Now renting a motorcycle in VietNam has an added complication these days - safety helmets! This time the Prime Minister has decreed it will work.
A cheap helmet (none are as safe as in Western countries) costs about VND120-170,000 (USD$10 approx), although they should be supplied by the renter or Xe Om driver - and THE FINE FOR NOT WEARING ONE IS VND200,000.
If you don't have the money the police will likely take your bike, put it in a truck and hold it until you pay the fine.
So be warned, avoid the latest police 'fund raising' opportunity.
Other things to do before taking a motorcycle away is to check the condition making notes and having the rental guy sign them. Your passport is usually held as security.
Also make sure you have COPIES of the ownership and insurance papers. The police often ask for these when they stop you. Another opportunity for a bribe or losing your wheels.
(Police come in many flavours but generically they wear an greenish olive uniform with red epaulets adorned with gold buttons. More senior types have added decoration on their jacket collars. The sand coloured uniforms, with a hat reminiscent of the Russian raised peak with white leather belt and back support, are worn by the dedicated traffic police. They are the least likely to seek bribes.)
Finally, don't rely on any security device supplied with the motorbike, BUY A CHAIN AND A DECENT LOCK so the occasional crooked renter can't 'steal' the bicycle - and demand full payment for it before returning your passport.
If you do have a crash and want to patch the bike up before returning it, spare parts can be obtained on TO UYEN STREET in District 11 in HCMC.
#1 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349