The Mekong Delta region of Vietnam offers some of the country’s most stunning natural scenery and cultural sights. And one of the best ways to fully experience the beauty of this area is by motorbike. Zooming along peaceful backroads, wind in your hair, you’ll get an up-close look at life in the Mekong Delta. Of the provinces that make up the Mekong Delta, Tien Giang provides some of the most rewarding motorbiking opportunities. From lush rice paddies to bustling local markets to quiet riverside roads, Tien Giang satisfies any motorbiking enthusiast.
Renting a motorbike gives you the freedom and flexibility to discover Tien Giang’s highlights at your own pace. This allows you to venture off the beaten tourist track and uncover hidden gems not found in the guidebooks. With just a map, sense of adventure, and set of wheels, you can craft your own Tien Giang itinerary.
This guide will provide everything you need to plan an epic motorbike adventure in Tien Giang. We’ll recommend the best bike rental companies, map out potential routes to top sites, suggest packing essentials, and more. Let’s hit the open road to discover the majestic beauty of Tien Giang!
Reasons to Explore Tien Giang by Motorbike
Before diving into the details, let’s look at why Tien Giang is such a rewarding place to discover by motorbike:
Freedom and Flexibility
- A motorbike rental gives you the liberty to go wherever you please, whenever you want. No tour buses or guides on a set schedule. Just point the handlebars down an intriguing side street and see where it takes you.
- With a motorbike, you can follow your interests and curiosities. Stay longer at sites you enjoy and breeze by the ones that don’t resonate. Total freedom!
- On a motorbike, you feel closely connected to your surroundings – the smells, sounds, and intimate glimpses of daily life. It’s a fully immersive experience.
- Interacting with locals is easier on a motorbike. You can pull over spontaneously to chat or take photos.
- Motorbiking allows you to get off the beaten path, beyond where the big tour buses go. This provides a more authentic look at regional culture.
Convenience and Affordability
- No waiting for public transport or relying on others for rides. With your own set of wheels, you are fully in control of your schedule.
- Motorbike rental prices in Vietnam are extremely reasonable, especially compared to car rentals. More bang for your buck!
- Parking and navigating a motorbike is easier than a car. You can zip down narrow back alleys and pull over nearly anywhere.
Choosing a Motorbike Rental Company
The first order of business is finding a reputable company to rent your motorbike from. Here’s what to look for:
- Read reviews online and ask fellow travelers for motorbike rental recommendations. A bit of research goes a long way.
- Rent from an established company, not random individuals. This ensures the bikes are properly maintained.
- Ask if the motorbike has current registration and paperwork. This will prevent potential issues with police.
Types of Bikes Available
- Automatic scooters: ideal for beginners and urban riding. Step-through body makes stops easy.
- Manual motorbikes: for experienced riders. More power to cruise at higher speeds and take on rugged terrain.
- Dual-sport bikes: combine best features of scooters and motorbikes. Automatic transmission with off-road capabilities. Very versatile.
Rental Rates and Packages
- Daily rentals: flexible but more expensive for longer trips. Usually around $7-15 USD per day.
- Weekly/monthly packages: cost effective for extended rental periods. Maybe around $100 USD for 1 week.
- Extra fees: helmets, luggage straps, early pickup/late drop-off, extra drivers, etc. Ask about these.
Safety Equipment Provided
- Helmet: most essential safety item. Only rent bikes that provide helmets.
- Lock: prevents theft when parking on the street. Should come standard.
- Gloves: protects hands in a crash. Request them if not automatically included.
- Rain gear: ponchos and covers to keep dry. Have them throw some in.
Mapping Your Route
One of the most exciting parts of a motorbike trip is deciding where to go. Tien Giang has no shortage of worthwhile destinations, so be selective and don’t cram too much in. Here are tips for mapping your route:
Top Attractions and Sites
- My Tho: launchpad for Mekong boat tours to islands and floating markets. Atmospheric colonial quarter.
- Cai Be: charming floating market with photogenic scenes of traders in sampan boats. Visit early morning.
- Vinh Long: bike across scenic Van Thanh Mieu Bridge to Co Chien Island. Bok Om Bok ornithological reserve nearby.
- Tra Vinh: behold the seven-tower Ong Pagoda and stilt houses of the local Khmer minority group.
- Ben Tre: immerse yourself in the relaxing coconut-palm-lined waterways of “Coconut Island.”
Estimating Distance and Time
- Tien Giang’s attractions are fairly spread out. Destinations can be anywhere from 20-60 km apart.
- Assume speeds of 40-60 km per hour max. Factoring in stops, plan for covering about 100 km total per day.
- Allow plenty of time to stop for photos, food breaks, and unplanned detours. Rushing a motorbike trip is no fun.
Planning Stops and Rest Areas
- Mark potential food stops along your route. Local eateries are part of the experience!
- Identify spots to pull over for scenic outlooks and photo ops. Roadside stands and fruit orchards are great for this.
- Note locations of petrol stations to fill up. Running out of fuel in a remote area is the worst.
- Locate accommodation options in case you decide to split the trip over multiple days. Homestays and guesthouses are plentiful.
What to Pack for Your Motorbike Trip
Proper preparation makes for smooth motorbiking. Here are essential items to pack:
Sturdy Helmet and Other Protective Gear
- A quality helmet is a life-saving necessity, not just a legal requirement. Opt for a full-face style.
- Pack gloves, jacket, pants, and boots to prevent road rash in a spill. Or at the very least, wear long sleeves/pants and closed toe shoes.
- Bring a sturdy backpack with chest and waist straps. Don’t just sling a purse over your shoulder.
- Check forecasts and pack layers accordingly. Morning chill to midday tropical sun is common.
- Bring rain gear. Ponchos, pack covers, or even large plastic bags will do in a downpour.
- Pack sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. Vietnam’s tropical sun is powerful.
Valid ID and Driver’s License
- Carry your International Driving Permit and passport. This satisfies legal requirements.
- Keep paper copies of your license/ID as backups. Photos on your phone also help.
First Aid Kit
- Pack disinfectant, bandages, gauze, tape, pain reliever, diarrhea meds, etc. Be prepared for minor scrapes and tummy bugs.
- If you take any prescription medications, bring extra doses. Better safe than sorry.
Snacks and Water
- Stay energized and hydrated, especially in the heat. Pack non-perishable snacks.
- Bring a reusable water bottle. Plan to fill up at petrol stations, restaurants, and roadside stands.
Obeying Traffic Laws and Practicing Safety
Driving in Vietnam takes some adjustment. Here are tips for staying safe on the roads:
- Obey speed limits, traffic signals, and signs as best as possible. Better to arrive late than not at all.
- Drive defensively. Anticipate and compensate for others’ dangerous maneuvers. Don’t expect the rules to be followed.
- Use your horn liberally to make your presence known. Loud horn beeps are standard communication between vehicles.
- Be alert! Traffic flow in Vietnam seems chaotic but has an underlying order. Keep your wits about you.
- Don’t drink alcohol before riding. Dehydration and fatigue also impair your abilities. Take regular breaks.
- Get insured! Accidents happen, especially with loose livestock on rural roads. Protect yourself with international travel insurance.
Top Sites and Attractions to Visit
Now for the fun part – incredible sights and activities to enjoy in Tien Giang! Here are top picks:
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- Wander the pedestrian-only Tuyen Tac Boulevard with French colonial buildings. Have an iced coffee at 31 Thai Hung cafe.
- Take a boat tour to the islands of Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise, and Phoenix reached via scenic canals.
- Sample freshly picked produce at Thoi Son Islet. Be sure to try the region’s succulent pineapples!
- Arrive early to Cai Be’s floating market to see boats overflowing with colorful fruits and veggies.
- Walk out on Long Ho Bridge for an unbeatable market panorama at dawn. Instagram paradise!
- Cruise through lush mangrove forests and villages along the Mekong’s tidal tributaries.
- Ride over Van Thanh Mieu Bridge to peaceful Co Chien Island known for its orange groves.
- Visit colonial-era Van Thanh Mieu temple with eclectic architecture and relaxing gardens.
- Spot rare bird species like the endangered eastern sarus crane at nearby Bok Om Bok wetlands.
- Marvel at the 18th-century Ong Pagoda with seven tiers representing Buddha’s sacred number.
- Experience Khmer culture through house stilts, crafts, and food in the surrounding villages.
- Be awestruck by the hollow buttress roots of giant Ben Tre trees near Hang Pagoda. Natural masterpieces!
- Float lazily along canals shaded by arched coconut palms on a traditional sampan boat. Pure serenity.
- Check out fruit orchards and sample deliciously ripe jackfruit, longan, rambutan and more.
- Pop into workshops to see how coconuts are processed into oils, candies, fibers, and other products. Fascinating!
Finding Good Eats
One of the best parts of motorbiking in Vietnam is stopping whenever your stomach rumbles. Here’s how to find tasty grub in Tien Giang:
Local Markets and Eateries
For authentic flavor at unbeatable prices, eat where the locals do.
- Pull up a plastic chair at any spot with a crowd. More customers = better food!
- Try dishes like banh xeo (sizzling pancake), bun mam (sour fish noodle soup), and com tam (broken rice).
- Order fresh coconuts, tropical fruits, and sugarcane juice from market vendors. Ultimate refreshment.
Tien Giang has distinctive local eats. Keep an eye out for:
- Banh khot – tiny crispy pancakes packed with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts.
- Goi du du – green papaya salad with peanut and prawn paste dressing.
- Banh canh ca loc – thick noodle soup with snakehead fish and tamarind broth.
Coffee Shops and Cafes
For a break from the tropical heat, duck into one of Tien Giang’s eclectic coffee shops:
- Cafe Rang 28 for riverside views and coconut honey coffee.
- Cafe Kem Bach Dang serving egg coffee, a decadent Hanoi specialty.
- Coffee Dome housed in a blown-glass geodome with quirky decor. Great ‘gram potential!
A motorbike allows you to stop for awesome photos anywhere along the journey. Here are some tips:
- Pack a DSLR and lenses like a 35mm or 50mm prime if you have them. But phone cameras work great too!
- Bring spare batteries and memory cards. Vietnam’s heat drains batteries faster.
- A cheap plastic rain cover lets you keep shooting in wet conditions.
- Take the classic drive-by shot of your motorbike on a scenic stretch of road.
- Capture locals in candid moments of daily life – working, socializing, playing.
- Shoot top-down market scenes from bridges or elevated walkways.
- Play with reflections along the area’s ubiquitous waterways.
- Record slice-of-life clips as you drive through villages and past rice fields.
- For stability, use a handlebar or adhesive mount for your phone or GoPro.
- Edit clips together to make an engaging motorbike travel video. Add music for extra polish!
The open road is full of surprises. Here are some potential challenges and how to handle them:
Bike Troubles and Repairs
- Learn basics like changing flat tires so you can do minor roadside repairs.
- Call your rental company if you need help or get seriously stuck. Many offer free assistance.
- Seek help from a local mechanic. Most speak enough English and can patch issues at low cost.
- Check forecasts and avoid riding if intense rain or storms are imminent.
- If already on the road, take shelter and wait out downpours which typically pass quickly.
- Adjust your route to drier areas if monsoon rains linger. Locals can advise on conditions.
- Have your destination name/address written in Vietnamese to show locals for help navigating.
- Download an offline Vietnamese language app with essential travel phrases and words. Super handy.
- Try charades or pointing. Sometimes nonverbal communication works better than words!
Packing List Essentials
To ensure you don’t overlook any critical items, here are key things to pack:
- Passport and ID
- Motorbike license
- Helmet and protective gear
- Weather-appropriate clothes
- First aid kit
- Offline map app
- Power bank and chargers
- Rain cover for gear
- Snacks and water
- Hat and sunglasses
- Mosquito repellent
- Cash in small bills
- Garbage bags (for covering pack)
- Photocopies of documents
One of the best parts of motorbiking Tien Giang is spending the night right in the heart of the scenery. Here are some overnight options:
In larger cities like My Tho, you’ll find hotels ranging from:
- Budget – $15-30/night for basic but comfortable accommodation
- Mid-range – $30-60/night gets A/C, breakfast, swimming pools
- Luxury – $60-100/night provides high-end amenities and service
For a local experience, spend a night or two at a rural homestay.
- Family-run – Interact with your welcoming hosts. Feels like visiting relatives!
- River views – Wake up to scenic waterscapes and breakfast on lush patios.
- Cooking classes – Many offer hands-on lessons in regional cuisine. Fun and delicious!
Pitch a tent along the river or in the silence of fruit orchards and rice fields.
- Ask first – Get permission from locals before camping on private land.
- Check for wildlife – Ensure your spot is snake and critter free.
- Lock valuables – Secure important items like passports when unattended.
Returning Your Bike
Before parting ways with your trusty rental bike, follow these steps:
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Checking for Damages
- Do a walk-around, noting any new scratches, dents, or other damage that may incur fees.
- Photograph the bike as proof of condition, just in case disputes arise later.
- Fill up the tank before dropping it off. Rental shops charge inflated rates for empty gas tanks.
- Keep the receipt as proof you refueled.
Retrieving Your Deposit
- Verify you receive your full deposit back, minus any applicable damage fees.
- Count your cash before leaving the shop. It’s awkward to come back later claiming they shorted you.
Reflecting on Your Experience
After an epic motorbiking adventure in Tien Giang, here are important things to do:
- Look through photos and videos to relive the top highlights.
- Journal about meaningful experiences and people you met along the way.
Planning Your Next Motorbike Adventure
- Research other provinces in the Mekong Delta or elsewhere in Vietnam to explore.
- Consider an extended road trip covering more ground over several weeks.
- Pitch the idea to travel buddies who may want to join next time.
From its scenic backroads to cultural attractions, Tien Giang provides endless discoveries for motorbiking travelers. Follow this guide to plan your route, gear up properly, capture memorable moments, and fully experience the freedom of Vietnam from the seat of a motorbike. The open road awaits – let the adventure begin!