Motor Biking in Southeast Asia Gone Wrong – Backpackers Horror Stories

By Mary Charie / 27/06/2016

Backpacker’s Horror Story – Motor Biking in Southeast Asia Gone Wrong


This is the story of my motorbike accident in Laos.

Backstory: I was doing a huge motorbike trip around Vietnam and Laos. Motorbiking in Southeast Asia is an amazing way to see the country and I really recommend it to those who feel confident riding bikes. I had a lot of experience with bikes and traffic so I felt pretty safe riding around, even in the notorious downtown of Hanoi. Still, I managed to have an accident…




>>Recommended Hostel in Vietnam


It has been three weeks since I started riding my motorbike before the accident happened, I was in Laos at that time, sorting out a new visa for Vietnam. I had just spent a couple of days in the cultural city of Laos called Luang Prabang.


In South East Asia, especially Vietnam, and Laos, you see animals everywhere; cows, water buffalos, chicken, pigs, and dogs. They are just randomly walking on the roads everywhere! It was weird at first, you’ll be very conscious about it, but after a while it kind of becomes normal and you don’t think about it as much.


I was in that state after leaving Luang Prabang, I had been riding for weeks and nothing had happened. I even stopped slowing down when I saw a group of cows crossing the road ahead of me. The locals don’t so why should I? I was riding on this asphalt road; it was a pretty good one because I’m close to a major town. I was going pretty fast, about 50 km/h I would say.


In this area, there were dogs literally everywhere. They normally stroll peacefully at the side of the road. You start to trust them, forgetting that they are very impulsive animals. Until this one dog decided to run straight out on the road at the exact worst moment a truck was coming in my direction on the other side of the lane, I couldn’t go there, so I bailed.


This part is pretty blurry… All I remember is me doing a front flip landing on my back. Luckily, I had a backpack stuffed with items, it took most of the fall but then I rolled over and my bare skin took the rest. I finally came to a stop and everything became silent and still. I was on my belly facing the ground. It felt like I was in one of those war movies and a bomb just went off, I could hear a ringing sound in my ear. I got very conscious of my breathing.


I turned around and I saw my bike in the distance. Luckily there was no dog on the scene. It escaped unharmed which I’m very happy about. I tried to calm myself as my shock was coming down. An old man came up to me asking if I was okay. I think so, I said and tried to stand up. That was when I realised my knees were covered in blood and the visual realisation somehow sparked the pain chemical in my brain.


I had never felt lonelier, I was in the middle of nowhere Laos. All alone. Hospitals are rare and most of them are definitely not as good as the ones back home. The man picked up my bike and told me to go before I got too much attention from the villagers who curiously watched me from the distance. I stood up feeling like an injured soldier, climbed on my bike and took off.


After riding for another 30 minutes, I took out my first aid kit which had been lying at the bottom of my backpack for weeks. With the help of the kit I have, I cleaned my wounds with antiseptic cream and placed a bandage on. I felt pretty badass I have to say. I continued my journey in a much more cautious manner and completed the whole 3.500 km trip to Ho Chi Minh City.

Lessons learnt: Always wear a helmet. Have a first aid kit ready. Don’t trust animals.

–Jasper, Laos 2016



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About the author

Mary Charie

She's the person behind this blog, she has been travelling since 2013. Torn between her itchy feet and writing, Mary found herself soaking up in the world of travel blogging. She travels on her own terms and tries to build her own world whilst pushing herself into every corner of life, breaking limit beyond her capabilities.

Heather - 13/08/2016

Glad to read all was ok after the fact. Ride safe.

backpackways - 06/07/2016

Its such a terrible thing, glad you are safe. We learn the best lessons of life when on the road. Explore more and ride safely.

Cai Dominguez - 05/07/2016

Good to know thag your safe and nothing serious happen. It’s hard to be seriously injured while traveling and your not on your home country. Keepsafe always 🙂

Evan Kristine - 04/07/2016

What did we learn in this article? Don’t ride faster than you should!!! Gladly Jasper survived with no further injuries but seriously, people should learn how to practice safety precautions!

Jessica Ayun - 04/07/2016

I am not really confident in motobikes. But yeah, most importantly. stay safe in traveling so don’t forget your helmet in taking a motorbike, whether you’re the driver or rider.

Vyjay Rao - 04/07/2016

That is one of the hazards of riding in South East Asia, but good to know that you are none the worse for it. You need to be extra careful and look out for other’s mistakes even though you may be 100% right all the time.

    Mary Charie - 05/07/2016

    Thanks for ready Vyjay! Can’t agree enough! 🙂

Kevin Wagar - 29/06/2016

Glad to hear that both and the dog made it out relatively unharmed. It’s got to be a badass feeling bailing in a place like that and then stitching yourself up! It’s also why my wife thinks I’m an idiot whenever I talk about riding a motorbike 🙂

    Mary Charie - 05/07/2016

    Can’t blame your wife, lol! I haven’t drove motorbike myself. Too scared! 😀

Mar Pages - 29/06/2016

wow, thank goodness your backpack took most of the fall. A first aid kit is crucial in times like these, I never leave without one. Good to know you were more careful for the rest of your trip!

Chris - 28/06/2016

Wow, you are very lucky the damage wasn’t worse!

I’m not a rider myself, but I would always recommend that anybody who mounts one, do so in proper riding gear for their own well being (riding leathers and a helmet at least).

Doreen Pendgracs - 27/06/2016

How awful about your accident! How wonderful that you were not TOO severely injured! I find it so shocking that the man made you get on your bike and keep riding, rather than offer to help you! You could have been in shock or had internal injuries! I hope you learned the lesson to slow down, as motorbiking can be dangerous even when we are travelling in familiar territory. Stay safe!

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