Getting Around Vietnam: Travel Tips | SonDoong Cave in Vietnam

Getting Around Vietnam: Travel Tips

Enjoy the beauy of Vietnam while riding a motorbike
Getting around Vietnam is an art in itself.Overnight buses and trains, taxis or the back of a local’s motorbike – whichever mode of transport you choose the chances are you’ll come out of Vietnam with a story to tell about it!

Check out these tips for making your journey as smooth as possible (potholes not withstanding) whichever way you choose to travel in Vietnam

Motorbike rental tips for Vietnam

Vietnam has lots of motorbike rental scams and misunderstandings. Keep in mind these common sense tips:

  • If you rent a bike, and it doesn’t start, it isn’t a God send that the next person you see just happens to own a mechanic shop…10 meters away.
  • Ensure you aren’t being followed as soon as you drive away from the rental shop. Some bad shop owners copy keys and “steals” their bikes back so you have to buy them a shiny new one.
  • Contrary to what people say, it IS illegal for travellers to ride motorbikes in Vietnam without a temporary Vietnamese motorcycle license. If you want to convert your license or International Driving Permit into a temporary Vietnamese license, you must hold a Vietnamese residence permit of at least three months’ validity or a three-month tourist visa.
Enjoy the beauy of Vietnam while riding a motorbike

Enjoy the beauy of Vietnam while riding a motorbike- source: internet

  • Unlicensed riding resulting in the injury death of a third party can be subject to imprisonment of 10 – 20 years and compensation to the victim or victim’s family.
  • And don’t hope your travel insurer to come to the party either, they simply cannot insure you for illegal activity (unlicensed riding), so you’ll be paying your own hospital, or (heaven forbid) medical evacuation bills.

Travel by bus in Vietnam

Overnight buses are a favourite hunting ground for greedy thieves.  Do not fall asleep with ipods in your ear, or your phone in sight.  Get a padlock for your luggage as it will be stowed beaneath the bus and keep your valuable items such as your passport with you. Learn to use your bag as your pillow if you find it takes up space, although the driving can sometimes be so erratic and terrifying you probably wont sleep for long anyway.

These buses are designed for the Vietnamese to travel long distances, so Westerners may find it a little uncomfortable. Most sleeper buses often have reclining seats which can be transformed into a bed, try to get on at one of the first stops can cuddle up next to the window for extra comfort. centre vietnam tours packages

Book tickets in adcance

Book tickets in adcance- source: internet

There have been reports of buses being over booked, so ensure you book your ticket in advance so you’re not left standing for 14 hours and shop around for a good deal as bus prices do vary. When you stop for a shower break, ensure you take your belongings with you. The toilets are terrible, so pack some hand sanitsiser and wet wipes in case. there is nothing to eat and few rest stops, although it is a cost effective and interesting way to get you from A to B. Just close your eyes and think of the Nam Na and cold Saigon you’ll be enjoying at the other end.

How to cross the street in big cities

It is a challenge you you want to walf around Vietnam, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Vietnamese drivers honk their horns constantly, often for no apparent reason. A honk means that you are in my way, so get out quickly, apologies for getting in your way (yeah right!), lets go for some pho, I’m turning left and or right or all of the above. Confidence is key when crossing the road in big cities of Vietnam. Walk with purpose and be quick on your feet.

Ready, steady, cross the road if you can

Ready, steady, cross the road if you can- source: internet

The single biggest danger you face whilst travelling in Vietnam is having a traffic accident. If you may become injured on the road, don’t expect that anyone will call an ambulance. Make sure you tell locals clearly that you will pay the ambulance fee. Hospitals will also not admit you unless you prove that you can pay the bill.

Seeing Vietnam by train

Trains are a popular and more comfortable way to travel through Vietnam. It is  safer for you to buy ticket at the station, as tour companies and travel agents have been known to sell you a budget ticket at an inflated price. This fact is not discovered until you turn up at the train station, as there is nothing printed on the ticket saying which class you are booked in.

A few thousand VND to upgrade your class is money well spent, but it depends if a wooden versus mattress sleeping arrangement bothers you?

There are many ways to get around Vietnam for you to explore its beauty. Everything depend on you!

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