Are you a motorbike passionate enthusiast? If yes, Ho Chi Minh which is home to a massive network of narrow alleyways and crazy traffic must be explored by you on 2 wheels. This ultimate guide to travel Ho Chi Minh by Motorbike give you as much as possible useful tips for driving a motorbike in the city on the cheaps and safe.
Pros and cons of travel Ho Chi Minh by Motorbike
Advantages of travel Ho Chi Minh by Motorbike
- Motorbike is a cheap mean of transportation. A motorbike rental price starts from 150,000 VND/day.
- Motorbike is the fastest and the most convenient type of transportation in Ho Chi Minh where the traffic is crowded and crazy. Especially in rush hours, some drivers drive on and over the pavements.
- Ho Chi Minh is home to a huge network of narrow back alleys in which there are hundreds of interesting things to do. Only motorbike can take you there.
- You could not explore local life in back alleys or see and smell the real life in the city on a bus, a taxi, or a private car but a motorbike.
Disadvantages of travel Ho Chi Minh by Motorbike
- It is not safe to ride a motorbike, especially for foreigners in the city because of crazy traffic.
- Snatch theft and pickpocket.
- Polluted air, noise, strong sun, and rain.
- Not all of the travelers are able to ride and have motorbike driving license motorbike.
- Some travelers are aware of sitting on the back of motorbikes.
- Motorbike taxi scams.
- Accidents caused by drunk or teenager drivers.
Tips for overcoming the disadvantages of motorbike and avoid motorbike scams in Saigon:
1. Crazy traffic safety tips:
- You can arrange to not go out during rush hours. If you must go out by motorbike during rush hours, you should drive slowly.
- The traffic in Ho Chi Minh is crazy even in non-rush hours. Many motorbike drivers drive on the lanes for vehicles that had more than four wheels such as cars, trucks. Some drive very fast up to 100 km/hours on the streets. So that you should drive in the right lanes for motorbikes, always wear the helmet.
2. How to avoid snatch theft and pickpocket?
- Do not wear jewelry, use your phone/camera without locks to take photographs or videos on a motorbike.
- Backpacks are better.
- Do not put the wallet in your pocket.
3. How to deal with polluted air, noise, strong sun, and rain?
- Wear a mask that costs a few thousand VND.
- Bring a raincoat with you.
- Wear sunglasses and gloves under the strong sun.
4. Dress code:
Shorts, trousers, shirts, T-shirts, coats.
Tips for passengers who sit on the back of a motorbike:
5. What to do if you are aware of sitting on the back of motorbikes?
- Tell the driver to drive slowly.
- Hold with at least one hand or two hands at the waist of the driver if he/she accepts or holds the grab rail around your seat.
- Put your feet onto two footrests.
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6. How to catch a motorbike taxi and avoid motorbike taxi scams?
Motorbike taxi drivers with their motorbike usually gather at corners which are next to tourist attractions, markets, offices, schools, universities, hospitals, etc. You can come and ask the drivers in Vietnamese if they are motorbike taxis, how much it costs to reach the destination. You should prepare notes on which written the address or show the address on your phone.
Motorbike taxi scams are common in the city. They scam even local people. For example, you agree with the price of 50,00o VND. However, when you arrive you are asked to pay 500,000 VND. The best way to avoid being ripped off is using Grab to book a ride. Using Grab, you know the exact fares even before you book, the driver’s name, review and rating, the vehicle registration number, location of the driver, and if he arrives at the pickup location. Do not forget to prepare VND cash including small cash for payment. 3G/4G/Wife is required to use the Grab App on your smartphone or tablet.
Read more about How to avoid motorbike taxi scams in Ho Chi Minh?
Tips for drivers:
7. How to rent a motorbike?
The procedure for renting a motorbike:
- Prepare a motorbike driving license.
- Find a trusted place for renting.
- Deal with the price.
- Inspect the rental agreement, the motorbike, and extras such as poncho, helmets, lock.
- Hand over your passport, give them your contact information, a deposit (if needed).
- Ask the renter for the nearest gas station where you fill the tank.
Read more about Ho Chi Minh Motorbike Rental Guide
8. How to convert your motorbike driving license into Vietnamese?
9. Where to rent a motorbike?
You can simply rent a motorbike from your hotel. In case the hotel does not provide the motorbike rental service, you can come to one of the Best 5 places to rent a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh:
Tigit Motorbikes, B2-00.01 Sarimi, Sala, 72 Nguyen Co Thach, An Loi Dong Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City. Website: https://www.tigitmotorbikes.com
Chi’s Cafe, 185/30 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Scooter Saigon Rental, 23 Han Mac Tu, Tan Thanh Ward, Tan Phu District. Website: https://saigonscooterrental.com/
Saigon Scooter Center, 151 Luong Dinh Cua Street, Binh An Ward, District 2. Website: http://www.saigonscootercentre.com/
Flamingo Travel, 30A Do Quang Dau Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1. Website: http://www.flamingotravel.com.vn/rentals/
Read more about Top 5 Motorbike Rental in Ho Chi Minh
10. How does a motorbike rental cost?
Rental costs range between 6 and 50 USD/day. The cost depends on the brand, engine capacity, model, manual shift/automatic shift, condition. usually includes one or two helmets, sometimes poncho, lock, and excludes petrol. However, the tank is enough for you to reach the nearest gas station. You can negotiate for better deals. The longer you rent the motorcycle, the lower the cost is. For example, a Honda Blade rental costs 10 USD/day and 250 USD/month.
11. What to inspect when renting a motorbike?
Remember to check side mirrors, scratches, proper tire inflation, engine, brakes, lights, horn, shocks, chain, scratch or crack on the motorcycle, contract or rental agreement before leaving with the motorbike.
12. How to find the nearest gas station?
You can use Google Map to find the nearest gas station in Ho Chi Minh.
How to find the nearest gas station? – Photo by Scooter Saigon Tour
13. How to fill the fuel?
The average price of fuel in Ho Chi Minh is 20,000 VND/liter. You can ask them to fill the tank or a half of the tank. It costs 50,000 – 70,000 VND to fill the tank. Pay attention when fueling and if it feels weird, do not do it.
14. How to park the motorbike and avoid being stolen?
Park your motorbike at parking where your motorbikes are taken care by parking attendants, get the parking lot ticket, which is usually a small thin paper with some information written on it, from the staffs and keep it carefully. In case you lose the ticket, the staffs require you to show the bluecard of the motorbike. Prepare USD small cash to pay the parking fee which is from a few thousand to a few ten thousand VND. You can find fee parking in the basements of buildings, around local markets, and some tourist attractions. Look for phrase “Trong Xe / Gui Xe / Giu Xe” written on a board/scrap of card indicating that a certain area is being used as bike parking.
Many shops, restaurants, cafes have parking attendants who are responsible to take care of customers’ motorbikes. Some require parking fee, some do not because the parking fee is included in the payment for foods, drinks, or products. They usually let you park right on the pavements in front of the shops/restaurants/cafes.
Do not leave your motorbike without attention because motorbike thieves in Ho Chi Minh are more and more clever. They are able to unlock your motorbike in a few seconds.
Parking sigh board in Bui Vien Street
The motorbike parking area at Cho Lon Bus Station
13. How to avoid being stopped by polices?
- Always wear your helmet.
- Turn on the lights at night.
- Push on/off button turn signal switch properly.
- Drive in the right lanes for motorbikes.
- Pay attention at dash lines and solid lines. street signs including speed limit signs on the street.
- Look how local drivers drive around you on the streets.
14. What to do if the motorcycle stop working?
Do not try to find a motorbike repair store on the way in Ho Chi Minh. Just contact the renter for his help. The reason is that some mechanic replaces some parts with bad accessories, which make the motorbike worse. And you will be responsible for all of the damage to the motorbike.
Motorbike tours in Ho Chi Minh
Enjoy Ho Chi Minh City by motorbike is one of the most interesting things to do. A motorbike can take you through zigzag main streets and alleys to see numerous hidden things from a luxury Ho Chi Minh which most of the travelers can see on their trip by car/bus/taxi. Instead of driving yourself in Ho Chi Minh and handling many problems, you can simply book a motorbike tour on which the driver (tour guide) takes care of you as well as possible. Just sit on the back of a motorbike and let the driver show you Ho Chi Minh on the way and at each stop. There are many Ho Chi Minh motorbike tours that you can join: