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Thread: going to vietnam in february

  1. #1
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    going to vietnam in february

    anybody here been there (not counting the war) and did you rent a bike there?
    any issues?
    thx,
    goo
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  2. #2
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    In answer to your question, no. But, please take a lot of pictures while you are there and post them somewhere!
    It would be interesting to see the changes in the last 43 years...geez, doesn't seem that long ago!
    Thanks,
    Ken
    IBA #44567 Pres. Springfield BMW Roadriders
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  3. #3
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    I've spent the winter there 13 years since 1995 . Borrowed a bike many years from relitives but now own one.
    I've only been stopped 3 times. Without a license or proper paperwork for the bike, you will need to "donate" to
    The police or they can confiscate the bike. They will hold it for up to a month, when you get it back it may be missing parts.
    Be prepared for the most chaotic traffic you can imagine. If you haven't already, watch some YouTube videos .
    Never park your bike anywhere that doesn, t have paid parking or it will be gone.parking is cheap about 25 cents.How long are you going for &what part of the country? If your staying a while I can tell you how to get a license.
    The traffic situation & bike thefts seem a little scarry but the country is very safe in general.I love it or I wouldn't have been back so many times.

  4. #4
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  5. #5
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    re:"I've spent the winter there 13 years since 1995 "

    thanks,
    i'll be there about 10 days.

    can the consulate in new york issue a licence? i gotta go there to get a visa.
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  6. #6
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Are you going to visit some of your old stomping grounds, Ed?

    My daughter just spent a month there; really enjoyed it and felt very safe. They were travelling on the cheap.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  7. #7
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    flew phantoms out of chulai

    and was a foward air controller with the first marines around danang, 1969,1970.

    "vietnam is not a war. it is a country"
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  8. #8
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    You can't get the license at the American consulate. You have to go to a government translation office and get your American drivers license translated it takes about 2 days cost is about 2 dollars. Then go to the drivers license building get an application. Take the application to the US consulate and get it notarized ,that cost about 50 dollars. Take that notarized paper to back to the drivers license building ,your drivers license cost about $1.50. And takes about 3 days to get it .Are you flying into Saigon or Hanoi?

  9. #9
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    there's a vietnamese consulate in new york city

    can't they do it?
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  10. #10
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    Sorry I miss read your post, I don't know whether the Vietnam consulate here can issue a license or not.

  11. #11
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Ed:

    Spoke to my daughter: she says to not ride a bike in Viet Nam, and to carefully look both ways when crossing any streets.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  12. #12
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    thanks, rinty

    i did hear that. the licence may be a 'just in case'. plus a nice souvenier.

    "Is it easy to drive on Vietnamese streets?
    Vietnamese roads are hair-raising at the best of times. Crossing the street on foot is a nerve-wrecking experience and climbing onto the back of a xe om (motorbike taxi) and being whizzed through the traffic is both scary and exhilarating. In essence driving on Vietnam's streets is not for the weak hearted. Many expats prefer to hire a driver who is familiar with the unpredictable rules of the road; however it is possible to drive. Smaller vehicles tend to be a lot more effective than larger ones, particularly during peak traffic. Often, bicycles are the fastest form of transport during rush hour, followed by motorbikes."
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  13. #13
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    I was there in 1967 and in 1999 and things have changed a lot and things haven't changed a lot. I flew into Saigon in '99; the traffic is about the same, very scary but if you can ride a bike you will get the hang of it. No one has the right of way and then everyone has the right of way. Mostly it is just like China, if you got your nose in first you have the right of way.

    When I was there in '99, I rented a bike with the driver for a few days. Yes, I was the pillion and didn't like that part much. But, he took me all over and anywhere I wanted to go and the price was very reasonable. We went about 20 miles South looking for my old post only to find out the city has expanded out that far since the 60's. Did finally find it but it was occupied by the Vietnamese Army now and they would not let me come in to take a look around; they were not very friendly.

    I don't think you can get a drivers license unless you are in country first; I could be wrong but I heard that once.

    The driving practices are different though. Be ready for anyone to pull out in front of you without looking. (It's your fault if you run into them) ..Trust me, common sense does not cross borders. There will also be cars turning around in the middle of the road and if you are on a scooter or bike, oncoming trucks will pass and make you get over to the side or run you off the road.

    I am in Taiwan now and the drivers here are the same.
    So, go and have fun, take pics and let us know later how it was.

    DW
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

  14. #14
    Luddite Looney wecm31's Avatar
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    Spent a month there (Nov 2008) with a friend who grew up there, got out in April 75. (Yeah, right at the end)
    Nice to have a native speaker on board!! You might fake French/German/Italian, not Vietnamese.

    Regarding two wheels....We spent time throughout the country and rented scooters outside of
    either Hanoi or Saigon. Spent a few days buzzing around Danang and Hue, didn't have the
    cojones for two wheels in the big cities.

    Traffic is crazy....The part that freaked me the most was the intersections. Two one way four lane
    roads meet and its a real time blend and merge. Pick the opening in the cross traffic and go for it.
    We saw a few accidents, no one hospital hurt, but blood did flow. I noticed in Saigon that the backs
    of buses and large trucks all had the same skid marks on the corners, all the same height.
    That was the sign of people scraping by on bikes/scooters!! Handle bar skid marks. Which would
    suggest an interference fit on many traffic maneuvers.

    Even on a 80cc scooter, the scariest rides of my life!! Doing the ton on a deserted highway
    here is nothing compared to riding in the swarm there...

    We never had the question of a drivers license come up, $$ seemed to be the ticket.

    If you are looking for a full motorcycle, ponder a Minsk.

    Russian made, very rugged and durable.
    Gerald P
    The last thing I want to be is just like everyone else...
    1985 R80RT
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