Top Gear Vietnam Special
One of the most famous Top Gear Specials so far is most probably the Vietnam special. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May bought some bikes in Saigon to do a road trip all the way to the north. Jeremy Clarkson who had never ridden a bike before struggled at the beginning and even had a crash. But in the end they all made it to halong bay. During the Top Gear Vietnam Special they pass some of the most beautiful places in the world. No wonder that after this episode allot of people decided that they wanted to do something similar.
Top Gear Vietnam Special Route
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) to Da lat
Da Lat to Nha Trang
Nha Trang to Hoi An
Hoi An to Hue
Hue to Hanoi
Hanoi to Halong Bay
I would suggest to spend around 2 to 3 weeks to comfortably enjoy the scenery and places you visit along the way
- During the Top Gear Vietnam Special they had to complete this trip within 8 days.
- Google maps suggests that the drive (without any stops) takes 34 hours.
Renting or Buying a bike
- Make sure you check the bike
- Make sure you have a helmet
- Take a test drive
- Make sure you have insurance
- When buying a bike make sure you you have the blue card
- When renting make sure you have the correct paperwork
Tip: if you are looking to buy a cheap bike look for a bike market around the area.
Driving in Vietnam
Driving in Vietnam can be quite a challenge sometimes. With barely any rules, people driving in the wrong direction and big holes in the road it can be a little daunting sometimes. Here are a few tips to make your experience a little more comfortable.
- The left lane is usually for cars and the right lane for bikes
- People will drive on the wrong side of the road! Keep your eyes out!
- Beep your horn to let people know that you are there
- When a car flashes their lights at you it means ‘watch out i’m coming’ so it does not mean ‘you can go!’ like in most countries
- Check your blind spots constantly
- The locals usually don't look behind or to the side of them and only focus on what happens in the front. Keep this in mind while driving
- Never trust the traffic lights, regardless of what color it is on people will cross. So don’t blindly trust you can cross safely when it turns green
- Keep an eye on very young drivers that are trying to show off
- Watch out for bikes/trucks that are carrying large poles, bricks or whatever else they are carrying
- People driving while on their phones is a common sight
*Don’t let these reasons put you off driving in Vietnam. If you drive sensible and keep an eye out, doing a road trip through Vietnam can be one of the most amazing experiences ever.
Have you ever watched the Top Gear Vietnam Special? Would you do the same drive, or have you done the same drive? I would love to hear your stories!