What SHOULD NOT Bring and Wear on a Vietnam Motorbike Tour

What SHOULD NOT Bring and Wear on a Vietnam Motorbike Tour


If you’re planning to go on a motorbike tour in Vietnam, there are some important things to consider when packing. 

While there are many things that you should take along, there are also certain items that you should avoid. In this article, we’ll go over what should not bring and wear on a Vietnam motorbike tour

Why is it Important to Know what NOT to Bring and Wear on a Vietnam Motorbike Tour?

Before delving into the list of items, it’s important to understand why you should be careful about what you bring and wear on Vietnam motorbike tours. Here are some reasons:

  • Safety: Your safety is of utmost importance while riding a motorbike. Carrying and wearing inappropriate items can pose a threat to your safety. 
  • Comfort: A motorbike tour can be physically demanding, and getting unsuitable items can make your trip uncomfortable.
  • Cultural sensitivity: Vietnam has a unique culture, and certain items may be considered offensive or indecent in some contexts, so it’s essential to research before you travel.
Why is it Important to Know what NOT to Bring and Wear on a Vietnam Motorbike Tour?
Remoted trail in Ha Giang

What SHOULD NOT Bring and Wear on a Vietnam Motorbike Tour?

Sandals and Flip Flops

One of the biggest mistakes that many tourists make is wearing unsuitable footwear. Vietnam’s roads can be challenging, with uneven surfaces, potholes, and other obstacles. 

Wearing flip-flops, sandals, or open-toe shoes can be very dangerous, as they do not provide adequate protection for your feet, and they can easily slip off while riding. 

On our motorbike trip from Da Nang to Hanoi in 2020, we visited Cuc Phuong National Park, where one of our disastrous mistakes happened. The rugged and rocky terrain already slowed us down, and the slippy off-the-beaten path after a downpour even doubled the difficulty. But, sadly, we wore open-toe sandals, which lacked grip and drew in a lot of mosquitoes. What a disaster!

To sidestep our mistake, wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes or boots that can protect your feet in case of an accident.

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Inappropriate Clothing

Inappropriate Clothing
Full gears when riding in Vietnam

When packing for a motorcycle tour in Vietnam, it is crucial to consider the weather and climate. While Vietnam is generally hot and humid in the monsoon season, it can also be chilly in the mountains and during the winter months.

The hot weather might make you want to wear shorts or skirts, but they do not provide enough protection for your legs. If you fall off your bike, you will get abrasions and cuts on your legs. Wear long pants or jeans instead to protect your legs from scratches and bruises. 

A lightweight raincoat is recommended, but a waterproof jacket may not be necessary as Vietnam’s weather is often warm and humid. Additionally, it is easy to buy a rain poncho, rain jacket, or rain pants locally if needed.

Besides, Vietnam is a rich culture yet conservative country, so it’s important to dress modestly, especially when visiting temples and other religious sites. 

Wearing shorts, tank tops, or revealing clothing can disrespect Vietnamese culture. Shorts and skirts are inappropriate in these places, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

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Expensive Jewelry and Valuables

It is best to avoid wearing jewelry during your Vietnam motorcycle tour. Wearing necklaces, bracelets, or earrings can be dangerous, especially if they get caught in something while riding. You might also lose them while on the road, so it is better to leave them at home. 

Though we haven’t experienced it, crowded streets in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, are infamous for robberies. So just be prepared!

Expensive Jewelry and Valuables
Stunning view in Ha Giang northern Vietnam

Bulky Luggage

Another mistake that many tourists make is bringing too much luggage. Carrying a heavy load on a motorbike can be uncomfortable and dangerous, affecting your balance and control on the bike. 

For example, while it is important to prioritize safety while riding a motorbike, it is not necessary to bring your safety gear, motorcycle helmets, flat tires, elbow pads, etc., as most rental services will provide helmets and other essential equipment. 

Or, it is not necessary to bring tire repair kits or spare tires as most rental services will provide these items.

Therefore, packing light and bringing only what you need is essential. Consider packing a small backpack or duffel bag that you can easily carry on your back. 

Bulky Luggage
Travel light with a dry bag on back of the bike

Over-the-Counter Medication

Although it’s important to bring medication, it’s best to avoid bringing over-the-counter medication. These types of medications may not be available in Vietnam, and it’s best to consult your doctor before your trip. 

Illegal Items

Bringing illegal items such as drugs or weapons on a trip to Vietnam is not only illegal but can also put you in danger. 

This section could discuss the legal consequences of bringing illegal items and suggest alternative ways to enjoy your trip, such as engaging in cultural experiences or outdoor activities.

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Heavy Electronics

While it may be tempting to bring electronics like laptops or tablets on a motorbike tour, it’s best to leave them behind. Not only are they heavy and take up valuable space, but they can also be damaged or stolen during the trip. 

Instead, consider bringing a lightweight camera or smartphone to capture your memories. Make sure to pack any electronics in a waterproof case to protect them from the elements.

Excessive Amounts of Cash

Taking excessive amounts of cash along you on a trip to Vietnam can make you a target for theft. This section could discuss the importance of carrying what you need and suggest alternative ways to access money, such as using credit cards or traveler’s checks. 

Excessive Toiletries

It’s best to pack only the necessary toiletries when traveling to Vietnam. Bringing excess products not only takes up valuable space in your luggage but also adds unnecessary weight. Consider packing travel-sized items or purchasing toiletries at local markets or stores.

In fact, we didn’t even carry any toiletries on most of our motorcycle tours in Vietnam, as we could buy them on the go. Interestingly, there are tons of grocery stores littered alongside the road, be it in the urban or rural areas.

Large Towels

Large towels can be bulky and take up valuable space in your luggage. Most hotels and homestays provide towels for their guests, so it’s not always necessary to bring your own. If you do need a towel, consider packing a lightweight and compact travel towel to save space.

Otherwise, any hotel or homestay will provide you with these things.

Too Many Guidebooks or Maps

While it’s a must to be prepared, bringing too many guidebooks or maps can be unnecessary. Consider using digital maps or downloading information onto your phone or tablet to save space in your luggage.

And Vietnamese locals are super super hospitable; they are all ears and ready to guide you to the right destination.

Too Many Guidebooks or Maps
Riders planning a trip on a map, with a guide book

Too Many Snacks

Vietnamese food is known for its deliciousness, so instead of packing a lot of snacks, try to experience the local food. If you do want to bring snacks, pack only what you need for the trip and make sure they’re non-perishable.


In conclusion, knowing what SHOULD NOT bring and wear on a Vietnam motorbike tour can significantly affect your safety, comfort, and overall experience. 

By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable motorbike tour in Vietnam. Remember to pack light, wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and leave unnecessary valuables and electronics behind. 

Enjoy your trip and soak up all the beautiful sights and sounds that Vietnam has to offer. Follow our blog for more excellent traveling tips!

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