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Living in Vietnam - without motorbike?!?!
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What is the best option for a couple without two motorbikes in HCMC?
Use some combination of bus, taxi, bicycle, and possibly one motorbike
36%
 36%  [ 7 ]
Try finding work in a smaller Vietnamese city where you won't need one
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Vietnam isn't for you. Go to China, Taiwan, etc
63%
 63%  [ 12 ]
Total Votes : 19

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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 881
Location: China

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh My God wrote:
(don't worry about cops just keep 200000VND neatly folded up with your papers) as long as on-lookers don't see him take it, you're home free. Laughing


Does that mean int'l licenses are as difficult to acquire as in China? Do you need one for ebikes too or just motorbikes?
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Oh My God



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LongShiKong wrote:
Oh My God wrote:
(don't worry about cops just keep 200000VND neatly folded up with your papers) as long as on-lookers don't see him take it, you're home free. Laughing


Does that mean int'l licenses are as difficult to acquire as in China? Do you need one for ebikes too or just motorbikes?


There are several threads on here about the difficulty of getting Driving Licenses, IMHO I'd say don't worry about it until you think this is the place to stay or not. Motorbikes with an engine that's larger than 50cc. Anything smaller than that - No License required
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dmjkvn



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Ho Chi Minh City

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried for a while without a motorbike, and if you have a set route and not at different locations, it is possible.
But it gets difficult after a while, and a bit expensive using taxis all the time.
Night time is most dangerous. Don't hang your bag off you, it'll get snatched which usually means falling off your bike and getting hurt or squashed by a billion Viets on motorbikes.
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 881
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again, on behalf of those unfamiliar with Vietnam, let me ask what the relative ratios are (ball park):
1. taxis : xe-oms
2. 2-wheeled traffic : 4-wheeled;
3. bicycles : e-bikes : motorbikes?

Here in Beijing, the ratios are about: 5:1 (4-wheeled vs 2- or more commonly, 3-wheeled taxis); 1:4, 2:3:1. I'm most interested in the 3rd ratio which I'm guessing is predominated by motorbikes, followed by bicycles, then e-bikes. Is that right? Can anyone give me a rough idea of the numbers? Also, does one need a licence for an e-bike?
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taxi:xe om 70:30
Car:motorbike 5:95
Bicycle/electric bicycle:motorbike 10:90
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

E-bikes are more and more popular. I would say that I see more e-bikes on the road than bikes. In the city though. Countryside and it will be only regular bikes.

No license required. No helmet required either, but I would wear one.
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 881
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

montblanc20 wrote:
No license required. No helmet required either, but I would wear one.


Thanks for the clarification as to ratios. I got the impression from mk87 xe-oms outnumbered taxis. If xe-oms are legal, why don't they drive around looking for customers like unlicensed taxis (regular cars w/o meters) here do?

Just curious why you lumped bikes and ebikes together? Here in China, ebikes look more like motorbikes than they they do bicycles. Any idea what's behind the growth in ebikes?
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 322

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wealth probably...

It used to be that students just drove bicycles. Now, most of them get e-bikes, and they just keep them instead of upgrading to motorbikes.

Most people who drive motorbikes here go so slowly that an e-bike which tops out at speeds of 40kph is just as fast. You don't have to buy petrol, don't need a license, don't need a helmet, don't need registration...
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 881
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ExpatLuke wrote:
Wealth probably...


I realize that. Vietnam's consumption of electricity increased 11% this year alone. Despite completion of some huge hydro-electric dam, they're increasingly reliant on China to meet demand. So much of nighttime hydro-electric baseload is wasted so they should actually be encouraging ebikes for economic and environmental reasons.
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LongShiKong wrote:

Thanks for the clarification as to ratios. I got the impression from mk87 xe-oms outnumbered taxis. If xe-oms are legal, why don't they drive around looking for customers like unlicensed taxis (regular cars w/o meters) here do?

Just curious why you lumped bikes and ebikes together? Here in China, ebikes look more like motorbikes than they they do bicycles. Any idea what's behind the growth in ebikes?

Xe om don't drive around:

Wastes fuel. If these guys make 5 dollars on a good day, spending an extra dollar on fuel is a big deal.

Wears bike.

Familarity. People probably would rather take a ride from the guy that they see waiting patiently everyday at the same corner than from a random guy. And over time they know the driver personally.

It is better to get to know passengers. Maybe exchange phone numbers and become a personal xe om to somebody or somebody's children. Pick them up from school.

That ratio is just a guess. Vietnamese people that I ask never take them. It really seems like every Vietnamese adult has a motorbike.

The growth in e-bikes is due to the price going down and the people having more money. Doing things in hot weather like pedalling and walking can be exhausting. I lumped them together because I don't really think there is a point in having an x:y:z ratio if I am just guessing. I don't know if my e-bike:motorbike ratio is accurate. To me, it seems like the only people who use e-bikes are high schoolers and university girls and very old people. I would just keep things simple and say that 95 percent of vehicles on the road are motorbikes.
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes I wonder why xe om don't have more obvious markings. They could spend a dollar and get a decal on their helmet and bike saying xe om motorbike taxi and maybe it would increase their chances with foreigners.
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mk87



Joined: 01 Apr 2013
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

montblanc20 wrote:
Sometimes I wonder why xe om don't have more obvious markings. They could spend a dollar and get a decal on their helmet and bike saying xe om motorbike taxi and maybe it would increase their chances with foreigners.


There was a company that started about half a year ago that were kind of like official xe om's. I don't know what happened to them. Also I assume at some point they must have been licensed because you see lots of the older guys wearing those blue shirts which look like a uniform.

Most of my Xe Om drivers I have used regularly have other jobs, and basically just used to sit out on the street with their friends and families in the evening taking fares if they turn up. I guess its a little extra cash.
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok. I've seen a couple of guys wearing xe om in training vests not carrying passengers. I always thought why does it require training. And what happens after training. But other than those guys I haven't seen any.
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 881
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

montblanc20 wrote:

Xe om don't drive around: Wastes fuel.


No offence intended, but do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 322

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LongShiKong wrote:
montblanc20 wrote:

Xe om don't drive around: Wastes fuel.


No offence intended, but do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?


How is it ridiculous? He's right.
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