Vietnam Motorbike Trip: What to Pack?
Image: Dang Khoa

Vietnam Motorbike Trip: What to Pack?

There are necessary essentials even for a short trip. In this article I’ll list out the packing list for a motorbike trip in Vietnam. Hope it reminds you of some forgotten things.

Motorcycle Accessories

  • Spare Parts: Spare ignition keys, puncture repair kit and/or install tire sealant, a tool kit, some spare inner tubes, and spark plugs. One of those things got broken without a spare part, you are unable to continue your ride.
  • Motorcycle luggage rack and straps. Bring some spare good straps in case you need it. You won’t find it happy while driving and worrying about your stuff behind.
  • Motorcycle phone stand. It’s much better driving with both hands and maps on your side.
  • Helmet. It’s better a full face with good glass for winter at the North. For other seasons, a 3/4 is okay.
  • Knee pads, elbow pads and motorcycle gloves. Heated motorcycle gloves are recommended if you visit the north in winter. This thing is quite hard to buy in Vietnam, so better bring it from your home.
  • Motorcycle jacket and boots: not essential. If you have something really good, bring it. If not, you will get roasted or frozen in the jacket.
  • Waterproof covers for everything. Your bags, your phone, your electrics, your body (raincoat), your shoes,etc.
  • Reflective Cover. Yes, don’t ride at night, but if you do, be prepared with a reflective jacket on you or a cover on your backpack. You can buy this at any workwear shop in Hanoi or HCMC.
  • (Optional) Bike Lock. If you do wild camping, a lock is better than nothing.

Tech Accessories for Vietnam Motorbike Trip

  • Go Pro and a lot of memory cards.
  • Power bank. 10.000 or 20.000 recommended. A 20.000 might not be accepted on some flights. Make sure to bring cables for all of your devices.
  • Smartphone. A smartphone with a decent camera could replace your PnS.
  • A data sim card. Over 90% of Vietnam is cover by mobile signal. With internet you can find a path, book a room or call for help. A $10 sim card could save you hundreds on roaming. Buy sim cards at my shop to buy me a beer.
  • Download offline maps to your phone. Maps.me allows to download a country map. Google Maps allows to download multiple regional maps.
  • Radio. If you travel in group, this is essential.
  • (Optional) A mini drone. Flying along the sea cliff in the middle of Vietnam or above rice terraces in the north is a divine feeling.
  • (Optional) Garmin GPS and maps. Normally a phone is okay.
  • (Optional) Camera. I myself usually bring a Fuji-film XE2 with a wide angle lens. It shoots some decent photos but not much more than a phone camera. Bring some high-end weather resistant if you are a professional.

What to wear in a Vietnam Motorbike trip

This is a very different part that I leave it to yourself with some advises.

  • North Vietnam is hotter/colder than it seems. In summer it might feel like 38 degree when it is only 30 degree. In winter it might feel like 5 degree while it is 11 degree. It is because of the humidity. You probably should bring some thin warm jackets for winter. For summer and the south of Vietnam, t-shirts are the best.
  • For rainy season, bring or buy a water resistant jacket.
  • Buy a flip-flop in a night market in Hanoi or HCMC, get it out while driving under rain. See the photo below. The legendary Vietnam sandal, cheap ($1), soft, waterproof. I call it the VATS or Vietnamese all-terrain sandal. At the market, ask people for “dép tổ ong”.
  • Buy a lot of socks and underwear. Those things don’t take much space but very useful when you need them. Go for a 7 day trip, buy enough for 5 days. Most of  overnight stops has laundry service, however, better safe than sorry.
  • Swimming suits/glasses. You might encounter a super cool beach or waterfall in a hot day.
  • While riding motorbike in Vietnam, the wind is your enemy, make you sleepy and tired. I choose a thin jacket and a jean for outside.
vietnam motorbike trip sandal
The Vietnamese all-terrain sandal

What to bring in a Vietnam motorbike trip really depends on the season and the location that you want to visit. Hope my article help you a little bit. Enter “weather” on the search box for details about Vietnam’s weather. Don’t forget to visit my ultimate motorcycle riding guide in Vietnam.

Wish you a stunning trip.

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