Saigon to Hanoi by Motorcycle


Saigon to Hanoi by Motorcycle

The time

Driving between the southern city of Saigon and the Northern city of Hanoi is about 10 days straight driving every day.
Everything on googlemaps needs to be doubled or tripled to get the real time.
Most backpackers will take 20-25 days to drive between the two cities when stopping to see sights and do tourist activities.
Sapa and the northern mountain roads above Hanoi are approximately another full week of mountain driving.
To Drive between two destinations is a full days commitment and takes between 4-8 hours.

Coastal or Inland

Investigating our route will show that the driving is mostly inland for the mountains and curves back to the coast for the major tourist hot spots. New roads in the south have created an interesting split in decision making as to which route to take. The mountains in the south are amazing, but the South is the only opportunity to experience the great coastal roads. Tigit Motorbikes has a detailed routes and map section that explains in more detail.

The Weather

It is normal for Vietnam to be hot, cold, dry and wet all at once. The North and the South have different temperatures and weather patterns. As you are moving quickly through Vietnam it is likely that hot weather, rain and cold weather will all be experienced. People usually underestimate how cold Vietnam can be! It is a good idea to have some cold weather clothes.

What Motorbike?

It is written all over the Tigit Website the difference between Chinese and Real Honda motorbikes (please educate yourself). ALL Honda Wins are Chinese and any motorbike in the backpacker area between $100-500 will be a Chinese copy and therefore an unreliable and unstable toy.
View Tigit’s list of genuine motorbike models for travelling.
We at Tigit have no problems with backpackers driving toy motorbikes, but we feel that travellers must understand what they are buying before attempting to drive a $300 toy across remote mountain roads.
The roads from Hoi An up to Khe Sanh get very remote. Chinese motorbikes break down alot and backpackers really do need an adventure spirit to take this risk!
Alternatively, please investigate our Honda Blade for a 100% guaranteed no breakdown holiday on an authentic, safe Honda Motorbike.

What are the roads like?

Following our route will take you away from the Highways and onto quiet countryside roads. The roads are all tarmac but have lots of pot holes!
From Hoi An through to Phong Nha is the Ho Chi Minh Trail which is nothing but a perfect mountain go-kart track.  Twists and turns for hours and hours through some of the greatest scenery in the world.
The roads above Hanoi and around Sapa are also amazing, but our route does not cover this!


Use a smart phone and googlemaps or
Sim cards with unlimited internet can be purchased for around 70,000vnd (3usd) and a top card for 100,000vnd (5usd).
It is best to use the huge yellow cell phone stores. These can be found everywhere in Vietnam and usually speak English and have good customer service. We recommend Mobi Sim but Viettel are also fine!
Road maps are hard to find, but going to “fahasa book store” and an atlas can be purchased for around 300,000vnd. This is a blue book with a bridge on the front picture.

For more detail read our full article on how to navigate Vietnam.

Mechanic Shops

The mechanic shops listed on this route are Honda shops designed for our Authentic Motorbikes. These Honda shops will not touch a Honda Win (because they are Chinese), so please don’t try and fix them at the listed mechanics.
Backstreet mechanics are all over Vietnam and thrive off you guys buying Honda Wins and breaking down all over the country 🙂  A Good way to support the local economy, well done!
When you breakdown, push to the nearest shop as they are never more than 5 minutes away and then hope for the best!
If you are crazy enough to attempt the Ho Chi Minh Trail on a Chinese motorbike then please visit MR. Thien in Hue, 24 Nguyen Sinh Cung, Hue City
Give the motorbike a checkup and trust his advice! There is very little help on the Ho Chi Minh trail if things go wrong, so give yourself the best possible chance!

Good luck and Enjoy Vietnam!

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  1. steve says:

    do you rent motorbike from ho chi minh to Bangkok or a similar ride.