Tips how to ride motorbike in Vietnam
In 2015 I did a motorbike tour in Vietnam. One of the best times in my life! The freedom and adventure are amazing. You never know what the next 10 minutes will bring. Break downs? Do you see cows or buffalows on the road? Nice sea views from the mountain? I love it!
Buy a motorbike in Vietnam
In Ho Chi Minh you can go to district one and buy your motorbike over there. You’ll find several motorbike shops. Most of the bikes you can buy are between $200 and $300. You can buy a new Honda win for $700. Tips for buying a motorbike in Vietnam. When you buy a motorbike in Vietnam you always get a ownership card of the motorbike. See here more tips about how to buy motorbike in Vietnam
Motorbike driving rules in Vietnam
When you want to drive in Vietnam some things are good to know. One of the most important things if you want to stay alive is that you slow down on big busy roundabouts and intersections. The Vietnamese won’t want to hit you so thats good for you. When you’re used to the roundabouts and intersections you can speed up a bit and go with the Vietnamese.
Second point are the oncoming vehicles. Motorbikes but also cars and buses. They wil come in your lane and it is not unusual in Vietnam. Dont be affraid and make it clear what your line on the way is. The highway and fast buses are the most dangerous. They will overtake and drive on your side of the road on moments you never expect. So always be focussed.
Riding a motorbike in Vietnam: Be aware of
Don’t be stupid: Driving a motorbike in Vietnam isn’t easy and can be dangerous. Because motorbikes are getting more populair by backpackers there are more and more motorbike accidents the last years. Take care of yourself and only do it when you feel confident. You can say YOLO the evening before your hangover but you can’t scream YOLO the seconds before a motorbike accident, dont be stupid and take care of yourself the world has more to give.
Responsibility: When you drive a motorbike in Vietnam you don’t have an option to insure yourself ór your motorbike. So when you’ve an accident and get in the hospital they won’t help you without money. When you have an accident and other people are involved you also can end up in jail.
Navigation roadtrip Vietnam
We glued a iPhone cover ($4) on our motorbike and had the Google maps route on that iPhone. Thats the most easy thing to do. When you don’t close the app you can scroll trough the map all your way. If you want a offline map than is Maps.me a nice option. Keep in mind that the you have to double the time in the Google maps app. So when it says the ride will take two hours then it is four.
What do you need to drive a motorbike in Vietnam?
- Motorbike 😉
- Helmet (see the image for the safety sticker)
- Jacket (it can be cold)
- Raincoat (sometimes its raining)
- Sunglasses (also for the dust and little stones)
- Bungeecords (for securing your backpack to you bike)
- Multitool and ducktape (for quick fixes)
- Plastic or raincoat for your backpack (so everything stays dry and clean)
Costs for a motorbike repair in Vietnam?
On this monet: 1 euro is 25.000 VMD and 1 dollar is 20.000 VMD
- Weld my exhaust 50.000
- Repair flat tire 10.000 / 30.000
- Replace Electric Stator 200.000 / 300.000
- Oil change 90.000
- Fix front and backlight 50.000
- Stoplight switch 20.000
- New bungeecords 14.000
- New chain and sprockets 250.000
- New Relaybox 20.000
- Chain tightened up 10.000
- New inner tube 80.000
- Spark plug lead 50.000
What to do when there is no mechanic around?
You’ll see a lot of places where you can get fuel and repair your motorbike. But what when there is no mechanic around? Look for people and check if they can help you. Vietnamese are friendly people and want to make you happy. A lot of them are driving a motorbike and know how to fix the problem.
When there is nothing but nothing around. Make sure you have enough money with you. Stop an empty truck and ask him to drive you to the next mechanic. The cost depends on the distance. But with 100.000 / 200.000 normaly you’ll end up at a mechanic
Route for motorbike trip in Vietnam
The best route in Vietnam so far I’ve heard is to ride from north to south over the Ho Chi Minh Highway (HCMH) or some people say Ho Chi Minh Trail. You can choose between the Ho Chi Minh Highway east and the Ho Chi Minh Highway west. If I must choose again I’ll go for the Ho Chi Minh Highway west because it is more in the mountains.
Find hotels on your motorbike roadtrip in Vietnam
It is realy easy to find a nice hotel in Vietnam during your motorbike trip. In some places people aproached us and offered us a room for $5. We said $4 and that was ok. We followed them to the hotel and eveything was fine. You also can book a room in advance, but you never know what will happen that day. So If is did the tour again I’ll go to a town and look around. The cheap hotels you can already get for $4 of $5 dollar a person.
Motorbike scams in Vietnam
Sometimes when you’re on a nice view spot people try to scam you. Don’t be afraid but I just want to inform you that it can happen. A point where scams are is between Hue and Hoi An. Don’t leave your motorbike unattended to take a nice picture, people have had there motorbikes tampered with while not looking. There is no meganic shop around and “friendly” people want to help you but you’ve to pay a lot.
When you want to ride a motorbike in Vietnam but you dont want to do everything yourself? The easyrides Vietnam is a nice option to do. They offer different routes and tours for motorbike rides trough Vietnam.
See my stages of the motorbike roadtrip Vietnam
Roadtrip stage 1: Get out of Ho Chi Minh
Roadtrip stage 2: Cu Chi to Vinh An
Roadtrip stage 3: Vinh an to Mui Ne
Roadtrip stage 4: Mui Ne to Dalat
Roadtrip stage 5: Dalat to Nha Trang
Roadtrip stage 6: Nha Trang to Quy Nhon
Roadtrip stage 7: Quy Nhon to Hoi An
Roadtrip stage 8: Hoi An to Dong Ha
Roadtrip stage 9: Dong Ha to Ba Don
Roadtrip stage 10: Ba Don to Yen Cat
Roadtrip stage 11: Yen Cat to the finish in Hanoi!