Vietnam is a motorbiker’s paradise, with stunning landscapes, winding coastal roads, and opportunities for adventure around every bend. For those seeking an unforgettable motorbiking experience in Vietnam, the sunny province of Binh Thuan is an ideal destination. Home to the famous beach resort town of Mui Ne, Binh Thuan boasts over 150km of scenic coastline, towering sand dunes, quaint fishing villages, and remote mountain roads waiting to be explored by motorbike.
Renting a motorbike and setting out on a journey through Binh Thuan province allows you to fully immerse yourself in the culture, natural splendor, and thrill of independence that only a motorbiking trip can deliver. This article will guide you through everything you need to know to plan an exhilarating motorbike adventure in beautiful Binh Thuan.
Overview of Binh Thuan Province
Located along the south-central coast of Vietnam, Binh Thuan province covers over 7,800 square kilometers featuring a diverse landscape ranging from dense jungles to arid deserts to lush farmland.
Location and Geography
Binh Thuan shares its northern border with Khanh Hoa province, its west border with Lam Dong province, and its south and east sides are edged by the inviting blue waters of the South China Sea. The province’s topography shifts from high mountains in the west to the coastal plains lined with dunes in the east. Binh Thuan’s central position on the south-central coast makes it easily accessible from nearby tourist destinations like Nha Trang to the north and Ho Chi Minh City to the south.
Climate and Best Time to Visit
Binh Thuan enjoys a year-round tropical climate, with high temperatures averaging 27-35°C. The dry season from January to August sees very little rain, making this the ideal time to motorbike around Binh Thuan. The peak season for tourism is between December and April. Avoid visiting between September and November, when the monsoon rains can make motorbiking more challenging.
Top Attractions and Things To Do
Some of the top spots not to miss exploring by motorbike in Binh Thuan include:
- Mui Ne – The vibrant beach resort town famous for its enormous red and white sand dunes and excellent conditions for kitesurfing.
- Ke Ga Lighthouse – The iconic red-and-white striped lighthouse towering over the Ke Ga peninsula south of Phan Thiet.
- Ta Cu Mountain – Home to the second highest peak in south-central Vietnam, with a hike rewarding you with stunning panoramic views.
- Phan Thiet Fishing Village – Charming traditional fishing villages where you can watch fishermen bring in their catches.
- Ca Na Beach – A remote 15km stretch of spectacular yet secluded coastline.
- Phu Quy Island – A pristine island getaway offering clear blue waters, coral reefs, and a small fishing village.
- Vinh Hao Village – A rural weaving village near Phan Thiet where you can watch locals weave silk.
Benefits of Renting a Motorbike in Binh Thuan
While there are certainly other ways to get around Binh Thuan like buses, private cars or motorbike taxis, renting and driving your own motorbike offers some key advantages for travelers.
Freedom and Flexibility
The best part of renting a motorbike is having the freedom to fully control your own journey. You can take any route you choose, stop to admire views for as long as you want, and change plans at the last minute. This flexibility ensures you don’t have to compromise on how you spend your limited time.
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Renting a motorbike can actually save you money compared to other transport options in Vietnam. Gas is very affordable, and renting a motorbike for several days often costs less than hiring a private car and driver. This helps stretch your budget further.
Thrill of Driving Yourself
For many visitors, getting to drive your own motorbike is a highlight of traveling Vietnam. It’s an adventure in itself being in control of the bike as you cruise around taking in the sights, sounds and smells. The exhilaration of driving through new places under your own power is part of what makes a motorbiking journey so memorable.
Types of Motorbikes Available for Rent
The main decision to make when renting a motorbike in Binh Thuan is whether you want a manual or automatic transmission bike. You’ll also need to consider engine size and off-road options.
Manual motorbikes are the classic choice for riding in Vietnam. They range from 100-175cc and have gears you shift yourself. Manual bikes give you better acceleration and climbing power on hills or off-road. However, they do require some experience shifting gears.
Popular manual motorbike models include the Honda Winner, Yamaha Nouvo, Suzuki Raider and Sirius.
For those less experienced with manuals, automatic motorbikes provide easier riding. They range from 90-125cc and have no gears to shift. This allows you to simply twist and go. Automatics work well for basic rural road riding but can struggle on steep inclines.
Top automatic models are the Honda Airblade, Yamaha Exciter and Suzuki Satria Fu.
For motocross-style riding on rocky roads, dirt trails, or up to Ta Cu Mountain, renting a dedicated off-road dirt bike is recommended. These heavyweight motocross bikes feature knobby tires and superior suspension to absorb bumps and jumps.
Honda XR and Suzuki DRZ models are suitable dirt bikes readily available for rent.
Where to Rent Motorbikes in Binh Thuan
Renting a motorbike is quick and easy to arrange across Binh Thuan province. The busiest tourist centers of Phan Thiet and Mui Ne offer an abundance of rental shops to choose from.
Rental Shops in Phan Thiet
As the capital, Phan Thiet city has the widest selection of motorbike rental stores. Recommended options include Queen Bee Motorbike Rental, Viet Nam Motorbike Rental, and JHonda Motorbike Rental.
Rental Shops in Mui Ne
Mui Ne also has plenty of motorbike rental outlets aimed at travelers staying in the popular beach town. Quality choices are Cowboy Bar Motorbike Rental, MSR Mui Ne, and Orange Motorbike Rental Mui Ne.
Rental Shops Along the Coast
Nearly every town along the coast of Binh Thuan will have local motorbike rental services. Asking your accommodation for recommendations is a good way to find reputable options in smaller towns like La Gi, Phu Hai, and Phu Quy Island.
What to Look for in a Rental Shop
When evaluating motorbike rental outlets, keep the following criteria in mind:
Reputation and Reviews
Reading recent reviews from other travelers can provide insight on the quality of the rental bikes and service from the company. Reputable shops have overwhelmingly positive feedback. Watch for consistent complaints about mechanical issues or poor customer service.
Quality of Motorbikes
Closely inspect the condition of the motorbike before renting. Check for worn tires, rust, and leaks. Take it for a quick test drive. The engine should run smoothly without strange sounds. Brakes need to have good pressure.
Safety Equipment Provided
Responsible shops will include helmets, and some may also provide gloves and knee pads free or for a small fee. Make sure your helmet fits properly and that any included safety gear is in reasonable condition.
Planning Your Motorbike Route
One of the best parts of a motorbike trip through Binh Thuan is deciding exactly where your journey will take you. You’ll want to strike a balance between must-see sights and leaving room for unexpected stops and spur-of-the-moment detours.
Try to devote significant time to riding Vietnam’s famous coastal roads. Binh Thuan’s section of the coastal highway leads you to captivating beaches, quaint fishing villages, and dreamy sunsets over the sea. Allot 1-3 days for covering the coast depending on how thoroughly you want to explore side routes.
Inland Attractions and Villages
Balance your coastal riding with visits to inland attractions like Ta Cu Mountain, Dragon Spring Lake, and rural weaving villages. These routes showcase a different side of Binh Thuan beyond the beaches. 1-2 days is sufficient to see key inland highlights.
National Parks and Mountain Roads
For those craving scenic mountain vistas, you can ride to mountainous national parks like Cat Tien National Park on Binh Thuan’s northern border or to the foot of Nui Chua National Park. These areas reward you with twisting mountain roads amid lush jungle scenery.
Must-Visit Destinations by Motorbike
While personal interests will shape each rider’s itinerary, these destinations should be on every motorbiker’s Binh Thuan bucket list:
Mui Ne Sand Dunes
No trip to Binh Thuan is complete without seeing the iconic red and white sand dunes in Mui Ne. Riding an ATV or sledding down the towering dunes is an adrenaline-pumping experience. Don’t miss the sensational views atop the dunes at sunset.
Ke Ga Lighthouse
This picturesque lighthouse makes a perfect motorbike day trip from Phan Thiet. Park at the base and climb to the top for panoramic views and photos looking back along the coast. Nearby Ke Ga beach is also ideal for swimming.
Phan Thiet Fishing Village
The vibrant fishing villages near Phan Thiet provide a glimpse into Vietnamese coastal culture. Wander the harbor seeing fishermen return with their catch, then eat fresh seafood at a local restaurant. Ca Ty and Phu Hai are recommended villages to visit.
Packing Checklist for Motorbike Trip
Proper preparation prevents problems during your motorbike journey. Be sure to pack:
Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and lightweight long sleeves/pants help shield you from the tropical sun during long days on the bike.
Pack a compact rain jacket or poncho in case you get caught riding in one of Binh Thuan’s occasional storms.
Prioritize comfortable, breathable fabrics like Dri-FIT shirts. Leave jeans behind, as they can get hot and restrictive when riding. Pack clothes you don’t mind getting dusty or dirty.
Motorbike Safety Tips
While motorbiking through Vietnam may seem daunting for beginners, exercising caution and following basic safety tips will help ensure an incident-free trip:
Assume other vehicles may make sudden lane changes or stops. Keep one hand covering the brake at all times. Drive at a speed where you can quickly react.
Don’t overdo long mileage days. Take frequent breaks to walk around and stay sharp. Hydrate often. Know your limits and don’t ride when overly tired.
Dealing with Traffic and Road Conditions
Vietnamese traffic can seem chaotic, but watch how locals behave and follow their cues. Drive slowly and carefully if you encounter potholes, gravel, or mud. Honk before passing to alert other vehicles.
Best Times of Day for Riding
Smart timing of your motorbike outings can enhance the experience and allow you to avoid critical downsides like intense midday heat.
Plan to depart by 7-8am if possible. You’ll beat the heat and experience Vietnam awakening for a new day. The roads are also least congested in the early morning.
Late afternoon and early evening are ideal times to return to your base, as temperatures start dropping. Evenings also let you catch dreamy sunset views along the coast.
Avoid Midday Heat
Take a break and head indoors during the peak sun and heat between 11am-3pm. This helps you avoid fatigue and sunburn.
Where to Stay Along the Route
One of the best parts of a motorbike trip is spending nights in different locations across the province. Here are some accommodation ideas:
Mui Ne and other coastal towns offer fabulous beach resorts with pools, restaurants and bars. They provide a comfortable place to relax after days riding. Some resorts have dedicated motorbike parking.
For a cultural experience, spend a night or two at a rural homestay. These family-run guesthouses let you connect with local life. Most homestays still provide amenities like wifi and breakfast.
For the true adventurer, you can camp at spots like Ke Ga beach, in national parks, or anywhere that allows it. This offers unbeatable immersion in nature.
Stopping for Food and Refreshments
Don’t forget about keeping yourself fueled and hydrated while motorbiking through Binh Thuan’s riches.
Local Restaurants and Cafes
One of the joys of touring by motorbike is stopping spontaneously at whatever restaurant or cafe looks appealing. Ask locals for their favorite spots.
Keep an eye out for humble street food carts and fruit stands along your route. These make great places to grab a quick and authentic bite.
Pack Snacks and Water
Bringing provisions avoids getting caught hungry or thirsty. Power bars, trail mix, bananas and bottled water are easily packed items that can be lifesavers.
Capturing Memories of Your Motorbike Adventure
Looking back fondly on your motorbike journey relies on capturing good photos and memories along the way.
A basic camera or phone allows you to frequently snap photos of the stunning landscapes and moments on your trip. Stop often to take pics.
Jot notes in a journal each night to capture impressions and interesting tidbits you don’t want to forget. This provides invaluable insights when blogging later.
Sharing on Social Media
Let friends and family join your motorbike adventure virtually by posting pics and quick thoughts on social media. Great for staying connected from the open road.
>>> Additional Reading: Motorbike Rental in Ninh Thuan: Best Practices and Tips
Why a Binh Thuan Motorbike Trip is an Unforgettable Experience
From rugged natural beauty to cultural immersion to pure independence, a motorbike trip through Binh Thuan offers unique experiences you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
Breathtaking Coastal Views
Cruising along the highways hugging the coastline rewards you with a non-stop parade of captivating ocean vistas. Sheer cliffs, deserted beaches, crashing waves and uninhabited islands delight.
Immersion in Local Life and Culture
By motorbike, you’ll discover local villages, markets, temples, and slices of authentic culture most visitors raced past on a bus never see. These precious memories last long after leaving.
Sense of Freedom and Accomplishment
The mere act of piloting your own motorbike across new landscapes gives a powerful sense of independence and achievement. You control the journey, going where your heart desires. An incredibly liberating feeling.
So don’t delay in booking that motorbike and fitting a helmet. Your open-road adventure in beautiful Binh Thuan awaits! The endless excitement of the journey promises memories to cherish forever.