In a motorbike country like Vietnam, where locals use their vehicle for anything you can imagine (and even things you would never imagine) traveling by motorbike can be very tempting. Roads are decently paved, the traffic is not so dense out of big cities and the weather is perfect for it. Many tourists like to rent or buy an old motorbike, attach their backpacks and let it roll. It is, for sure, an attractive plan. But why not doing it by bicycle? Both have two wheels, both need momentum to keep balance, one has an engine and the other one has your legs. It might be slower, but who is in a hurry
1) You feel more free
Remember the first time you rode a bike as a child, the feeling it could take you anywhere without your parents being around, that first feeling of independence and absolute freedom? That’s what we are talking about. Some people might not agree, since an engine allows you to go faster and further, but everyone who rides a bike has experienced this unbeatable feeling of freedom, as if the only thing you needed in this world was a bicycle.
2) It’s healthier
Sitting down the whole day on a motorbike seat is not the healthiest thing to do. If you cycle you will also enjoy the sightseeing and your legs will be moving, your fitness will improve and you will go to bed with a very pleasant feeling.
3) It’s silent
This is not something you should overlook. Enjoying a country means sightseeing, but also listening. Imagine you are in the middle of the countryside, gently pedaling, listening to the subtle noise of the chain turning, of the wheels rubbing the road. You are in peace. Imagine the same thing with the roar of a motorbike… You get it, it’s not the same.
4) You know the country better
Here we prefer to listen to one of the best American writers ever, Ernest Hemingway:”It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle”. OBviously, we couldn’t say it better.
5) Don’t worry for the Police
If you are a foreigner and you have driven a motorbike in Vietnam (specially when the New Year is nearing), you know that the Police is bnd to pull you over and ask for as fine for whatever reason. If you don’t have a Vietnamese driving license or the registration papers of the bike, you might be in even more trouble. It can usually be solved with money, but it’s a hindrance that for sure makes a trip less pleasant. We have never seen the Police stop anyone on a bicycle. You just forget about that worry.