Practical road rules in Vietnam you should know
Below are some practical road rules for a motorcycle tour in Vietnam from Off road Vietnam’s customers and their tour guides. They are also professional bikers and coming back in one piece is the most important thing.
- Larger vehicles have the right of way. You should avoid anything bigger than you and slow down.
- Traffic is like a river; you have to flow with it. Riders will find one way to move forward.
- Use signal and the most important thing is the horn. People do not care about the noise of horns. It is a way to say “Hello, I am coming.”
- The speed limit is low in Vietnam (from 25 to 80km/h). You should not break it; a speeding ticket is expensive. On average, most riders ride about 40km per hour.
- Animals are everywhere in the mountain or country roads. Chickens and dogs are the most then come cows, water buffaloes, horses and pigs, etc. If you kill a chicken, or a dog doesn’t stop, cry and feel sorry, it not your fault. Slow down when you spot those animals and do not hit cows, water buffaloes, horses and pigs, simply they are too big.
- Space between you and other riders (guide, local people, etc.) should be far enough to have no surprise. On streets or crowded roads, the traffic is regularly slow. In the mountains or on wide open roads, we suggest 10-20m. Do not ever ride alongside your guide because he has a lot of work to do.
- You should be careful with oil from trucks or buses at turns on the mountain roads, extremely slippery and a plenty of accidents happened due to this matter.
- You can buy a good road book (Vietnam Atlas) and do the timing and routeing before you start a ride. In case you get lost, ask more than two people as they might use different mileage unit or even direction.
- In rare occasions that the police stop you, just keep talking English or whatever you want, and they will soon give up and let you go in less than five minutes. Nevertheless, if you have a speeding ticket, you may end up paying a heavy fine of between 25$ and 50$US.
- If the road is wet, you should use both brakes at the same time with more back one as if you apply more front one it slips. A lot of rental bikes have front disc brakes and on 250cc dirt bikes, you have front and back disc brakes.
- Do not drink when you have to drive.
- It is much better if you stop every 1-2 hours to cool down the engine and refresh yourself. Never ride over 250km/day; that is a pain in Vietnam.