Is It Safe To Motorcycle Through Vietnam? Traveling Tips

Is It Safe To Motorcycle Through Vietnam


Vietnam is one of the world’s most beautiful countries, with beach and mountain scenery. However, it’s usually harder to observe if you are traveling by car. That is why motorbiking through Vietnam has quickly become popular for foreigners.

However, many have asked themselves, Is it safe to motorcycle through Vietnam? Today, we will provide you with the answer.

Is It Safe To Motorcycle Through Vietnam?

Is It Safe To Motorcycle Through Vietnam?
Vietnam Motorcycle Tours and Rentals

Yes, in general. But don’t take a long motorbike tour alone without any plan or preparation upfront.

Vietnam is still a developing country. That is why you should expect poor to average conditions for most roads outside the city’s walls.

The country has been building more high-quality highways these past few years. Nonetheless, many of them, aside from the big ones, are still reserved for cars and trucks. 

For this reason, you will most likely have to go through the narrower and rougher roads if you want to discover more.

These often have a lot of livestock roaming around. Furthermore, markets and stalls take up a lot of space on these roads. They won’t pose any problem for Vietnamese, but foreigners may fall if they aren’t careful.

There is also the problem of chaotic traffic, but it’s not as bad as the other SEA countries. 

Is It Safe To Motorcycle Through Vietnam? Traveling Tips is it safe to motorcycle through vietnam 5 | Vietnam Motorbike Tours
This is Vietnam traffic :))

In conclusion, it’s not safe to motorcycle through the entirety of Vietnam on your own, as some areas are still underdeveloped. But if you have a well-thought-out plan or hire a tour guide to go with  you, you are good to go. The people here are very nice and will help you if it seems like you are struggling.

For example, trucks and cars will always warn you of their presence, so you must pay close attention to fellow motorists. When you stick to the main highways and be careful of the road conditions while venturing off, it’s still very safe.

Can A Foreigner Own A Motorbike In Vietnam?

Can A Foreigner Own A Motorbike In Vietnam?
Foreigners can own a motorbike in Vietnam

Yes. A foreigner can totally own a motorbike in Vietnam, but there are some boxes to check. 

The first thing that you must possess is, of course, a resident permit. Only by having this small documentation can you legally own a motorbike bike in Vietnam.

There are two approaches to this issue, the temporary permit, and the permanent permit. If you choose the temporary pass, it’s much less of a hassle, but you can only own the bike for three years. Once your resident permit expires, so does your ownership of the bike.

The permanent permit is a lot harder to obtain, requiring you to show that you can earn a living while staying in Vietnam. You must also show that you have an understanding of Vietnamese. Yet it doesn’t expire, and you get to keep your bike indefinitely.

Your next objective is to get a motorcycle license to legally own the motorbike. You can pick either the A1 or the A2 license. The former lets you ride on 175cc and below bikes, while the latter doesn’t have any caveats.

View more: Top Gear Vietnam Motorbike Special 2023

Both of them require you to pass a theory test and a practical test. The A1 tests are naturally much more manageable, whereas the A2 tests are more demanding.

Top Best Roads For Motorcycle Touring in Vietnam

Now that you have managed to get a bike and are aware of the dangers of riding in Vietnam, it’s time to ride. Here are some of the best roads you can tour on a motorcycle.

Ho Chi Minh Road: Danang – Hanoi

Our first recommendation is always Ho Chi Minh Road, which connects Danang to Hanoi. It has a nice combination of road standards and beautiful scenery.

For instance, you will pass through Hoi An, among the most popular Vietnam destinations, especially for tourists. There is also a path to Phong Nha, the precious gem of Vietnam. Its incredible limestone beauty will surely floor you.

Ho Chi Minh Road: Danang - Hanoi
Top Gear Vietnam Special | Riding in Hue

Another incredible scenery on this route is the Hai Van Pass, which translates literally to “ocean cloud pass.” You can’t get a more fitting name, as its winding roads allow you to see an immaculate ocean backdrop while climbing.

Riding O Quy Ho Sapa

We present O Quy Ho to people looking for a challenge. This mountain pass is the longest of its kind in Vietnam, stretching 50 kilometers through National Highway 4D. You can start from Lao Cai and end up in Lai Chau traveling through it.

View more: Best Motorbike Tours Sapa 2023

While riding on this pass, you can reach as high as 1999 meters above sea level at Heaven’s Gate. If you can handle its challenges, you are in for a visual treat.

Riding O Quy Ho Sapa
Riding on top of O Qui Ho mt pass, Sapa, Lao Cai

Riding Ha Giang Loop

Many people have heard of this backpacker hub, which borders China’s Yunnan province. It is a behemoth, spanning 300 kilometers throughout Ha Giang’s northern province. Most people consider this road the most spectacular ride in the country.

Just like the case with O Quy Ho, it is not a beginner-friendly ride. You can expect a multitude of sharp hairpin turns, surprise twists, etc. It’s not at all an overstatement to describe this road as hellish during the rainy seasons.

The reward, however, is simply breathtaking. There are hundreds of beautiful mountain sceneries scattered throughout the whole road. These sceneries are further enhanced during Autumn, providing you with an out-of-this-world experience.

Riding Ha Giang Loop
Riding Ha Giang Loop and Northeast Vietnam

How long does it take to do the Ha Giang loop?

If you are taking precautions and riding carefully, it shouldn’t take longer than 4 days to complete. This time can be shortened dramatically to 2 days, but that’s both boring and dangerous.

After all, you need to be careful while riding through the many twists and turns the road has. There should also be some time to take in the majestic views.

View more: The Best Ha Giang Loop Motorbike Tours 2023

How long does it take to do the Ha Giang loop?
Riding on Ma Pi Leng Pass, Ha Giang


Is it safe to motorcycle through Vietnam? This article should give you a clear answer to the question. We have also thrown in some very useful tidbits about the hurdles to clear for motorcycle ownership in Vietnam. There is also a list of the best roads you can go through for scenery.

We hope you can use this article and enjoy the incredible roads this country has to offer. Follow our site for other traveling tips and Vietnam motorbike tours!

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