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Driving a motorbike in Vietnam without a drivers lisence???

Posted by douluvme49 on 7/2/2011 at 22:29

Hi There,

My boyfriend and I want to rent/buy (We havent decided yet) 2 motorbikes in Ho Chi Min City and ride up to Hanoi on our own. I don't have a Canadian drivers lisence though. I have an identification card....
I read online that if we do it as a tour I dont need a lisence as we are with a guide.

What are the chances of getting 'pulled over' and having our lisences checked??? What could happen???? Any suggestions?

My boyfriend has his lisence, and we both ride dirtbikes in Canada ... we don't need a lisence for this as we aren't driving on the street.

Any info would be great!!

#1 douluvme49 has been a member since 4/2/2011. Posts: 33

Posted by Vietnam720 on 8/2/2011 at 07:43

Posted from within Vietnam.

The worst that can happen after being pulled over is to have your bikes confisicated and kept for 30 days. A fine will be issued (rightfully about US$15). But still you can't take the fine untill after 30 days.

#2 Vietnam720 has been a member since 26/8/2009. Location: Singapore. Posts: 46
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Posted by Randy on 8/2/2011 at 08:55

Here are some tips for motorbike travelling lovers in VN. Chances of being get pulled over by Vietnamese cops ( excluding accidents): Rate from most to least as...1/ Operate motorbike on wrong side of road, or opposite direction in one-way street...2/ Operate motorbike WITHOUT licence plate...3/ Operate motorbike WITHOUT helmet...3/ Operate motorbike with MORE THAN 2 PERSONS in a bike...4/ Overspeed...5/ Operate motorbike with supicious goods(watch out at areas which are closed to border passes...6/ Operate motorbike in ...impaired manners such as drunk, high on pot..7/ Racing with Vietnamese undercovered cops( Undercovered cops have no right to stop you in vn, only traffic cops)...8/ Operate a motorbike which is BIGGER than 125cc...9/ Minor contact into...cop bike on the road...10/ Carry more than 2 little kids in a bike. The end.

#3 Randy has been a member since 3/2/2011. Posts: 28

Posted by douluvme49 on 8/2/2011 at 10:28

will i be able to get bike insurance with out a lisence if we happen to buy bikes? I guess both bikes could go in my boyfriends name, and i just ride the one.

thanks for the info. by the sounds of it i will be okay riding a bike as long as i am not an idiot!!

#4 douluvme49 has been a member since 4/2/2011. Posts: 33

Posted by caseyprich on 8/2/2011 at 12:01

Remember that your travel insurance will most likely not cover you if you get in a motorbike accident without having an intentional drivers licence.
Not sure how it is in Vietnam, but your biggest concern will probably be livestock - not police.

#5 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by goonistik on 8/2/2011 at 13:11

See part 9.

It seems that Vietnam doesn't recognize foreign drivers licenses nor international driving permits. What a bummer.

More info here:

#6 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 563
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Posted by 69bertie on 8/2/2011 at 17:46

Posted from within Vietnam.

Posts: 2
will i be able to get bike insurance with out a lisence if we happen to buy bikes? I guess both bikes could go in my boyfriends name, and i just ride the one.
thanks for the info. by the sounds of it i will be okay riding a bike as long as i am not an idiot!!

Waste of time buying any bike insurance in Vietnam, as without a license it's invalid (as is the case with any motor vehicle insurance worldwide). $2000USD is about max payout anyway. e.g. might be for a car but you'll find a lot of Vn insurance companies are the same when it comes to the maximum payout figure .....
50million vnd is $2500 USD

#7 69bertie has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 90

Posted by burnthisnow on 11/2/2011 at 13:09

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi, we operate a Vespa tour company in Saigon, and it's definitely true that travel insurers will not cover you if you are driving a vehicle in Vietnam without a Vietnam-issued drivers licence. However, you are covered if you're only riding pillion behind another driver or a guide (doesn't matter if it's with a tour or not). If you're thinking of buying a motorbike in HCMC and riding up to Hanoi, that's a great trip. As several people have said here, traffic laws -- such as they are in Vietnam -- are irrelevant to whether you get pulled over by police and fined. The police will cook up any excuse to pull you over if they feel like it, not much you can do about it. If you are pulled over, 99% of the time the police will simply insist on a money payment on the spot (i.e. a bribe) without issuing a ticket. This can be anywhere from 150,00-500,000VND ($8-25 US). Simplest thing is just pay it and be on your way. Still, a foreigner getting pulled over by police and truly hassled over traffic laws is very, very rare here.

Also, it's not difficult to get a VN license if you already have one in Canada. You can do it here in a single day. Drop us a note if you have any more questions ( and please stop by Zoom Cafe in Pham Ngu Lao when you arrive in HCMC. Lots of people there can tell you about doing this trip and how best to buy a bike, etc. Cheers, Patrick

#8 burnthisnow has been a member since 24/5/2008. Posts: 16

Posted by 69bertie on 13/2/2011 at 09:26

Posted from within Vietnam.

You can get a Vn license in a day??? Took me a week, Had to have my UK driving license translated (took two days), 3 months visa as a minimum, residential address. Hand the paperwork in at District 3. License signed for and picked up 7 days later. Bargain of a price....30000 vnd .... £1.

#9 69bertie has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 90

Posted by AbgAcid on 13/2/2011 at 15:27

No licence, dont ride.

My advice, dont do it. Forget about fines, or pull over by police. Think of the consequences of running somebody on the road. Futhermore if the accident is a fatal one, it will be very very very messy.


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Posted by douluvme49 on 15/2/2011 at 03:18

Burnthisnow - If I do not have a canadian lisence will i have issues, or if i just pay the bribe i should be ok?

#11 douluvme49 has been a member since 4/2/2011. Posts: 33

Posted by burnthisnow on 15/2/2011 at 11:19

Posted from within Vietnam.

If you have your passport you should be fine. All they care about is the bribe. They'll tell you what you've done 'wrong,' then they'll suggest you give them money: 200,000 or 300,000 VND. They'll pretend that this is for a ticket/fine, but it just goes in their pockets. You can try to bargain if you like, it's common. Or you can just pay it and be on your way right away. Best thing is to be friendly and pleasant about the whole procedure, if it happens. That's how all the Vietnamese handle it.

#12 burnthisnow has been a member since 24/5/2008. Posts: 16

Posted by hmdliven on 19/2/2011 at 22:51

This is not a good Idea to even rent a motor-bike in Vietnam, in a land which no one care about himself even. i was in HCMC and a motor bike driver catch my foot when i wanted to cross the street , maybe you go and do it with yourself and nothing happend to you But generaly advice is not to do it, cuz nobody is familiar with vietnamese driving culture expect themselves
Have fun

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Posted by Positivetravel on 9/3/2011 at 01:15

We travelled through Vietnam ofr 2 months and bought a motorbike in Hanoi and made our way through the country down to Saigon.

We only had 1 bike ( a 125cc Suzuki) for the 2 of us with both our backpacks strapped on (we got custom racks made) and it was great. It may seem like too much for one bike but we never broke down once, but we did get her checked out by mechanics along the way.
We never had any problems with police. I think a lot of that had to do with the fact we bought a less powerful bike, so we didn't stick out like a sore thumb while we were riding.

My fiance only rode the bike and even though it is illegal for foreigners to own a bike in vietnam, we bought one with a Vietnamese persons name on it. Yes, there is a risk in doing this, but like I said because we bought a less powerful bike, we only road about 4 hours a day and were careful, I think that really helped us in not getting pulled over by the police.

As for the crazy driving everyone talks about-yes it is busy in the cities, but it is doable. Have a practice riding first, keep up with the flow of the traffic, when on highways keep over to side of the road as much as possible. Also the Vietnamese use their arms a lot to indicate and to tell people where they are moving too. It may seem strange but I started doing this while on the back of the bike when we were turning left etc (i would stick out my left had and shake it a bit) and I think that really helped. Doing what they do and know worked well. A lot of the road rules etc from your own country don't really apply in Vietnam-work with what they do!

Feel free to email us directly if you have any other questions: admin [at] positiveworldtravel [dot] com

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Posted by stephenpham on 19/6/2012 at 02:27

Posted from within Vietnam.

Not easy to bike from South to North of Vietnam, if you are foreigner

#15 stephenpham has been a member since 12/6/2012. Posts: 8

Posted by JonMyers on 25/6/2012 at 05:02

Posted from within Vietnam.

I've lived in Saigon for 3 months now, and will be here another 3 or 4 months.

I have a motorbike, and I don't have a license.

I used to have a motorcycle endorsement back in the states, but I'm a perma-traveler, and my drivers license expired.

Anyhow, you won't have any problems with police as long as you don't take the risks, which others have outlined. You shouldn't be anyways.

That said, there are a lot of traffic nuances, which are unique to Saigon.

For example, the motorbikes generally all stay on the right hand side, and cars stay on the left. Obviously, there is a lot of cross-over in lanes from both vehicle types. Especially when turning or when a taxi driver gets excited and spots a fare on the side of the road.

You'll have to learn not to panic.

Also, be very careful about where you park your motorbike. It could get stolen. When you go out only park it with security. Never just leave it on the sidewalk, which is an invitation for theft.

My advice is to get here, and wait a few days, and take in the city on the back of a motorbike taxi. See it how feels, see the flow of traffic, and take in all the craziness that goes with it.

Also, be very careful about the motorbike you rent. DON'T rent a bike from Chi Cafe, which is recommended on this site. I ended up returning 3 different motorbikes from there. They were all horribly maintained, and downright dangerous from bad brakes to second gear only working to rickety loose bearings in the steering head.

I found a lady on Craig's List by the name of Thamle who rents motorbikes that are well maintained. She'll also drop it off at your house/ apartment or hotel. Her number is 090-3177407. I'm paying $1,000,000.00vnd/ month ($50 bucks) for a newer Sym Attilla, which is an awesome bike.

One last thing, which I haven't seen anyone mention is this - expect to surrender your passport or at least a driver's license from your home country to whomever you're renting from. I rent an apartment here, so I gave the lady I rented from a copy of my rental agreement (proof), and gave her my driver's license from back home, and held onto my passport. A lot of places will demand you give it up.

#16 JonMyers has been a member since 11/10/2010. Location: United States. Posts: 1
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Posted by SikKelowna on 25/6/2012 at 17:11

Hey there,

I can tell you first hand that i travelled from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City just over a year ago, there were 4 of us all from Canada, we bought the chinese copy bikes in Sapa and made our journey from Hanoi down.

It was the most amazing trip i have ever done, my girlfriend who was on her own bike did get stopped but as soon as she started speaking english they let her go on her way.

Yes the traffic can be intimidating at first, it is ridiculously busy in the main cities but it all flows and works, rules of the road are few and far between with everyone picking their own path and turning whenever they feel like but you just use that little horn button on your bike every 5 seconds and keep a good eye on everything around u and you should be safe.

The big danger isnt the other bikes but the buses and big trucks on the main highway! They dont care about any of the rules of the road so stay out of their way and stick to the side of the road!! Most of your trip will be on the ho chi minh highway and smaller roads but unfortunately you have to take the main highway at some point in your trip.

No insurance for any of us and although we made it safe and sound through vietnam, it is a big risk and you have to be extra careful and attentive as to avoid the many dangers while on the road. is the most amazing way to see vietnam!! and will surely be an unforgettable trip!!

Be safe and wear a helmet that will actually protect your head! 2 of my friends wore the baseball cap style helmet that provides zero protection!


#17 SikKelowna has been a member since 4/5/2011. Posts: 7

Posted by Randy on 26/8/2012 at 17:15

Hints for riding motorbike in Vietnam for Foreigners(Supplemental)....1/Only Vietnamese cops or Custom staffs/or Highway robbers riding motorcycle which is bigger than 125cc in Vietnam..2/ It is EITHER illegal OR RARE for any individual, Foreigner or Vietnamese to own and ride a motorbike which is ..BIGGER 175cc..3/ It's very easy to obtain Vietnamese Motorbike licence as long as you will be ready for the test( in VIETNAMESE WRITINGS)...3/ To Foreingers, the helmet NOT ONLY PROTECT YOUR HEAD but also help you to blend in in with the main flow of Vietnamese traffic and..NOT TO BE STUCK OUT and CAUGHT ATTENTION by Vietnamese cops for pulling over. The end....

#18 Randy has been a member since 3/2/2011. Posts: 28

Posted by Vietnam720 on 26/8/2012 at 18:59

Posted from within Vietnam.

Wearing face mask and jackets will help you to blend into the crowd too :)

#19 Vietnam720 has been a member since 26/8/2009. Location: Singapore. Posts: 46
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Posted by Randy on 27/8/2012 at 07:56

PULLED OVER BY VIETNAMESE COPS WHILE RIDING MOTORBIKE IN VIETNAM. Well, back to the topic, the answer is IT IS RARELY. Reason: Before 2006, no one has a licence to ride a motorbike in Vietnam. Vietnamese people, also cops have been thinking like that for....the first day there was presence of motorbike in VN. Figure it out, Buddy. No adventure then no fun. Think like a Vietnamese cop: Why bother a white guy/girl when he or she couldn't speak the language? The fact that a Foreigner who couldn't speak the language and having the ball to ride motorbike in VN that is cool enough to....LET HE or SHE goes without hassles. Myself, paying bribe ONCE and no accident for + 2thousands of kilometers riding motorbike in Vietnam-Again, no insurance, no licence and helmet either....Use your common sense and be careful for...big trucks, buses because on the HWs of VN, these monsters somtimes pass you as of there is no presence of you on the road.

#20 Randy has been a member since 3/2/2011. Posts: 28

Posted by Randy on 27/8/2012 at 23:57

I believe it is about 1700kilometers b/t HCMC and Hanoi. Bicycling would take you a whole month, non-stop. That's not mention about Mekong Delta region of VN. Cycling tour of VN like you think? Better prepare to live in Vietnam for ...6 months on a row, Buddy!

#21 Randy has been a member since 3/2/2011. Posts: 28

Posted by clayinAsia on 30/8/2012 at 04:48

Posted from within Vietnam.

Motorcycles can be purchased and sold by foreigners. Manytravelers opt to buy their own bike and drive it throughout the country. A lotof drivers prefer to start in Hanoi and drive to Saigon on the world-famous HoChi Minh trail popularized by the British "Top Gear" series. Manypeople are unsure about the legality of purchasing bikes in Vietnam.Technically it is illegal for foreigners to own bikes in Vietnam without theproper documentation. However, this law is not enforced and thousands flock toVietnam annually to buy bikes and ride them all over the country. It ispossible to convert your driving license from your home country to a Vietnameselicense, but few people go through this trouble. It is a well-known fact amongriders that the police in Vietnam are highly unlikely to carry out routinetraffic stops on foreigners. As long as the driver cares for his or her ownsafety and the safety of other motorist they can go the entire trip withouthassles. Most vendors do not sell bikes they only rent them. There are sometrusted companies selling bikes in Hanoi with good track records.

Contact the foreign owned and operated Vietnam Motorbikes

#22 clayinAsia has been a member since 25/8/2012. Posts: 4

Posted by ncsuang on 19/10/2012 at 07:04

Posted from within Vietnam.

So I came across this thread after just being stopped north of Ha Giang a few hours ago. Let me first say that I'm an asian American and people mistake me for Vietnamese all the time so the idea of wearing full face helmets and big jackets might do more harm than good. They were stopping almost everyone. I didn't do enough research to find out you need a license and insurance to drive in Vietnam, stupid I know. Anyways, I'm hoping it doesn't happen again. They wanted 600,000 dong but then dropped it to 200,000 but then eventually they let me go. One guy was nice, the other guy not so much. I don't know how common these check points are but I am very close to the military area near the Chinese border.

#23 ncsuang has been a member since 19/10/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by Drybones on 9/5/2013 at 02:21

I will be going to Vietnam in June 2013 and wish to obtain a Vietnamese drivers licence. I noticed that a company called An Khang is offering this service on Travelfish (post no 23 - 30/8/12). Has anyone heard of this company and/or used the service? This seems to be an easy way to get a licence - I have a full UK driving car and motorbike licence. The VN licence will be sent to my UK address via DHL (additional cost) or I could collect it in Ho Chi Minh city. The cost will be $75 and I am wondering if this is legal or a scam as I do not have to make a personal appearance in any VN office.

#24 Drybones has been a member since 6/5/2013. Posts: 6

Posted by BanzaiSchnitzel on 27/5/2013 at 13:54

Eagerly awaiting an answer to the above post on this company too 'An Khang' if its legit and i don't have to post original documents i'm well up for paying 75bucks. I have a UK bike and car license and have previously driven all over India without proper legality, but would rather drive legally if its straightforward enough to sort out, and If its possible to have a Vietnamese license pre-prepared that'd be great. I'm going for 3 weeks in August and won't have time to sort this out on the ground when i arrive there.... Any experience with this company anyone, please let us know!!

#25 BanzaiSchnitzel has been a member since 27/5/2013. Posts: 4

Posted by douluvme49 on 27/5/2013 at 15:33

hey banzai
from what i understand, it is illegal for a foreigner to ride a bike or car in vietnam. I know people that live in Vietnam , and have lived their for years and they do not hold any kind of Vietnamese lisences. I'm assuming what An Khang is trying to sell you isn't real, but I dont know. We rode all over the country and had no problems, nor did people we spoke with. We passed by many police and never were stopped They would say hello and let us be on our way.
We checked into our International Drivers lisences, but even those aren't valid in Vietnam.

Are you riding a motorbike in Vietnam? is that your plan? Are you renting or buying?

Best way to travel Vietnam, hands down , was by motorbike! Well scooter... lol.'

Have a blast.

#26 douluvme49 has been a member since 4/2/2011. Posts: 33

Posted by BanzaiSchnitzel on 27/5/2013 at 16:19

Hey douluvme
Thanks for the reply [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]
Yeh from what I've read international bike/car licenses aren't valid in VIetnam. If you want to be 100% covered getting a Vietnamese license is possible without a test but it takes at least 9 days on the ground.. I agree the An Khang site could be anything from a fake to a fraud, or a legit remote service.. There's really no way to tell unless its been tested...

The plan is to fly Into Saigon (because its cheaper), then fly straight to Hanoi as I wanna spend time In the north., then rent or buy a Minsk to see the hills on if i can find one. I'll need to be back in Saigon 3 weeks later.. So No idea where it could take me, im super super exited...

Ultimately license or no license its being done! I've always been conscious enough on the roads, and I have enough experience with bikes to know their hazards, so I'm confident it'll be great if I use my head. keep a pocket full of dong handy [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img] and hope the police are as friendly as everybody is saying! A real license would just give me full peace of mind though. Regardless of how I conduct myself I can't fully account for anybody else, especially children or wildlife.
I agree too the best way to see everywhere is by bike :) Any tips on the north? Special places?

#27 BanzaiSchnitzel has been a member since 27/5/2013. Posts: 4

Posted by douluvme49 on 27/5/2013 at 16:26

I didn't even have a drivers lisence when we went...
if your looking to buy a bike go to Hanoi backpacker Hostel (the new one, sorry i cant remember street names). Ask at the front desk, a lot of the times ppl trying to sell them make posters there. We heard a lot of bad things about Minsk. I'd go with the Honda Winn (they aren't real honda winns ,prob chinese... but easy for parts... we heard the minsks break down a lot).

We didn't spend a lot of time in the North as we fell in love with a place called phong nha farmstay.
We spent the majority of our time at a place called Phong Nha Farmstay. The owner Ben is super fun, its beautiful to ride around. Lots of caving, trekking, and just roads that go on for days with beautiful scenery. Again, not a ton of tourists but really nice. His wifes name is Bich. If you are easy going, not high maintenance... its a great place. Ppl that are expecting high high end hotels end up being let down. But, for 2 of us we spent approx 50-70$ a day when staying here. Great food, great drinks, lots of laughs and fun!

Our friend Minh (another local from the North) .. when we were there had started his own hotel in his hometown, about 2 hours from Hanoi. No tourists, very real, pretty etc. I dont know what he charges , or if he charges anything... we just paid for our meals and offered to fill up the bike with gas (we had already sold ours so he came and picked us up)... but theres lakes and chickens and... just a fantastic experience. If you have facebook, look up Minh Nguyen Quang and tell him Kristin told you to contact him. He actually came to Sapa with us for fun.

im so jelous. i would go back in a heartbeat. Actually, a friend we made at the Farm (local vietnamese ) is here visiting us now (Canada)!

Another place we realy enjoyed was called Jungle Beach. Its a little further south. but a great place to relax. meals included. and if you have a bike its easy to get too.

Find me on fb if you have any questions. Kristin Johnson My profile pic is of me and my boyfriend in thailand standing on a beach in front of a big rock.

Cheers :)

#28 douluvme49 has been a member since 4/2/2011. Posts: 33

Posted by Drybones on 28/5/2013 at 10:00

Further to my post (#25) on 9/5/13 I decided to go ahead and use the services of An Khang. They have been very prompt in answering my many queries. I had to send a copy of my UK licence, passport, photo and visa (I have a 5 year visa exemption certificate) .

Within 12 days I received an email showing both sides of my Vietnamese Driving licence (VDL) together with the 'official' stamps on the documents I sent.
The VDL shows that, despite having a full motorbike and car UK licence, I can only drive a 2 wheeler up to 175ccs. However it allows me to drive up to a 9 seater car!

When I asked about sending money to them I was told that I could collect theVDL at their office and that they would collect the fees on the day of my departure from VN. I will post details of how this works out later.

One thing I did learn was that, as from 1st January 2013, the VN government changed the law for foreigners requesting a VDL - the VDL is only valid for the duration of the visa - if you have a 90 day visa you only get a 90 day VDL. A VDL cannot be renewed - the whole process must start again.

In my case my exemption certificate expires on 1/2/14 - so will my VDL. When I get a new exemption certificate I will have to apply for a new VDL - this will expire in 5 years.

#29 Drybones has been a member since 6/5/2013. Posts: 6

Posted by BruceHaydon on 28/5/2013 at 21:51

Fist rule in Vietnam : No rule . Go ahead and do it .

In the North of Vietnam , you must visit Mucangchai ( wonderful rice paddies ) , Sapa , Bac Ha , Hagiang ( Dong Van , Meo Vac ) Babe Lake , Ban Gioc Water Fall . There is wonderful route to ride .
The Hostel someone mention before stay at number 6 Luong Ngoc Quyen Streets , and you can buy a bike there at the motorbike shop on number 5H same streets .
Tips : Bike a buy from mechanic guys , it could be a bit more expensive but at least they serviced the bike . They also can give you lots of advice for the road , accommodations ....etc.
Ride like a local , use the horn , wear helmet and don not over the speed limit then you will be ok .

Have Fun !

#30 BruceHaydon has been a member since 18/5/2013. Posts: 6

Posted by BanzaiSchnitzel on 30/5/2013 at 05:13

Hey guys
Thanks very much for for your replies! :)
Douluvme- that's cool thank you! We'll see if we can reach out to your friends too :)
Drybones- that's awesome! I'm gonna see if I can do this when we have our visas - do you know if a certain type of visa is required for the application?? 1/3 month??
Bruce- thanks too! You seem to know the north well, we may reach out to you for more advice if that's okay? Can't wait to see the north, is it easy to get into Laos by road too? How long might journeys take, I was interested in Luang Prabang for one thing? Any more advice would be great!

My girlfriend and I will fly to Saigon early Aug then I think straight up north to Hanoi, our schedule isn't set yet but we have basically 3 weeks and are more interested in the north and central areas so will look to spend most of this time up there... One complication is that we'd love to see Phu Quok island in the south for a few days. Either we use many internal flights to achieve this or we try to motorcycle south. We were going to travel over land from the north to hoi an area anyway. But is it too ambitious to take a bike all the way from north back to Saigon? If anyone has an idea on how long this might take I'd be interested to hear from you! :)

The reason I was interested in a Minsk is because me and my girlfriend will be traveling on one bike, potentially with two bags, so we'll need something with a little more power.

We are super exited and can't wait!!

#31 BanzaiSchnitzel has been a member since 27/5/2013. Posts: 4

Posted by douluvme49 on 30/5/2013 at 08:05

We were running low on time so we arranged to take our scooters on the bus overnight. They put it in the under carriage. I think we paid an extra 60$ ... maybe more, I can't remember.. to take the bike. If you stop at Phong Nha Farmstay in Central Vietnam they can help arrange to put the bikes on the bus to somewhere close to Phu Quok.

I know its possible to ride to Laos, our friend did it... but I dont know much about it... other then that the border ppl gave him a bit of a hard time. He's Vietnamese descent but from I'm not quite sure how it would be being a traveller.

Most ppl do the whole trip North to South (Hanoi to Saigon) in 3 weeks. Thats a lot of riding though, and not much time to stop and see everything.

Hoi An's super cute! You'll love it!

Drive safe!

#32 douluvme49 has been a member since 4/2/2011. Posts: 33

Posted by Drybones on 2/6/2013 at 07:11

Re my post (#30) on 28/5/13 I am led to believe that in order to get a VDL it is required to have a visa of at least 90 days.

Meanwhile my plans have changed slightly. I will now be returning to the UK via Hanoi as we intend to visit Halong Bay. I guess I will pay An Khang for my VDL on arrival (their office is only about 7 km from the airport) instead of paying on departure - I suppose it would be unreasonable to expect them to go to Hanoi for their fee :-)

#33 Drybones has been a member since 6/5/2013. Posts: 6

Posted by Drybones on 24/6/2013 at 19:40

Posted from within Vietnam.

Update on my licence application - I went to An Khang's office in HCM city and was given my VDL by an assistant.
He told me to phone An Khang to arrange the collection of the fee ($75) when I return to UK from Hanoi on 12 July.
I think that this is very trusting of him. Apparently he wants to ensure that I know the VDL is genuine.

So I am the proud owner of a Vietnamese driving licence that so far has cost me nothing!

#34 Drybones has been a member since 6/5/2013. Posts: 6

Posted by BanzaiSchnitzel on 15/7/2013 at 04:10

Hey Drybones,

I've been all over the place the last month and just read your post.. Firstly how was your trip? Back in one piece? Any particularly awesome places you visited that you didn't want to leave?

Me and lady fly out early August and can't wait, I have a few weeks to sort out my license app' but I wanted to check back with you first. Did the whole licensing business work out? My biggest question is Whether you were stopped by police and did they accept the license as valid? This is the whole point for me so any experience would be valuable. I think you are the first to do the remote application and write about it :)remote VDL pioneer! Haha

Secondly, what bike did you have? Rent/buy? And did you also have some insurance?
Tell us about it if you have a moment mate!


#35 BanzaiSchnitzel has been a member since 27/5/2013. Posts: 4

Posted by Drybones on 15/7/2013 at 06:00

Posted from within Vietnam.

Re post 36
I checked with the police and the licence is valid. When we returned from Cambodia we spent a couple of days in Saigon. I decided to visit An Khang office to pay the $75 rather than in Hanoi . The office is genuine & well established. I received a receipt for the money and didn't actually check it until I received a call from Mr Khang saying I paid too much($120). He was very keen to return the excess despite me telling him I paid the correct amount. Anyway after much discussions & phone calls it turned out the receptionist had made a mistake on my receipt - she put $120. I was very impressed with Mr Khangs honesty.
Renting a bike was a bit of a problem in Soc Trang but ok in Vung Tau. My travel insurance covered me for small motorbikes, as long as I had a valid licence. I did not attempt to rent in Hanoi or Saigon, you will understand why when you get here:)
We did the trip to Halong Bay - the 3 hour drive there and 3 hours back was a bit tiring. The tour guide, Mike, was excellent.
4 hours on the boat with kayaking & cave visiting thrown in was fine for us. Some people may prefer overnighting on the boat.

BTW we used Vietnam Airlines from the UK and were upgraded to business class using Optiontown - I definitely recommend this as the way to go. We were also upgraded on the flight from Saigon to Hanoi.

#36 Drybones has been a member since 6/5/2013. Posts: 6

Posted by gecktrek on 28/7/2013 at 18:08

Did a 3 weeks motorbike trip in Feb/Mar through the central highlands; Ho Chi Minh, Binh Chau, Mui Ne, Da lat, Nha Trang, Buon Ma Thuot, Gia Nghia, Phuoc Long & Ho Chi Minh, all up about 1500kms... didn't have a VN driving license, but did have my local and an international licenses, which enabled me to get travel insurance for my time riding motorcycles whilst in VN... luckily, didn't get pulled over by any police or have any accidents, awesome experience!

#37 gecktrek has been a member since 24/3/2013. Location: Australia. Posts: 147
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Posted by travworld on 3/8/2013 at 08:20

Posted from within Vietnam.

Been driving here for 2 years , never been stopped, were a helmet use your signals , no one bothers you , have a accident and its your fault, expect to pay a couple million dong for damage . Police can be bought for a small price . I am from USA . Drive safely .

#38 travworld has been a member since 9/7/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 23
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Posted by Blackartemis on 4/8/2013 at 02:22

Anyone know if I can ride legally and get insured while riding on a Thai/ASEAN Motorcycle DL, supposedly I am now legal to ride in 10 countries.

As for "just doing it" that is horrible advice, sure it works out fine if you never have or cause and accident. But in SEA countries there are tons of stories of tourists out a ton of $ due to accidents without insurance. On top of that, most tourists suck are riding even a scooter and have no idea how to ride without endangering themselves and others. If you cause the death of a local and do not have a DL or insurance, have fun paying your way out of that one. 5+ years of riding in Thailand has shown me too many horror stories to back such advice...

#39 Blackartemis has been a member since 16/7/2011. Posts: 36

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