The convenience offered by motorcycles make them the most preferred mode of transportation for many residents of Saigon, this is because of their reliability, affordability and ease of use. However, there have been a rising number of accidents involving motorcycles in Saigon because of the presence of rogue road users who tend to put the lives of other road users in danger. As a result of increasing the number of traffic accidents involving motorcycles, tourists and expats may resent them even with the advantages associated with them. The negativity associated with riding motorcycles in Saigon has left many foreign and local residents wondering if it is possible to ride a motorcycle in Saigon and live to tell the story.
By simply knowing how to weave your way around the traffic and also knowing the correct way to relate with other road users, it is very possible to make riding a motorcycle in this city quite enjoyable and safe for that matter. Saigon presents unique challenges to the inexperienced rider, including: crazy traffic, unpredictable pedestrians and rogue road users. Knowing how to deal with such people is the key to successfully riding a motorcycle in Saigon and living to tell the story. Saigon also has a number of construction works in some locations like in Districts 5 and 6. Construction works normally impede the smooth flow of traffic. In most instances, roads have to be diverted or traffic has to be made to go round the construction works. Such diversions may result into tight turns which are some of the ingredients for catastrophe on the road. Construction sites are also normally isolated using concrete fences. These barriers present a potential hazard in that in case a cyclist loses control and rams on them, the domino effect may also involve several other motorists. When riding in the city, it is important to look out for these construction sites and exercise a lot of caution around them.
The city also has several locations which have a high probability for traffic accidents, such as Thu Duc District, form the intersection to the High Technology Park as a result of the presence of many trucks transporting containers. These trucks may not respond fast to their driver’s inputs because of their sheer size. This may result into accidents especially in narrow streets such as the road from the 621 Junction to the Vung Tau intersection. The streets in the Tan Tao Ward in the Binh Tan district should also be a source of concern, this is because of their narrowness and the presence of many vehicles including; buses, cars and motorcycles. The Tran Nao Street in District 2 is also very narrow; it presents a significantly greater risk because of the presence of vendors on both sides of the road. Teenage drivers are also a predisposing factor to the occurrence of accidents. They are known to weave around the traffic at high speeds in their excitement, care should be exercised around such drivers, if possible, you should stay away from them all together.
You should also remember to have an insurance policy for yourself; this may come in handy, especially during an accident. Having a local driving license is also a must; you may have to apply for one as it is illegal to drive without a driving license.
Furthermore, if you feel really hard with these requirements and difficulties above or you don’t know how to ride a motorbike in Saigon (HCM), never mind, there are always some much more suitable ways for you. Take a Saigon city tour with Back of the Bike Tours, which always has the best motorbikes and scooters available for you. And the most wonderful thing is that the tour guides will be your riders, so just enjoy your tour.