vietnam motorbike tour

Motorbike tour in Vietnam – complete guide

I have been exploring the world for about 8 years and traveling Vietnam by motorbike is still one of my all time favorite adventures. Whether exploring the whole country by bike or just doing a motorbike day tour, a motorbike adventure is something you have to experience when traveling in Vietnam.

In this article I share

  • some awesome motorbike day tours
  • how to plan a motorcycle trip across Vietnam
  • our 2 week itinerary driving across Vietnam
  • where to get a bike
  • places not to miss
  • Cost of trip
  • our route itinerary and plenty of other useful tips

Motorbikes are a part of life in this country with 37 million of these vehicles registered. Cruising on the highway you see many very interesting things. A family of four on a scooter on the highway is a common occurrence. Pigs, chickens, building material or any other cargo are often tied to motorbikes in ingenious ways. Travelling in Vietnam I met a couple of backpackers in Hanoi selling bikes following a South to North bike trip. Stories of their trip sounded unreal and when I realized how cheap buying a motorbike is I started planning my trip! A week later my travel buddy Ryan and I were exploring the Ho Chi Min way on our customized Honda motorbikes. Don’t feel like making such a big biking commitment? Book a day tour and experience a bit of the Vietnam motorbike adventure!

Motorbike tour Vietnam

Motorbike Tours

There are amazing options for guided motorbike tours to experience Vietnam by bike in safe way. Go on a fun tour in the roads of Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi or Hoi An exploring the cities with an experienced driver on a foodie, sightseeing, culture or shopping tour.

Check out these awesome tours, all highly rated with good reviews. When you pick a tour always check for plenty of good ratings and read a couple of reviews!

Da Lat Motorbike Tours

Dalat Full day Easy rider motorbike tour – I did this one day tour in Dalat and it was fantastic! This beautiful place in the highlands was one of the highlights of our 2 months in Vietnam. Exploring the area sitting on the back of a motorbike taking photos. Visit pagodas, ethnic minority villages, vegetable farms, and a coffee plantation. Stop at a silk factory. Drink Kopi Luwak coffee and eating crickets.

Ho Chi Minh Motorbike Tours

4 hour urban scooter adventure – Highly rated tour with many reviews. Good mix, little bit of everything; city streets, markets, tourist sites and food. Picked up from your hotel, learn about historical landmark and events in Ho Chi Minh City, view unique architecture. Along the way, you’ll be revitalized by hearty bowls of flavorful noodle soup, experience some street food tour options, walk the biggest flower market, a floating market and experience the contrast of Saigon neighbourhood like District 7.

vietnam motorbike street

Morning Market Motorbike Adventure – Experience the more ‘off the beaten track’ markets with these fun, knowledgeable locals by bike. Get picked up from your hotel, explore interesting markets in Ho Chi Minh beyond the usual Ben Thanh Market. See the best of Saigon’s markets in the morning, interesting fresh produce, flowers & animals market – experience the most wonderful and weird sides of Saigon

Ho Chi Minh Midnight tour – Explore Ho Chi Minh’s streets at night and go beyond district 1 seeing different area’s cultures and lifestyles. Visit different districts from the modern developing city to old towns, aged apartments, local midnight markets, and an old Mafia area, make a stop at the Haunted House of Saigon! Taste some traditional Pho or Banh Mi on the way, go to vibrant nightlife of Bui Vien Street with cheap eats, bars, souvenir shops and more! This tour has hotel pick up and drop off services.

XO Motorbike Tours offer something unique, a company with all women drivers that can take you on a variety of great tours in the cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hoi An.

Hanoi Motorbike Tours

Hanoi Sightseeing Bike Tour – Very popular bike tour in Hanoi. Start off with a visit to the Hanoi Opera House, make your way to the French Quarter, the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, the oldest Buddhist temple, the Tran Quoc Pagoda, ride through the 36 Old Streets of Hanoi known as the Old Quarter, enjoy the diverse history, architecture, and products on this tour.

Pho Bo Vietnam
Pho Bo a favorite traveling in Vietnam

Hoi An Motorbike Tours

Hoi An Food Tour – sample the city’s best street food. Explore the centuries-old streets by bike, through ancient alleyways, and secret sidestreets to discover the best street food in the city. Get a taste of what the locals eat from Madam Phuong bread, Banh Beo/Water Fern Cake, Cao Lau Noodles, Banh It La Gai cake, and more! Hotel Pick up and Drop off.

Why Vietnam is Perfect for a Long Distance Motorbike Tour

  • Vietnam is a long, narrow country, perfect to cross without missing anything.
  • Since everybody owns a motorbike there are many very cheap bikes on the second hand market.
  • Selling your bike wont be a problem.
  • Bike repairs are cheap and easy.
  • Vietnam uses the Latin alphabet, making it possible to understand road signs.
Vietnam motorbike trip map stingy nomads
Click Map for Google Maps

Ho Chi Minh Trail, was a system of mountain and jungle paths and trails that ran from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) to the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) through the kingdoms of Laos and Cambodia. The trail was used by North Vietnam during the Vietnam war to get troops and supplies into South Vietnam.

In recent times a Ho Chi Minh Highway was constructed by paving over old sections of the trail, creating a 1,000-mile paved road from Hanoi to Saigon only running through Vietnam.

Motorbike in Vietnam – How to Get a Bike

When going on a motorbike trip through Vietnam you have three options to get a bike; buy a bike, rent a bike or go on a guided tour. Buying a bike is the cheapest option since you can sell your bike again after your trip, but is more risky since you can buy a lot of problems. Renting is more hassles with insurance and returning the bike. A tour can be nice, especially if you do not feel confident driving and can sit on the back you obviously do not have the freedom you have cruising with your own bike.

Buying a Motorbike in Vietnam

I loved buying my bike, spray painting it and the freedom of the whole experience. We did breakdown a couple of times, but that was amazing in Vietnam, we always got help relatively quickly and fixing our bikes was always cheap.

Buying motorbikes in Vietnam
Spray painting our country flags on our new steeds.

Best Bike for a Motorbike Tour in Vietnam

The most popular bikes for this journey are the Honda Win 100cc manual shift bike, the Honda Wave 110cc scooter or the Yamaha Nouvo 125cc scooter. The scooters are automatic gearshift. I loved my Honda Win, but many travelers are not comfortable with manual shift and opts for a scooter.

Real vs Fake Bikes – The real Honda Win 100cc motorbike is made in Japan and costs about $2000 new, most of the bikes driven by tourists are fake Honda Win copies made in China, they are a lot cheaper, I heard they cost about 25% of a real bike. Obviously the quality is going to be inferior. Many of the bikes for sale on the backpacker market is more than 20 years old and probably did this trip 100’s of times.

We did have breakdowns, but could always find someone, even in the middle of nowhere, to fix our problem for cheap. I was happy with my fake Honda Win and so were many other people that I met.

There are many “Honda shops” in Ho Chi Minn and Hanoi that fix and sell bikes and some offer a buy back deal on the other end. The cheapest way to buy would be from another traveler in a hurry to sell his prized/despised moto. You can easily pick up a bike for under $200 from another backpacker in hurry to sell. In backpacker’s areas there are usually many bikes for sale standing around with for sale signs. Check out Facebook there are several Vietnam Motorbike groups on Facebook where travelers sell their bikes.

Campbell and Ryan in Vietnam
New bikes, loaded, ready to start our trip!

Important Things when Buying a Motorbike in Vietnam- checklist

Blue Card

The Bluecard is your proof of ownership and identifies the bikes engine number, frame number, license plate number, and owner of the motorbike. You need bluecard for selling the bike, when transfering the bike on public transport (train) or when crossing the border to Laos or Cambodia.

Condition of the Bike

  • General condition, is it clean, all rubber OK, paint job still good, no loose tape and wires
  • The Frame, is it straight, no suspicious welding, no rust.
  • Tyres; good condition, still plenty of tread, no cracks.
  • Suspension, can ‘bounce’ returns to original position, no noises.
  • Electronics all working, electric start, hooter, all lights (including brake lights)
  • Test drive, everything smooth brakes, accelerates, all lights good.

If something is wrong discuss with the owner, might not be serious and easy to fix.


Negotiate to get these included.

Good helmet, Luggage rack and straps (make sure you can strap on all your stuff on to the bike), Bike lock

Download offline map, Google Maps or very important apps to have.


We bought some spray paint and painted flags on our petrol tanks.

Offered by some shops:

You will see many strange things transported on motorcycles!
  • Buy back by a partner shop at the other end
    • Worth it? depends on how much time you have, you will get a better price selling it yourself. If you are lucky you can even sell it at a profit! It might however take a week to sell your bike. We bought for $250 and sold for $125 each. We didn’t feel like waiting in Ho Chi Min any longer.
  •  24 hour helpline
    • what nonsense, you are going to be far away, probably with no phone, there are shops/people that can fix bikes everywhere
  • Free driver lesson
    • depends on you, do you need a lesson, will one lesson help if you do?

Rent a motorcycle in Vietnam.

It is possible to rent a motorcycle long term for a good price. Tigit Motorbikes do sales and rentals for long distance travel and have centers in Ho Chi Minh, Danang and Hanoi.

Accommodation on a Vietnam Motorbike Trip

It was never hard for us to find accommodation, we were two so we stayed in private rooms, sharing it is very cheap. Bigger towns and cities have hostels with shared dormitories which is awesome for meeting other travelers. If you go in season I would recommend booking a day ahead then you know you have a good place for tomorrow. We recommend places at different budgets on our route.

Is it safe to ride a motorbike through Vietnam?

It is definitely not the safest way to spend a couple of weeks. Thousands of motorbikes, no traffic rules and it doesn’t look like local people need a licence. Huge intersections without traffic lights. Twelve year old kids driving scooters everywhere (how scary can it be if twelve year old’s do it?). Many trucks and buses on the road. A recipe for an interesting adventure, not for road safety. An organised group tour by bus is definitely safer. Singing born to be wild on my little motorbike and almost getting run over by huge buses made some memories I will always cherish. Just be careful.

I will strongly advise you to invest in insurance World Nomads Vietnam insurance is an excellent option and you can get insured with them even if you are already on route. I don’t work for World Nomads, so go and check it out and read the fine print. You can get an immediate quote here. You will need a licence to be covered.


Do you need a motorcycle driver’s license in Vietnam?

I was told that you can drive a 50cc motorbike in Vietnam without a license, this is to small to do a long trip you will be riding at least a 100cc bike. This is my experience, always confirm with official sources.

When I got pulled over my drivers license and AA international license was accepted.

Some of my friends got pulled over, they did not have a licence and paid a bribe to get out of it.

If you wear long pants, shoes and a helmet chances of getting pulled over is very small. When we wearing flip flops and board shorts we stood out as tourists and were stopped.

It is important to note that insurance wont cover you and you might be held responsible for the accident if you drive without a licence, spending time in a Vietnamese prison is not a cool way to end your trip.

Vietnam motorcycle trip route.

Our trip started in Hanoi riding  south, many do it in reverse.  Mostly on the Ho Chi Min trail, which was beautiful. Some days we drove on Highway one, many trucks and thousands of motorbikes everywhere. Try to avoid this as far as possible. We drove about 2500km and did the trip in 5 weeks. Only 12 driving days, driving between 2 and 8 hours a day.

This is the route we followed:

Hanoi to Ninh Bin 95km, 2h

  • We paid a motorcycle taxi to lead us on to where the AH1 highway exits the city.
  • Driving on the highway was easier than expected, traffic doesn’t move very fast and consists mainly of thousands of scooters and a couple of trucks. I only had two close calls having to swerve and brake for crazy drivers.
  • It took about an hour to get out of the city, followed by an 85km drive to Ninh Binh
  • Ninh Bình  is a small city in the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam; it is the capital of Ninh Bình Province.
  • Accommodation:
    • Budget accommodation Golden Bell Backpacker Hostel, clean, friendly, cheap, in the center, huge beds!
    • Dormitory is a good idea at the start of your trip to make some friends!
  • Medium budget Ninh Binh Brothers Hotel– , $10 is what you pay for a double room in a awesome hotel in this town, everybody raves about the awesome hotel near the center of town and the friendly, helpful brothers that gave them good advice for the trip.

Ninh Bin to Yen Cat 128km, 4h

  • Left the AH1 – riding on Ho Chi Min way, much less traffic, more scenic
  • only made it to this town before dark
  • stayed in a very strange, big hotel in the middle of nowhere, The Dai Lam Hotel
  • Yen Cat to Dong Hoi, 340km, 7.5h
    • Accommodation: Nam Long Hotel dormitory bed $5, double room $14
vietnam motorbike trip
We rode in the rain for many hours. Ryan in his state of the art rain jacket carving up the mountain passes.

Dong Hoi to Dong Ha 100km, 2.5h

  • First mechanical problems, took a while to get a mechanic, cheap to fix.
  • First day of pouring rain the whole day.
  • Drove on the AH1, was not to worried about scenery in this weather.
  • Explored DMZ zone and Vin Moc tunnels for 2 days – Unreal, the tunnels were built to shelter people from the intense bombing by the Americans. They dug 30 metres deep, some people stayed here for 6 years.
  • Accommodation: Ngoc Binh Hotel, dormitory bed $4, double room $9
dong ha
Inside the Vin Moc tunnels near Dong Ha.

Dong Ha to Hoi An  200km, 5h

  • Hoi An is a beautiful riverside town, we stayed here for a couple of days.
  • The town of Hoi An is very popular with tourists and consequently booking accommodation a day or 2 ahead is a good idea
  • visit the Me Son ruins for a day
  • Applied for visa extension here, large enough town with many agencies that can handle visa requests
  • Accommodation:
    • Budget -For a dorm room, Tribee Kinh is the place to go. Lively place, awesome atmosphere and great staff, for 5 bucks a dorm bed, this is magic.
    • Mid Budget – for Hoi An $15 is mid range 🙂 Awesome place, private room, great staff, comfortable bed, nice garden don’t miss Green Bud Homestay

Activities in Hoi An

  • Eco Tour including Market Tour, Basket Boat Ride and Cooking Class.
  • Watch the sunrise over the countryside of Vietnam before visiting the Hindu sanctuary of My Son
  • Vietnamese Cooking Class with Coconut Forest Sunset
Vegetable market in the beautiful riverside town, Hoi An

Hoi An to Quy Nhon 250km, 6h

  • Que Nohn chill beach town, stayed 2 days
  • drove the AH1, crazy road
  • Accommodation: Tanh Tung Hotel $11 double room

Quy Nhon to Nha Trang, 300km, 7h

  • Loved Nha Trang, spent a week here
  • diving
  • Vin Pearl Island
  • National Oceanographic Institute
  • Accommodation: 
    • On a budget, you are not going to find a place like Backpack Abode Hostel easy, close to the beach in the center, good breakfast, coffee and amazing staff for $4
    • Treat yourself, BX Hotel Apartment for $20 awesome apartment close to the beach, super comfortable bed, washing machine, big flat screen and more.

Activities Nha Trang

One day boat trip on classic boat including snorkeling around island, glass bottom kayaking

Scuba Dive Nha Trang two dives, we loved the tropical diving in Nha Trang!

Snorkel around Hòn Mun island

Authentic Junk boat – Romantic Sunset Cocktails and Dinner Cruise

Nha Trang to Dalat, 133km, 4.5h

  • Unreal scenic drive from Nha Trang to Dalat. High mountain passes.
  • Rain storms were insane, so much rain we had to stop and hide sometimes.
  • Crazy House,  officially called Hang Nga Guesthouse, this architectural masterpiece is one of the 10 craziest buildings in the world.
  • Easy Rider Motorbike tour, waterfalls, coffee plantations and amazing scenery, cricket tasting, coffee tasting, Kopi Luwak/Caphe Don (shit coffee) farm
  • Accommodation: On a budget Red House is the place to go in Dalat, $3 for a dorm bed in an awesome highly rated hostal including breakfast! Want to stay in a good hotel with great service near the center for $25 Da Lat Lanani Hotel
Coffee plantations dalat
Coffee plantations around Dalat

Dalat Activities

3 Day Dalat to Mune Easy Rider tour

Test your cycling skills on scenic downhill cycling routes through beautiful pine forests, lakes, and picturesque farms dotting the valleys along the way in the Da Lat area.

Dalat to Muine, 155km, 5h

  • The drive from Dalat to Muine was my favorite on the trip, no trucks are allowed on the road and it is a very beautiful spiraling road through the mountains to the ocean, a pleasure on a bike!
  • Muine kitesurfing capital of Vienam
  • Red and White sand dunes was good day
  • Accommodation: Awesome hostel, nice garden with hammocks, pool, super friendly, helpful staff, close to beach Mui Ne Garden, good option if you come for kite surfing, dorm bed $4. Looking for excellent value for money, maybe best place in Mui Ne, big pool, awesome, big, clean rooms and great service. MAY Bungalow $30
The white sand dunes of Mune.

Muine to Ho Chi Min (Saigon), 220km, 6h

Coming into Ho Chi Min is insane, crazy traffic turned into super crazy traffic. We were very lucky we meeting 2 Dutch guys on the road with an iphone. We followed them to the hostel area.

Interesting city, war and military museums, nice palaces. Cool party city, drinking beer and talking nonsense on little chairs on the sidewalks. Club scene kicks in late.

We did a one day tour to the Mekong Delta. Typical tour, you do not get to experience the real culture. You take turns with many other tourists to float on a little section of river. Just a show for tourists, I would not recommend it.

Activities Ho Chi Min

Visit the Mekong Delta and My Tho and Ben Tre islands, enjoy sightseeing on your trip along the river and walk around local fruit gardens.

Accomodation in Ho Chi Min

Cheap, clean, friendly staff, basic breakfast, coffee and tea dorm bed $4 Saigon Central Hostel.

Amazing place, delux double room $30, great location, super comfortable beds, great host Jan Hostel.

Private motorbike explore the Ho Chi Min food scene – Explore the food scene of Ho Chi Minh City from the back of a motorbike and sample typical Vietnamese foods on a night tour. One of the highest rate tours in Ho Chi Min

Trekking in the Sapa Valley and meeting some of the locals staying in a homestay was one of the highlights traveling through Vietnam.

Vietnam highlights

  • Ha Long Bay, 2 night boat and island trip – had an awesome tour!
  • Dalat, Easy rider 1 day bike trip, “shit coffee”, elephant falls, cricket farm etc,
  • Sapa, 2 Day trek through rice paddies, homestay with local family – beautiful area, amazing people at our homestay.
  • Diving, Nha Trang, triple Scuba day on coral reefs of Nha Trang
  • Vin Moc tunnels, tour to Vietnamese tunnels in US war, Dong Ha
  • My Son, Ruins of the champa temples close to Hanoi
  • Muine, White and Red sand dunes
  • Night life Saigon, Partying on the sidewalk bars of the crazy Ho Chi Min city

Cost of a Vietnam motorcycle journey

Bike:                                250$
Sold Bike:                       125$
Visas:                              65$ visa renewal 25$
Petrol used:                    1 500 000 VD (75$),
Repairs:                          Brakes, Stand 50 000, Back tyre 330 000, Mirror 50 000, light switch
50 000, oil change 4x 100 000
Total:                              Bike: 250$ Fuel: 75$; Oil: 20$, Repairs: 24$, Visas 70$
450$-125$= 315$
Driving time:                   4 to 8 hours a day
Accidents:                       zero, one minor fall
Food:                             mostly Pho Bo (noodle soup) or just coffee, plenty of water – Vietnam=hot!
Dangers:                        Ryan – one bad infection, got robbed at gun point in Nha Trang

Ha Long Bay junkboat
Exploring the magical Ha Long Bay by junkboat is amazing.

Tips and favorite things

  • Pimp and name your bike
  • Pho Bo, vietnames beef noodle soup is cheap and delicious
  • Vietnamese coffee is awesome, they drink it with loads of condense milk, so say you want it black.
  • take your time
  • wear a helmet

Things to Pack


Vietnam motorbike tour guide

We would love to hear from you, so don’t be shy to comment give suggestions or ask questions below!


  1. Hey Stingy Nomads , great post in helping me plan my journey .
    Regarding the roads that motorcycles are not permitted to drive on , is this the case with highway one ? I read that motorcycles are not allowed on the roads coloured orange on google maps

    • Stingy Nomads

      We drove on Highway one sometimes, it is crazy. Try to plan to avoid as much as possible. It is a lot more fun to try and stay on more beautiful routes away from the crazy swarms of bikes, trucks and buses on the dreaded highway one, unfortunately it can not always be avoided. There are some speedways where bikes are not allowed. Check out the Vietnam Back Roads Facebook group, great to help with planning routes.
      Safe travels

  2. Hey guys! Amazing article. I am planning to do a trip from HCM to Hanoi in April and have 15-20 days based on what my boss says (American here). I checked with Tigit and the bike I wanted was like $400. That being said, I definitely like the idea of buying a bike in HCM. You think it is possible to do so bearing in mind my short itinerary and having not much time to do research for buying bikes? Also more importantly, how did you guys sell the bike? Was it easy to do so in Hanoi? How much time did you need?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello Billy, thanks for reading. We did the trip from Hanoi to HCM, buying a bike was easy in Hanoi and I think it will be the same in HCM. We walked around for a day and saw plenty of bikes and took a couple for a test drive. Selling the bikes were easy, we got an offer on the street and accepted it. We only got about 50% of what we paid, since we had some technical issues and we were in a hurry to sell. The only problem with buying on the street is you can buy a lot of problems, there are people that can fix bikes everywhere, but it is still a pain to sit with technical issues. Buying from Tigit you have a better chance of buying a quality bike. If you decide to buy private check out Facebook groups. safe travels!

  3. Amazing read guys! Absolutely loved the idea of exploring Vietnam by motorbike. I wasn’t too sure of getting my own bike (road safety, getting lost, the cops..), so decided to look out for a guide. Big shout out to Mr Vu and Mr Ben – we absolutely had an amazing time driving from Dalat to Hoi An. Can’t recommend them enough.

  4. I’m also planning a motorcycle tour thru Vietnam for the end of February. Can you give me an idea about the weather in late February? Thanks

    • Stingy Nomads

      Haven’t been there in Feb, this is what I read; occasional light rain in the North, warm and dry in the center and the south. Temperatures increase as Feb goes on. Good time, not a very touristy time and some local festivals happening. enjoy, goodluck!

    • Hi Glen, i also plan to have a motorbike tour in Vietnam for March 2020. maybe we can combine our efforts?

  5. Hi, thank you for the blog and information. Do you happen to have your route plotted out on a map somewhere? Would like to see at high level what parts of the country you rode through. Thanks!

  6. Hi. We looking at doing this in December . Did 4000km last year on 250cc through Thailand. Plastic pollution next to most of the route, which was a bit of a downer. Still loved the ride though. How is plastic situation along the route you took in Vietnam?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hi Justin, sounds like you did a great trip! Think the pollution in Vietnam pretty similar to Thailand. Driving in areas with people living in the surroundings there was plastic pollution. Driving through mountain passes and more secluded areas you did not notice too much rubbish while driving. Safe travels!

  7. Hello, I’m planning to do a motor bike tour from Da Nang to Hanoi in June. Do you think rain will be a big problem?


    • Stingy Nomads

      In June it rains a lot in the North, in Hanoi more than half the days and downpours can last from an hour or two to a couple of days, so you have about a 50% chance of driving in the rain then. We got some heavy rain storms, sometimes it was unpleasant but you could keep on driving, sometimes you had to pull over and wait it out, make sure your lights are working at all times! In Da Nang it rains a lot less this time of the year. Safe Travels!

      • Did you hear of any bike routes in the central area of Vietnam? Was thinking of doing the Ha Giang loop in late August but think maybe there would be too much rain? Many thanks

        • Stingy Nomads

          I have not done this, but have heard in August it can be very hot with hard monsoon rain, October is a better time with cool, dry weather. It is possible to ride in the rain, but it is unpleasant and can be dangerous.

  8. Hazem Amasha

    how much time do I need to finish this root?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello Hazem, it took us about a month, but only 12 riding days. You can complete the route in 2 weeks but it is nice to take a couple of days not driving in between for activities and to explore towns and cities. Goodluck and safe travels!

  9. Hi there, thanks for the blog, very helpful. My questions are: what made you go from North to South instead the opposite and while you’re doing the activities, where did you left your bike? Any risk of people steel the bike at any point?


    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello Gian, thanks for reading! We arrived in Vietnam in the North and met some guys in the hotel that came with motorbikes from the south. We did some research and decided to buy bikes and do the trip from North to South. We usually left the bikes where we were staying, arranging with the hotel. When we bought the bikes we got locks with chains as part of the deal, we sometimes used these like bicycle locks, to lock the bikes. We never had any problems with somebody trying to steal the bikes. Enjoy and safe travels!

  10. 5 weeks aways and 12 days where you actually drove?
    So you could have done it in less time. Im asking because i planning on doing the same but in 3-4 weeks. Do you think that that is possible?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hi Gregor, yes we took our time, spending a lot of time in some of the towns diving, partying and doing some side tours. 3 to 4 weeks is definitely enough time, enjoy and safe travels!

  11. insurance wont cover you if you don’t have a licence in VN. You should mention that and if you do have an accident it will be your fault if you don’t have one.

  12. Few questions:

    – Can you elaborate a little more on getting robbed? What was the outcome?
    – How much prior motorcycle experience do you have?
    – What was the biggest issue with the language barrier?
    – Did you buy bottled water or have some sort of filtration device?

    Thanks for the awesome post and I look forward to hearing your response!

    • Stingy Nomads

      We had a very late night out in Nha Trang, Ryan took a motorbike taxi with a girl driving, she took him to an ATM where her friend was waiting, they forced him to draw money at gunpoint and left. I owned a motorbike a couple of years before our trip, I just did not drive one for a long time, so I was a bit rusty. In remote places English is not very common, but you always manage with hand signals, if you have a smart phone with google translate and google maps you should not have to many worries. We drank bottled water or water from jugs in restaurants or homestays. We now have a life straw water bottle/filter that we use for dodgy water when hiking, check in our backpacking list it is awesome. Enjoy and Safe Travels!

      • Hey guys! I’m just curious, you said you had a Canadian buddy with you, but I cannot find anywhere where it says Canadians can get international drivers licenses in Vietnam. I am Canadian and would really like to do Vietnam by motorbike. Was he riding illegally or did he somehow get a license?

        • Stingy Nomads

          Hi Cody, you apply for an international drivers license in your home country, I do not think you can do it anywhere while on the road. Safe Travels

  13. Hello there, I enjoyed your blog/adventure. Seems like something everyone needs to do someday in their lives. That being said, I’ll be doing this trip in november with my mate. We are both comfortable on motorbikes (125cc) so we’re not to worried about accidents, even though it can be dangerous out there.
    What bothers me is that there is no way to get a valid license there (unless you’re resident and staying for longer)., this means that our insurance is also invalid if an accident occurs. Even if the other party is at fault, we will be deemed responsible because we’re driving illegally. Were you worried? Would you advice against this, even though you did it yourself?

    Julien (from Belgium)

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello Julien, getting a license in Vietnam would be very difficult, an international licence should however be accepted and I assume be fine with your insurance since you are driving a vehicle legally. If you have a valid licence in your home country you apply for an international licence from your local automobile association. No testing required you just pay for it, it states which countries it is valid for. Mine was valid for Vietnam and expired after 18 months. When the police stopped me in Vietnam I showed them my local driving licence and international licence and they accepted this even though mine was a car licence, you are supposed to have a motorcycle licence. My friends had no licence and paid a bribe. What you said is true if you do not have a legal licence and you are in an accident you can be in big trouble and accidents do happen, I would advise against this. If you do not have travel insurance check out world nomads, they are awesome Safe Travels!

  14. Ingrid Trifan

    Hello. In which season have you been? We would like to go in the second part of December the same route but we don’t know if the weather would be ok for a moto tour.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello Ingrid, thanks for reading we did it in May/June. Weather was fine, it was nice that is was hot, but we did do a lot of driving in the rain. Apparently you can do it all year round. It is a long thin country so the weather differs a lot from north to south. Autumn (from August – October) must be the best time, still hot little rain.
      I think late December it is dry which is nice, but it is quite cool, it can be foggy this time of the year that is not so nice and cold in the moutains (about 5C). Safe travel!

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