Everything you need to note before riding a motorbike in Vietnam

In Vietnam, the most popular transportation is a motorbike, everyone needs to have one. You can see traffic jams, so crowded on the road every morning and evening after working time. For the foreigners who drive a motorbike for the first time will be a challenge. But after that, you will enjoy riding a motorbike in the city, or suburbs to immerse the beautiful nature in Vietnam.

Traveling throughout Vietnam by motorbike will be an interesting experience

To be honest, do not need to bring your motorbike to Vietnam or have to buy the new one as you can almost in the hotel, hostel,.. they will have a motorbike for renting at affordable prices for tourists.

Can you ride the motorbike in Vietnam without the national driving license?

For motorbike up to 50 ccs, you can use without a license, but this one will be not suitable for the long trip. So you should have a motorbike license. Actually, a lot of travelers still can rent and ride without a license, but the risk of it will be on you. You will be taken full responsibility abase to the law of Vietnam if you cause damage to yourself or others.

As I mentioned above, riding a motorbike will be challenged for the first time, so you can note tips below:

– Inspect carefully before renting a motorbike.

For the rent, a motorbike, just need to ask the reception in your hotel for this service. But, before riding off you should take time to check your motorbike to make sure it will be safe for riding. Check a total of it, you can take a photo or video if needed as the proof to avoid the trouble in case they scam this damage is made by you.

The most important thing is to check a horn, brake, light, gas, and make sure those still work. Normally, in Vietnam gas will be bought by the renter, if the gas empty tank, should ask for the nearest gas stop or you can use the google map to find it. When you return to give them back the motorbike after the trip and your gas tank full, they will not pay back for extra gas. You can ask them to keep this motorbike for you for the next day if you still want to rent for the next day. Don’t be subjective, you should wearing a good quality helmet. Who knows what happens we have to face, so try to protect as much as possible.


Normally, the hotel will need your original passport or ID when you rent the motorbike. But this is the most important thing you must keep especially when you travel abroad. It could be a big problem if you lost them. In this case, you can prepare a copy of your passport then give them the copy instead of the original one.

Take attention while riding in Vietnam

Traffic in Vietnam is chaotic, especially in the big city such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city. There is no lane there, motorists cross the car lane, the horn is turned on too much. People try to move and move to follow the flow, all make a messy picture in the peak time ( around 7 – 8:30 AM and 5:30 -7 PM working time in Vietnam). On another hand, the traffic speed in these cities is slow to lead it is generally safe. When you enter into the traffic lane, need to follow the speed people use, there are speed signs on the road, using the turn signal, and watch carefully.

Traffic jam in Hanoi

Avoid Busses and big truck

Many travelers had bad experiences with the busses in the city. Driving with the fast speed even, jarring horn even the lane is stuck. If you see the busses behind you, the best way is to move and give them space if you do want to be jumped by the horn.

Using the back brake

If you get to use the front brake, please try to use the back brake as much as possible. The front brake suddenly stops and it very easy to fall down. If someone in front of you turns or stops without a signal and you use the back brake, your back wheel skids and you still have some control over your motorbike to avoid an accident. Hence, you must keep your distance from the car/ motorbike in front of you. It will depend on how fast you are going to determine how much distance you need to keep.

Vietnam trafic police.

In Vietnam, you can easy to see police on the road, they stand there to distribution traffic and control the matter. They can stop you from if you got a mistake on the road such as forget to turn on a light while riding at night, forget to turn on the signal while turning,…or just want to check your license, vehicle documents. You may need to pay a fine fee to continue your way, but sometimes they will remind you and let you leave without pay. In case, if you have to pay for the fine fee, try to negotiate and give them a little money 200k VND – around 10USD for coffee to avoid signing any documents. It will work, but as far as I know, the Vietnam police they so nicely they will remind if you are foreigners and get a mistake on the roads.

Tips for First Time Visitors:

If you’ve never been to Vietnam before, I kindly provide some helpful tips to make your trip easier.

Prepare your passport in advance, and make sure that your passport has at least 6 months validity, with left space for visa stamping.

  • Check to see whether you are a citizen of a country listed in the Vietnam visa exemption list or not. If you are required to have a Vietnam visa, and want to get a visa in a very urgent case, you can use Urgent Vietnam visa to get it and fly to Vietnam on short notice
  • The currency in Vietnam is Vietnam Dong, but you can bring USD and exchange this to VND before getting on board a plane or at one of the exchange counters at the airport, upon arrival
  • Make sure you book your flight tickets, a tour if you would prefer one, through a reliable agency.