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23 Jul 2018

Bike, fOOt or cycle Vietnam Style

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Scooter, Vespa, moped – you know the kind, a small motorbike designed for 1 driver, and at times a pillion passenger.  That was pretty much my impression anyway – until I arrived in Vietnam

Saigon greeted us with big city sights and sounds AND the biggest concentration of scooters that I have ever seen.  They are everywhere – but not surprising given they are Vietnams most popular means of transportation.  And they don’t just carry people – signs, water bottles, animals to name but a few.  If you can get it on the scooter than you’re good to go seems to be the general rule. 

While correct licensing and travel insurance cover can be issues for tourists riding a scooter in another country there are options to still travel like a local



A Saigon Afterdark tour with Vespa Adventures was one of the highlights of my recent trip to Vietnam.  The ideal way to let you experience the city on the back of a vintage Vespa with an experienced driver – winding around cars, the horns, bright lights (and a little bit of fumes!).  I did have a bit of trepidation going out onto the roads on a small bike but within minutes I was absolutely loving it. 

What a fantastic way to see the city! We were on main roads and down little side streets that took us past the cities sightseeing and onto fabulous authentic street food locations.  We stopped by a local Vietnamese Pancake Restaurant and a Vietnamese Coffee Shop with amazing singers to name a few. 

  I always like to try local cuisine while I am away from home and this ticked all the boxes – just make sure to take your appetite with you as there is a lot of food. This is basic local food but absolutely delicious with fresh flavours. 

Food, Culture and Nightlife of Saigon in one evening gets a big tick from me – and all from the back of a Vespa


Walking is a slightly different experience.  Before leaving for Vietnam I had been told by several friends about the traffic.  It is busy and loud and, for a first timer pedestrian, very daunting.  The trick is to find someone to follow. Once you start crossing the road just keep going – don’t stop or change pace and the traffic moves around you.  I found that even though the roads are chaotic they go with the flow – if they have to move around you they will.  Once you’ve crossed a couple of busy roads it all becomes clear and I felt my confidence increase some-what.


Winding my trip to a close was a cyclo ride in Hanoi. A cyclo is a 3 wheel bicycle taxi – you sit in the seat at the front with the cyclist behind you.  The slower speed makes for an ideal way to capture a few pics along the way and they are really easy to find in the Old Quarter of the city.  A different perspective from walking the streets of this bustling city. Sit back and take in some beautiful architecture and packed side streets – and still more scooters of course! 



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