Vietnam is known for its motorbikes. You will see not only a person on a bike but the whole family, the contents of their entire house and the pet dog on there- altogether. Hopping on one of these babies really is the best way to get around and travel between locations. My absolute favourite thing about my time in Southeast Asia was riding a motorbike from Hue to Hoi An. The roads are amazing, the countryside is stunning and it just made me feel as free as a bird.
If, however, like me, working your way round Vietnamese traffic is not your forte then go for a motorbike tour. I went with Le Family Riders and I would definitely recommend them. It actually came about it a strange way when Jess and I were sitting in a park in Hue and a guy comes up to us and mentions his tour. At first, we were a bit like ‘pah yeah right we’re blatantly being done over here’, but then we googled the company from his business card and thought we have GOT to do this! And I am so glad we did. Doing a tour meant we had the fun and freedom of the bikes without feeling like we were going to kill ourselves on the road.
Le Family Riders is a family run business and they are all incredibly friendly. Uy (the guy who approached us) and his family took us to all the sights on the way and we had plenty of time to chill out at each. It’s a long day but it’s not rushed and totally worth it!
A GLIMPSE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE
Between Hue and our first official stop, we swung into a beautiful bit of the countryside. When you ride through these areas of Vietnam you see rice everywhere drying on the road and our stop meant we had a better look at what goes on in that harvesting process. I don’t know where we were but it was a great place to just chill out a bit after getting used to the motorbikes.
So Elephant Springs was the first proper stop on the trip and believe me, a refreshing dip in the cool water here is exactly what you’ll fancy after being in the sticky heat of Vietnam. It’s not too busy with people coming and going and there are a lot of locals enjoying the spot as well.
After a few hours into the trip, it was time for some food. We parked up the motorbikes at the fishing village of Lap An and had lunch on a floating restaurant. As you would expect from a fishing village, the seafood here was amazing. And of course, the views of the lagoon is stunning from the restaurant.
HAI VAN PASS
This road is just amazing on a motorbike! It stretches over 20km, sits about 500m about sea level and weaves through the mountains. The hair pin turns are brilliant to ride on a motorbike, you just have to relax and go with the bike. in 2005 a tunnel opened making it easier for lorries and larger vehicles to travel between the north and south without using this twisting roads, but this means the Pass is now perfectly clear for motorbikes! You get amazing views of Danang on the way as well.
Danang is one of Vietnam’s fastest growing cities and sits right on the coast. Many people visit here rather than pass through it like we were but it was still nice to see. We had time to have a swim in the sea and we could see the famous Lady Buddha across the water and also got a glimpse of the Dragon Bridge on our way as well.
THE MARBLE MOUNTAINS
SOME HANDY BITS
- You don’t have to wear your backpack on the motorbike. Your bag will either be strapped to the back of your bike or strapped onto another bike who rides with the group purely to carry the luggage. If you can, I would recommend having your bag on your own bike as it’s comfy to have something to lean back on.
- Wear light fast drying clothes so it’s easy to get changed after swimming.
- Take a small bag with you for money, a light towel and other essentials – it’s way too much faff to keep getting your backpack on and off the bike.
- Make sure you wear suncream still. It feels cooler when you’re on the bike, but those rays will still get ya!