When it comes to motorbikes, Vietnam’s roads are made predominantly of tarmac or concrete. You’d be hard-pressed to find dirt roads along most routes unless veering off the beaten path. Almost all of them are well-driven, and it will be rare to find any not sealed in some way.
Although the condition of these sealed roads may not be the best, they still allow for more comfortable motorbike tours in Vietnam than the alternative. Ensuring you have a safe, properly guided motorcycle tour in Vietnam will be the wisest course of action and guarantee you will arrive safely on your motorbike.
Vietnam’s Best Motorbike Routes
A Vietnam motorcycle tour is very different from most countries. Generally speaking, road rules are more like guidelines than actual laws. It’s common for cars on the road to bully those riding motorbikes if they let them.
Space is a commodity on most highly-trafficked roads, and drivers will do anything to fill it in. Right of way is as foreign a concept to many Vietnamese drivers as following the traffic light indicators–only when the mood strikes. It’s often best to allow other drivers to get ahead and avoid risking possible injury due to negligence. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, getting the help of an experienced local driver is a good idea.
Regardless, Vietnam has some of the most beautiful landscapes and comfortable motorbike touring routes available in South East Asia. Some of these routes are widely known, whereas some can be considered hidden gems.
Ha Giang Loop
Ha Giang Loop is considered one of, if not the best, route in Vietnam for motorbike tourists. The route consists of tarmac and dirt roads, a stunning mountainous landscape with plenty of off-road areas of interest run by the locals.
Quy Nhon To Nha Trang
One of the most enjoyable motorbike ride in Vietnam has to be taking the coastal roads from Quy Nhon to Nha Trang. The road is around 200 km long and offers a fantastic view between the mountain and the sea. You’ll see plenty of beaches and fishing villages that you can stop at to enjoy chatting with the locals. The coastal ride is one of the biggest highlights when partaking in motorbike tours in Vietnam.
Central North Loop
To partake in Central North Loop’s entire breadth could take between ten and twenty-five days. The route is an epic adventure that begins by heading west to the Dien Bien Phu military relics site. You’ll loop your bike from here toward one of Vietnam’s premium tourist destinations, Sa Pa. The home stretch will find you at the northernmost point of Ha Giang, skirting the border of China and finishing just near Cao Bang.
Cao Bang to Ban Gioc Waterfall
If you’re still looking for more motorbike tours in Vietnam after finishing near Cao Bang, you may well wish to view the Ban Gioc Waterfall. Cao Bang has many exciting attractions and beautiful landscapes that continue to attract more and more tourists. The most sought-after attraction is the famous Ban Gioc Waterfall: the largest waterfall in Vietnam.
It just so happens that the ride from Cao Bang to the Ban Gioc Waterfall is one of Vietnam’s most satisfying motorbike routes. It’s a 190 km roundtrip that offers plenty of photo-stop opportunities and visits to local tribes: the Nung, the Hmong, and The San Chay people.
Hanoi to Sai Gon
A very well-known route is Hanoi to Sai Gon. The journey is another long one that sees you pass through the Northern, Central, and Southern regions of Vietnam. If visiting the country and its culture are the driving force behind your motorbike touring, then this is the route we recommend. Weather permitting, you’ll see the local population with their different vibrant cultures and delicious native cuisine.
Danang/Hue Central Loop
One of the shorter routes on the list is the Danang/Hue Central Loop. The DH Central Loop will bring you closer to the culture and history of Vietnam by routing you into the countryside amongst the relics left behind during the American War. The trip starts at the HCM Highway, traversing back through the ancient capital of Hue, and finally looping back toward Danang via the breathtaking Hai Van Pass over the mountain.
Ho Chi Minh Trail/Road
Originally built during the Vietnam War, the Ho Chi Minh trail contains several small paths stretching along the well-known Truong Son mountain range. Since 2000, the Ho Chi Minh trail has seen reconstruction limiting the number of off-road motorbike paths it once had. That said, it is still a great ride and a must-see for those who consider themselves fans of history. Thankfully, it still offers plenty of beautiful motorbike routes with a fantastic mountain view.
Now that you know Vietnam’s hidden gems, you can decide if a motorcycle tour through this beautiful country is right for you.