11 Life-saving Tips for Riding a Motorbike in Vietnam

For young people who have an adventurous heart, riding a motorbike through Vietnam is a must-try experience. It sounds a bit crazy, but it is also very difficult to resist stunning sceneries, unique cultures, friendly faces that you can see along the way. All these things make riding a motorbike one of the must-try experiences in Vietnam. A Vietnam motorbike ride is definitely incredible, but it might also turn into a disaster if you are not well-prepared before setting off. So, scroll down below and read about all our life-saving for riding motorbikes in Vietnam.

1. Get travel insurance

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No matter where you go, never forget to get travel insurance for yourself and your belongings because you will never know what might happen on the way, especially in a country with chaotic traffic like Vietnam. If you, unfortunately, were involved in an unwanted accident in a foreign country without insurance, it can cost you a lot of money. So investing in travel insurance is the right decision. Of course, insurance only covers hospital expenses provided you have a proper driving license.

2. Be careful of buses

A Vietnam motorbike ride can give you a lot of exciting experiences, but traffic in Vietnam is truly a nightmare for foreign visitors. You should always check your mirrors and get away from buses. When you see any bus in your mirrors, move a little on the right side until they pass you. Driving on smaller roads in rural areas may be a bit safer and more relaxed, but anyway, be careful of what is going behind your back.

3. Go with the flow

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Many tourists are shocked by the terrible traffic in Vietnam. There are so many things happening at once, plus a lot of traffic rules do not seem to exist, you sometimes have no idea about how to drive safely in this country. Going along with what people around you are doing is the best advice in this situation. Do not be the first to cross an intersection or drive faster than anyone else. It looks like a mess, but believe me, Vietnamese riders can read the situation and handle it very well. All the things you need to do is become a molecule in the stream.

4. Check your kickstand

Some vehicles cannot start if the kickstand is pulled down, but not all are equipped with this feature. There are lots of risks when you ride a motorbike with the down kickstand. That may get you involved in an unexpected accident, so do not forget to pull your kickstand up before hitting the road.

5. Get a high-quality helmet

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You can easily buy a cheap helmet in Vietnam, but such a thing only helps you avoid the problem with Vietnamese police while driving around while it can hardly protect you from anything. We have long rides, and getting a good helmet is a must. A high-quality helmet costs about $50 in Vietnam and will protect you from serious injuries.

6. Use mainly the rear brake

Remember that the front brake is not your friend. The front-wheel brake is very dangerous and almost always leads to a fall, so it’s better to control your speed with the rear brake. Applying a little rear brake will slow you down and bring you to a safe stop. Each motorbike will have a different setup, so learn to use the back brake only while driving and make it a habit.

7. Do not drive at night

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Because your visibility will be limited, night drives can be very risky. Moreover, drunk driving is a problem here. Even if you are very cautious, you sometimes still cannot avoid unfortunate crashes with a drunker. Large trucks are usually only allowed in cities at night to reduce congestion, so you should time your Vietnam motorbike ride and avoid night drives as much as possible.

8. Give the police a bit of “coffee money”

If you unluckily get caught by the police, you may need to pay a “bribe”. One piece of advice here is that you should never put all of your cash in one place. Instead, buy another wallet and put some small notes into it. When the police want a juicy tip from you, give him all you have in the wallet. Coffee money for a police officer is about 200,000 VND, and then, they will let you go.

9. Stay calm and relax

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The driving culture in Vietnam is entirely different from Western countries, and getting angry just makes you more trouble. Vietnamese riders sometimes make many ridiculous decisions but you do not start the fight. Whenever someone does something silly in traffic, stay calm and remind yourself that it is time for you to learn how to adjust to traffic here. Be polite, respect other people, and their safety.

10. Turn left in the group

It is not a big deal in the countryside, but in the big cities, everything is completely different. Experienced riders may know a few tricks to turn left or cross the road safely, but if you are a newbie, don’t risk your life. Wait for others to join you and move in groups. Even the largest vehicles on the road cannot drive through a crowd.

11. Check both sides at intersections

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The last tip for a safe Vietnam motorbike ride is to be more cautious when crossing the intersection. Many Vietnamese only follow traffic laws if they see the police, so even if there is a traffic light, always drive slowly and check both sides before crossing.
Taking a Vietnam motorbike ride is the best way to get to know this country. It gives you the chance to get closer to breathtaking natural landscapes, charming cuisines, and unique cultures of the locals. You can easily hire a motorbike at any rental shop, but for the most excellent experience, a reliable Vietnam motorbike tours club-like BM Travel Adventure is highly recommended. They provide a lot of different motorbike tour packages and motorbike rental that suit every pocket.

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