Traffic Accidents in Vietnam

Northeast Vietnam motorbike
As you may know, many tourists wanna travel Vietnam by motorbike but they don’t dare to join a motorbike tour here because they did hear that traffic in Vietnam is crazy and traffic accident in Vietnam kills as many as in the war.
Only in 9 days of Tet holiday this year – 2015, there are 536 traffic accidents with 317 deaths and 509 injuries. The daily average number of traffic accidents in Vietnam is 100 and the average death is 27.

So what are the reasons for so many the accidents in Vietnam?

1. Inadequate infrastructure

As you know, Vietnam is a country with high population density and of course the proportion of traffic is also high. Meanwhile, the infrastructure is not adequate. Narrow streets, sub-standard roads, degraded signs… are things that can easily cause accidents. The investment in infrastructure can not catch up with the speed of development. Fast population growth goes along with higher density of vehicles move around on the roads that are for less traffic.


2. Local People’s poor traffic-law compliance when driving


Bad traffic and inadequate infrastructure is only minor reason. People’s awareness is the main reason for the bad things that happen. In other words, the state of abiding laws of Vietnamese people is really low.


Have you ever seen a bus that is supposed to be for 40 people carrying more than 110 passengers? And I haven’t mentioned the luggage. Well, that happens a lot in Vietnam. The intercity buses that carry far more than the real capacities are on the highways, on mountain passes every day. Can you imagine how dangerous is that? What will happen when they drift? Many transportation businesses marginalize the work of ensuring the traffic safety for their passengers. All what they care about is the profits. Besides, passengers themselves ignore their own safety when still getting on those buses when they see the “stuffing” situation of the buses. People only want to get to their places as fast as possible regardless of the annoyance and even the danger they will face.


You probably already know that the most popular vehicle here in Vietnam is motorbikes. You can be surprised at the number of motorcycles participating in traffic everyday. Motorbikes are personal vehicles, 2 wheels, small size, they can easily move around. Convenient? Yes. But some careless local people who ride the motorbikes make trouble. Because they can move easily, people go every where with their motorbikes. Small alleys, large roads, you can see them every where. That is not a problem until you can see motorbikes on lanes that are supposed to be for cars; until people ride motorbikes on sidewalks when there are traffic jams; until they do the sudden stops when they suddenly want to buy something on the streets. Vietnamese people ride motorbikes in a “funny” way, you may think. It is just not a safe way. There are a very high number of accidents happened when a car and a motorbike crash, when a motorbike hits people that walking. People ride motorcycles in zig zag shape, weaving into car lanes which eventually make cars go into motor lanes. What a chaostic scene you can see on Vietnamese city roads.


Besides from going in wrong lanes, people also use there personal vehicles to carry goods, but carrying too much goods on a one motorbike or car is one of the biggest problem here. Going on streets, you can easily find motorbikes that carry stuff that maybe five times bigger than the motorbikes. And of course, it is heavy. Driving is hard when you carry big stuff, and harder when it is heavy. People easily loose control, crash into other vehicles, or just fall down, but when the goods fall into the street, it may cause troubles for other vehicles if they can not shunt or do not have enough time to brake.


“Men without alcohol are like flags without wind”. You can see from that how much Vietnamese men love drinking. They love to get high? Fine. But that popular personal preference does not get along really well with the fact that almost all Vietnamese people use their personal transportation on a frequent basis. Not only carrying heavy stuff and zigzag, there is another serious problem which is drunken drivers. Everyday, there are thousands of traffic collisions happen and many of them related to the alcohol content in driving. The drunk can not control the speed, can not stay focus and of course they loose balance. Can you imagine how dangerous it’s when driving.


Now you may be worried for pedestrians. Oh, no need to. They are too familiar with the traffic here. And sometimes, they are the cause of the accidents. Like I said before, we need to be brave to cross the streets. Pedestrians here seem to have much bravery. They cross every where. Crowded streets, highways, vehicles moving fast? No problem. They still cross the streets whenever they feel like. Don’t you think we don’t have cross-over bridges. We do. But just that the pedestrian do not bother to use them. There have been so many accidents due to this fact.


3. Lack of authorities control over traffic standard


Driving over speed limits, carrying overweight or over-sized stuffs, being drunk while driving is one of many other law violations for the Vietnamese drivers. You may ask where are the police officers? they are supposed to keep people follow the rules. As the matter of fact, we have many of them on the streets, but on the other hand, literally, “on the other hand” they receive bribes. That is quite easy to do that here. Just need a few bucks and make up a convincing reason, they will let you get away with it easily.


For the conclusion, let me jot it down, Inadequate infrastructure, poor traffic law compliance of people and lack of authorities control are the main reasons for the huge number of traffic accidents in Vietnam. So, when you sign up for the “adventurous journey” which is so called traffic in Vietnam, be careful, obey the law, keep high concentration always watch out. Stay safe.

Finally, what are the solutions to have a great and safe motorbike trips in Vietnam?


The Vietnam traffic has it own rules that only the local people knows so our recommendation on touring Vietnam by motorbikes is always taking guided motorcycle tours, the good local guides do not only know the local rules or the ways to have a safe ride but also know English to help you connecting with the local life and know the safe routes to ride on.


The traffic accidents are almost happened in busy cities or highways; however, traveling Vietnam by motorbike with Vietnam Motorbike Tour Expert you’ll be offered all the well designed tours on almost quiet back-road, easy countryside roads or off-road to the remote areas where there is only you riding motorbike on the road. So choosing the reputable motorbike tour organizer to travel with is one of the ways to make your holiday safe!


It sounds simple but it’s true that touring Vietnam by motorbike is one of the safest ways to join the traffic in Vietnam to compare with touring by buses, boats or trains in Vietnam

3 Day Vietnam Motorbike Tour from Hanoi

This 3 Day Northern Vietnam motorbike tour is one of our best short motorbike tours in Vietnam. It is very enjoyable trip for the riders  who wanna mixture of on and off-road motorbike ride and for the ones who have short time to travel in Vietnam can have great experience of the remote mountain area, colorful hill tribes and get far away from the bustle and touristy cities.

Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau: 180 Km (L,D – Home Stay)

This Hanoi motorbike tour to Mai Chau valley starts at around 8:30 AM. Ride motorbike to the north west of Hanoi. After one hour riding, we will be in mountain area and the motorcycle tour to Mai Chau becomes very enjoyable. The ride is almost on the small countryside roads along the Da river through rice fields and farming villages, after lunch in Hoa Binh we will ride through plenty of limestone mountain between the rustic village of the Muong and the Thai people. Especially after lunch in Hoa Binh we will have great ride along the Da river lake, the winding road along the rider offer a stunning view of lime stone mountain and the green water lake. The ride will remind you motorcycle tours on coastlines in central or southern Vietnam. This route is the new discovery of Vietnam Motorbike Tour Expert Co, Ltd so it makes the trip different. Arrive Mai Chau valley at around 5 PM.

Day 2: Mai Chau – Phu Yen: 150 Km (B,L,D – Hotel stay)


After saying good bye to the friendly host, get on the bike and have slowly ride around the villages of the Thai people in the valley to feel and taste the hidden charm of region before motorcycling up to Phu Yen. The motorcycle tour to Phu Yen is quite relax, easy and joyful. With the length of 150 km, the road up to Phu Yen is almost quiet, winding and offers a lot of stops for visiting the local ethnic people and picturing amazing view of mountain. In the afternoon, after crossing the Da river lake by a ferry we will have great Vietnam motorcycle tour on the lake bank to Phu Yen. We arrive Phu Yen town at around 4:30 PM.

Day 3: Phu Yen – Hanoi: 165 Km (B,L)



It’s another easy and short motorbike ride to Hanoi. After the traditional breakfast – Pho or noodle soup we keep motorcycle touring in northern Vietnam crossing beautiful Lung Lo mountain pass and then heading down to Hanoi on the backroads until Son Tay town. From Son Tay we keep turning on the backroads via some rice fields on the Red river delta to get on the dike road a long the red river and ride straight back to Hanoi. The short Northern Vietnam motorcycle trip will end in early afternoon in Hanoi.

Our tour price is based on NUMBER OF GUESTS (the more people in the group, the less money each person will pay) and TYPE OF BIKES (the smaller bike you take, the less money you will pay). Please contact us for the right price, or you can view the sample price below for the regular tours North Vietnam by 125cc – 150cc bikes:

  • Tour for group of private solo rider: 200 USD/Day
  • Tour for group of 2 riders: 150 USD/Day/Person
  • Tour for group of 3 riders: 140 USD/Day/Person
  • Tour for group of 4 – 10 riders: 130 USD/Day/Person
  • Airport pick up/drop off, Support vehicle or Air tickets are not included but they can be arranged depending on your request with the extra cost
  • The extra cost to upgrade to Honda CRF250L is $40 USD/Bike/Day.
  • The extra cost for the backup vehicle + driver is $150 USD/Day.
  • The prices listed above are only for the Northern Loop Vietnam motorcycle tours, Other  special motorcycle tours on Ho Chi Minh trail or crossing the border to Laos or Cambodia… will cost more. Please contact us for more details.
  • The tour price can be different depending on the low/high tourist season or other special requests, Please contact us to get the right price of tours.

Tour price includes:

  • Experienced English speaking tour guides (2 tour guides/mechanic for a group from 5 riders)
  • Quality Honda XR150L or Honda CRF250L or other bikes we have with all fuel
  • Quality Helmets/Gloves/Knee and elbow pads/Rain jackets/pants
  • All meals on tour (All breakfasts, lunches and dinners with local Vietnamese food)
  • Accommodation on tour (twin share room in standard hotel or stay at homestay as mentioned in itinerary)
  • Boat rides on lakes or rivers as mentioned in itinerary
  • All entrance fee / Permits
  • Hotel pick up/drop off before and after the tour
  • Video of the trip made by updated GoPro


Tour price excludes:

  • Medical insurance
  • Bike damages
  • Personal expense
  • Drinks/Tips
  • Air tickets and  visa to Vietnam
  • To secure your bookings we require a minimal of 30 % deposit. Balance can be made upon arrival
  • The rider is responsible for any bank charges. ( surcharge 3,5% if you pay by credit card )
  • The balance can be paid by cash or credit on the first day of the trip
  • If you cancel the Vietnam motorbike tour before the departure date, you will lose 100% of the deposit.
  • If you cancel the tour after the departure date, you will lose 100% of the total cost/ fee of the tour for any reason.
  • After departure, NO REFUNDS will be given for any reason, if you cancel the tour.
  • A Damage Cost deposit of US$ 100 – 1,000 or more is required for each motorcycle for using in the guided or self-guided motorcycle tours. In case of a self-caused accident, your own participation is up to US$ 2,000 or more.


“We guarantee to deliver the best balance between cost and quality of tours”