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Old 04-04-2013, 02:51 AM   #17
Beastly Adventurer
VietHorse's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Recalculating... recalculating.... HCMC-Vietnam :)
Oddometer: 1,609

Welcome to Vietnam and I am sure there will be lots of things for you to explore and have fun with.
I was born in the North and moved to South (Hochiminh City) to live and work after graduated from the Uni.
So, most of the things related to motorcycle I have experienced are in the South. However....

Ok, living in Vietnam never being difficulty for any foreigners, ref to all the foreigners I 've known. All of them love and willing to stay to live and work here. So that don't worry about the living, just the matter of how you satisfy with sorts of low quality of public transportation, communication, services.... in comparison with other developed Countries.

Mong Duong thermal power plant is located in Quang Ninh province, not too far from Halong Bay, the World Nature Heritage, just around 50miles.
The topography of that area is considered highland. There are a lot of mountains and you definitely can have dirt roads to ride on. And further more, raining season there up North is quite hard, and you will have super difficult dirt trails to try.

For your wife's job: I have no idea. For your wife's safety: I am sure she can hang around without any issue, just do not bring attractive, expensive jewelries, don't bring much cash, and try to learn how to bargain, then she 's safe in every way.

For the bike. I would say it's not so difficult to get one in here. However you may need to pay much higher than what it supposed to cost, like in the US. Govt wants to develop domestic industry and not to put more pressure to traffic so the import taxes of vehicles here are crazy high. Sometimes, the price you pay here is triple than what you have to pay in the US for the same thing. About the fake title, yup, it's there. You may from the US or EU and think it's funny, but that's not a strange thing around SE Asia, i.e. Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, or even Singapore. That's what I 've known by my own eyes. Don't pay too much time to search for the bike when you are not arrived yet.
Reason why I say so - because we buying and selling bike in local shops, face to face, or thru our local website, and you can't find them on CL or some other Expat blogs; unless, the bike is own by a foreigner, or the one who know foreigners well.
So, get your ticket to here, landed, and I can show you some friends at the North and you can ask them more details, or even guide you where and how to buy a legal bike there.

For the A2. There 's nothing black and white saying that the foreigner can't get the A2. However, A2 is even super difficult to the locals.
Some requirements I would like to quote here FYI:
- You have to have the bike registered under your name (>175cc bike)
- You have to have the Motorcycle Athlete Certification Card (which shows you are the one who in a recognized Motorcycle Sport team) - unless you have the Vietnam Military or Police Identification Card instead.
- You have to have the Letter of Introduction from Department of Sports to send you to get the A2 Cert.
Those three are the most difficult part. And I am sure you can't do the No. 2 and 3 by your own, as well as the normal locals.
However, don't worry too much on that.
For the 1st stage, just come, buy a bike to feel it first. Then go to a lawyer office and ask them to translate your (motorcycle) license into Vietnamese and get it official notarized. Now, you can enjoy riding with your own license + notarized translation + passport. If you are busted, show them all those paper you have, then you are Okay! (There is no-where saying that the foreigners can ride with their own license in Vietnam, but as soon as you are foreigner, the Police won't try to mess you up, unless you are involved in an accident).

Now the 2nd stage, the same with the Bike, the locals there could guide you how to get those.

Welcome to ride with us if you have chance to be at the South:
VIETNAM by Motorcycle | My Ride Reports on ADV

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