Table of Contents
- Vietnam by motorbike- Introduction
- How to prepare to cross Vietnam by motorbike
- Time to Leave- Vietnam by motorbike best tips
- Planning your motorbike itinerary.
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Preparing your trip through Vietnam by motorbike can be challenging.
You need to make sure you have all you need before leaving, rent or buy your bike in a trustable place and carefully think about the itinerary.
After more than a month riding through Vietnam most epic landscapes, we are going to provide you with all the information you need to travel Vietnam by bike.
Can you imagine yourself going through completely lonely roads, passing by endless rice fields with exuberant limestones as a background and nobody else around? That is how it is going to be.
So keep reading, because we are going to make sure you have all you need before starting this terrific adventure.
Vietnam by motorbike- Introduction
When you travel Vietnam by motorbike, every journey is a wonderful adventure itself- from the crazy and chaotic Ho Chi Minh, to the curvy and scenic roads by the mountains.
Also, there are many parts of the journey where you’ll be there just by yourself. Isn’t that already awesome?!
In this post, we are going to give you all our best tips after crossing Vietnam by motorbike for a month. A colossal road trip of 2600kms, riding the classic Honda Win between lush green rice fields and dreamy landscapes.
Also, if you need more information about Vietnam, we have created a complete guide which you can download in pdf for free! Check our travel guide to Vietnam here.
Lastly, we have also crafted a very useful ebook with a map, proposed itinerary, roads, places where to have some food, where to sleep, pictures and more. Check this amazing Ebook to travel Vietnam by motorbike by yourself.
If you want to know where to sleep when riding a motorcycle cross country or have a great itinerary with each journey detailed, we got you covered!
How to prepare to cross Vietnam by motorbike
Every epic adventure has to begin somewhere. The beginning of this one requires a lot of investigation. What do you need to take, where to rent and which kind of bike to rent, price range, etc.
Keep reading and you’ll learn all you need for traveling Vietnam safely.
One thing we would recommend you though is, if you are not sure how to ride a motorbike, then you should not come here to learn.
What do I need to travel Vietnam by motorbike?
- Travel insurance. This is a must to travel Vietnam safer. We did it with World Nomads and was a real peace of mind since we got pretty good coverage. Bear in mind there is no much in rural Vietnam, so traveling without insurance is not an option. You can quickly get a quote here.
- International driving license. This is fast and easy to obtain but you should do this before you leave your country! In any case, if you drive carefully, they will hardly pull you over. But if you go through Mui Ne, then you have some chances of being stopped…
- Sim card. They are pretty cheap and the internet connection in Vietnam is awesome, seriously. This will help a lot to find accommodation on the go and to check anything you may need.
- Paper map. It can be useful if you lost or break your phone or simply run out of batery. Plus is very cheap.
- Waterproof case for your phone (if your phone need it). If you use it as a GPS, is likely it will rain at some point, so this can be very helpful
- Some good apps. Google maps, maps.me, scenic motorcycle, and whatever you use to check the weather.
- Sunscreen protection.
- Headlamp. It can be very useful.
- Proper clothes. Sturdy shoes, long pants, a waterproof jacket, motorbike gloves and good helmet are some of the musts.
Where to look for the right motorbike
There are many places where you can look for a motorbike. Here are the ones we used:
- Posters in the street or in hostels. You will find many posters and advertisements from people who traveled in a motorbike and they are now back willing to sell the motorbike
- Talking to people in your hostel. If you are in a hostel you will have a better chance to find somebody who just came back and willing to sell their motorbike and practical tips.
- Facebook groups. There are many facebooks groups where you can easily find info and people selling motorbikes. This one pretty active. Otherwise, just type “Vietnam by motorbike” on Facebook and check the groups.
- Google it. In case you haven’t found any with the previous methods, Google will give you plenty of choices where to look.
Where to rent a motorbike in Vietnam (Our personal recommendation)
With the demand, comes the offer, but it also comes the scam. If like us, you are planning traveling Vietnam for a long time, do some proper research before committing to getting a bike which might be breaking up often.
After many hours of research and checking many different options our favorite place where to rent a motorbike is Rentabike Vietnam
Why? Simply because they offer reliable motorbikes and high-quality service. And not only that, they will help you in choosing the right bike according to your needs, and will even provide you with support on the road. How cool, right?!
Also, they always have some kind of promotion to get you a good deal. So just drop them a line if you have any doubts.
Should I buy or rent the motorbike?
Normally most of the people buy a second-hand motorbike to travel the country and when they end, they will sell it back. This means there are plenty of motorbikes being “recycled” all the time, which gives you a very competitive price, but also the chance to be scammed.
You need to consider if you want something cheap with a higher risk to break down, or still affordable and more reliable. For us the decision was easy.
If you go to Rentabike Vietnam, then they will already provide you with a nice motorbike in good shape. It is in their interest to have happy customers, so even though might be a bit more expensive, you know you are having something good.
You just need to contact them and tell them what you are looking for and your budget and they will deal with that and provide you with the best offer.
Also, we carried 2 backpacks and 2 smalls packs on our Honda Win. So if your question is what is the best motorcycle for backpackers? The Honda Win worked pretty well for us.
In case you just feel like buying the motorbike instead, that is also ok. Most of the people who do that are able to sell for a really similar price or even the same at which they bought it for, being the investment minimum. Imagine buying for 350$ and selling for 300$ or so. We know many people manage to do it.
The only problem with that approach is that you will need to allow some extra time to make sure you sell it before you leave.
How to choose the right motorbike?
Either if you buy or rent, you should examine the motorbike in detail. . We would recommend using this amazing infographic from ride expeditions to go through all the checks you should perform.
By all means, regardless of the option you choose, ask to try it ALWAYS. You are going to spend a lot of time on your bike, so you want to make sure you are comfortable and also see if there is something wrong. Try it properly, don’t be scared. Test speed, brakes, light, etc.
Just bear in mind that all has its advantages and disadvantages. So make a list and try to find all the pros and cons to see which option works better for you.
Another important thing you should always ask is for the motorbike blue card. This is the ownership papers of the motorbike and the most important piece you should have with you.
Time to Leave- Vietnam by motorbike best tips
Planning your motorbike itinerary.
Alright, so we have done the tedious part and we are ready to start the adventure of riding Vietnam by motorbike! A life-changing experience which you will never forget.
We would advise doing this trip with plenty of time. The most scenic and lonely roads are normally the ones which take longer to get from one point to another. That is why they will be mostly for yourself, although it will take you longer.
When building your ideal route, try to look for the balance. Sometimes is ok to take a faster route just to have more time to enjoy on your destinations in places like Hoi An to name one.
The classic Vietnam motorbike itinerary
The route below one of the easiest ones with a great balance of seaside and mountain, and the one we were planning on doing when we first arrived. But we end up doing a different one.
With this route, you can cover most of Vietnam highlights and still see really incredible landscapes:
Ho Chi Minh- Da Lat- Nha Trang- Buon Ma Thuot- Kon Tum- Kham Duc- Hoi An-Hue- Khe Sanh- Phon Nha- Vinh- Nin Binh- Hanoi
Our recommended itinerary
The highlights our itinerary were with no doubt the mountains and some mesmerizing isolated places.
The landscape was pretty awesome- through lush green paddy fields, massive limestones and rarely traffic.
Even though we did some journeys by the sea, we found the most beautiful and truly isolated places were by the mountain.
One of the things we liked the most, was the right balance of duration and kilometers of each journey, which is the hardest part. That allowed us to spend extra time in some rural escapes where there is almost nobody and in truly unique places with no tourism.
We rode for a total of 2,600 km full of pure adventure!
If you really want to make the most of your adventure and ride Vietnam by motorbike through really breathtaking places where there won’t be more people than yourself, you should take a look at our Vietnam itinerary.
There is no more Vietnam off the beaten track than this.
Only for the time you are going to save on looking for a balanced route with not a lot of kilometers good stops along the way, together with places where to stay and eat, is well worth it.
Although Vietnam by bike is a wonderful experience, if you don’t do it properly it can also be exhausting.
There are a lot of different routes, from different durations and different landscapes.
Just try to choose the places you’d like to visit and take into account the time it will take.
If you want to have a totally detailed itinerary, with the best routes, places to stay and eat and more, click the button below.
If you have any questions or doubts leave a comment below.