If you are heading to Vietnam, you should definitely read up on road safety and transport options.
Riding a motorbike or moped in Vietnam can be very dangerous, with travellers of all nationalities being injured or killed. Unless you are an experienced driver, please do not try it. If you do, make sure your bike is in good condition, you have a high quality helmet and your travel insurance is comprehensive and does not have an exclusions. If you are involved in an accident, contact your embassy.
There have been some changes to the licence that you can drive with in Vietnam. The advice below has dates and information for UK travellers – check with your Government’s advice to see what you need to do.
If you travel by bus or train make sure your luggage is secure, especially if you are travelling overnight.
Government travel advice
Links to travel advice on visiting Thailand from the following governments –
Please note that the travel advice varies – it is worth reading them all and reaching your own conclusion.
From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office –
Road travel in Vietnam
Travelling by motorbikes in Vietnam carries significant risk. There are frequent road traffic accidents and fatal crashes. According to World Health Organisation statistics, you are over 8 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident in Vietnam than in the UK (an estimated 24.5 deaths per 100,000 people in Vietnam compared to 2.9 per 100,000 people in the UK).
A number of British nationals have died in motorbike accidents in Vietnam, and many more have been involved in accidents, with some injured very seriously. Before choosing to drive a motorbike in Vietnam, it is essential that you’re an experienced motorcycle rider, have a good quality motorbike helmet, understand the roads on which you plan to travel and that your travel insurance covers your planned activity.
Compliance with local road regulations is poor. You’re advised to keep your speed down and to be prepared for the unexpected. If you’re planning on travelling as a passenger on a motorbike, please wear a good quality helmet and make sure your medical insurance is comprehensive. It’s illegal to be on a motorbike without a helmet.
If you’re involved in a traffic accident you could face criminal charges and you may need to pay compensation to the injured person even if the injuries are minor. If you’re involved in an accident or subject to an investigation, offer the police your full co-operation and inform the British Embassy in Hanoi or Consulate General in Hoi Chi Minh City.
Vietnamese authorities have agreed that, between September 2018 and 28 March 2019 , the holders of UK issued International Driver’s Permits or UK domestic driving licences will be allowed to drive cars or ride motorbikes in Vietnam. After 28 March 2019, British visitors wishing to drive cars or ride motorbikes in Vietnam will need to present both their UK domestic driver’s licence and a UK issued International Driver’s Permit. Long term UK residents of Vietnam can apply for a Vietnamese driving licence. A Vietnamese driving licence can only be issued to a foreign national in possession of a Vietnamese visa valid for 3 months or more. Applications for a Vietnamese driving licence can be made at the local offices of the Department of Public Works and Transportation.
You should also ensure you have third-party insurance as required by Vietnamese law.
Don’t use your passport as a deposit for hiring vehicles or in place of a fine in the event of a traffic offence.
Metered taxis from larger firms are generally reliable. There are many taxi operators and meters are set at different prices. The meter should start at around 8,000 to 20,000 VND, depending on the size of the taxi. Where possible get hotels or restaurants to book you a reputable taxi. Always make sure the driver identifies themselves before setting off. If you book a taxi online or through an app, make sure the details of the vehicle and driver match those provided by the company.
There have been reports of overcharging for taxi journeys from airports and tourist hotspots. Check the published fares near the taxi stands before starting your journey.
Bus and coach crashes are not unusual and increase in regularity at night. Vehicles are often poorly maintained. When travelling by bus be vigilant against petty theft as there have been reported cases of people losing passports and personal belongings while travelling on night buses. Be cautious about offers of free transfers to hotels unless organised in advance, as these are likely to be bogus.
Rail travel in Vietnam is generally safe. Be aware of the risks of petty theft particularly while asleep on overnight trains.
from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/vietnam
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