  We have a partial replacement part list, email us for more details.


Q: Where can I pick up or drop off the bike? 
A: Our office are in Vientiane and all the bikes are here.  If you wish, we can set up a pick up or drop off in Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Savanakhet, Thakek, and Pakse.  Fees for bike shipping generally run about USD $55.00 per direction.  If you do take advantage of this service, you must add USD $10 for shipping your passport from the bike pick up or drop off location. 


Q: Where can buy gas for the bike? 
A: There is gas in most locations in Laos.  In most cases, the bike's range is sufficent to run quite far and fuel stations are easily located.  There are 3 types of fuel stops in Laos. The first is a regular fuel station with electric pumps.  The second is a roadside shack with a crank pump over a large barrel and the third is roadside fuel in bottles.  It is always best to take fuel from the regular service stations.  There is only one kind of gas here but Laos also has diesel - Gas is Pink, Diesel is Green.


Q: Do I need a driver's permit? 
A: Our insurance is based on you having a legal driver's permit from your home country.  If you do not have one, you may still ride a bike from us but need to demonstrate you are able to operate the bike safely. 


Q: Where do I stay on the trip? 
A: Our service includes tips on where to stay overnight.  There are many places to stay of various levels of service around the country. 


Q: Where do I pick up my bike? 
A: We'll be in contact with you about this.  Each rental is a little different and it depends on your arrival time in Laos as well as where you are staying.  We try to deliver bikes to your hotel and in some cases you can come either to our office or shop.


Q: What kind of bikes do you have? 
A: We use a variety of bikes.  Honda Baja 250cc and Honda XR 250cc are the most in the fleet.  We also have Honda XR 230cc, Suzuki Djebel 200cc, Honda FTR 223cc, Honda SL 230cc Suzuki DRZ 400cc and Yamaha WRF 250cc.  For a complete list and price page, please visit the Motorcycle Rental Page.

motor bike rental Laos Honda
Q: How much luggage can I bring on a motorcycle? 
A: It's best to keep it light.  Our rule of thumb on this is 1 set of day riding clothes and 1 set of
evening clothes. Depending on the lenght of your trip, you may wish to bring a little different night clothing and if you are going up north, it might be a little cooler.  In general, the bag you take with you should be no more than 7 kilos/15 lbs and overall length around 45 cm.  The best bag is soft sided.  Hard luggage cases are difficult to secure.

Q: How many bags can I bring on a motorcycle? 
A: 1 bag is tied to the rear rack with elastic bungee cords.  There are no tank bags available or side panniers at the moment.  Your small backpack can be worn but a large bag on the rear might touch it when you are seated and be uncomfortable.

Q: How much should I plan to spend on a self-guided trip by motorcycle? 
A: Your individual spending tastes are hard to guess.  A rough estimate is $15 per night for a room, $12 per day on fuel, $10 per day on meals and drinks.  In all cases, plan ahead with a little more per day, it's better to come back with a little cash than run short the last few days of a tour.

Q: What currency can I use in Laos? 
A: Laos currency is the Kip.  It trades around 8,500 to the US dollar.  It's best to have some Kip on your ride.  Thai Baht and US dollars are accepted in most places but the more remote you get, it's best to have an amount of Kip with you.  Money can be exchanged in most entry points, and many places around the country.  Traveller checks are problematic in Laos.  Banks will do cash advances on credit cards but expect to pay 4% or more for this service.  ATM locations are popping up all around the
motor bike rental Laos Hondacountry and quite handy.

Q: Is it safe to ride? I've heard there are bandits on the road! 
A: Most of this activity is now long gone.  When riding in remote areas, local police or military may stop you to inspect your documents.  There are some areas of Laos worth avoiding due to small instability but they are quite easy to not go to.  Most of the bandits are traffic police.  They are only enforcing the laws of Laos and you must respect them.  Fines will vary and you can negotiate.
  HANDS UP ==>

Q: What's the weather like? 
A: Laos has a dry and wet season.  Dry season is typically from mid October to mid April and the rest remainder is rainy season. Laos is a hot country from around May to October in the low elevations and in the mountain regions, expect cooler temperate and occasional mornign fog.  A good source of information is found at Wunderground.  This site also has historical data for the previous few years so you can enter a day and see what last year was like.

Q: Do you have insurance on the bike? 
A: Yes.  Laos insurance is Third Party only and the limits are very low.  Lao insurance is not fully developed and we suggest you have good personal health insurance.  Please note that some companies will not insure you on bikes over 125cc. 


Q: What happens if I have an accident? 
A: In case of accident, you must call us a soon as possible. Injury accident - solo accident are both important let us know as quickly as possible.  This is why we supply a Sim Card for the trip.  Please refer to the accident page for more details.


Q: What about theft of the bike? 
A: The bike is your responsibility once you take possession of it from us.  Bike theft in Laos is quite rare for the types of bikes we rent as they are quite big bikes.  Most bike theft is centered around step thru 110cc bikes.  This is not to say it could not happen and you must insure the bike is parked safely.  When at a hotel or guesthouse you need to inquire where to park the bike.  Some locations have night watchmen and some have indoor parking while some may have a locked parking area.  When going off the bike while on riding to enjoy a local attraction, there is usually a paid parking area with an attendant.  We supply locks for bikes with chains if you wish and the locks are Master Locks from the USA that are not easily opened here.  In al honesty, 90% of all our rental clients do not take a lock and chain.  You are responsible for the bike and if it is stolen, the replacement value is USD $5000.00 or more depending on the model.

Q: Can I leave some luggage in Vientiane or can you ship it around the country? 
A: Yes.  we can hold your bags in our offices while you are on the trip.  If your rental ends or starts outside of Vientiane, we can send you bags for you to our drop off/pick up locations. There is a fee for this and it depends on the number of bags and weight.


Q: What about if my bike breaks down? 
A: Our bikes are in excellent condition before they leave our shop. In some cases a bike may stop for a variety of reasons.  It is mportant to CALL US and not just simply take the bike to a Lao mechanic.  We have been able to help clients with very minor repairs over the phone and if your bike needs more repair, our Lao mechanic will speak with the local mechanic where you are to solve the problem.  Remote mechanics are not great but we have a set of them we like to use.  They won't tear the entire bike apart to find out you've not had the run switch on.

Q: What about if my bike stops and I can't get it fixed? 
A: Our shop will send out a replacement bike.  You have to be near a main town on the transport network.  We will compensate for lost time only if your bike suffers a mechanical breakdown that is unable to be repaired.  If the nature of the problem is rider caused, the damages policy is in effect.  Simple care of the bike will insure you are able to return. 

Q: Do I have to look after the bike at all? 
A: Yes.  Daily inspections of the bike are a great thing.  Checking the oil every day is very easy to do and we will intruct you on how to do it and when.  Looking over the bike and tyres takes only a few minutes.  Simple things like checking the oil, air filter and tyres helps not only your fuel range but overll safety.  It is your responsibility to keep the bike in a safe place all the time you have it.  Most hotels/guesthouses will allow you to park overnight in a secure location.  If you want, we wil provide you with a chain and lock to take with you on the trip.  Laos is a safe country this way and it is unlikely someone will take your bike but you have to be aware of where you park all the time.


Q: Can you book flights and hotels as well as tours on my trip? 
A: Our company is a fully certified international travel agent.  We can book hotel rooms all over the region as well as tours and flights.

Q: Can I ride the Ho Chi Minh Trail? 
A: Yes you can but you should hire a guide and not go alone.  This area is difficult to navigate even with GPS.  Remote Asia will rent bikes going down here only with a GPS guided trip if self-guided.  You must be able to use the GPS as well. 

Q: What is the fuel range on a bike? 
A: We estimate 22 kilometers per liter.  On a Baja, the tank holds 13 liters and for the XR model, 9 liters.  There is a reserve on teh bike of 1 liter and it counts on the total liters of the tank.


Q: How much is a beer Lao? 
A: It is about 9,000 per bottle at a shop, more in a cafe/restaurant. More or less 1 US Dollar.


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