Renting a motorbike is one of the best ways to explore Vietnam. The convenience of picking up a bike right at the Hanoi airport makes it easy for travelers to hit the open road upon arrival. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about renting a motorbike at Noi Bai airport.
Reasons to Rent a Motorbike at Noi Bai Airport
Renting a motorbike right at Noi Bai airport has several advantages:
- No need to take a taxi into the city before renting a bike
- Avoid wasted time by renting upon arrival
- Pick up keys and start your adventure immediately!
- Rental prices are often lower at the airport
- Save money on taxis into the city
- Airport locations have competitive rates
- Explore at your own pace instead of on a group tour
- Make spontaneous stops and go wherever you please
- Travel independently and make your own itinerary
Renting at the airport gives you the freedom to start cruising Vietnam’s roads right away!
Pros and Cons of Renting a Motorbike
Like all travel decisions, renting a motorbike has both advantages and disadvantages:
Freedom and Flexibility
- Stop when and where you want
- Change plans on a whim
- Go off the beaten tourist track
- Cheaper than organized tours or taxis
- Save money on gas by renting automatic bikes
- Allows budget travel around the countryside
Fun Way to Explore
- Feel like a local cruising Vietnam’s roads
- Gain unique perspectives at your own pace
- Immerse yourself in the culture
- Roads are chaotic and dangerous for beginners
- Higher risk of accidents with loose traffic rules
- Driving defensively takes time to learn
- Language barriers asking for directions
- Signage can be limited in rural areas
- Cell service and GPS not always reliable
Dealing with Traffic
- Dense traffic circles and crossings can be hectic
- Aggressive driving style requires caution
- Pollution and road noise in cities
While the cons are worth considering, the rewards of rented motorbikes often outweigh the risks for adventurous travelers. Proper precautions go a long way.
Types of Motorbikes Available for Rent
Noi Bai airport has rental shops offering a range of motorbikes to meet diverse needs:
Small Automatic Bikes
Ideal for novice riders, automatic bikes up to 125cc are easy to operate. Twist-and-go without gears makes them accessible for new riders. Light and nimble, they also get great gas mileage.
Mid-Size Manual Bikes
For more experienced riders, manual transmission bikes from 125cc to 175cc allow you to shift gears at your own pace. Heavier and more powerful than smaller bikes for longer distances.
Large Touring Bikes
Big bikes over 250cc are great for 2-up riding with luggage capacity. Powerful engines to cruise at higher speeds and take on mountainous terrain with a passenger.
Choose a bike that fits your skill level, passenger needs, and riding style. The airport has options for all travelers.
Rental Companies at Noi Bai Airport
Several reputable companies rent motorbikes right at the airport. Compare rates, bike conditions, and policies before choosing one:
Motorbike Thu Ha
- Located in the arrivals hall
- Wide selection of new Honda and Yamaha bikes
- Open 24/7 for airport pickup
- Competitive rates with discounts for weekly/monthly rentals
- No deposit required with passport
- Agency near domestic terminal
- Mostly older bikes at budget prices
- Limited evening hours for pickup
- Requires cash deposit around $100-200
- Has mechanics onsite for repairs
- Outside the international terminal
- Mix of new and used bikes at various prices
- Open extended hours for airport pickup
- Takes credit card imprint instead of cash deposit
- Free helmets, locks, and maintenance
Ask fellow travelers for referrals or book in advance online for guaranteed airport pickup.
Rental Rates and Payment Options
Expect to pay around 180,000 to 250,000 VND (~$6-10USD) per day for smaller automatic bikes, and 100,000 to 300,000 VND (~$5-12) per day for mid-size and large motorbikes at the airport. Weekly and monthly rates offer discounts up to 30%.
Most companies accept cash payments in Vietnamese Dong or US Dollars. Some may allow credit card payments with a deposit authorization form.
Ask about required deposits, which range from $100-300 depending on the bike. Many places accept a passport instead of cash deposit.
Confirm rental costs, deposits, taxes, insurance coverage, and cancellation policies ahead of time.
What to Bring and Wear When Renting a Motorbike
Packing properly prepares you for safe motorbike travel in Vietnam:
- Valid driver’s license from your home country
- Passport for ID and deposits
- Helmet – most shops provide, but bring your own for comfort & safety
- Sun protection – hats, sunglasses, sunscreen
- Face masks – for pollution in cities
- Weatherproof gear – jacket, pants, rain cover during rainy season
- Comfortable shoes – avoid flip-flops and loose sandals
- Small backpack – to carry essentials while riding
Dress for safety in layers to adapt to Vietnam’s variable weather and road conditions.
>>> Read On: A Guide to Motorbike Rental, Laws, Road Safety for Tourists in Hanoi, Vietnam
Laws and Safety Tips for Riding a Motorbike in Vietnam
Obeying laws and riding defensively helps avoid fines and accidents:
License and Documentation
- International Driving Permit (IDP) – required along with your home license
- Passport – must carry at all times during rental period
- Registration papers – provided by the rental company
- Drive on the right – vehicles pass on the left
- Speed limits – look for posted signs and obey limits
- No drinking and driving – legal limit is 0.02% BAC
- Helmets mandatory – rider and passenger must wear helmets
- Running red lights – illegal and subject to fines
Defensive Driving Tips
- Drive slowly – beware of other vehicles driving fast
- Cover brakes – keep finger on brake to react quickly
- Use horns – honk before passing to avoid surprises
- Keep lights on – use headlight even during the day
- Yield to traffic – larger vehicles have the right-of-way
- Pull over and assess situation – ensure everyone’s safety first
- Call police – report accident to authorities to file a report
- Contact rental company – notify them of damages or issues
- Exchange information – get contact and insurance info of involved parties
Carefully following laws and safety tips will ensure a smooth rental experience on the roads of Vietnam.
Best Routes and Places to Explore by Motorbike from Noi Bai
With Vietnam’s beautiful landscapes, delicious food, and historic sites, possibilities for adventure are endless. Here are some top routes from Noi Bai Airport:
Route 1: Hanoi to Ha Long Bay
- Distance: 150 km, 3-4 hours
- Stops: Ninh Binh, Tam Coc, Cuc Phuong National Park
- Highlights: Limestone karsts rising from emerald waters
Route 2: Loop through Northern Mountains
- Distance: 640 km, 7-8 days
- Stops: Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien Phu, Sapa, Ha Giang
- Highlights: Hilltribe villages, epic mountain scenery
Route 3: North to South Coast along Ho Chi Minh Road
- Distance: 1830 km, 14+ days
- Stops: Vinh, Hue, Hoi An, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Ho Chi Minh City
- Highlights: Historic sites, beaches, and scenic coastlines
With an abundance of routes, a rented motorbike lets you design your own Vietnam adventure. Cruise scenic mountain roads, discover small villages, sample local cuisine, and soak up diverse landscapes.
>>> Get the Full Picture: Revving up in Hanoi: The Ultimate Motorbike Rental Guide
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Renting a motorbike from Noi Bai International Airport is the ideal way to independently explore Vietnam at your own pace.
Convenience, affordability, and flexibility make airport motorbike rental a great option for adventurous travelers. Review costs, bike options, rental companies, licenses, safety, and mapped routes to craft your own journey.
Vietnam’s landscapes and winding roads promise an unforgettable experience. With proper precautions, a rented motorbike lets you immerse yourself in the freedom of Vietnam’s open roads and rural rhythms as you chart your own course.
The right preparation ensures a safe, affordable, and thrilling motorbike adventure in Vietnam. So pick up the keys to your new wheels at Noi Bai and let the Vietnam vistas unfold before you!