Scooters are very popular in Southeast Asia and in Vietnam it’s no exception. We were told in Ho Chi Minh City there are 8 million people and 6 million scooters. The streets are packed with them. I knew we had to drive one at some point on our Vietnam vacation. I felt that was a necessity in order to feel like a local, but mostly I just wanted to zoom around and look cool(if that’s possible).
When we arrived in Sapa we decided this would be the place to rent some scooters. There were a lot less people and more importantly a lot less motor vehicles. So one morning we got up told our hotel we wanted to rent one. We gave them $5 and they showed us our scooter. That was it. No paperwork, no instructions, no nothing. So I told Ryan I was driving first and we hopped on. I almost crashed into a parked car and everyone around us gasped, but I turned just in time and headed down the hill. The first thing we needed was gas. We realized quickly we didn’t know what any of the signs meant. We learned fast which ones were one way, do not enter, two way. It took us awhile to find the gas station since it is nothing to what we are used to. It was a metal box with the old fashion pump. We filled up with a few dollars and took off.
We knew we wanted to go see some waterfalls and were told to drive to Tram Ton Pass for amazing views. We were lucky it was a clear day so we could see all the mountains. We zoomed past cute farm homes and streams and would stop at the different waterfalls we found. Vietnamese drivers drove much faster than us, even the big trucks, and although I felt we were going fast we kept getting passed which was a little terrifying when you didn’t hear them coming.
When we finally reached Tram Ton Pass we were blown away by the beauty of the rigid mountains. We rode down the pass and took in the views. It was very lush and green and the air was so clear and crisp compared to the cities we had been in. It was such a different experience than every other day we’d had in Vietnam and it was definitely one of my favorites. After we drove for about 90 minutes we decided to turn around and head back.
We kept the scooter all day and drove it to dinner and around town. It was a blast and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Sapa. In the meantime I am working on convincing Ryan to by me one!