Riding our motorbikes in Northern Vietnam was easily the best thing we have done in Southeast Asia. Luckily it wasn’t too difficult to do as well. Here are some of our best tips for riding a motorbike in Northern Vietnam.
There are hotels, guesthouses and homestays just about everywhere in Northern Vietnam. You do not need to carry a tent or hammock unless you really want to get off the beaten path. Prices vary from about $3 for a very basic room with a bed in a “nha nghi” (guesthouse) right up to $50 for a luxury hotel room in Sapa or Cao Bang. On average we spent about $10-15 a night for very nice rooms with private bathroom, hot water and wifi.
The weather in Northern Vietnam can be very cold, particularly around December and January. Expect cool temperatures (it can snow in the mountains around Sapa), wet mist and dense fog. We rode in December and got lucky with the visibility most of the time, although it was quite cold. Pack layers of clothes, a face mask and some thick gloves. In July and August there can be heavy rain. The monsoon season is from November to March and the hot, wet season from April to October. Although regardless of the weather, you should still ride your motorbike around Northern Vietnam.
- Bike Maintenance
If you are riding a Honda Win or Honda Wave you will have no problem finding mechanics anywhere in the North. Honda Wins are the main type of bikes that locals ride and parts are readily available. We recommend getting an oil change every 500km, tightening and greasing your chain every morning and always check your brakes. This is something you should do anyway, however with the roads being extra mountainous in Northern Vietnam you want to make sure your bike is running in top condition.
- Signs And Directions
Having a working GPS or decent map is highly recommended. Road numbers change randomly and locals aren’t always the best when it comes to giving directions, unless you speak Vietnamese. There are very few signs that direct you to towns of interest.
- Ride Safely
Again, this should be something you do anyway, but keep in mind that there are minimal well-equipped hospitals in Northern Vietnam. If you have a crash and are injured it can take a long time to get to Hanoi for treatment. Keep that in mind next time you go to open the throttle on a blind corner
- References or useful help
Zonitrip in Hanoi was a great help to us when it came to planning our Northern Vietnam motorcycle adventure. They gave us useful tips and advice and without asking for anything in return. We definitely recommend stopping by to talk with them before you drive up to the Ha Giang Loop, to Sapa, Cao Bang, Bac Kan or anywhere else in Northern Vietnam.
Phone: +84 (0) 1689927861/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some itinerary about riding motorbike to North Vietnam, you can conference for your trip: