If you are thinking of buying a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh then here are some hints, tips and information. Whether you are staying in Saigon for a while and need a motorcycle to run around on or are thinking of traveling Vietnam by motorbike then this page will help you out.
In Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi you can get to District one and buy or sell your bike over there.
if you wanted to sell it fast. Website Craigslist, also Facebook groups.
Where to buy a motorbike?
For rental companies, there are a select few reputable establishments that operate between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi with long distance rentals. These companies can be found sitting at the top of google searches, Trip Advisor, Facebook and instagram. It is a good idea to check reviews across multiple platforms and see if the company is providing good feedback across the board.
It is not wise to use the small backstreet rental companies, this is where the scams start to happen such as overcharging for scratches. Just remember the good rental companies take their reputation incredibly seriously and the chances of a bad motorbike or a failed holiday are slim.
For Chinese motorbikes the options are Craigslist, Travelswop, Hostels and Facebook groups when looking to buy a motorbike.
Craigslist is mostly the smaller dealers with nearly no reputation promoting the same motorbikes over and over again. They are a quick and easy way to find a cheap motorbike, but it should be expected that the quality is not particularly high. They are mostly flipping motorbikes for a quick buck. The price will be higher than a backpacker to backpacker sale, but even the shady dealers avoid the completely useless motorbikes. Combining the time they save by stocking motorbikes all in one place, and removing the completely broken down rubbish means that there is some value to their service. Keep an eye out for people “delivering motorbikes for free”, this is never going to end well.
A mostly broken and outdated website that still ranks highly in google. The Hanoi companies have manipulated the system so they always appear at the top. This website is now providing nearly no value to help buy a motorbike.
Which Motorbike Should I Buy?
Here I will give you the common motorbike options. In short, the best motorbike in Vietnam for me was the Honda Win, but that might not be to everyone’s liking.
Honda Dream, full-automatic, 100cc scooter. Price Range USD 200-300
Honda Wave, semi-automatic 100cc motorbike. Price Range: USD 200-300
Russian Minsk, clutch 125cc motorbike. Price Range USD 400+
Honda Win, clutch 110-125cc motorbike. Price Range USD 300-400
Although automatics are made by real companies such as Yamaha or SYM, in the $300.
Honda Wave & Honda Dream
If you want to go out looking incompetent and not looking a real biker then you can go for the Honda Wave or Dream. You get a nice comfy seat and a bike that changes gears easy. Really though, where is the fun in that? Would you really have motorbiked Vietnam or just scooter’d it?
The best motorbike in Vietnam is no doubt the Honda Win. It has the best value for money and provides the best riding quality. With the Honda Win, you will be accepted by fellow riders as having a real motorbike. Importantly, the Honda Win will also offer that clutch control needed to ride the high mountain passes in northern Vietnam.
The Honda Win will break down as all motorbikes in Vietnam do. However, in the long run, the Honda Win in Vietnam is truly indestructible. Replacing a chain will cost up to $5 and even blowing up an engine will only cost $50 each time.
Follow this article: The Best Motorbike Rental shop in Ho Chi Minh City.
What to Check Before You Buy
If you have never ridden a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh, welcome. let me start by telling you that all budget second-hand motorbikes will have been crashed at some point. If you’re being told otherwise, it’s a lie.
Since these motorbikes have been crashed, they’ve been damaged, and not all have been repaired properly. Here are a few basic checks to make before you buy a motorbike in Vietnam:
- Check the rear swing arm is straight, those 2 forks holding the rear wheel in place. If the rear swingarm is bent then your ride will veer to the side every time you pass over a rumble strip or pothole.
- Check the headlight works and is powerful. Riding at dusk or night in Vietnam is going to be one of the most dangerous things you do in Asia. You are not always going to reach your destination in daylight hours, so be prepared.
- Make sure your battery properly charges and holds a charge. This is the steady power supply for your headlight if the battery is no good you’re going to have a weak headlight.
- Double check the horn works. This is your new voice on the road, and you won’t survive far without it.
- Test the front brake before riding to quick. I didn’t, mine didn’t work properly, and I ended up running into a roadside stall before the deposit had even been paid while on the test run.
- Check that the motorbike has it’s Blue Card (registration papers)
Typical Cost of Motorbike Repairs
There’s no point denying the fact that your motorbike is going to break down. It’s inevitable. Here are some of the common breakdowns and how much you should expect to pay.
- Repair a tyre tube – VND 30,000 (USD 1)
- Change tyre tube – VND 50,000 (USD 3)
- Change an entire tyre – VND 200,000 (USD 9)
- Tighten chain – VND 30,000 (USD 1)
- Change engine oil and filter – VND 150,000 (USD 6.5)
- Repair cracked motorbike frame – VND 200,000 (USD 9)
- Replace rear swing arm bolt – VND 200,000 (USD 9)
Some repairs I recommend you learn to do yourself include; change the spark plug, clean the spark plug, adjust the brake and clutch cables, pump up your tyres.
See more: Bicycle rental in Ho Chi Minh.
The Blue Card
You might see people talk about blue card this and blue card that. The blue card is just the registration to the motorbike. Only buy a motorbike if it has a blue card.
I think you’re supposed to carry it with you, but most expats don’t seem to carry it when they ride the motorbike. The police just want a bribe anyway.
On the rare occasion that they seize your bike, then you go to the station and hand them the blue card and some tea money. Don’t worry if it’s not in your name. They just want the VIN and license plate number to match.
Ok, now that we got that out of the way we can go over the different type of bikes depending on your budget.
Do I need a license to ride a motorbike in Vietnam?
Yes. If you are working in Vietnam for long time. You need a license to drive any motorbike over 50cc.
Getting a license is difficult for foreigners. Vietnam also does not accept an International Driver’s license, so you have to get the license. That means you have to take a driving test and do a written test in Vietnamese. You can also bribe them for a license because “lol Asia.”
However, 99% of expats do not have a license and drive bikes over 50cc. Honestly, the police don’t care if you have a license. They just want a bribe when they pull you over, which I never advise breaking the law…
If you were to bribe the police it would cost 200.000 Vnd ($8.80). They might threaten to seize your bike or want a $100 bribe. Just ignore them and give them 200.000 Vnd. They’re too lazy to seize your bike.
Long story short, get your motorbike license to remain 100% legal for health insurance and stuff. Ride without a license at your own risk.
Safe trip good shop motorbike rental da Nang.
Interesting Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh City may not be the capital of Vietnam (that’s Hanoi in the north), but it’s the country’s largest and most visited city. There are so many awesome things to do in Ho Chi Minh that it’s no wonder this is one of the top places to visit in Vietnam.
The city formerly known as Saigon was nearly destroyed in the not-too-distant past, but it has rebuilt and is now the financial center of Vietnam. This is a place where you’re constantly reminded of the history, yet also always getting glimpses into the future.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at what to do in Ho Chi Minh to help you plan your adventure in this bustling metropolis!
Ben Thanh Market
If you need to pick up a random item you forgot to pack, score some fresh produce, do some souvenir shopping, or just sit down to a cheap meal, Ben Thanh Market is the place to go.
It’s an absolutely massive market and is very easy to get lost in. It’s also a bit of an assault on your senses, with so many different sounds, smells, and tastes coming at you from all directions.
Ben Thanh Market is located in District 1 in the heart of the city (check the map here). It’s open all day, and is at its busiest in the early morning. Many shops begin to close down late in the afternoon.
A visit to the market is for sure one of the top things to do in Ho Chi Minh. Chances are you’ll end up here on several occasions during your stay in the city. I know we did!
Nguyen hue Walking Street
One of the first things you’ll likely notice about Ho Chi Minh City is that it’s not the most walkable place out there. Most of the time, you’re dodging an endless stream of motorbikes in a dangerous game of human Frogger just trying to cross the street!
Thankfully there’s at least one place in this bustling metropolis where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll. The Nguyen Walking Street starts down at the Saigon River and stretches up to City Hall. Along the way, you can enjoy the colonial architecture, a fountain show, and a statue of Ho Chi Minh waving at the masses.
If you feel like chilling out here for a while, there are plenty of benches where you can sit and enjoy some quality people watching. There are also several cafes and restaurants along this short pedestrian-friendly promenade. Click here to find the walking street on Google Maps, this is definitely one of the best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh to avoid the crazy traffic.
Discover Pham Ngu Lao area and drink Saigon beer
Pham Ngu Lao Street in Ho Chi Minh City is on the western edge of District 1 and is renowned as the place where most backpacking travellers stay during their holiday. A 25-minute taxi ride from Tan Sot Nhat International Airport, it comprises numerous lanes and back alleys though the main thoroughfares include Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham, Bui Vien, and Do Quang Dao streets.
Set along these alleyways are western-style restaurants, coffee shops, and international bars, countless tour companies and kiosks, affordable motels, hostels and guesthouses (as well as many of the so-called ‘mini-hotel’ buildings usually with six to seven floors, rarely offering an elevator), internet cafes, pharmacies, and souvenir-and-craft shops.
Pham Ngu Lao Street is not limited to only low-budget travellers. Its own unique vibe draws people from everywhere due to its close proximity to prominent landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City. As there is always something going on in Pham Ngu Lao Street, many visitors prefer to enjoy local street food or people-watching while enjoying the incredibly cheap bia hoi draught beer on the roadside.