Vietnam is a tropical country, located in Southeast Asia. Nha Trang, in turn, is a coastal city with beautiful views, lush beaches, and friendly people. But that’s not even why most tourists love this city. One of its biggest selling points is the fact that any foreigner can rent and drive a bike without a license.
Today, we’ll talk about the things that you’ll need to do before renting a bike in Nha Trang. A quick note: in Vietnam, Thailand, and the neighboring countries, most of the locals prefer to move around using bikes, as they are faster and more mobile.
As for the tourists, the opportunity to ride along the enchanting coast and visit the villages that would be hard to get to on foot (or a large car) is quite appealing. There are almost no “dark zones” in Nha Trang, meaning you can use that rented bike to reach pretty much every single corner of the city.
Say, Da Lat, a fascinating Vietnamese city, can be reached from Nha Trang in 1.5-2 hours on a motorbike. However, there a huge downside: unless you’re very careful and conscious about your driving, this can lead to unfortunate consequences. Let’s talk about that in more details.
Renting A Bike In Nha Trang – Keeping Yourself From Harm’s Way
While driving a motorbike, you can easily hurt yourself or random people on the road. According to statistics, a huge percentage of accidents involving a bike in Southeast Asia happens because of amateur tourists that just want to have some “fun”. So, let’s take a quick look at the most important rules that you’ll always have to remember and follow:
1 – Make sure you’re 100% sober (an “innocent” bottle of beer can make your brain dizzy, even if you don’t feel it). Never start the engine if you’re drunk! It goes without saying that any narcotics (including those pills that they hand out at shady clubs) are also out of the question. Plus, you need to have a clear mind. That means driving while something is bothering you is like suicide.
2 – Put on a helmet. Some foreigners like to look cool and ride without a helmet on. Again, statistics show that people without helmets tend to die or get irreversible damage to their brains. Look for an expensive, sturdy, high-quality helmet. There’s nothing worse than driving with a low-quality helmet that they usually hand out at the renting spots.
3 – Before renting a bike in Nha Trang, check whether you’ve got some money in your pocket. It’s a regular thing for the local bikes to break down in the middle of the road, especially when it’s extremely hot outside. On average, with 50 bucks in your wallet (which equals more than one million VND, the local currency), you’ll be alright.
4 – Check the motorbike carefully before renting it. The thing is – it might come with mild cuts, scratches, and even broken lights. Don’t hesitate to take several pictures, because, chances are, the owner of the renting place will try to make you pay for all those damages.
5 – Pop the trunk (or ask the owner to do that). The tank should be tightly sealed. The trunk lead, in turn, which is also the seat, should also be checked.
6 – Check ignition and the lights. You might not need the lights if you’re planning on driving during the day. However, in most cases, if there’s something wrong with the lights, that probably means the bike isn’t 100% ready for action. Always check that before renting a bike in Nha Trang.
7 – Don’t hesitate to take the steel horse for a spin. Check the brakes. Hit them nice and slow; use both the front and the rear brake.
Renting A Bike In Nha Trang – Summing Up
When buying a brand-new motorcycle, you’ll still have to take it for test-drive. And when renting one, you should be twice as careful and vigilant. As mentioned earlier, the Vietnamese laws don’t require you to have a driver’s license to rent and drive a bike. But, that doesn’t mean you can be careless about it.
Make sure to check out the infographic at the bottom of the post to learn more about the traffic laws in Nha Trang. The penalties for each violation are presented in Vietnamese Dongs (VND). To make things easier for you, here’s the average exchange rate right now (obviously, it changes all the time): 23000 VND for 1 US dollars.
So, while 80K Dongs is less than 4 dollars, 3 million Dongs for having a high concentration of alcohol in your blood equals 130 US dollars, which is a lot. Just like in any other country, exceeding the speed limit can cost you a pretty penny. Carrying two or more passengers on your bike is also an offense.
However, if you ride with your kid(s) on the same seat, the cops won’t really stop and charge you, as that’s what most locals are used to do. Plus, the government is always trying to treat the tourists with respect and close its eyes to some minor violations.