Motorbike is a main means of transportation in Vietnam. If you know how to ride this vehicle, you can experience a great trip in the S-shaped country. However, to be safe, you should obey Vietnamese law and “unspoken rules” of the locals. Here are some essential tips for motorbiking in Vietnam.
Go with the flow
The first thing you need to remember when motorbiking in Vietnam is that you should follow what other people around you do. You can see some locals do crazy thing. But, trust me, do not be the only one stop when other are moving or do not be the only one moving while others stopped. It may be dangerous for your life.
Do not take it for granted that Vietnamese will drive as the way in your country. They have their own rules. The faster you adapt to it, the safer you will be in their country.
Buy or hire a good helmet when motorbiking in Vietnam
Helmet is a must-have item on your trip with a motorbike. Maybe someone will think that it is not necessary to spend much on a helmet. However, in case of accident, a good helmet can save your life, really. The price for a high quality helmet is not so expensive, it is about 30 to 50 USD. It is worth that amount of money.
Be very careful on the road and at intersections
Driving a motorbike in Vietnam is not easy. At intersections, look every sides carefully. There are thousands of accidents occurred in Vietnam each year at intersections because of the carelessness of drivers. Stop when the traffic light turns red and move when other people around you move.
On the highway, you should not drive too slow nor too fast. Look out for trucks and containers. If you need to search for the route, stop aside then check. Do not search while still driving. You can cause accident at any time.
Do not expect others to slow down and give you way if you need to change lanes or turn left or right. All you need is to move slowly and carefully. If it is possible, wait for some locals heading to the same way with you and follow them. Turning in a group is always a smart choice for those who are not familiar with the way of driving of Vietnamese people.
Parking when motorbiking in Vietnam
Anywhere you go, there are thieves and robbers. Prevention is better than cure. When visiting an attraction, you should leave your motorbike at designated parking lots. If there is not, buy a lock or find a helpful people and ask for their help. If you ignore this, you will have to pay a lot for your mistake.
Be cautious of scams
You have to look out for scams from many different types of people.
- From motorbike owner
Before deciding to hire a motorbike, you should negotiate for the renting price and check the status of the vehicle carefully. Note with the owner if there is anything with the motorbike.
- From police
Foreigner sometimes is the target of police, because most of international tourists do not have licenses. If you have valid licenses, just show them then they will let you go. If not, you will likely have to pay a fine to continue your way.
In short, motorbiking in Vietnam is not easy as you imagine. But, by following the tips above, you can totally have a safe and an amazing trip in the country considered as “the paradise of motorbikes”. Have fun.