Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Southern Asia

Southern Asia Topics specific to Southern Asia, from Iran and Armenia east through Pakistan and India to China / Vietnam / Indonesia.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Motorcycle travel in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India...

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12 Nov 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 6
Riding in Vietnam...

Off to Hanoi in a couple of weeks. I'm planning on renting a small bike there (avoiding the hassle off having to sell it at the end) and ride around for a month. I haven't had much time to prepare this trip but I'm planning to head west from Hanoi to the Sapa region, do a loop from there to Halong bay and then head down south... I would like to avoid the big roads, keeping it rural as much as possible. Has anybody got good tips on the routes to follow?? I got myself a periplus country map which is not very detailed, will by regional maps once there...
Any tips more than welcome
Many thanks
Reply With Quote
Old 12 Nov 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 237
deep breath.....

If you search the forums using the search bar at the top right you will find loads of info about riding in Vietnam, more then enough for your trip to Sapa.

You can rent motorcycles from 'voyage vietnam' and 'Mr Cuong' in the north-east of the city, I believe the shops are opposite each other. Very reasonable prices. I dont think you can take them accross the 17th parallel though. You used to be able to pick up a bike in the south and drop it off in the north but thats not possible these days.

Routes can be found at 'minsk club vietnam . com'. Your route is well ridden and has made its way into the lonely planet guide. Its on the country roads here that you may ant to think about hiring a dirt bike, but then again the minsk is a pretty sturdy beast and almost everyone knows how to fix them.

Theres a couple of chaps (pete123 and someone else I forget...) on here who have ridden extensively in vietnam if you need any more info.

If air travel was cheaper Id be coming with you lol

best of luck!
Reply With Quote
Old 12 Nov 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Scotland
Posts: 27
The best road map you can get in Viet Nam is a road atlas available in the book shop next to thoung bac shopping centre in Ha Noi. I just cut out the pages I needed and it was fine. I rented a few different bikes form flamingo travel and would recommend them. They will be able to point you in the direction of the atlas..

I would highly recommend taking a bivvy bag or tarp and sleeping bag.. This way you can ride up a track and see where it takes you and if you don't make it to the next town with a b&b, no problem.. I found some amazing places this way that I would not have otherwise..

If you go through Bac Ha there was an English speaking guy in a cafe straight opposite the biggest hotel in town.. Can't remember names but he told me about some excellent offroad short cuts on the road North towards Ha Gaing..

Also, I found showing people maps when trying to find your way was not helpful but a piece of paper with the place name you are looking for writen on it works well.. Or you can try and pronounce it but the tones can be confusing..
Reply With Quote
Old 14 Nov 2009
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 20

I just returned from doing the Hanoi/Sapa loop. I rented an XR250 from Voyager Vietnam. They can provide you a map with great "off the beaten track" routes. I took a bus to Halong Bay. Don't miss it!
Reply With Quote
Old 15 Nov 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 6

Great! Thank you all

More and more, a Minsk seems the way to go, 'minsk club vietnam . com' is great! Thanks Tommy. I will hopefully find one to rent for a month without probs. I'll try Voyager Vietnam and Mr Coung. Musq, any idea of prices to rent? What papers do I need? Or do I really need any? Insurance (third party or something)?
I've also seen a few Minsks for sell over there, kind of hesitating but I'll see when I get there... Lambchop, I'm taking a light tent with me (has been very useful on previous touring trips) and will definitely get the road Atlas.
Reply With Quote
Old 15 Nov 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 237
Hey Vince, camping sounds like fun but It can get nippy up in the mountains (apparently) so take some thermals. I think you can buy insurance there, but thats all you need. I think renting is around 4 to 8 USD a day. You need to leave your passport with the rental agency so take coloured photcopies, laminated, so you can use them at guesthouses. Check this out:

Sapa (Northwest Vietnam Loop) - 1. Introduction.

Peace man.

Last edited by tommysmithfromleeds; 15 Nov 2009 at 16:48. Reason: Im a dumb ass
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Dec 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: vietnam
Posts: 47

Hi. Thanks Tommy.

I'm not sure if I'm too late? Sapa is great, a must-do but I'm not sure it's the ideal time. It's definitely winter here (24 degress) and will get colder as you head north.
Then again, you're English! Tough as old boots maybe? lol
On the other hand, it will be warmer, much warmer as you head south.
The trip from Hanoi via Halong starts ok ish but gets better and better.
From Hue to Hoi An via the Hai Van pass is unforgettable. I actually turned around and did it again.
I suppose it depends on whether it is 'the ride' or 'the culture' that you desire.
If it's the ride, I suggest the big loop but again the weather will not be as friendly as the people you'll meet.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Vietnam tommysmithfromleeds Southern Asia 26 8 Apr 2009 15:32
Special licence for riding & driving in Vietnam? phtest Southern Asia 1 26 Dec 2008 13:03
Need a riding partner for riding off road in Bolivia. gatogato South America 2 6 Feb 2008 19:42
Driving/riding in Vietnam?????????????? tnt go east Southern Asia 1 12 Oct 2006 10:18
Buying a bike in vietnam and riding JoeSheffer Southern Asia 1 3 Oct 2006 12:05


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:48.