Tips for motorcycling trips in the Northern Vietnam

When traveling, besides visiting famous tourist destinations, many adventure lovers want to spend time on a motorbike on windy roads of the mountainous provinces of North Vietnam. If you are one of them, let’s refer to some experiences below for a perfect motorcycling journey.

The reason for choosing a motorbike

In Vietnam, motorbikes are considered as the best and most convenient mean of transportation, so choosing a motorbike to travel to the mountainous areas will help you take the initiative in planning your trip. With a motorcycle, you will be free to go wherever you like. You can stop at any time on the road if you want to relax and take pictures, instead of depending on the schedule given by the tour guide. Driving yourself helps you get closer to the nature as well as the fresh air of the mountains. You will never be afraid of car sickness.

If you are in a car, you may spend time sleeping on the passenger seat with stuffy air, not to mention you will easily get tired because the car often bumped up the slope. Meanwhile, by motorbike you will be living fully on each kilometer of your journey. Moreover, you can go on any type of terrain and the bike is also easy to repair if unfortunately damaged along the way.

What type of car and departure time?

100cc street bikes are suitable for roads in the northern mountainous areas. The main criteria for choosing these vehicles are powerful engines, fuel economy and very easy to handle.

Weather is also an important issue to keep in mind when planning for a motorcycle trip. The best time for you to conquer the northern mountain ranges is from late September to early December, or after the Lunar New Year. Because during these periods, there will be less rain and cooler temperatures. The remaining of the year, spring rains and the heat of the summer may affects your health and safety.

Things you need to prepare

There are essential items that anyone should prepare when traveling to remote areas such as clothing, footwear, personal stuffs, maps, contact information and first aid kit. However, traveling on a motorcycle requires you to carry more than that. You must first prepare yourself a good helmet and a motorcycle repair kit, and of course you must also equip yourself with the skills to repair the engine. Before your trip, make sure you have your motorcycle recovered, check all the bike, and change the tires, check tires, brakes, mirrors and horns. You should also find out more information about gas stations along the way.

On the way

If possible, you should take in groups of two to three motorcycles, with experienced guide or leader. All team members must follow the schedule to avoid getting lost. People should not ride in parallel and talk while driving. If necessary, stop when you want to talk and exchange something with each other.

You also need to pay attention to the bends and the drivers going in the opposite direction, and definitely not be moving into the lane of other vehicles. Sometimes you can also see animals moving on the road such as buffalos, cows, dogs, even pigs, you should slow down and avoid making them panic. At night or during heavy rain, which limits visibility, you should pause for leisure and safety.

Important notes

• Do not drive when feeling tired or sleepy.

• Never drive after drinking.

• Avoid going too fast and stop abruptly without prior notice.

• Observe carefully and pay attention to road traffic signs.

• Be sure to bring your identification, driver's license.

• Be careful when crossing streams, be sure to water depth before crossing.

• Respect for ethnic minorities and their traditional culture.

• Protect the environment and you must always remember: Safety of yourself is the most important.