• Backpackliife

Buying a motorbike in Vietnam

One of the best ways to explore Vietnam is to buy a motorbike and drive from the south to the north or de opposite way. We decided to start in Ho Chi Minh and finish in Hanoi in the north. Here are some tips before doing it.

So where do you buy a bike? And what different kinds of bikes are there?

  • You can buy bikes at Craigslist

  • You can buy a bike on the street from another backpacker

  • You can buy bikes at motorbike store, we bought ours at Mr. T's motorbike shop in Ho Chi Minh

  • Bargin, they always start with a high price

  • There are automatic, semi automatic or manual bikes


Some things to check before buying:Lights- check all the lights, turn signals, break lights and headlights. • Tires- check the wear, the treads should be deep! • Clutch and gears- Make sure the gears shift smoothly. • Breaks, very important! • Horn, in Asia they use it a lot • Kickstand and centre stand • Kickstart and electric start • Speedometer (usually never works and doesn't really matter) • You will need a luggage rack to help you with your backpack

Makes sure you get a blue card and make sure the numbers on the card matches your bike! That's your registration proof and very important to bring with you when you are driving. Make sure to take the bike for a drive and see that everything works fine.


We got our selves two Honda Waves and one automatic Yamaha Nouvo. These bikes usually costs between $200-300. A lot of people buy the Honda Win which is usually $250-350.


How to sell your bike: • There are a lot of Vietnam Backpacker pages on Facebook, post adds there. • Put an add up on Craigslist.org. • Walk around to all the hostels and talk to people, put up signs.

We did all of that + walking to a lot of bars in the evening talking to a lot of backpackers which in the end helped us to talk to other backpackers and in the end we could sell the bikes.

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My name is Sophie, originally from Sweden but I grew up in Hong Kong with my family. 

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