Are you looking to adventure on a budget? A motorbike in Vietnam adventure kills two birds with one stone.
In 2017, I embarked on a motorbike in Vietnam adventure spanning 2,000km from the north to the south of Vietnam and it only cost just under $1,000 for the whole month!
Here is the cost break down below:
Motorbike In Vietnam Adventure: Costs for one month
Bike Accessories : $45
If you are looking for other budget travel trips, read these:
And if you want to save some money before you travel:
Motorbike In Vietnam Route:
A scenic route that is good for bikers to ride is from the North to the South of Vietnam.
You can start in Hanoi, go up around the north, then make your way to the south and end up in Ho Chi Minh City.
Here is a picture of the route, you can follow it but feel free to amend it, as you see fit.
It is very important for you to study the map every evening and plan the location you want to ride to and how long it will take.
Use google maps to decide how long and then add two more hours. A lot of the roads are windy, so you will end up riding slower than you think.
I wouldn’t recommend riding more than 6-7 hours and you should also ALWAYS arrive before sunset.
Because on day one of my motorbike in Vietnam adventure, I tried this and nearly ended up getting killed.
Lots of roads in the countryside don’t have street lamps and your motorbike light won’t be enough.
There will be lots of crazy truck drivers going at mad speeds with no intention of stopping, so you are increasing the risk of an accident.
Also, at night there are these weird bugs that end up making your eyes itchy.
Trying to ride at night with watery itchy eyes, it is a recipe for disaster!
Just don’t do it.
Tip. The more treacherous or less scenic parts of the journey can be done via train or bus. Your motorbike can be brought and stored on either.
Ask your bike rental company for more advice on this but it’s entirely possible and has been done many times before.
Motorbike In Vietnam Adventure – What bike to rent: $300
The first step is to find a motorbike shop that allows you to rent motorbikes long-term and allows you to pick it up and drop it off at different locations.
Motorbikes can be rented Hanoi and dropped it off in Ho Chi Minh.
3 main rental providers specialize in long term rentals for motorcycle tours:
I used Style Motorbikes because they spoke English and they provided really useful maps and itineraries for the journey.
They also provide motorbike and lessons before your trip, to get you confident riding on the road.
It cost me $300 to rent a 250cc* manual motorbike for one month.
On top of that, I paid $30 for a helmet and $15 for gloves. Don’t skimp on these two, they are non -negotiable if you want to live during your motorbike in Vietnam adventure.
*CC is the size of the bike engine. On a basic level, the higher the cc, the faster the bike.
Motorbike In Vietnam Adventure- Accommodation: $10 per night
If you are livin la Vida broka’ and need to keep your budget low, stay in hostels and homestays.
Some places were as cheap as US$5, but I paid no more than US$10 per night for accommodation.
You can book this one booking.com but you can also just walk into a guesthouse and ask if they have any free room. ALWAYS negotiate the price.
Also, if you are looking for free accommodation during your travels read this:
Motorbike In Vietnam Adventure- Food: $10 per day
Food in Vietnam is cheap, and always delicious.
I spent no more than US$10 on meals per day.
Tip. Try and book accommodation that provides breakfast as part of the price. Most hostels provide basic breakfast items like toast, cereal, etc.
In terms of other food, I remember paying $1 for a huge bowl of ‘pho’, a noodle soup,
I would normally eat fried rice or stir-fried veg and rice, which cost around US$1.50.
Motorbike In Vietnam- Miscellaneous costs: $55
There were a few miscellaneous costs like when my motorbike tire burst or when I wanted to buy sweets or spend a bit more money on a meal.
It is good to give yourself some breathing space in case accidents crop up, which they inevitably do.
Motorbike In Vietnam- What to pack
The key here is to pack light, as your motorbike will already be quite heavy.
Ideally, it should weigh no more than 15kg, so if you can’t lift your backpack with one arm, then you have overpacked.
You can use bungee cords to strap your bag to the back of the bike
Tip. Buy extra bungee cords, as some of them will snap on the way and you don’t want to faff about trying to fix bungee cords.
Also, make sure you protect your belongings from the rain with a waterproof bag cover.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think ahead so I just used a black bin bag. Equally effective, less glamorous.
Motorbike In Vietnam- Essential and non- essential packing items
3 tank tops,2 shorts, 2 pairs of trousers, one to relax in, one to ride in,2 shirts, a jacket, trainers, 2 socks flip flops, a raincoat (very important), 7 pairs of underwear, a quick-dry towel, a scarf, deodorant, a battery pack, painkillers sun cream, antihistamines and (if you are a Females : 3 bras and tampons).
A comfortable but smart-ish dinner outfit. There may be occasions when you want to join travelers you meet on the way for dinner. I just brought a light dress.
A small blanket (similar to the ones you get on planes), body cream and makeup for females. I just packed eyeliner, concealer, and mascara because despite no nobody has time to see pictures of me looking like a dog’s arsehole on Instagram.
Speaking of IG, I’d love to connect! Here is mine aishapreece
Motorbike In Vietnam Adventure – What to wear
I already mentioned that you need to have a helmet and gloves, but unless you want to ride around flashing everyone in the countryside, you need to plan what you are going to wear.
Wear clothes that protect you if you have an accident. This means you are going to need proper shoes, DO NOT ride in your flip flops.
- When you need to brake suddenly on a motorbike, flip flops won’t give you much grip
- You will shred you toes to pieces in an accident
- It’s quite painful to change gears using a clutch, on a motorbike, with no shoed
Look after your toes and they will look after you 🙂
Although not as good as proper boots, a pair of comfy slip-ons like TOMS will do the job.
Motorbike In Vietnam Adventure: Things you should know
- Prepare to occasionally look like a drowned rat
There will be occasions when it rains. If you are trying to get to your next location before sunset you might need to ride on through the rain.
It’s ok. Stick your raincoat on, wrap your luggage with a waterproof bag and ride on, but expect to look like a drowned rat. Rock the look, your future soul mate won’t care.
- Potholes galore
There will be many potholes, some may be so deep they go past your ankles!
It is important to ride slow when you see potholes, as they can catapult the motorbike and make you lose control and crash.
- The street lamps must be shy
There is a distinct lack of street lamps as you navigate further into the countryside. This can be especially dangerous at night, as it will be difficult to see any potholes or debris on the road.
So, if you want to do a motorbike adventure in Vietnam, always plan to arrive before nightfall, especially when you are riding through the countryside.
- Nutty lorry drivers
After riding in Vietnam for 30 days, I concluded that all the lorry drivers in Vietnam are a bit nuts. So, you are going to need to practice defensive riding if you want to keep safe.
Stay clear of them, don’t ride near their vehicle, as its likely they can’t see you
Give them way and let them hurtle past you at breakneck speed.
If you ride during the rainy season (May- October), please be aware of the floods.
Riding in the floods feels like swimming with a 180kg piece of metal and your wet backpack.
Also, your engine might cut out. So, try and ride during the morning and plan your journey to accommodate the rain.
Motorbike In Vietnam Adventure– Notable IG worthy spots
There are popular but also lesser-known spots which I recommend visiting :
2.Cat Cat Village
- Detian WaterFalls
- Hai Van Pass
- Ba be lake
8. Quang Ngai- Fishermans Village
- Cao Bang
There you have it. A motorbike in Vietnam adventure for under $1,000.
This trip can be done solo or with friends, and you will see and experience things that you will reminisce on for life.
I remember riding through the windy roads of Ha Giang feeling like I was in an Avatar scene.
The roads were covered in misty clouds and small little waterfalls cascaded onto the roads surrounded by green mountains. Everything was silent except for the gentle rumble of my motorbike echoing into the valley….
Then some mountain kids robbed my gloves -_- but that’s a story for another day!
If you are looking to earn some money on the road, it’s worth reading these articles. I did a few and it paid for my entire trip!
How to Become an Online Teacher (and earn $6,000 per month!)
How to Become an Online Editor (9 Easy Steps)