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Moped Usage

kilmarnock/scotland
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Moped Usage

Hi Folks,

I have been reading the posts regarding the hiring and usage of mopeds. I arrive on the 11th April for 2 weeks and looking forward to a new adventure we normally go to Goa but decided on a change. Normally we hire a moped on our holiday to get us about but only if its safe and the roads are not crazy. So is it advisable to rent a moped? I don't mind paying a fine for no license if we get stopped if it will be worth it, it does give you a bit of independence to get about. How much are the fines and is it inevitable we will be stopped and fined? I'm not one for flaunting the law but if it is par for the course then so be it, also are the roads reasonably safe around the Phan Thiet, Ham Tien, Mui Ne area?

Many thanks

Regards

Craig

White Sand Dunes
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Nha Trang, Vietnam
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1. Re: Moped Usage

Since you're comfortable breaking the law in your host country I don't think you need any further advice.

Edited: 05 April 2014, 15:43
Ho Chi Minh City...
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2. Re: Moped Usage

l see a post from today by a couple who got pulled over in Mui Ne for unlicensed riding of motorscooter. Their fine was $75US.

Is that what you needed to know. Now for the real situation. If they had an accident which is very likely when you see how the traffic is in Vietnam and some one is hurt even if its not their fault the penalty is 10 yr jail increasing rapidly to 20 should they die. These laws are on the statute books but some times can be circumvented if a considerable amount of money changes hands. Lastly your travel insurance will be null and void if you are doing something illegal. Broken legs are the usual result of motorbike head ons. I have an expat mate in HCMC who got hit head on by 3 young kids on a bike without helmets at 2 am in the morning riding home from his restaurant business. The 14 yr old rider is still in a coma from September last yr and the two other passengers only got broken limbs. He unfortunately got broken wrist and broken leg and is now crippled for life as the hospital botched the whole repair job. And he was legal.

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Moped Usage

There are 50cc mopeds in Viet Nam that are legal to ride.

The problem is that I don't know if you can find one for rent.

I still would not reccommend riding in the summer, weekends, holidays, and along bus routes though.

Find the time when the traffic is really light and wear a bright flash jacket, please.

John

Nice, France
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4. Re: Moped Usage

All of this is easily searchable on the internet, so I don't think we need to reassure you. Search youtube for "riding a motorbike in Vietnam" and judge for yourself. If one is easily intimidated and not very coordinated, then driving a motorbike isn't a good idea. In the cities, it's normal to not go much faster than bicycle speeds. 40 kmh. People will be overtaking constantly and driving on the wrong side of the road. Stay to your right on highways.

Many foreigners ride and that seems to be the in thing to do. I think it's a bad idea to ride here without knowing basic Vietnamese language and without spending some time observing how the traffic works. Most Westerners would find the conditions in hospitals that normal Vietnamese use to be unacceptable. I went to the recovery area of an army hospital in the city and most Westerners would find the conditions appalling. Many Westerners who have motorcycle experience wouldn't accept the conditions of riding in the city or the highways.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that an accident for you is likely because that's just not true. You are taking a risk. Just like the kids who ride bikes to school on highway 1 are taking risks. There are things that you can do to reduce risks. If you are coordinated and a decent driver and drive at slow speeds, you should be ok.

Many Vietnamese have scars from motorbike accidents. Either from crashing or falling or from somebody hitting them. That's been my experience meeting people. I don't know about almost all, but I would go as far as saying most of the young generation that I've met have scars from this. If you are around long enough you see people on the ground with their motorbikes crashed. I'm guessing that I've seen about one or two a month. And if you're around long enough you hear about friends of friends who have been in accidents or killed. I visited a girl whose father had lost an eye in an accident. One of my coworker's cousins was killed because he couldn't see on the main highway at night and slammed into the back of a parked car. Another friends girlfriend was killed.

Last night I saw that a motorbike and taxi hit. The bike was on the ground and the taxi had damage, but the driver was alright. Two or three nights before that, I saw the police taking pictures of two motorbikes on the ground. The bikes had collided. People there said nobody died. Only an hour after seeing that I saw a couple fall because they hit a wet spot on a round about. They fell pretty hard, but they got back up and on the bike.

Edited: 05 April 2014, 17:53
Nice, France
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5. Re: Moped Usage

Again, it's about risks and what you can do to reduce your risk. Walking or riding a bike might mean reduced risk and you're not breaking the law, but you could just as well get hit walking or biking. Driving a motorbike or riding a bicycle at 2am in the morning? In general, not such a great idea. Driving at night on the main highway in the country side where there are no street lights? Again, not a good idea. Driving a motorbike in Saigon on your second day in Vietnam with no motorbike experience? Not a good idea. Driving in the rain? Driving fast at night in the city? Etc.

kilmarnock/scotland
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6. Re: Moped Usage

Hi Folks,

Okay I get the picture, taxis it is then.

Many Thanks for all your input.

Regards

Craig

pacific palms
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for Mui Ne
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7. Re: Moped Usage

Strangely I was in La Gi last night and was surprised to see the number of electric bikes silently whizzing around. As far as I know these don't need licences and I wonder if some entrepreneur is likely to offer this soon. As to Mui Ne, the number of tourists on motor bikes has dropped dramatically in the last 6 months. Maybe the Australian woman's death recently has shaken people a little.

Cheers Ross

Ho Chi Minh City...
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8. Re: Moped Usage

The scariest thing I find with the electric bikes is they're so quiet you can't hear them coming and I have nearly collided with them several times.

I should point out that I am referring to times when I have been walking through my local market carrying produce and they've come up behind me and I have stepped in their way. At least with pushbikes they tend to rattle and obviously you can hear the engine of motorbikes but the electric bikes can go fairly fast and make no sound.

Edited: 06 April 2014, 15:18
9. Re: Moped Usage

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