Riding in Vietnam is not for the feint of heart. It has the second highest rate of traffic fatalities in the world and is the second most dangerous place on earth for motorcyclists, just after India. There are approximately 40 traffic fatalities per day in the country.The way people ride in Vietnam is very different from yours : no rules! To ensure an authentic taste, make sure to ignore any Traffic Rules you know. This should help to achieve a fine balance between two-wheeled fun, fine roads, beautiful landscapes and complete and utter chaos.
1.Do and Don't:
These following rules are practical and informal:
The traffic looks very crazy at first, but it’s not that bad. It’s like a river and when you are in it you have to flow. First rule is no rules.
Larger vehicles have right of way. Avoid anything bigger than you and slow down.Use signal and the most important thing is the horn.
People don’t care about the noise of horns.
Use both brakes at the same time with more back brake as if you apply more front brake it slips
Our guides were born and grow up in Vietnam, so they understand Vietnamese traffic. Follow the guide, ride behind him for safety.
- Speed limit in Vietnam is very low (25-80km/h). Don’t
break the speed limit.
- Don’t ride on one wheel (free wheelie).
- Animals are everywhere in the country or mountain roads.
Dogs and chickens are the most then come water buffaloes, cows, pigs and horses…If you kill a dog or a chicken don’t stop, cry and feel sorry, it’s not your fault. Slow down and don’t hit water buffaloes, cows, pigs and horses, simply they are too big!
- Do not drink and drive.
- Be careful with spilt oil from trucks and buses at curves on the mountain roads, extremely slippery and we have had at least four small accidents related to this matter.
- Your guide leads the group and he gives you hand/body language if there are big pot holes, trucks, blind curves or any danger. He can see you in the mirrors and if you want to stop use the signal or simply pull off but be careful with riders behind you. If you got lost, just stop and wait for someone to find you or call us.
- If the police stop you (this rarely happens), your guide will not come back. He will wait for you, out of sight up the road. Just keep talking English or whatever you want and they’ll soon give up and let you go in less than five minutes.
- If a bike is technically broken, we will replace with the same type of bike or the next available model.
2. What to bring:
You don’t need to bring everything with you on the trip, pack essential things in a small bag (medium size, max 10kg) and put it on the back of the bike.
Here are items we suggest for motorcycle touring:
- Clothing: rain gloves, Wellington boots (rubber boots for rainy season from April to September), summer gloves, balaclava, T-shirts, socks & underwear, long sleeved shirts, turtleneck shirts, extra jeans, a light jacket, leather chaps, zip-lock bags, riding boots, bandannas, sunglasses, goggles, and contact lens solution.
- Personal items: basic toiletries, emergency cash, sunscreen and earplugs.
- Emergency items: a first aid kit, emergency contact number, list medical conditions, list medications, a flashlight, chargers and a duct tape.
- Miscellaneous: a small towel, a bath towel, trash bags, camera and cargo net…and probably some gifts for children.
3. Group Size
The maximum group size for rides in the north is from 5 to 8 people per group (limited to 6 motorcycles), riders or pillion passengers. This will enhance your experience and ensure a high degree of personal attention. Rides down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, however, can accommodate much larger groups because we use a support vehicle at your request (extra fees applied). Small groups enable us to trek into remote areas with minimal intrusion to the local cultures. Riding in a large convoy with all the inherent complications and delays is just not our way. The best group size is from three to four riders, not too many and not too little. More people means more fun but too big a group means less information the guide can provide as he needs to take care of your safety. Our largest group ever was 12 riders but we divided into two groups and two guides came on the trip.
Recommended Vietnam motorcycling tours by ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA
- Motorcycling Northwester Trails
Discover Vietnam’s rugged and scenic northwest and its people first hand. By taking to the roads and riding from the capital Hanoito the remote area of the northwest we can see life as it truly is for the Vietnamese. The perfect itinerary and the support crew ensure you get the most out of the trip in terms of comfort, enjoyment and adventure. Along the way we encounter dramatic landscapes and sweeping panoramas as the rural population goes about its business. Highlights include the terraced valleys of Sapa, challenging roads, stunning scenery and many different colorful minority groups.
Stunning Pha Din Pass and Tram Ton Pass
Terraced valley of Sapa
Colorful ethnic minorities
- Taste of Ho Chi Minh Trail
This trip offers a stunning motorcycling route with great exploration of nature and culture of northern Vietnam. The trip is organized for first time rider and easy adventure.
Homestay in villages
Beautiful quiet road
Details program are available here