Motorbike is probably the most common thing you come across once you get to Vietnam. It is true that most Vietnamese prefer commuting by motorbike because of its flexibility and cost-efficiency. In Sapa, the scene is a bit different since you may see a lot of foreigners going around the town by motorbikes. If you opt to ride a motorbike to get to know Sapa better, you can choose either to go on a motorbike tour or to rent a motorbike from hotels or motorbike rental shops
- Go on a motorbike tour
Going on a motorbike tour, you will ride in a group which is supervised by an experienced local guide. There are various motorbike tour agencies that you can find on the Internet. They offer a variety of tour packages which are tailored in terms of tour length, destinations and services included. A motorbike tour is particularly recommended for anyone who would like to go further and explore other places near Sapa.
- Rent a motorbike
There are numerous motorbike rental shops in Sapa; therefore, you can easily find one in the town center or ask the receptionist at your hotel to help you rent a motorbike. Nowadays, to meet tourists’ needs, many hotels add motorbike rental to their services. The rent price varies from 5 USD to 10 USD, depending on types of motorbike, duration (full-day or half-day) and fuel deal (included or excluded). If you don’t go further than Sapa, then it is highly recommended to choose the deal with fuel included since it is not easy to find a gas station in Sapa to fill the tank yourself.
Before making your choice, you should keep in mind a few following things:
- No driving license is required for any motorbike that has an engine capacity of 50 cc or less. Riding a larger capacity motorbike, you will be requested to show your driving license if you are stopped by a local police officer. The fine could be expensive if you don’t have Vietnamese issued driving license which cannot be substituted by international issued one. Hence, it is advisable that you go with a Vietnamese or go on a motorbike tour to avoid this.
- The roads in Sapa can be very dangerous during the rainy season. Thus, you must ride slowly and cautiously especially on wet, hilly and windy roads.
Going around Sapa by bike gives you a chance to not only discover the hidden gems in Sapa but also improve your physical and mental fitness. Moreover, it is safer to ride a bike on hilly roads in Sapa during the rainy reason. Either joining a biking tour or renting a bike, you are about to embark upon an unforgettable sight-seeing, a culture-exploring journey in Sapa.
- Join a biking tour
You can easily find information about biking tours from travel agencies or on the Internet. There is a wide range of tour packages varied based on types of bike, the number of guests, tour itinerary and tour services combined. For example, on one day tour, following the lead of local guide, you will start your biking tour from the town center to villages of Vietnamese ethnic tribes in the morning. During your ride, you will be able to see the stunning valley view along the way. During a short break, you can try some local food to recharge your energy before continuing your ride to other places.
- Rent a bike
You can easily rent a bike at some hotels or from a private bike rental shops in Sapa. To ride on the hilly roads around Sapa, you should rent a good quality mountain bike with a soft seat. The rental rate varies from 3 USD to 10 USD, depending on bike sizes and duration.
A few things to note down if you choose to ride a bike around Sapa
- It is advisable to wear a helmet when you are riding a bike
- You should be in a good shape to be able to finish your ride, especially on rainy season; some roads around Sapa can be unfriendly to bicyclists.
Less energy-consuming way to go around Sapa is getting on a private car. Some attractions such as Cat Cat or Ta Phin Village are accessible by cars since the roads to these attractions are usually in good conditions. If you go in a group, hiring a car can be both fun and affordable. You can either rent a car at your hotel (normally, all hotels in Sapa provide information about car rental; some even offer car rental themselves) or from travel agencies. The price is ranging from 20 USD to 50 USD per day, inclusive of driver salary and fuel cost, based on car types and tour itinerary.