The 5 best motorbike brands to drive in vietnam


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Motorbiking in Vietphái nam is a popular way for travelers to get around, but the process isn"t simple. Jessica Hayward gives us the lowdown on how khổng lồ ride legally & safely.


Motorbike Legality in Vietnam

Motorbikes up khổng lồ 50 cc can be ridden without a license in Vietphái mạnh, but this size of motorcycle is not suitable for extended travel throughout the country.

International Drivers Permits are currently legal IF your trang chủ country has signed under the 1968 convention (countries colored green on this map). But you must hold a motorcycle license at home page & have it registered on the IDPhường. Australia, UK, USA, & Canada have signed only the 1949 convention on IDPs, so they are not valid & you will be riding illegally.

A Vietnamese license is otherwise required. Whilst many travelers ride without one, and successfully bribe their way out of police stops, if you cause damage to lớn yourself or others you will be held fully responsible và be at the mercy of Vietnamese justice.

You can have sầu a valid license from trang chính transferred khổng lồ a Vietnamese license inHanoi andHo Chi Minc with a bit of time & paperwork.Here’s how lớn vì that.

Be aware that without a valid IDPhường or Vietnamese license, yourtravel insurance will not be valid, even if you have a motorxe đạp license in your trang chính country. You are riding illegally.

Also note that some insurers may exclude “motorxe đạp touring” for policyholders from particular countries of residence. This means you cannot travel where motorcycle is the primary means of transport, however you are covered for incidental use of a motorcycle. World Nomads policyholders from the UK are subject to this exclusion at this time. Always check the wording of your policy regardless of your country of residence.

Renting or Buying in Vietnam

Try to rent from reputable companies that providereliable vehicles (Honda, Yamaha etc), rather than Chinese knock-offs. One of the most popular is Tigit Motorbikes. Many travelers choose khổng lồ buy cheap $200 bikes from fellow backpackers lớn keep their travel costs down. I cannot găng enough the value in renting or buying a proper, well maintained bike; the hassle of repairing your constantly breaking xe đạp and cost will soon match or exceed the price of renting a newer motorxe đạp. Vietnamese roads are dangerous enough without making life harder with a faulty motorxe đạp.

Renting a Motorbike Outside of Vietnam

Vietnam generally only allows Vietnamese bikes into the country. You will be facing difficulties crossing borders from Laos,Cambodia & China on a non-Vietnamese bike. Expect to lớn pay some hefty bribes, or not cross at all, depending onhow frequented your border is & how much the border security cares about letting you in.

What Bike khổng lồ Rent

110 cc khổng lồ 125 cc will be completely sufficient for touring the country, unless you intend to head through rougher country in the north và west. In those cases, it"s best to lớn hire a more powerful xe đạp. Speed limits are low within Vietnam – 25mi/h (40km/h) for cities, 37mi/h (60km/h) for highways – so having a very powerful motorxe đạp can often be a detriment in congested areas. You can navigate the country on an automatic, sengươi automatic or manual, so choose what will work best for your experience.

Try to keep khổng lồ known brands like Honda or Yamaha. Whilst most Vietnamese know how to lớn repair motorbikes, if you vì chưng not know what they are doing it will be hard to lớn judge if you are being scammed or sold faulty repairs. With a Hondomain authority xe đạp, or similar, you can take it lớn one of the many Honda stores for service và be assured of legitimate mechanics who will charge you a flat rate. These stores are in almost every town và city.

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Riding in Vietnam

Expect average lớn poor roads the majority of the time, along with heavy traffic. Vietnam has built good highways but only cars and trucks are allowed khổng lồ use them, and as they come with a toll, most vehicles will still use the rougher và narrow roads that motorbikes must use.

Roadsides will often be filled with stalls, markets và livestock, so please pay attention at all times.

Traffic is chaotic, but drivers in Vietnam giới are politer & more aware than other South East Asian countries. Most trucks will beep to warn you out of the way before overtaking, so pay attention lớn your fellow motorists. If you"re not sure they can see you, warnthem by using your horn. This especially applies on the twisting mountain roads in the west and north, as there are multiple blind corners with no space and the only way khổng lồ know you can pass safely is to lớn ensure any oncoming traffic can hear you coming!

Riding inSaigon andHanoi may seem intimidating, but traffic speed is so low it is generally safe. The triông xã is khổng lồ look directly where you are going so motorists know where you are headed. If you need khổng lồ cross oncoming traffic, do so slowly & steadily; everyone will get out of your way if you vì chưng not make erratic movements. Follow the flow!

Be aware of the weather. Rain can và will come at any time, so be prepared with waterproofs. In a downpour a good road can rapidly become slippery & dangerous, so please consider this and your visibility when deciding lớn travel in bad weather.

Scams khổng lồ Look Out For

Police are known to lớn target foreigners, because most vị not have licenses. You can avoid this by not advertising your nationality. Wear long pants và long sleeved shirts, with gloves, và you will be no different lớn every other local on the road.

If you have valid licenses or IDP.., the police will leave sầu you alone. Without them, you will likely need to lớn pay a fine/bribe khổng lồ continue on your way.

Dodgy mechanics – while it may be unavoidable to use local repair places at times, try khổng lồ service at reputable stores to ensure you are not being scammed.

Fuel – this is not comtháng, but always kiểm tra your attendant resets the fuel gauge before filling your xe đạp.

Dangers While Riding in Vietnam

Vietphái mạnh is an extremely safe country, but the roads are some of the most dangerous in the world. For this reason, wear appropriate safety gear, drive defensively và always be aware of the vehicles around you.

Thieving is a problem – make sure your motorbikes are in secure, safe parking each night, and vày not leave them unlocked/unattended for long (if at all). Gear left with your xe đạp can & will be stolen, including your helmet, even if it is locked khổng lồ your bike. Thieves will simply cut through the strap & take it anyway.

Best Biking Routes in Vietnam

Main Route: Ho Chi Minc to Hanoi and vice versa, following the east coast. Mostly good roads, if busy, and access khổng lồ all main cities like Hue, Hoi An & Da Nang. Most travelers choose this route. It should take one to lớn three weeks travel time, depending on speed.

Ho Chi Minc Road: Starts outside of Ho Chi Minch và winds all the way to Hanoi on the western border of the country. Incredibly quiet road with spectacular scenery; highly recommended for nature lovers who want to lớn experience untouched Vietnam giới.

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Ha Giang Loop: Heading from Ha Giang lớn the very north of Vietphái mạnh and circling back, this is widely known as the best of Vietnam’s scenery. Three khổng lồ six days to complete. The road conditions alternate between great và terrible, so expect the unexpected.