First off: It is possible to ship motorbikes by train in Vietnam
There is a lot of confusing information when it comes to shipping motorbikes. The first things you find is that it is not possible or that it is really complicated. These posts are mainly written by companies trying to sell you on there program or options for shipping bikes. It took me a few days of reading posts and then I eventually just went to the train station and tried to figure it out.
Second It is possible to ride the same train as your motorbike
So many companies and posts talk about shipping taking up to four days. Most of these are door-to-door delivery services. There are some things you need to know though to make this a possibility. Not all train stations have bike loading and unloading. Only the bigger train stations have this option. I don't have a full list but I know Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang, Da Nang, and I am sure many others. This list will get you a all over the country with a few hours ride in between.
What do I need to know or do to ship my motorbike by train in Vietnam
First you need to go to the train station. Do not go to the ticket counter inside, that is for your personal ticket. You need to go around the side where you see a bunch of motorbikes parked and people loading and unloading big bags or boxes. This is the shipping yard at the train station. From my experience they have always been on the left side ffacing the train stations, but that might not hold true for all. When you get there you will have many "port Hustlers" try to tell you to stop, and to give them gas, and to ship with them. These are more expensive and slower processes than going to the source. Park your bike near the ramp, or go close enough so that someone will wave you to drive up into the docking area. From there you need to talk to the paperwork ladies. You can ask them about availability and which train you can ship your bike on and which one you need to ride so that you are on the same train.
What do I need to know before shipping my motorbike on a train in Vietnam
- What station you are going to, and make sure they have loading and unloading capabilities.
- You will need your passport and blue cards for each bike that you want to ship.
- You need to get your bike to the train station many hours before your train actually leaves. We had to get our bikes there before 2pm and we took the 8pm train.
- The train shipping can fill up and sometimes they don't have room for your bike. So get there early in the morning, or best take your bike down there a day in advance and this will make sure your bike will arrive with you.
- Lunch break is a serious thing in Vietnam, do not think you will get any help between 11:30-1:30. This is lunch break and you wont have anyone there or if they are they will only laugh at you and point you to go away.
What does it cost to ship motorbikes in Vietnam
Well like everything in Vietnam there are three prices. The price for locals. The price for Vietnamese speakers or travelers. The price for foreign travelers. As a foreign traveler our bikes costs 530,000 each and there is a 30,000 unloading fee to be paid when the bike is delivered. In total it costed us 560,000 or about 25-30$ to ship our bikes from the north in Ha Noi, to the southern middle of Da Nang. I am sure that you an get this for a little cheaper if you can speak the language and or have a local with you.
Why would someone ship motorbikes in Vietnam
For us it was time. We only had so much time in the country and we had traveled the north. We wanted to experience the southern parts yet that was an extra 16 hour drive just to get to the southern middle. We only averaged about 4-6 hours a day as we stopped for fun all along the way. This way we took an overnight train from Hanoi to Danang and skipped a lot of the middle.
If this was helpful please leave a comment, if you found your experience to be different please let the others reading this know.