Last September I leave to realize an old dream of teenager, to cross Vietnam on motorbike .
On the other side of the world, when midday is midnight or vice versa, the road is his law.
The balance sheet? A fortnight on the roads, as many cities crossed, several stops at the mechanic, a flat tire, sunburns to make a lobster blush, a hundred animals dodged, dozens of buses avoided, thirty breaks cigarette face landscapes of unreal beauty, countless encounters, unforgettable memories.
In short, an experience that I recommend to all.
So I asked my friend GM, GTLA travel blog and who traveled in Vietnam on a motorcycle for a month, to offer a complete guide to prepare and live a trip similar to motorcycle or scooter. You want to know where to buy (or rent) a motorcycle, where to maintain, where to live, where to eat and how much will it cost you? Whether you have experience or not, this article will answer all your questions!
Why travel by motorcycle in Vietnam?
I usually travel in a backpack when traveling by bus or train. During these trips I met some motorcycle travelers. The more I traded with them, the more the desire to adopt this mode of transport was great.
They travel at their own pace, do not depend on bus or train schedules, and do not just go from city to city. They stop when they want, meet the locals, discover landscapes and wonders that guides do not record. It is this freedom and this immersion that I wanted to know.
And it is this experience that I lived. There is only traveling so you can share your meal with 4 Vietnamese who will try to understand why you travel on a motorcycle, which will eventually offer you rice alcohol and take photos before you returned on the road. Only by wanting to go see a field of roses and blocking your motorcycle will you meet a peasant who will invite you to visit his house and taste the fruits of his orchard. And above all it is only this way that you will end up doing a game of billiards with a mechanic who refuses you to pay and who prefers to confront you to his favorite game.
The motorcycle is the king means of transport. The Vietnamese carry their families, all kinds of parcels and animals on their motorcycles. This is for me the best destination for a motorcycle trip in Vietnam .
Finally, and it is not negligible when traveling alone and without GPS, Vietnam is the only country in Asia using the Latin alphabet.
For who ?
For all those who want it. I met mainly young people, alone or with companions I met while traveling, but I also shared a meal with a 50-year-old man who ventured several months on a motorbike in Southeast Asia. I talked to couples who traveled with one or two bikes depending on their driving skills.
Finally, I was able to talk with several women who traveled alone and who continued to do so or were grafted to groups of bikers.
DO I ALREADY KNOW HOW TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE?
No, I had never driven anything before an automatic scooter. It was my salesman who taught me how to ride a motorcycle and shift gears for an afternoon in a quiet place in Hanoi. The next day I took the road with caution and, 3 weeks later, I arrived at destination. And during that time I chatted with several other travelers who had never driven a motorcycle before arriving in Vietnam.