Coming to Vietnam, many foreign travelers love spending their time chasing the wind on the road of the wildly mountainous areas by motorbike. However, roads in mountainous areas are always hidden surprises that the only funds used to drive traffic in plain difficult to anticipate. Below are the tips for travelers who love motorbike traveling.
Why choose a motorbike for traveling?
Motorbike is considered the best means of transportation for travelling mountainous areas due to its convenience and initiative. One is free to go wherever he loves, despite all kinds of road’s condition with a motorbike. He can stop whenever he feels like to relaxing or take photographs, instead of depending on the driver or tour guide. The motorbike helps integrating people with nature, fresh air, and one will never be afraid of motion sickness. With a car, people are likely to waste hours sleeping in passenger’s seat with air condition, not to mention the car sick caused by consecutive slopes and mountain passes. Riding on the motorbike means living on every single kilometer of your itinerary! Moreover, one can ride a motorbike in any kind of terrains, and it is much easier to repair in case of breaking down.
Read more about Traveling skills by motorcycle for Backpackers.
What kind of motorbike should use?
The 100 cc-or-more semi-automatic motorbikes are all suitable for roads in the Northern Vietnam’s mountainous area. The main criteria for choosing motorbike are strong engine, gasoline-saving and flexible packing space.
The suitable time for using a motorbike!
Weather is one of the most essential issues regarding planning for motorbike trip. The best time for exploring those mighty areas is from late September to the beginning of December or after Tet Nguyen Dan, when there is almost no rain and the temperature is cool. The spring’s rain and summer’s heat in high region somehow are hazardous for health as well as damaging to the road’s quality.
There are indispensable things that one has to bring whenever travelling to remote areas such as specialized clothes and shoes, personal stuff, map, contact information and medical bags. However, a motorbike trip requires more than that. One will have to be well-prepared with a protective helmet and a motorcycle repair tool kit, and of course, certain skills of mending engine. An extra spark-plug and motorbike’s key are always in need. Remember to maintain the whole motorbike before setting off, change the oil and check its tyres, brakes, mirrors, horn and light. Fill up your motorbike with gasoline and know the location of gasoline station!
Read more about Personal effects for backpacking tourism by motorcycle
On the way
If possible, travelling in groups of two or three motorbikes with one experienced leader is advisable. All members of the group are required to have detailed itinerary to get rid the risk of getting lost. People should not ride parallel to each other and talk while controlling the motorbike, thus, stop the bike if feeling a need for a conversation.
Pay attention to the bend and ones driving contrariwise and do not drive into other lane. Sometimes, there may be animals like buffaloes, cows, dogs or even pigs crossing the road, so one should decrease the speed and avoid making them panic. At night or in rain weather, when the vision is limited, travelers had better pause the journey for resting and safety reasons.
And other things to remember
- Do not ride when you feel tired or sleepy
- Do not ride after drinking alcohol
- Avoid riding too fast or stop without noticing
- Observe carefully and pay attention to road signs
- Bring your identity paper and driving license because there will be police checking along the road (however, they will not be very strict to foreigners)
- Be extremely careful when crossing the stream; be sure about the depth of the water to have the best arrangement
- Respect the ethnic minority people and their distinctive culture
- Protect the environment and always remember: Safe is of primary importance