Vietnam Motorbike Tour: Hue to Hoi An

The more you travel the more your confidence and sense of adventure tend to grow. It’s a wonderful aspect of travelling; it’s one of the most rewarding and fruitful things about it. Before backpacking in Southeast Asia I never would have dreamt of travelling on a Vietnam motorbike tour, down through the other parts of the country but, when I was there, it seemed like an unmissable adventure and a wonderful experience I couldn’t pass up on.

Travelling on a Vietnam motorbike tour
Motorbike, a different way to travel through Vietnam

Hiring a motorbike in Vietnam

Alright, so I didn’t go the whole hog, hire a motorbike in Vietnam and bomb off down the coast on my own free-wheelin’, exploration of the wild Vietnamese countryside. I don’t even have a driver’s license back in the UK and, while this isn’t necessarily an obstacle to riding a motorbike in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, I didn’t feel confident enough to go for it by myself. It’s one thing renting a scooter, to ride to some sights out of town or get you a short distance from your hotel to the beach, but committing to it as a form of transport to travel long distances is another matter, one that needs more consideration. I’ve met plenty of people though, some fairly inexperienced riders, who’ve said a Vietnam motorbike tour was one of the best experiences of travelling in Vietnam. I was itching to do it.

Vietnam motorbike tour: The twists and turns of the Hai Van Pass, Vietnam
The twists and turns of the Hai Van Pass, Vietnam

Vietnam motorbike tour

Luckily, there’s another option for the less wild among us: a Vietnam motorbike tour. The most popular place to start a Vietnam motorbike tour, is in the historic city Hue, found about halfway down the east coast of the country. For these tours you hire a driver and sit on the back. Some of the most popular outfits are comprised of veterans from the Vietnamese War. From Hue, they can take you on various tours, many along the Ho Chi Minh trail, a historic route that passes many infamous wartime locations. If you are looking for a Vietnam Motorbike Tour, you will find there is a range of tours from a day to over a week in length and don’t come that cheap, for the budget traveller, so look around at various options. A good way to get a taste for it is to do a day tour of the sights around Hue. If you like the guide and the experience, you can then book a longer trip.

Vietnam motorbike tour:  Green rice paddies, Hue to Hoi An
Green rice paddies

Hue to Hoi An: Vietnam Motorbike Tour

Having spent a couple of days in Hue, my girlfriend and I decided to travel on a Vietnam motorbike tour from Hue to Hoi An on the back of motorbikes. We hired the drivers through our guesthouse in Hue. The weather wasn’t great for the trip. It’s good to buy or borrow waterproof pants and a jacket, if you can. The journey itself was still amazing though, winding along through the Vietnamese countryside. The road from Hue to Hoi An unfurls, down along the east coast, and takes you past a number of sights, some fairly built up for tourists, others quieter. We rode through fishing villages and rice paddies, the rain beating against our helmets, the wind lashing against our clothes. We stopped of at various points along the way: the Elephant Springs, a waterfall with little pools; Lang Co, where we stopped for fresh and delicious seafood; then round the breathtaking twists and turns of the Hai Van Pass. The rain had stopped but high up on the pass the clouds rolled in and the fog thickened. On a good day the views are incredible; on a bad day the fog is dense and atmospheric – as you climb down the other side you look back and see it rolling off the hills like some giant animal.

Travelling on a Vietnam Motorbike Tour: views from the Hai Van Pass
The southern side of the Hai Van Pass

Arriving in Hoi An, Vietnam

On the other side of the Hai Van Pass the weather changed, becoming warmer, less wet. We stopped off at China Beach, a 30km stretch of white sand famously used during the Vietnam war for American soldiers to rest and regroup, then onto the five impressive marble outcrops, named the Marble Mountains, before arriving in Hoi An and settling into our hotel accommodation in Hoi An. Hoi An is one of the most beautiful towns in Vietnam, famous for its picturesque houses, ancient streets and hundreds of tailor’s shops. The one-day Vietnam motorbike tour down here was enough motorbiking for us – it can be fairly tiring and uncomfortable sitting on a motorcycle for hours on end! It was a fantastic experience. One that definitely lived up to the notion that the journey is the bit that counts. It gave us the chance to see some of the countryside on a Vietnam motorbike tour, away from the tour groups. Parts of Vietnam that you’d normally pass by without stopping to look or getting the chance to see.

About James Gill

Born and raised in the UK, James got his first taste for travel on an inter rail trip, round Europe. Since completing his English Lit. degree, he has spent most of his time working and traveling in Asia. As well as the UK, James has lived in Thailand and southern China and is now trying his luck in Australia. He has backpacked throughout Southeast Asia and China and travelled in America, Australia and Europe. He is a keen reader and loves eating spicy food.

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar for James Gill

    Inez Lundberg

    I would rather take my chances riding on my own to Hoi than hiring a rider. The experience wouldn’t be complete if you just sit at the back of a bike and let someone else drive you along.

    • Avatar for James Gill

      James Gill

      I agree riding by yourself would be amazing! One part of me is disappointed that I didn’t. But, the other part is happy I did it this way – it just would have been too much for me as a totally inexperienced driver/motorbike rider. Either way I think it’s a great experience!


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