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Motorbike Vietnam Adventure Tours – FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) ABOUT VIETNAM MOTORBIKE TOURS

Below are the most common FAQs we received about our tours and services. Please click on the links to have the answers. In fact, FAQs page is one of the first pages to check before you move on with a request.

01. What should I bring with me for the trip?
02. I am travelling from the South up to the North; do you organize a trip from HCM City to Hanoi?
03. How is the traffic in Vietnam?
04. I’m travelling alone, is it possible to join with another group?
05. How long do we ride each day?

06. Do I need a deposit and if so how much?
07. How do I pay you? Do you accept credit card payment?
08. When is the best time for riding a motorbike in Vietnam?
09. Where is the best riding trip in Vietnam?
10. How many days is a good trip?

11. I am very interested in motorbiking trips in Vietnam but I don’t have experience of riding a motorbike ..?
12. Do I need to have my country or an international driving license to ride a motorbike/motorcycle in Vietnam?
13. Do I need to have insurance for motorbiking in Vietnam?
14. What gift should I bring with me?
15. Can I bring my motorcycle with me to Vietnam?

1. What should I bring with me for the trip?

All departures start from the company office in Hanoi where you can rent some necessary equipment including protective motorbiking clothing, helmet, gloves, rain coats etc. However, you are welcome to bring your own helmets and gloves if possible as it seems there are limited sizes in Vietnam. Riding suits and helmets are available in various sizes. Last but not least, bring a strong pair of shoes/boots.

You don’t need to bring with you all of your travel bags as you can leave your bags with us in the company office in Hanoi.

Here are items we suggest for motorcycle touring and please decide what you really need:
– Clothing: helmet, rain gloves, wellington boots (rubber boots for rainy season from June to October), summer gloves, balaclava, t-shirt, socks & underwear, long sleeved shirt, turtleneck shirt, extra jeans, light jacket, leather chaps, zip-lock bags, riding boots, bandannas, sunglasses, and goggles. Some hotels on the road have express overnight laundry service and you don’t need too many clothes.
– Personal items: basic toiletries, emergency cash, sunscreen, and earplugs.
– Emergency items: first aid kit, emergency contact number, list medical conditions, list medications, flashlight, chargers and duct tape.
– Miscellaneous: small towel, bath towel, trash bags, duffel bags, bungee cords, camera and cargo net. We do provide rubber straps (the local one that is recycled from truck tires and it is really good)

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2. I am travelling from the South up to the North; do you organize a trip from HCM City to Hanoi?

Our company office is based in Hanoi where all rides start. However, you can end anywhere in Vietnam for an extra charge. Sadly, we currently don’t provide any trip starting in any other place rather than Hanoi.

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3. How is the traffic in Vietnam?

Within city areas, it has to be one of the craziest in the world! But all of our trips avoid driving through big cities. We prefer to take small roads, which are absolutely much more fun and beautiful than the main roads. This way you see more wonderful smiles from the local people on the side of the roads all screaming “HELLO!!”

If you don’t feel comfortable with the traffic or during any part of the trip your guide will assist you and make you feel comfortable and confident at what you are doing. He will work as a “chicken mother” and lead you to safety. Traffic in Vietnam is a river and you will flow when you are in it.

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4. I’m travelling alone, is it possible to join with another group?

Tours we provide are private and customized, no fixed/pre-set departures. Many of our customers booked strictly private (closed door) tours while some of them wanted to have more riders tagged along to have more fun and save some cash. Maximum of a group is just five or six people. As a note, an open door trip usually has riders with different riding experiences and if you care about strangers in the group, you’d better book a strictly private tour. Ideally, a trip between friends is the best because you have a good understanding of other people. Tours with spaces available are at Tour Update

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5. How long do we ride each day?

This is a difficult question, but it should be no longer than 6 hours riding per day, with a stop every 1 or 2 hours. This also depends on individual driving skill, road conditions, the number of stops we make, etc. We don’t stick to a tight schedule while on the road; sometimes we make a stop for a drink, take a photo, or even go for an interesting short walk in villages we stop by. Ideally, we recommend riding less than 200km/day on average.

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6. Do I need a deposit and if so how much?

Yes, we need 100-500$US/person deposit in order to confirm our tour and also to cover expenses for all the necessities prior to the trip. The amount depends on the type of your you book. We will give you our bank account number to transfer the deposit if you do not want to carry cash. Be advised to ask your bank how much they charge and if they have to go through a third bank before Vietcombank. 80% of our customers were double charged without notice.

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7. How do I pay you? Do you accept credit card payment?

Fortunately, we started to accept credit card payment online from March 2017. Of course, you can still pay via a bank transfer or Western Union Cash Transfer. We ask that you transfer to our bank account a deposit and then final balance (cash is king in Vietnam) before the commencement of a ride.

We do accept credit card payment in our office (when you are in Vietnam). There is a fixed bank charge of 3% for Visa and MasterCard holders or 4% for American Express card holders. At certain times, we may apply surcharge as banks always offer low or very low rates comparing to black/free market rates.

PayPal applies very bad conditions to Vietnamese account holders and we don’t like their conditions. Therefore, this option is not available.

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8. When is the best time for riding a motorbike in Vietnam?

There are no best times to ride a motorbike in Vietnam as our country has an extremely long longitude spanning different climatic conditions at once. Vietnam also consists of four seasons, the winter isn’t too cold or the summer too hot. The autumn is sometimes heavy with rain, but usually, it will only rain for 1 or 2 hours, then the wonderful blue sky will appear again. In the spring, mist covers the mountain tops, and even though there is cool weather it is one of the most spectacular times of year with beautiful colours of trees and flower blossom.

For the most beautiful scenery of rice paddies in the mountain, the best time is from September to December. January to April is normally cold and foggy and May to August is hot and can be rainy.

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9. Where is the best riding trip in Vietnam?

There is no answer for this question, as it all depends on what you want to see but going up to the Northwest Mountains, which are full of beautiful colours from the traditional dresses of the local hill tribes is a spectacle. The Central North stirs up strong emotions on the steep limestone mountains, with views compared to the “Holy Land”. But for this, you need to have extensive riding experience. The Northeast route is relatively easy riding and the people are very friendly. You will mostly stay with host families and discover their cultures. A good proposal depends on you providing us with clear information about what you would like to do, to see and dream of.

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10. How many days is a good trip of riding?

To have a good trip we advise you to ride deep into the countryside in the mountainous areas. That trip will need at least 6 days but we suggest a 9 or 12-day trip to enjoy it in a relaxed fashion. We also organize 3 to 4-day trips to Sapa coming back on the overnight train. Even if you have just a day, the ride around Hanoi is not a bad idea.

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11. I am very interested in motorbiking trips in Vietnam but I don’t have experience of riding a motorbike?

Yes, you could ride as a pillion passenger on the bike of a guide or your travel partner to enjoy the trip. Or we advise you take a riding course organized by us. You can do it anytime before the departure and costs 30 USD/person. This lesson is organized in a quiet place with little or no traffic and in 1 or 2 hours. A good news is nobody who took our lesson failed to ride and none of them was down while riding! If you drive a manual car you will catch up quickly.

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12. Do I need to have my country or an international driving license to ride a motorbike/motorcycle in Vietnam?

First, none of the foreign licenses is valid in Vietnam, including your country license. There are conflicting reports about this but the reality is unfortunately not a good news.

Fortunately, the good news is IDP (international driving permit, 1968 Convention) is now valid in Vietnam from August 1st 2016 with the 46/2016/ND-CP decree. However, this decree only covers countries that abide by the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic on IDPs. Many countries like Australia, UK, USA, and Canada are not signatories to the 1968 Convention but abide by the 1949 Geneva Convention. Therefore, citizens of those countries are NOT able to drive in Vietnam with their IDPs. If you have a 1968 IDP, you can purchase an insurance policy easily for Vietnam. Please also bring your home country driving license with motorbike endorsement.

In case you have no IDP or Vietnamese driving license, the police rarely stop you to check license unless you do something wrong. It’s more to do with personal medical insurance that we cover below.

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13. Do I need to have insurance for motorbiking/motorcycling in Vietnam?

This is a very important thing for planning your Vietnam motorbike tours.

Yes, you need to have a personal medical insurance, even if you are a pillion passenger so that insurance will cover any accident.

We don’t require any sort of license to book a trip but it’s more about insurance. Most of the insurance companies don’t provide a policy that covers a motorbike tour accident if you don’t have a Vietnamese driving license. Sadly, it’s impossible to get a Vietnamese license with a tourist visa. You need a business visa of at least three months, a work permit, a sponsor company and a valid passport. All these documents should be translated into Vietnamese at a notary office. Then, a Vietnamese license is available after 7 or 10 days. It’s just too complicated and time-consuming. With just a normal personal medical insurance you will still be covered about 19 hours a day when not riding because we only ride about 5 hours a day on average. Some companies like CHI Insurance, World Nomads, and Allianz didn’t require a local driving license and covered larger displacements.

Even Vietnam doesn’t recognize any foreign license but take it easy you will be ok. We don’t need a license to join our tours or hire our bikes. More details are at this link.

On our trips, you ride about five hours per day on average. It means you still get insured about 19 hours per day while not riding the bike with just a normal travel insurance policy.

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14. What gift should I bring with me?

Useful objects or typical items from your country are best gifts. For example, a torch, a knife, or sewing kit – simple, but quality. We redistribute medicines and photos.

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15. Can I bring my motorcycle with me to Vietnam?

Vietnam no longer allows the import of used/second-hand motorcycles, except foreigners with a valid working permit import for their personal use. The capacity limit for Vietnamese citizens of under 175cc was removed in May 2007 as part of agreements with WTO. Large displacement bikes generally cost more than twice as much as in your country since the government charges 90% import tax, 10% VAT plus big registration fees. For example, a brand-new imported Honda CRF 250cc costs about 14,000 USD, a CBR600RR is about 24,000 USD and a Harley Davidson 883cc goes for nearly 25,000 USD. If you have a work permit and an international driving licence, you can bring your own bike (brand-new or second-hand) to Vietnam and register it under your own name. However, when you leave Vietnam, you have to take your bike out of the country or sell it very cheaply.

You can get more details from the Customs regarding importing a bike, the Registration Office of the local Transport Police regarding registering a bike and the Department of Labor regarding a work permit. Unfortunately, we couldn’t assist in importing your bike(s) into Vietnam.

Contact us in case you still have more questions or have anything to suggest for inclusion in this page.

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  1. Joe Reply

    Hi me and my girlfriend woul like to do 3 day into Sapa. I would like to drive but would also like to do lesson first. I have experience driving 50cc automatic only.
    What is the cost of this trip with guide?

    Thank you!

    • Anh Wu Reply

      Hello Joe. In 3 days you can ride up to Sapa but you need more days to do a loop. In addition, we don’t recommend this trip to novice riders. The cost for a group of two people is from 129$US/day/person, all inclusive.

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