This only applies to self-riders. If you are sitting on the back with a driver – there’s nothing to worry about. We require all self-riders to have a motorbike licence from their own country with solid riding experience. An International motorbike licence is ideal. In the case of very experienced, seasoned riders we may make an exception, provided you are able to demonstrate you are a competent rider. Your tour leader will make the final decision as it is their job to get you home safely.

We take no responsibility for your legal or insurance position riding here in Vietnam so please make your own enquiries.

Please note that Vietnam is a developing country and it can be difficult to find good-quality clothes in Western sizes. While locally made products are cheap, the quality is often poor. Here are some suggestions:

– Clothing: long pants, long-sleeved shirt, light rain jacket, (riding) boots or sneakers and sunglasses or goggles.
– Personal items: camera, travel towel and sunscreen.
– Emergency items: emergency contact numbers, list of medical conditions and list of medications.

For information on how to obtain a visa on arrival go to this handy Tripadvisor page.

If you are new to travel in Vietnam or Sri Lanka or if you find the visa process daunting, Hoi An Motorbike Adventures can assist you in getting a visa on arrival. Hoi An Motorbike Adventures is a reputable business and can supply you with a letter of approval on request.

For more information email info@motorbiketours-hoian.com.

It’s essential to have strong footwear for the tour to protect your feet while driving. Trekking shoes or leather boots are perfect. No driving in open-toed shoes is permitted.

We can make reservations for you at any hotel in Hoi An or Hue, and we can also organise a car to pick you up from the airport or train station.

For longer tours we provide you with spacious saddle bags that can carry a large amount of belongings. It’s also possible to strap a further bag or rucksack onto the bike rack if required. However, we do recommend you pack sensibly and consider each item carefully – don’t over pack. When you book the tour you will be given a list of suggested items to bring along.

Any other luggage may be left safely in storage at your hotel or in our office until you return. We also offer free transfers of your big luggage if you book a tour from Hoi An to Hue or vice versa.

The minimum size for us to be able to organise a tour is 2 people. We generally like to keep the groups to about 6 motorbikes or about 10 people. This is a comfortable number of men and machines for a tour leader to handle and to ensure each person gets the attention they deserve. Safety is our main concern and as you can imagine bikes can start to get strung out over quite a large distance if there are too many, reducing the tour leader’s ability to keep everyone in his or her field of vision.

HAMA can/has and will gladly organise tours for larger groups if necessary. If the group size starts to become too large we will either include a second tour leader or third who will float around the pack to help look after peoples’ safety and to answer any questions they may have.

Of course it is! One of the great things about any tour of this kind are the friendships you will form with not only the tour leader, but also the other adventurous souls out there with you. When possible, we try to link individuals together. The more advance warning, the better.

On average, we will be on the bike for 50% of the day. The rest of the time is used for drink stops, meal breaks and photo-ops.

This only applies to self-riders on our motorbike tours.

We take great care of our motorbikes. If you damage them on tour, we need to fix them. We take a security deposit of 1.000.000 VND to cover damage to the bike while it is in your possession on the tour. If the damage exceeds this amount you are responsible for it. We are in the business of ensuring your adventure is exciting and memorable. We are not in the business of overcharging or trying to take your money for damage. We are honest and fair and simply want to keep our bikes in the condition in which you received them.

Accidents and incidents on our tour are rare, though when they occur you are responsible for covering the cost to fix the bikes, up to and including full replacement value in the rare (really, rare) event of a write-off. Depending on the bike you choose you are looking at 1,500 USD for a Minsk (as they are becoming rare), 2,000 USD for a scooter, and 3,500 USD for a dirt bike. We do our best to take great care of you on tour, though we cannot ride the bike for you. So if in doubt, grab a driver and enjoy the ride from the best seat in the house!

All our motorbike tours start from our office (54 Hung Vuong st, Hoi An). For private tours and our Jeep tours we will pick you up from your hotel. We also pick you up from your hotel for our early morning My Son tour.

The minimum age required to operate a motorcycle by HAMA is 18 but no one is too young or old for the adventure. We have taken pillion passengers as young as four and our oldest rider was 72.

The short answer to this is no. The legal riding age in Vietnam is 18 years of age. This is one road rule, especially for foreigners that is stringently enforced by police. Your insurance policy will not cover you in the event of an accident. Persons under 18 must ride as a pillion.

Vietnamese roads are busy and you must always expect the unexpected. People don’t give way and will merge onto busy roads without looking. This may sound scary, but the Vietnamese drive more slowly than we do at home. If you drive slowly and expect the unexpected, you will be fine. We always use the quietest roads to get out of town, even if they are longer. Once out in the countryside, the level of traffic drops off remarkably and on some roads it is possible to not pass a single vehicle for the whole day. That said, it must be emphasised that the conditions here are demanding and extremely defensive driving is imperative. All riders must be very careful and be fully aware that the purpose of the trip is not to ride performance bikes hard into the bends, but rather to trundle along nice and slowly and to enjoy the sights and sounds. Your tour leader will also ask you to perform a test ride before starting out.

For a more comprehensive guide to riding in Vietnam go to the page Driving in Vietnam.

There is no easy answer to this question, as every situation will be different. The simplest answer is to ride slowly and safely, and don’t crash. If you are involved in an accident, you can expect hundreds of locals to crowd around and give their account of events, even if they didn’t see it. As foreigners, we are usually held to blame because we don’t understand Vietnamese road conditions and because we are wealthier, even if the accident was not our fault. It’s usually just a case of handing over some money to pay for band-aids and repairs, and then moving on. The police will usually not get involved unless there is a serious injury or you are unable to reach an agreement with the other party. The guide will help you, and it is important to remain calm. It could take some time to sort out the details if the police do get involved. If you are injured, the guide will do everything they can to get you to medical attention as quickly as possible. We carry first-aid kits, as local medical centres may not stock many supplies. In case of a serious injury, you may need to be evacuated to another country.

We ask for a deposit of 25% of the tour costs in order to confirm your booking(s). We will provide you with the necessary bank account details to transfer this deposit once a ride has been agreed upon.
Our booking conditions can be found here.

You can pay via bank transfer into our bank account in Vietnam before the tour, online per PayPal or in cash in VND, USD, EUR or AUD at our office in Hoi An. We also offer credit card payment at our office.

Email info@motorbiketours-hoian.com for details.

In terms of costs we cover everything except telephone calls, tips, souvenirs, alcoholic drinks and personal medical insurance. It is always advisable to carry at least a couple hundred thousand VND on your person as you never know when you might need it
For our half-day and day tours you will be required to come to our office at 54 Hung Vuong Street Hoi An before 8am for day tours and before 1pm for half day tours unless you organise a different time when booking. For our longer tours, we will arrange a pre­departure briefing session at our shop or at your hotel to introduce to you the route and the bikes and cover any other outstanding issues.

Licensing in Vietnam is extremely complex.  Whilst Vietnam is a signatory to the convention recognising international licences, the local law requires the licence to be in Vietnamese or the licence holder hold a local licence (which is essentially impossible for a tourist to get.)  Word is getting around about the convention however a several automobile associations are starting to list Vietnam as a country recognising the licences.  That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean the local police will accept your international licence.  So, we recommend you ride safely and don’t have an accident!  We recommend you make your own enquiries regarding insurance and licensing here.  There are insurers will insure you riding in Vietnam and also those who will insure you as long as you have a motorbike licence at home.  We are not licensing or insurance experts and don’t pretend to be.  You need to be happy with your own situation.

If it all sounds too hard – jump in a Jeep or grab a driver!

Please contact us via email info@motorbiketours-hoian.com for information on travel in Vietnam, Laos or Sri Lanka, or we can chat with you online on Skype, our screen name is motorbiketours-hoian. We also have a comprehensive list of booking conditions here.

We do not offer third-party insurance or personal insurance. You are responsible for finding your own travel and medical insurance. If you damage one of our bikes, you will be liable for all repairs. Vietnam does not have an insurance culture, and if two bikes are involved in a crash then the riders will usually settle in cash on the spot. The police will take a cut if they get involved. Every tourist who rides a motorbike in Vietnam is responsible for their own actions. Whether you ride the bike yourself or ride as a pillion with one of our guides, you will need to make sure that your travel and medical insurance covers you in the case of an accident. As a pillion, you should be covered by your insurance provider as all of our drivers have local licences. However, you may need to check that your policy covers motorcycle transport, whether you drive or not.

 

If you have never ridden a motorbike before, Vietnam is probably not the place where you want to learn to ride. The roads and traffic conditions are chaotic. When you are on the back of a bike, you can relax and see more of the scenery. We highly recommend that you ride on the back of the guide’s bike if you have no experience at all. If you have no experience on a bike we will recommend you sit on the back with a driver or jump in a Jeep.  If you have no experience you really won’t enjoy trying to keep a motorbike upright while trying to take in the scenery. Start riding in quiet streets and slowly build up to more traffic dense situations before you are planning to do the tour and see how you go. We would then test your skills before we let you ride yourself.

For a more comprehensive guide to riding in Vietnam go to the page Driving in Vietnam.

All riders and self-drive Jeep clients must send their full drivers international riders or driving license details and passport details to the organizers at least 1 month before the departure date so we can have a Sri Lankan drivers license issued.
Accommodation will be varied with an emphasis on higher end style hotels and resorts in most destinations (3-4 star).

All accommodation is twin share unless a single supplement is required.

As indicated in the itinerary most meals will be included and we like to splurge. The emphasis will be on traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. Please notify us before the tour commences if you have any special dietary requirements.

The national currency is the Sri Lankan rupee. The approximate exchange rate at the time of writing is 1USD = 100 LKR (Sri Lankan Rupee). ATM’s accepting all major international cards are available in most towns. Most meals and activities on the tour are included so you will only need money for alcoholic drinks, optional activities and souvenirs.
Sri Lanka was plagued by civil war and violence for many years, but after a defeat of the Tamil Tiger army in 2009 the country has been at peace with no signs that this will change. Throughout the war the majority of fighting was in the northern areas of Jaffna which is nowhere near where we travel.
The tour will have an English speaking tour guide and tour mechanic.  Larger groups will also have a support vehicle.
Minimum: 4 people

Maximum: 12 people

– A Sri Lankan motorcycle or vehicle license.

– A map with the route marked.
– A detailed, day-by-day time schedule.

– Helmet

– Protective Jacket– Riding Pants

– Rain Gear

– Gloves

– Riding Boots or Strong Footwear

– Goggles or Sunglasses

– Appropriate Riding Pants

– Semi-formal Attire for Butler’s Dinner

– Camelpak Rehydration System

– Mosquito Repellent

– Sunscreen

– Toiletries

– Torch or Flashlight

– Battery Charger for Cameras and/or Charging Cords for Electronic Devices

The easiest way to get to Sri Lanka is to catch an Asia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bandaranaike International airport, Sri Lanka. We will have a car and driver waiting to transfer you to our starting hotel in Negombo. (Approximately 30 min. drive)

Visas are granted on entry and at the time of writing cost 25 USD. You will be given the visa application form on the flight to Sri Lanka which you submit to customs on arrival for them to issue a tourist visa.

Or you can apply online before you travel and be issue with an E-visa.

The link for this is www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa

We require all self-riders to have a motorbike licence from their own country with solid riding experience. An International motorbike licence is ideal. In the case of very experienced, seasoned riders we may make an exception, provided you are able to demonstrate you are a competent rider. Your tour leader will make the final decision as it is their job to get you home safely.

We take no responsibility for your legal or insurance position riding in Laos so please make your own enquiries.

We will stay and hotels or guest houses. Laos is still developing and whilst some areas offer a plethora of options other locations have limited resources. The tours itinerary includes 3 star guesthouses and hotels. Typically the service is good though the accommodation basic. It’s possible in some overnight stops the power may go out or there is no western toilet available. Though we continue to find new options and upgrade the accommodation as it becomes available. If you would like higher end accommodation we can quote your tour with options where they are available.

We focus on tasty local cuisine on tour and the majority of our meals will be local Laotian food. We can cater for vegetarians though it is ideal you let us know in advance about specific dietary requirements so we can plan ahead. If you are looking for that “taste of home”, the major centres have western style restaurants offering pizza, steak and other treats from home.

Laos currency is the Kip. It trades around 8.000 Kip to 1 US dollar. We recommend having some Kip with you for your tour. Thai Baht and US dollars are accepted in most parts though the more remote we go, the Kip is the only currency accepted. So best to have a little more than run short in the last few days of your tour. Money can be exchanged in most entry points and specific places around the country. We don’t recommend travellers cheques. Banks will provide cash advances on credit cards – for a fee of course. ATM’s are popping up all over the place, which is quite handy.

Most of the bandit activity historically occurring in Laos is gone now. We won’t take you to areas posing any risk. The police or military may stop us to inspect our paperwork though we will take of all of that. There is nothing for you to worry about.

Depending on the group size a support vehicle will follow the group. When this occurs there is also the option of non-riders sitting in the support vehicle. Non riders can of course take a 4WD and a driver and participate in the tours as well.

We have a group minimum of 4 people and maximum of 12 people. We can cater for larger numbers (depending on the group) so if you have a larger group – contact us, we can work something out.

  • Lead Guide
  • Hotels as indicated
  • Honda CRF 250
  • 3rd party insurance on the motorcycles
  • Fuel for the entire trip
  • SPOT messenger for friends and family to follow LIVE on the tour
  • Meals as indicated
  • Garmin GPS route and track maps (pre and post ride)
  • Drinking water
  • Helmet and all protective riding gear
  • Entrance fees and ferry crossings
  • Airport transfers (2)

We recommend bringing the following:

  • Bandana
  • USD for your entry visa for Laos as well as a passport photo. There are ATM machines in Vientiane and we can stop on the way to your hotel if you want a little personal cash. Clients ask how much they should have per day. We include everything except soft drinks, beer and alcohol, dinner in Luang Prabang and meals on arrival day. Here’s the simple answer. A beer is about 1 USD per bottle. Dinner in Luang Prabang may run to 20 USD depending on your tastes. Personal gifts are up to you- maybe 50 USD?
  • Gloves
  • Ride clothes – if you have your own gear – wonderful, bring it – nothing fits like your stuff
  • After riding clothes: light shirt and pants
  • Underwear – you know what you need
  • Toiletries
  • Camera and replacement batteries. We can only source low quality ones on the road
  • Sunscreen
  • Wet weather gear (if you want it). Rain does occur though it is usually brief
  • Personal items (Ziploc bags to keep things dry)
  • Dry bag for the balance of your tour gear to be strapped to the bike

Most guests come to Laos via Bangkok to Vientiene. Vientiene is approximately 1 hour from Bangkok. Laos is still working on direct flights from destinations outside of Asia.

Provided you have 6 months validity on your passport and 2 blank pages most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival in Vientiane. Please bring along a passport photo and between 30USD and 45 USD as fees vary depending on country of origin. Or you can obtain it from the Laos embassy in your country prior to departure.