FAQs

When is the best time to ride in northern Vietnam?
In the north there’s no best time motorcycle tours in northern Vietnam, as there are four distinct seasons, each with their own unique advantages. Summer runs from April to October, winter from November to March. Hottest months are June and July, coldest month is February. Expect the possibility of passing rain from April to September, while winter months are normally dry. For rides down south in Vietnam, its best to avoid the monsoon season of September through to October, a ride down the original Ho Chi Minh Trail is only possible from November to late April. As mentioned every season with their its best advantages for Vietnam motorcycle tours.

I hear the traffic is crazy in Vietnam. Is it safe to ride there?
Traffic in Hanoi is chaotic to the uninitiated driver. For this reason we always use the easiest roads to get out of town. We can also arrange for riders to be dropped off at the city limits by taxi where the bikes are waiting. Once out in the countryside, the level of traffic drops off remarkably and on some roads it is possible to not pass a single vehicle for the whole day. That said, it must be emphasized that the riding conditions in Vietnam are demanding which means extremely defensive driving is imperative. All riders must be very careful and be fully aware that the purpose of the trip is not to ride performance bikes hard into the bends, but rather to drive along nice and slow and enjoy the sites and sounds of the passing countryside. Motorcycle tours in Vietnam is just the link between so many facets that make up the touring experience with us – people, scenery, markets, food, drink, historical vestiges, rural life. We will send you an extensive document covering all aspects of driver safety particular to the conditions found in Vietnam. This document and constant support from your guide will make your ride as safe as possible. Kindly click the below link to have best Vietnam motorcycle touring with Offroad Indochina – Motorcycle Tours Vietnam Org.

http://motorcycletoursvietnam.org/trip-advice/

Can you arrange accommodation for me in Hanoi before and after the motorcycle tour?
We can make reservations for you at any hotel in Hanoi and also organise a car to pick you up from the airport. Commonly we recommend people to stay at a particular hotel in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. The central location makes it easy to get around the city and the hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms in the US$35-40 per night price range. They also provide safe storage for baggage during the duration of the motorbike tour in northern Vietnam.

What other expenses should we expect? How much cash do we need to take with us?
In terms of costs we cover everything except telephone calls, tips, souvenirs and alcohol. As there are often some impressive minority crafts to be found in the markets or some more bizarre products of Chinese origin, bank on carrying about US$50 – 80 some mountain town but not all.

How will I meet you in Hanoi?
We normally find it easiest to come and meet you at your hotel and then proceed to our office, so all you have to do is call us on our office number when you are settled in Hanoi. We will then arrange a pre-departure briefing session to introduce to you the route and equipment, and to cover any other outstanding issues.

Is it safe to ride a motorbike in Vietnam?
Yes and no. The traffic in Hanoi is frenetic and can be very intimidating. The locals learn to ride a motorcycle in Vietnam from a young age and all our riders and guides are very experienced and skillful at negotiating the Hanoi traffic. For Vietnam motorbike tours out of the city, our itineraries are on the back roads where things operate at a different tempo and where trucks and other big vehicles are rarely seen.

Are your motorbike comfortable and safe?
Yes, of course. All our bikes are cruisers and have a longer, thicker seat than other scooters or semi automatic bikes in Hanoi. We also equip the bikes with bigger, wider pedals and the back-reinforced plaque. All the bikes receive regular maintenance to ensure that you have very safe motorbike tours Vietnam.

What type of clothing should I bring?

Please note that Vietnam is a developing country and size selection and/or quality products are real issues. Local products are cheap but almost just one size for all or the quality is poor. Here are some suggestions:
– Clothing: helmet, rain gloves, wellington boots (rubber boots for rainy season from April to September), 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.
– 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, bungee cords, camera and cargo net.
I’m afraid that bikes in Vietnam will not be up to the task. Can’t we ride anything larger?

Vietnamese traffic laws prohibited the use of motorbikes larger than 175cc until May 2007 when Vietnam joined WTO. It took sometime to have big bikes imported into Vietnam, but it’s likely that nobody rents out these bikes as import tax is 90% and VAT is 10% (a bike costs twice as much as in your country!). Motorbikes in Vietnam will not break the sound barrier but the they will easily carry two people (locally, even more) down all of Vietnam’s roads. They are light, balanced and fun to ride. We also offer Honda SL 230cc or CRF 250cc. They are our biggest motorbikes for riding in Vietnam. Other bikes can be arranged upon your request!

When is the best time to come to the north of Vietnam for a motorbike tour?

In the north there’s no best time to for motorcycle touring. There are four distinct seasons, each with its own unique advantages. Summer runs from April to October, winter from November to March. Hottest months are June and August, coldest month is February. Expect the possibility of rain from April to August, while winter months are normally dry except when a winter storm settles in. So northern Vietnam offers you the best views during the hot months with blue sky, incredible rice paddy fields.

How long do we ride each day?

A difficult question as in most cases we ride from morning to the late afternoon but on average not more than 200km per day. We try to get on the road early to make the most of the day and we enjoy lengthy stops throughout the day. On longer tours we can accommodate a rest day from the saddle. Our bikes all have extra padding in the seats. Expect at least five hours driving time per day. Ho Chi Minh trail in Vietnam can offer longer ride for experienced riders. So if you are looking for longer ride on the smooth roads? And Vietnam motorbike tour Ho Chi Minh trail is very good idea.

Is an international license valid for motorcycle tours in Vietnam?

Despite some press reports to the contrary Vietnam does recognise the validity of international licences. Whilst some authorities in remote regions may not be able to comprehend a document written in a foreign language they go a long way in smoothing out any potential difficulties should an issue arise. They also take care of any licence requirements that you might have in your insurance polices.

Formally, no license is fully valid in Vietnam, even an international driving licence, as it needs to be officially translated (at Vietnamese Embassies or in Vietnam). The question of having or not a motorbiking driving licence mainly concerns your insurance. On the other hand, if you are working in Vietnam under contract for at least 6 months you could easily get a local driving licence.

Traffic police generally don’t stop Westerners in Vietnam to check licences simply because they don’t speak good English or feel confident to deal with it. In addition, in the same time they can deal with many other Vietnamese people. Mui Ne in Southern Vietnam have been the only exception where they started checking licences.

Informally, many recent international driving licenses which include Vietnam in the country list are accepted by the traffic police on the road.

How do I get an international licence for Vietnam motorbike tours?

International licences can be provided on the spot at the motoring authority in your country (e.g. The AA in the UK or the NRMA in Australia). Take your existing national licence and passport photo to their office and for a small fee they will provide a licence along the same lines as your existing licence, valid for one year.

I’m concerned about the footwear situation; thinking about leaving walking boots at home to lighten the load, what do you recommend?

It’s essential to have strong footwear for the tour to protect your feet whilst driving. Trekking shoes or leather boots are perfect. No driving in open-toed shoes. It is possible to buy a pair of boots (including big sizes) in Hanoi for about US$15.

I’m filling out the Vietnam visa application and they ask for the name, address of my contact in Vietnam. What should I enter?

It’s not actually necessary to enter anything in this field. If you wish you may write the details of any hotel in Hanoi. We will handle your visa upon arrival, please just scan us your passport then we will apply your visa letter which you use to collect it upon Vietnam arrival.

Do I need to have insurance for motorcycle tours Vietnam?

Yes, you need to have a personal medical insurance, even if you are a pillion passenger so that insurance will cover any accident. If you don’t have insurance, we can help you purchase a policy from Gras Savoye Willis Vietnam (www.grassavoyewillis-vn.com) – a French insurance broker or BaoViet – the largest national insurance company. However, they don’t cover if you have no Vietnamese motorcycle driving license which is impossible with a tourist visa. To get a Vietnamese driving license you need to have at least a three months business visa, your country motorcycle driving license, a work permit or a sponsor. All papers need to be translated into Vietnamese at a notary office and it takes 7-10 days to have a converted license.

On our motorcycle tours, 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.

If you have some other questions, please contact us via email: info@offroadindochina.com and we will be more than happy to assist you.

OFFROAD INDOCHINA – #1 Vietnam Motorbike Tour!