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SE Asia Includes Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, plus Indonesia
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

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Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



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  • 1 Post By AnTyx
  • 1 Post By AnTyx

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  #1  
Old 29 Aug 2022
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Vietnam scooter tour operators

Hi,

A friend and I are discussing going to Vietnam at the end of next year. My friend has not ridden a motorbike but has experience on a scooter. Are there any tour operators who offer scooter tours?

Cheers,

Dale
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  #2  
Old 29 Aug 2022
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Yes, loads. Any bike rental/tour operator will have a choice of scooters (aka automatic bikes in Vietnam terms), semi-automatic (manual gearshift but auto-clutch, like the old Super Cubs) and manual gearbox bikes.

I would recommend https://qtmotorbikesandtours.com.vn/ from personal experience, but that was years ago. They do guided/group tours as well, but they're located in Ha Giang, at the bottom of a natural mountain loop, so you can just rent bikes from them for 3-4 days and go do the loop at your own pace.
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  #3  
Old 29 Aug 2022
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OP, you're asking about "scooter tours," but for some reason I'm not clear whether you really want a "tour"--with a guide who arranges routes, food, accommodation, etc.--or just a rental. In any case, the fact that you're asking whether they even exist suggests an absence of any sort of prior research.

In the FWIW department, I met a couple of Germans who'd never ridden any sort of bike before. They rented little 125 automatics with GPS included and were able to navigate through Hanoi traffic down to the coast (where I met them) with no major difficulties--not as straightforward as it might sound. There are literally hundreds of rental agencies in all corners of the country which will give good prices on scooters like this, and most will provide guides as well. Any Google search will return endless possibilities.

That means your main issue is figuring out how to eliminate most of them from consideration in order to engage a good guide and a reliable bike. Decide what you want to do, for how long, who you want to do it with, where you want to start, and what sort of bikes you want to ride; use that to narrow the field as much as possible. Check reviews, for what that's worth, since a lot of these businesses come and go or can't be trusted.

If your bike choice is unusual (I rode a rented Honda 250, for which I paid rather dearly in local terms), your decisions will almost make themselves. If more in the mainstream as it sounds, well, you might have some hard choices to make. Personally, I'd follow trustworthy advice from others who'd done what you want to do....but in order to even ask you'll first have to be more specific about the parameters above.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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Old 30 Aug 2022
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I currently have 10 browser tabs open for tour providers alone. I have searched this forum and advrider forum as well as a google search. I have emailed some tour providers already. I can't think what more research I could have done, besides asking for opinions from people who have done it before. Sorry for that.

Anyway, I would like to do a guided tour, at least for my first trip to Vietnam. I am hoping there is someone who can recommend a good tour operator and then using that information make an informed choice.

Thanks AnTyx, I will check out QT motorbikes

Dale
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  #5  
Old 30 Aug 2022
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Mark is correct, but I can also appreciate that you are overwhelmed by contradictory possibilities. So, some input for you:

Vietnam is a large country with a large population, and defined by both a history of war/colonialism (flattening much of the historical architecture) and a history of a very strong will to industrialize and develop. This means two things for your trip: there is a LOT of Vietnam to see, and geographically most of it is going to be regular Vietnamese people living their regular lives, i.e. not much of interest to see for a tourist. You may have the obvious desire to do a long north-south motorcycle trip, but you'd spend the majority of it in traffic, seeing the same sort of industrial landscape.

Given that renting a scooter/bike is trivial in any part of the country - literally every backpacker hostel will have a deal with a local scooter shop to deliver one to the front door for you - I'd recommend keeping your riding to the areas where it's enjoyable, and doing the rest of the travel in the same way as the locals: by public transport, usually by air. Domestic air travel is dirt cheap, and there are comfortable long-distance sleeper buses for places without airports or train stations (e.g. Hanoi to Ha Giang).

Pick the pretty places to ride (Ha Giang loop, Sa Pa, Hue tombs / Hai Van Pass, etc.) and maximize the fun.
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  #6  
Old 7 Sep 2022
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Besides Ha Giang loop, you can consider doing Ninh Binh - Pu Luong route.
Use Hanoi, Danang (Hoian) and HCMC as a base and book with local scooter tour agent.
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  #7  
Old 7 Dec 2022
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Sorry to add a "tag on" question to this, but I'm wondering has anyone who has been riding in Vietnam been asked for the International Driving License? Quite a few sites say its mandatory, and if your Irish, its not possible to get the correct version. (1968 version is required in vietnam, but not available in Ireland).

Has anyone had any experience of this? Would one of the other versions do?

Thanks!
Merv.
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Old 8 Dec 2022
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Not necessary in any real sense. Certainly not in the rural areas with tourist loops, and pretty much not in big cities as well. As was explained to me, the traffic police in Vietnam are a separate force from the regular police, there's very few of them, and all they ever do is stand in the middle of an intersection pretending to regulate traffic.

Easiest way to be sure is to contact the agency you're renting from and ask if they're happy renting to you with just an EU Cat A license and no IDP.
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  #9  
Old 12 Dec 2022
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Vietnam - scooter operators & licences

For Hanoi scooters - Andy at Rentabike.vn was great with me a few months ago (+84823773333). You can ride or pillion. He also does airport meet'n'greet & transfer cars.

For licences - pretty much any bike rental site in SE Asia asks for that - but tour operators rarely ask for any licences & accept whatever you have. Consider copying & laminating your licence for use while out & about - with the original somewhere safe...
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