As some of you already saw on Facebook, we got a new travel mate on Friday. We spend a lot of time thinking about different options regarding what is the best way to move around in Vietnam and see lots of things at the same time. Buses are an easy and safe option to move from place A to place B but on the other hand, we would miss many gorgeous landscapes and rural villages. Another option to consider in Vietnam is to jump on a motorbike and drive through the country.
Eventually, we decided to go for option two because traveling by motorbike gives so much freedom and flexibility. And it is of course exciting too, especially considering how chaotic the Vietnamese traffic is. We have met several backpackers who have motorbiked across Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi or another way around so after a long consideration, we got brave enough to do this too.
So on Friday a new bike appeared in front of our hostel: 110 cm3 Honda Sufat that is maybe a bit worn-out but still works very well. We bought the bike from a British backpacker couple. We were really lucky because we got a nice model for a good price, including some travel gear and, luckily, proper and almost new helmets! It’s quite hard to find proper helmets in Vietnam where most of the motorbike helmets are just a joke.
We will spend our next seven weeks on the road, exploring Vietnam and stopping by here and there. It’s a real adventure and after we got over the biggest fear, the feeling is great! We have spent the weekend packing and preparing and today we started driving towards our first pit stop Mui ne.
Our experience with motorbiking is quite limited but Jarkko has driven a scooter before and knows how to handle bikes. Johanna is happy to just sit at the back but will maybe learn to drive later, once we get out from big city traffic jams. Driving in Vietnam is totally in its own class because the traffic is quite unpredictable and full of other motorbikes. Anyhow, after staying here for a while we have started to understand the “logic” a little bit.
Buying a motorbike in Vietnam is very simple even though it doesn’t exactly follow all the rules and laws. Nobody that we have met has had any problems with the police though. You can find motorbikes in some motorbike shops in Saigon and additionally travelers are selling them via internet in many Facebook groups.
The motorbikes change owner quite frequently because most of the people drive through Vietnam in a couple of weeks and sell the bike to the next person when they reach the destination. We have no idea how many times our bike has traveled this route but probably quite many. We will write an own post later about things that should be considered while buying a motorbike in Vietnam and what everything costs.
Besides buying the bike, our preparation has included planning the route a bit. But as usually, we don’t want to plan too much forward but just go with the flow and see where the road will bring us.