Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Motorbikes are a Must!
Motorbikes will forever remind me of Vietnam. In no other country are the two-wheeled transport more ubiquitous. They are every where, clogging up the small streets of Hanoi and roaring through the big boulevards of Ho Chi Minh City. The traffic is so dense and the lack of traffic rules so rampant that just crossing the street seems like an Olympic exercise in timing and agility. At first you follow the locals, a bit timid. Eventually you gain enough confidence that you decide it’s time to ride a bike yourself.
It’s a good decision – do it! Riding a motorbike in Vietnam is a thrill. Take a motorbike taxi, a motorbike tour, or simply ride around aimlessly exploring unseen corners of local cities and the countryside. There’s a feeling of freedom and joy that will accompany your ride and certainly you’ll want to do it again. I know I did…I still do!
Travel Tip: Renting a motorbike in Vietnam is easy. There are many local travel agencies that can help you. Some hotels also offer rentals. For a full 24 hour day, expect to pay between $5-$10, plus gas. Some rental companies include insurance, others do not. Make sure you’re provided with a helmet and wear it. It’s also a good idea to get a bike lock from the rental agency. In Vietnam, you drive on the right and I would suggest avoiding driving at night before you’re experienced on the roads.