Driving In Vietnam: Do And Don’t Motorcycling Guide

Driving In Vietnam: Do And Don't Motorcycling Guide


Vietnam is one of the Southeast Asian nations that is recommended to travel to because of its long and fascinating history, numerous religious and cultural monuments, spectacular natural scenery, and unique culture. You should include it on your list of places to visit since it is worthwhile. 

However, as a foreigner, driving in Vietnam might be extremely daunting, particularly if it’s your first time. Today, we would like to share an article named driving in Vietnam: Do and Don’t to guide you based on our personal experience.

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Driving In Vietnam: Do And Don’t Tip When Riding In Vietnam

Avoid Driving Recklessly

You will need a license plus an international driver’s permit to drive lawfully in Vietnam. But plenty of tourists arrive in Vietnam without any identification. Most Vietnamese police overlook foreigners, but simple coffee money will do if confronted. 

In Vietnam, you must always drive on the right side of the road. A current local driver’s license or an active international driving permit is required. Yet, plenty of tourists arrive in Vietnam without any identification. Most Vietnamese police overlook foreigners, but simple coffee money will do if confronted. 

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Follow The Traffic Laws

Wherever you go, try your best to abide by the rules when it comes to traffic. It is especially tempting to consider driving into the open pedestrian area when you know that doing so would allow you to pass only one car in front that has been blowing smoke in your eyes for the past fifteen minutes while you try to cross a busy junction.

Follow The Traffic Laws
Busy motorbike traffic in the Old Quarter in Hanoi.

Many people will likely believe that their acts alone won’t change anything and that if they strive to abide by the rules when no one else does, they will become the ones left behind. However, we must begin with ourselves if we want people to begin abiding by the laws.

Paying Attention To The Road

Vietnamese drivers follow set patterns and drive slowly. Although you will observe cars traveling in all directions, it is uncommon to notice any rapid changes in direction. The horde of motorcyclists will buzz about you but not into you if you move slowly, gradually, and predictably.

Avoid beginning your journey in the afternoon; driving in Vietnam is not recommended during rush hour in the city if you must cross vehicles to turn left into another route, attempt to do it slowly and predictably.

In a metropolis, making a left turn might be frightening. Being a newcomer to Vietnam, you won’t have the confidence to do any of this. 

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Experienced drivers know the technique would be to urge the traffic that is rushing at you to halt. Wait for others to follow you so you may move as a bunch. Even the most obnoxious drivers avoid cutting through crowds.

If you can, attempt to take other drivers’ cues. The main issue with other motorcycles is their unpredictable nature. Unless the police are there, people in Vietnam don’t heed regulatory standards.

Acknowledge Vietnamese Slow Driving Patterns

As mentioned above, Vietnamese people are extremely fast drivers. Locals frequently stare forward solely while maintaining monocular vision. Vietnam is still getting the concept of gazing everywhere.

Even though it is evolving quickly, it is crucial to realize that residents do not anticipate fast-moving automobiles; thus, there is little need to concentrate just on driving. It’s very OK to drive here while holding a cigarette or smartphone in one hand.

Driving In Vietnam: Do And Don't Motorcycling Guide driving in vietnam 4
Hoi An, Vietnam – 28 Jul 2019: Man taking rest on motorbike. Scooter driver with smartphone in hands. Time spending with mobile internet. South Asia popular gadget. Unemployment social problem concept

Tourists from other countries drive at the same speeds while in Vietnam. Accidents occur because the locals are unaware of it and taken by surprise. Both the distracted local and the speeding passenger share some of the blame.

Don’t Bring Too Much Stuff While Driving

As you’d have to pay full attention when driving, it might be difficult to notice your baggage slipping off the motorbike. You will likely drop your stuff on the road and cause pitiful accidents. Always ensure you have two or more bungees to tie your luggage.

Always Assume The Worst

Travelers won’t be able to recognize Vietnam’s unspoken traffic rules since many of them exist. Seemingly, people can do anything when riding a motorcycle. Going the opposite direction up the roads, rushing out of intersections without checking or signaling, and doing haphazard U-turns without signals is not something rare on Vietnam roads. 

Always Assume The Worst
Life in Vietnam – Street by moto bike is an essential part of life in Vietnam, traffic of Asian city in rush hour, of people in motorcycles.

It is also understandable when a driver acts in an apparent, wholly unreasonable manner. The justification is straightforward: locals want you to drive as slowly as they do. If you keep telling yourself this, your road anger will subside. Driving slowly and watching out for potential dangers from all sides will give you peace of mind!

Watch Out For Animals In Traffic

In Vietnam, a motorcycle is by far the most popular type of transportation since it is budget-friendly and can be used conveniently by locals to move items. Certain vehicles, buses, and rapid vehicles race constantly and seem to have no regard for the other drivers on the road.

It’s incredible how animals maneuver through traffic, including herds of cows, yappy dogs, sluggish cats, buffalo, and many more. When traveling through rural towns or villages, one of the best tips for riding in Vietnam is to be cautious since a doy might suddenly cross the roadway and put you in a dangerous scenario.

Watch Out For Animals In Traffic
Always watch out while riding in Vietnam

You should also pay attention to pets like dogs and cats in urban areas. Though they are not accustomed to vehicles, owners frequently let them off the leash. They frequently cross the roadway carelessly, so don’t drive too quickly in urban areas as you never know what may be waiting for you.

Heed The Traffic Lights

When it comes to traffic signals, there are unspoken guidelines. Being a tourist, you should make an effort to abide by all traffic signals. 

Here, it is permitted to make a turn at a red light. When stopped at red lights, you should also provide enough space on the right curb for motorbikes to pass. Blocking the right side will be viewed as impolite and may cause some traffic rage.


If you’ve gotten this far into our Driving in Vietnam: Do and Don’t guide, let us leave you with these inspirational words: never let Vietnam’s traffic overwhelm you.

Yes, this isn’t something that everyone is delighted about, and if you’re not aware of it, it can be rather shocking. However, the chaotic traffic is ultimately only a reflection of the hectic metropolitan life here.

It is an essential component of both Hanoi and Saigon, just as the delicious street cuisine and charming old-world attractions. The traffic is worthwhile if you’ve fallen in love with all those goodies.

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