How to Send a Motorbike on a Train in Vietnam

How to Send a Motorbike on the Train

Last updated July 2023 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

Tom, Vietnam Coracle

Tom Divers is the founder and creator of Vietnam Coracle. He’s lived, travelled and worked in Vietnam since 2005. Born in London, he travelled from an early age, visiting over 40 countries (he first visited Vietnam in 1999). Now, whenever he has the opportunity to make a trip, he rarely looks beyond Vietnam’s borders and his trusty motorbike, Stavros. Read more about Tom on the About Page, Vietnam Times and ASE Podcast.

In Vietnam, you can put your motorbike on the train and send it from one destination to another. You can send your motorbike to at least 16 different train stations along the coast between Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and Hanoi. This is a hugely convenient service for riders. I put my motorbike on the train regularly and have done so for over a decade. The service is quite efficient and reliable, and it has gotten better over the years. Sending your motorbike by train is relatively hassle-free, but requires some patience and understanding of how the process works. Overall, sending a motorbike by train in Vietnam is a massive boon for riders, but there are a couple of considerations and drawbacks to be aware of before you decide to use this service.

How to Send a Motorbike on the Train in Vietnam

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Advantages, Drawbacks & Step-by-Step Guide

Below, I’ve written about the advantages and drawbacks of sending a motorbike by train, followed by an illustrated step-by-step guide. I’ve also included a map with all the train stations you can send a motorbike to/from in Vietnam. It’s useful to know exactly how the service works, because this will ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible and that your expectations are suitably managed. Most importantly, riders should be aware that, apart from a few unique spur line routes (see Related Guides), your motorbike does not travel on the same train as you (the passenger), and it usually takes between 2-4 days to arrive at its destination.


Map of Stations

Advantages & Conveniences

Drawbacks & Difficulties

Step-by-Step Guide

Related Guides

How to Send a Motorbike on the Train in Vietnam

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Train Stations to Send Motorbikes to/from in Vietnam

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For travellers and residents alike, sending a motorbike by train is very convenient. For example, most people fly into and out of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) or Hanoi, but their road trips will be largely focused on rural areas, far from the busy streets, pollution and concrete monoliths of the nation’s two biggest cities. Travellers can rent their motorbike in Saigon or Hanoi and then send it on the train to another destination that’s much closer to the region they will be riding in, thus avoiding the long, slow crawl on clogged roads and busy highways to get out of the major cities and industrial suburbs. Indeed, many motorbike rental companies offer this service for an extra fee. Two classic examples of this are: renting a motorbike in Saigon and sending it to Nha Trang; or renting a motorbike in Hanoi and sending it to Dong Hoi (near Phong Nha).

Likewise, when you come to the end of your road trip, instead of riding all the way back to Saigon or Hanoi and thus ending the journey on a low note negotiating awful traffic on polluted highways, simply ride to the nearest station and send the motorbike back to its final destination by train.

Riders can also send their motorbikes on the train to skip large sections of a route. For example, perhaps you are riding the length of Vietnam on a south-to-north route, but you want to skip the central section between Quy Nhon and Hue for some reason: simply put your motorbike on the train at Quy Nhon (Dieu Tri station) and send it to Hue station where you can pick it up a couple of days later and continue on your route.

Remember, you can send your motorbike to/from almost every major station along the coast on the main south-north rail line between Saigon and Hanoi: that’s at least 16 different destinations to choose from (see my stations map).

List of stations to send a motorbike on the train in Vietnam
List of stations & prices for sending a motorbike on the train

Nha Trang train station, Vietnam
Nha Trang train station: just one of 16 destinations to send a motorbike to/from between Saigon & Hanoi

How to Send a Motorbike by Train in Vietnam
My motorbike, Stavros, arriving at Đồng Hới train station in north-central Vietnam

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There are a few drawbacks and/or difficulties to be aware of when sending a motorbike by train, but these shouldn’t be a problem as long as you make allowances for them and organize your road trip accordingly. Read the following bullet points before deciding to send your motorbike on the train:

  • Your motorbike does not travel on the same train as you (the passenger); it goes on a separate train in a freight carriage. (There are a few notable exceptions to this rule on spur lines branching off the main south-north rail route: see Related Guides for details.)
  • On average, your motorbike will take between 2-4 days to arrive at its destination station. The length of time depends on how far you are sending the motorbike and whether it’s a busy time of week/month/year for freight on the railways, such as public holidays or periods of bad weather. To give two general examples: if I put my motorbike on the train in Saigon on Monday morning, I am confident that I can pick it up in Nha Trang by Wednesday; if I put my motorbike on the train from Saigon on Monday morning, I am confident I can pick it up in Hanoi by Thursday.
  • Not much English is spoken by staff at stations, especially at the more remote ones. However, some signage is in English, and because this is Vietnam, people will go out of their way to help travellers. Patience and smiling goes a long way.
  • Your motorbike will be packed in bubble wrap, blankets, boxes and a wooden crate to protect it, but it will still be in a dusty carriage on a bumpy rail track for many long hours, so expect it to get a bit dirty and perhaps even suffer a blemish or a scratch. It’s best not to be too ‘precious’ about the outside appearance of your motorbike.
How to Send a Motorbike by Train in Vietnam
Your motorbike travels on a separate freight train & takes 2-4 days to arrive at its destination

How to Send a Motorbike by Train in Vietnam
Freight handlers at Saigon train station: not much English is spoken

How to Send a Motorbike by Train in Vietnam
Even though your motorbike is packed & wrapped, it might still suffer some blemishes or scratches

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Below is an illustrated step-by-step guide to sending a motorbike by train. Remember that you need to send your motorbike at least 2-4 days before you want to pick it up at the destination station. When you send a motorbike on the train you must bring the following: passport, motorbike ownership green/blue card, cash, and mobile phone number. Do not fill your gas tank before you send a motorbike on the train, because your bike will be drained of gasoline by station staff. After you send your motorbike, don’t lose the receipt. See the steps and images below for more details.

Sending a motorbike by train in Vietnam
Bring your passport & motorbike ownership card (top). Don’t forget to keep your receipt (bottom)

STEP 1: Decide which station you want to send your motorbike from and to. You can send a motorbike from/to almost all major stations between Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and Hanoi. From south to north the stations are: Sài Gòn, Binh Thuận (for Phan Thiết), Tháp Chàm, Nha Trang, Tuy Hòa, Diêu Trì (for Quy Nhơn), Quảng Ngãi, Tam Kỳ, Đà Nẵng, Huế, Đông Hà, Đồng Hới (for Phong Nha), Vinh, Thanh Hóa, Ninh Bình, Hà Nội. (See my stations map.) As an example, the image below is a list of destination stations (the far left column) with the price for sending motorbikes from Saigon station according to their size and weight (the last three columns on the right). Every station has a chart similar to this:

List of stations to send a motorbike by train in Vietnam
List of stations (far left column) & prices (last three columns on the right) for sending a motorbike by train

STEP 2: Ride your motorbike to the train station and look for (or ask for) Phòng Vận Chuyển Hành Lý, Hàng Hóa (Luggage & Cargo Shipping Office). The key word to look for is vận chuyển (shipping). Every station has a vận chuyển office. It is usually to one side of the main station ticket office. Look for signage in Vietnamese. If you can’t see it, find a staff member and ask for vận chuyển xe máy (motorbike shipping). In most stations, this should be quite easy and only take 5 minutes to locate; but in Saigon and Hanoi, which are much bigger, busier stations, you may find it difficult as there are several vận chuyển offices. Don’t be afraid to ask: Vietnamese people want to help. Note that most vận chuyển offices are open from 7am-11.30am and 1.30pm-6pm. You will not be able to send or collect your motorbike outside of these hours.

Freight office at a train station
Look for the Vận Chuyển (freight) department at the train station

STEP 3: Once you have located the vận chuyển office, tell the staff which station you want to send your motorbike to. Apart from major stations where staff are used to dealing with foreign visitors, such as Saigon, Hanoi, Da Nang and Hue, not much English is spoken. But this shouldn’t be a problem for most travellers. Use a mixture of pointing, sign language and writing to make sure you communicate your destination station. There will be a board with all the stations and prices for sending motorbikes on it, so you can point at that if you need to. Occasionally, staff might be a little brusque. If this happens, try your best to be patient, understanding and polite.

Sending a motorbike by train in Vietnam
Inside the Vận Chuyển (frieght) office at Đà Nẵng train station

STEP 4: Hand the staff your passport and motorbike ownership green/blue card and they will start to write you a receipt. Check the information on the receipt (name, destination station, number plate, passport number, price, etc.), add your phone number and then sign it. Do not lose this receipt: you will need it when you collect your motorbike at the destination station. Ask the staff for an estimate of how long the motorbike will take to arrive at its destination. Pay the total amount (cash is easiest) and remember to take back your passport, green/blue card and receipt.

The price is determined by the size and weight of your motorbike. Prices are fixed and clearly displayed on a board. In general, a standard motorbike costs roughly the same price as a regular passenger ticket on the same train route. As an example, sending a motorbike from Saigon to Hanoi costs around $50; or from Saigon to Da Nang costs around $35.

Note: You might be asked to write your address in Vietnam on the receipt. If so, just write the name and address of a hotel at your destination – that should be fine.

Sending a motorbike by train in Vietnam
This is your receipt: do not lose it.

STEP 5: While you are completing the transaction, your motorbike will likely be undergoing some changes needed for travelling as freight on the train. Both wing mirrors are unscrewed and stored in the trunk under your seat; all the gas is siphoned from your tank (make sure you don’t fill-up just before going to the train station); and your motorbike is checked for any markings, flaws, or breakages so that the freight company is not held responsible for these on the other end. (Remember not leave anything valuable in your motorbike trunk and don’t accidentally leave your keys in the ignition.) Then, your motorbike goes through the ‘mummification’ process. Vietnam’s railroads are surprisingly bumpy so, to reduce the chances of damages occurring during the journey, your motorbike is covered in protective layers: cloth, blankets, bubble wrap, foam, cardboard and an exoskeleton made of wooden planks. Safe and secure, your motorbike disappears behind the scenes with all the other freight, awaiting the locomotive that will transport it up or down country to its destination.

Sending a motorbike by train in Vietnam
The ‘mummification’ process: protecting your motorbike for the train journey

Sending a motorbike by train in Vietnam
Mummification complete

STEP 6: Now everything is finished at the departure station: you’ve paid, you have your receipt and an estimate of the arrival date, and your motorbike is on its way to its destination. All that’s left for you to do is to get to the destination yourself: by road, rail or air.

When your motorbike arrives at the destination station, you will receive a text message or phone call from the freight company. (If you don’t hear from them, assume there’s been a miscommunication and head down to the station anyway). At the destination station, find or ask for the Phòng Vận Chuyển Hành Lý, Hàng Hóa (Luggage & Cargo Shipping Office), just like you did in Step 2 at the departure station. Show the staff your receipt. They will check your information with their books, find your motorbike, unwrap it, put the mirrors back on and hand it over to you. (In some cases, there may be a small ‘handling fee’ – usually between 10,000-50,000vnd.)

When you receive your motorbike, give it a quick check: brakes, tyres, frame, trunk, mirrors, etc. Now, you’re good to go! Except…, you’re not. Because you don’t have any gas in your tank. Ask the staff for the nearest trạm xăng (gas station). You’ll probably have to walk your motorbike there, although some bikes seem to be able to run on fumes for the minute it takes to get as far as the nearest gas pumps. Once you have a full tank of gasoline, hit the road for the great Vietnam road trip that lies ahead of you.

Sending a motorbike by train in Vietnam
Find the Vận Chuyển (freight) department at the destination station…

Sending a motorbike by train in Vietnam
Let staff help to unwrap your motorbike…

My motorbike, Stavros
Find the nearest gas station, fill up & hit the road!

*Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: my content is always free and independent. I’ve written this guide because I want to: I regularly send my motorbike on the train and I want my readers to know about it. For more details, see my Disclosure & Disclaimer statements and my About Page


Leave a Comment

Questions, updates and trip reports are all welcome. However, please keep comments polite and on-topic. See commenting etiquette for details.

  1. Besset Cedric says:
    May 19, 2024 at 3:26 AM

    Hi Tom. Any idea of the cost for bigger than 175cc bikes.? It seems to stop on that latest category on the table.
    Great blog and work btw,you’ve been very helpful in most of my trips.

    1. Tom says:
      May 19, 2024 at 1:17 PM

      Hi Cedric,

      I don’t know exactly what the charge would be for a bigger bike, but certainly it would be more. If you can get down to the station, it should be quite easy to find out what the price is.



  2. Albert says:
    April 21, 2024 at 5:01 AM

    I recently loaded the bike on the same sleeper train that I was on. Just made sure it was like that the day before. The downside is that you have to buy the remaining sleeper ticket unless you go a few days early to the station or are lucky.

    1. Tom says:
      April 21, 2024 at 6:53 AM

      Hi Albert,

      Thanks. Yes, it’s usually much better to send the bike in advance to be safe.



  3. David says:
    December 21, 2023 at 2:33 PM

    I’m going to use my teaching break over TET to ship my bike from Saigon and spend a couple of weeks wondering around the Ha Giang loop etc. A now or never thing. From your article it appears I should just turn up about 4 day before I want the bike in Hanoi and they’ll take it. It will be busier around TET. Is there a likelihood that I might be told there’s no room? Is this something I can book?

    1. Tom says:
      December 22, 2023 at 8:06 AM

      Hi David,

      Yes, it is highly likely that freight will be slower and/or busier during or around the Tet holiday, so I would advise sending your bike at least a week in advance just to be sure.

      I’m not certain if it’s possible to book a spot in advance – you could go to the station and try to ask about that.



  4. Marc says:
    November 27, 2023 at 6:40 AM

    Hi, in case someone tries to transport a bike from Sapa/Lao Cai back to Hanoi: we tried to do this with our motorbike – but we were not successful.
    The ‘van chuyen’ cargo company at Lao Cai train station does not exist anymore and the office is knocked down. Instead, we were approached by people on the street, explaining there is now only one way to transport a motorbike to Hanoi anymore: pay 1.4m-1.8m VND, which includes two sleeper train tickets and the ‘motorbike handling costs’. Apparently, there’s only one space per train (SP2 and SP4 night trains to Hanoi). We asked twice at official counters, one denied the existency of a transportation service, the other pointed outside for us to talk to the people on the street. It seemed a bit sketchy (and expensive) to us so we decided to go with an official long distance bus – they also transport motorbikes and only charged 60% for sleeper tickets incl bike handling compared to the train. The bus station is just next to the train station. All went well with the bus and it took even 3h less than with train – but of course a bit less charming 🙂

    1. Tom says:
      November 29, 2023 at 8:06 AM

      Hi Marc,

      Sorry to hear about that and thank you for sharing your experience on this route. I’m glad it worked out OK for you in the end

      The Hanoi-Lao Cai route is a spur line, so it is different from transporting bikes on the main line. However, it definitely used to be possible, because I wrote a guide specifically about the Hanoi-Lao Cai route. It could be that you can only transport your bikes on that train if you are also travelling on the train yourself. I will see if I can find out more information.



      1. Marc says:
        November 29, 2023 at 8:18 AM

        Hi Tom, I hadn’t seen that post 🙂
        But we actually did want to travel with the bike. But the officials said it is not possible anymore. As the van chuyen office looked like it had been closed for quite a couple of months, the only way we saw – with the train – was the aforementioned. Apparently these guys have an agreement with the train staff, as we’ve been told that we’d be charged on the train after loading the bike onto it.
        Hope this clarifies a bit more – but I’m sure if would help others if you’d find out more on your means.
        Warm regards

  5. Elise Cunegatti says:
    November 1, 2023 at 10:53 AM


    Do you think it is possible to put our motorcycles on a train even though we bought them at HCMC and plan to resell them in Hanoi?
    We do have blue cards but they are not in our names. We have just had the joke to take the ferry to the Con Dao islands, they do not want to take them to us because the blue cards are not in our names and we do not have a sales contract.
    So, we are afraid that it will be the same story for the freight train.
    Do you think this will be a problem? Not being able to send them higher into the center would significantly change our plans.

    Thank you very much for your answer.

    1. Tom says:
      November 1, 2023 at 12:56 PM

      Hi Elise,

      I’m sorry to hear about the problem with the ferry to Con Dao Islands – that is quite strange.

      In all probability you should be able to transport your bikes on the train even though the blue card is not in your – my bike is not in my name and I have never had a problem with it!

      But to be safe, take your bikes to the station at least a couple of days before you HAVE to, then you will give yourself enough time to make other arrangements if it doesn’t go according to plan.



      1. Elise says:
        November 1, 2023 at 1:19 PM


        Thank you for your complete and quick response!

        We also think it’s a bit of overzealousness regarding the ferry to Con Dao! They told us to come tomorrow at 7 a.m. and negotiate directly with the boat guard to be able to take the motorcycle on board… we even said to ourselves that a small ticket could get the thing done… we’ll see!
        They talk to us about border control etc., we don’t really understand!
        For Phu Quoc we didn’t have this kind of problem at all! Anyway…fingers crossed for tomorrow!

        And for the train, great, your answer reassures us! In fact, we’re not in a big hurry so we’ll go drop off our motorbikes at Phan Thiet station and if things really don’t go well, we’ll review our plans but the fact that you don’t have a blue card in your name and that you have never had any problems, that reassures us a lot!



        1. Tom says:
          November 1, 2023 at 1:43 PM

          Hi Elise,

          It is true that the Con Dao Islands are consider a border region, so things are often more complicated there. Hopefully it will work out tomorrow. Remember to smile, be polite and patient. And remember that the only boat route you can take motorbikes on is the Soc Trang-Con Dao route, not the others.

          Regarding sending your motorbike on the train from Phan Thiet: unless you are sending it to/from Ho Chi Minh City, you can’t do it at Phan Thiet station: you need to go to Binh Thuan station instead, because that is on the main line – it’s quite close to Phan Thiet station.



  6. Ben says:
    June 6, 2023 at 6:10 AM

    Can we send bikes from Ninh Binh train station to Da Nang?

    Ninh Binh is not listed as a “Major Train Station” on your Google Map so I’m not sure.

    Also I couldn’t find any Door to Door offices in Ninh Binh, so if it is possible I guess we have to use another company? For that, do we just turn up at the train station office and ask around?

    1. Tom says:
      June 6, 2023 at 6:23 AM

      Hi Ben,

      Yes, you should be able to send your bike on the train from Ninh Binh to Da Nang. Just remember that it usually takes 2-4 days for the bike to arrive at the destination.

      At Ninh Binh station look for, or ask for, the Phòng Vận Chuyển Xe Máy or Phòng Hành Lý. This is where you can arrange to send your bike. It should be fine, but be patient because it’s likely that the staff won’t speak much English.



      1. Taurus says:
        August 26, 2023 at 4:23 PM

        Great post Tom,
        I plan to send my scooter from HCM City to Ninh Binh in next tour. Your post is really informative.

        Thanks and Best regards,


        1. Tom says:
          August 27, 2023 at 8:38 AM

          Hi Taurus,

          Thanks! I hope you enjoy your trip.



  7. Matyáš says:
    August 22, 2022 at 2:18 PM

    I need to send my motorbike from Phong Nha/Dong Hoi to Hanoi, but I dont want to wait the 2-5 days? I saw that you can send the bike with bus, but I cant find anythink about it.

    1. Tom says:
      August 23, 2022 at 3:05 AM

      Hi Matyas,

      Yes, there are usually bus services on most long-distance routes in Vietnam that can transport your bike.

      If you are in Phong Nha, I suggest you ask the staff at the popular hostels or The Farmstay for information about this bus, as they will almost certainly be able to help.



  8. Chris says:
    June 18, 2022 at 6:57 PM

    I was told the same thing in person at the Door to Door office in Hanoi – no change to the 7-10 days receiving time. I ended up boarding my motorbike underneath a sleeper bus (which I don’t recommend doing for a nice motorbike) towards Phong Nha.

    1. Tom says:
      June 19, 2022 at 12:29 AM

      Hi Chris,

      Well, that’s very strange. Maybe they’re short on staff after the pandemic, or perhaps there are some specific repairs on that route at the moment, or perhaps your bike is larger than most(?)

      Yes, I transport my bike by bus fairly regularly too. Personally, I think it’s really convenient, especially for mountain destinations where the trains don’t go. But, yet, if you have an expensive bike or are precious about it getting scratched, then buses can be rough.



  9. Seamus Carroll says:
    June 11, 2022 at 5:50 PM

    Hi, I want to get my bike to Hue from Haiphong on Monday. Who do I contact to see if it can happen?

    1. Tom says:
      June 12, 2022 at 12:22 AM

      Hi Seamus,

      The best and most direct way to get the information you need is to go to the station in Hue.



  10. Chris (from Montreal) says:
    May 12, 2022 at 2:07 AM

    For what it’s worth, I reached out (by email) to the Door to Door office in Hanoi to inquire about sending my bike to nearby Vinh, and they firmly informed me that the receiving time is 7-10 days. I’m guessing this is relatively new but figured it might be useful for anyone still expecting the receiving time to be 2-5 days.

    1. Tom says:
      May 12, 2022 at 2:23 AM

      Hi Chris,

      That is very strange, and highly unlikely to be accurate on their part. Vinh is only 300km from Ha Noi. I just sent my motorbike on the train from Saigon to Da Nang and back again last week (which is over 1,000km): in both cases the receiving time was 2-3 days.

      It might be that Door to Door (which is a private company) do not generally operate freight on the Ha Noi to Vinh route. But the other freight companies at the station in Ha Noi (RATRACO, I thinik) will almost certainly be able to send your bike between the two cities within a few days, not 7-10 days (unless it’s a public holiday).

      I hope this helps,


  11. Joanne Richards says:
    February 18, 2021 at 4:03 PM

    Hi we are wanting to get the train from Hue to Ninh Binh and I wondered if it is possible to book a motorcycle on to the same train you are travelling? We were looking at taking the 5am train but if we can’t then we will have to return the bike to Da Nang drop off point and get the train up to Ninh Binh overnight. Due to our schedule we wouldn’t be able to send it says before.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Tom says:
      February 19, 2021 at 2:10 AM

      Hi Joanne,

      It’s usually not possible to send your bike on the same train on that particular route – only a few specific routes allow you to take your bike on the same train that you travel on. The train from Hue to Ninh Binh doesn’t usually allow bikes to travel on the same train that you are on.

      I hope this helps,


      1. Joanne Richards says:
        February 19, 2021 at 1:13 PM

        Hi Tom

        Ok thanks. Will return to Hoi An\Da Nang and return the bike there then get the overnight train up to Ninh Binh. Thank you.


  12. Simon says:
    July 6, 2020 at 1:24 AM

    Hi Tom,

    Sorry if double posting. Just wanted to ask if you knew how far in advance you can buy the bike tickets from Saigon station and how early they open up the ticket offices in the morning.


    1. Tom says:
      July 6, 2020 at 1:39 AM

      Hi Simon,

      No, that’s my fault for being slow to reply to your previous comment, sorry. I have just replied to your comment here.


  13. Andy says:
    June 1, 2020 at 3:58 AM

    Hi Tom,

    Great advice – much appreciated! I am planning to put my bike on at Saigon where I live, collect at Danang, then follow your coastal routes back. This seems like a safer bet weather-wise than the mountains via Buon Ma Thuot and Dalat at this time of year.

    Do you know if they accept bikes with the bike box fixed, and pack this up as part of the deal? I don’t want to show up at the station with the bike box, then have to carry it away and take it on the plane to Danang. I see in your photo above that you didn’t have your bike box attached to the trusty Nouvo…


    1. Tom says:
      June 2, 2020 at 6:12 AM

      Hi Andy,

      You can send your box too, but most likely they will detach the box from the bike and send it in a separate package to avoid damage. I’ve done it before and it worked fine – you’ll have to pay more for the box, of course.


      1. Andy says:
        June 3, 2020 at 8:05 AM

        Thanks, reassuring to know. I’m looking forward to the trip 🙂

  14. Joao Machado says:
    June 18, 2019 at 11:00 AM


    First off all, i’m mind blowned by your site! Lots of usefull information instead of just the great sights/experiences.

    Second, we’ll be doing Vietnam by bike, but wanted to go from Phong Nha to Ninh Binh by transports (its 700km and time is of the essence, so want to skip that part and save 3/4 days riding the bike).

    From what i’ve read in the comments you don’t know for sure if any bus transports the motorbikes. From what i’ve seen of your map, we can ship the bike in Dong Hoi, and theres is a train station in Ninh Binh, but is it possible to send the bike to Ninh Binh?? Or the only option is to send it to Hanoi/Haiphong?

    Thank you again for the wonderfull work you’ve done, sure made my trip planning a lot easier!

    1. Tom says:
      June 19, 2019 at 5:40 PM

      Hi Joao,

      I was in Phong Nha recently and there were buses taking motorbikes between Phong Nha and Ninh Binh. If you go to these popular hostels in Phong Nha, they have all the times and prices for these buses.

      And, yes, you can send your bike by train between Dong Hoi and Ninh Binh, but it may take between 2-4 days to arrive.

      I hope this helps,


      1. Joao Machado says:
        June 21, 2019 at 9:58 AM

        “I was in Phong Nha recently and there were buses taking motorbikes between Phong Nha and Ninh Binh. If you go to these popular hostels in Phong Nha, they have all the times and prices for these buses.”

        Mate, you’ve just made my day! This was one of the most anticipaded parts of the jorney, but also one that i was unsure of how i would do it. This is a planning saver.

        Thanks again for your work and availability for the rest of the light-weight,do-it-your-self, backpaking worldwide community!

  15. Quy says:
    February 24, 2019 at 5:38 AM

    Thanks. I am Vietnamese but I find your post is even more detail and useful than Vietnamese posts

    1. Tom says:
      February 24, 2019 at 7:00 AM

      Thanks, Quy. I’m glad you find my posts helpful.


  16. Gary says:
    February 5, 2019 at 5:22 AM

    I want to put my bike on the the train Da Nang to Ninh Binh. Ive been told the platform at Ninh Binh isnt long enough for freight carriages. Do you know if this is correct?
    Many Thanks

    1. Tom says:
      February 6, 2019 at 4:01 PM

      Hi Gary,

      I haven’t heard that before, but I suppose it’s possible. However, freight trains must be able to stop at Ninh Binh, so although your bike won’t travel on the same train as you do, it can surely still get to Ninh Binh and be unloaded there.

      You should be able to find someone in the freight section (hanh ly) at Danang station to clarify this.


      1. Gary says:
        March 3, 2019 at 10:12 AM

        Thanks Tom, confirmed at DaNang railway station. They say 1 day to get there, to be on the safe side I’m putting on 3 days earlier.

        1. Tom says:
          March 4, 2019 at 12:57 AM

          Hi Gary,

          That’s great, thanks. Yep – it’s always good to give it more time, just in case.


          1. Gary says:
            August 17, 2019 at 6:09 AM

            Hey Tom, do tyou know if its possible to book my motorbike all the way from Danang to Lao Cai?
            Cheers Gary

            1. Tom says:
              August 17, 2019 at 6:24 AM

              Hi Gary,

              I don’t know for certain, but I think it’s very unlikely that it’s possible.


              1. Gary says:
                August 18, 2019 at 5:57 AM

                Hi Tom, checked at Danang station this morning, it can be done. Upto 5 days to get there and 3,000,000 vnd for a big bike.
                1.7M Danang to Hanoi
                1.3M Hanoi to Lao Cai

                1. Tom says:
                  August 18, 2019 at 6:32 AM

                  Hi Gary,

                  Great! Thanks, that’s excellent information. I’m glad it worked out for you.


  17. tyler j wessels says:
    January 16, 2019 at 3:55 AM

    Is there a size limit to the motorbike allowed on the trains? I have a CRF250L I would like to put on the Loa Cai to Hanoi train.


    1. Tom says:
      January 16, 2019 at 5:25 AM

      Hi Tyler,

      That should be fine, but of course you pay a little more for larger bikes.

      I hope it goes smoothly for you,


    2. Tom says:
      January 16, 2019 at 5:26 AM

      Oh, and if you haven’t already, check out my guide specifically to the Lao Cai-Hanoi train here.


  18. Ana says:
    November 18, 2018 at 3:22 PM

    Hi, Tom!
    We travel on motorcycles. We want to take part of the road by train. Is it possible to travel from Ninl Binh to Dong Hoi by train with our motorbikes? Thank you for the answer.

    1. Tom says:
      November 18, 2018 at 4:05 PM

      Hi Ana,

      Yes, I think it is, but I can’t say for certain. It should be quite easy to find out by going to the station in Ninh Binh.

      Good luck,


  19. Michael Loithaler says:
    October 19, 2018 at 3:06 AM

    Your can also send your bike to Nihn Bihn 🙂 just for information

    1. Tom says:
      October 19, 2018 at 3:12 AM

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for the information – that’s good to know.


  20. Margaret says:
    October 11, 2018 at 4:05 PM

    Hello, we are thinking about visiting Vietnam for 5-6 months, do you also accept questions about renting a place, not necessary huge villas, but not budget either, overall cost of living, yoga/fitness studios, golf, renting vs buying a bike, we would like to move with the weather to avoid rain as much as possible. Thank you

    1. Tom says:
      October 14, 2018 at 2:15 PM

      Hi Margaret,

      For bike rental/buying take a look at this. And for weather see this.

      Renting a place short term depends where you are. In Saigon and Hanoi the rent is high compared to the rest of Vietnam. But, for example, in either of those cities, $500-$750 a month would get you a decent two-bedroom unit in a good serviced apartment.

      There’s quite a lot of golf throughout Vietnam these days. You should be able to find details, such as prices, locations etc, by googling ‘golf courses in Vietnam’. The same goes for yoga – it’s extremely popular all over Vietnam, and prices vary a lot depending on the kind of course – small groups with lots of individual instruction (especially places catering to foreigners) will cost a lot more than local places with large groups.

      I hope this helps,


  21. Rubi says:
    September 19, 2018 at 3:42 PM

    Hi Tom,
    I was wondering how it works with a rented bike if you don’t have an ownership slip?


    1. Tom says:
      September 19, 2018 at 4:23 PM

      Hi Rubi,

      People have written me to say that it’s been OK with rented bikes without the ownership papers, but you should check with the bike rental place first – they should know. Or perhaps if there’s any problem at the station, you can give them a call.


  22. SG.KIM says:
    September 9, 2018 at 8:24 AM

    Hey Tom

    good to know very usefull information posted it here

    Are they Also accept big bike as over 700cc ? wait for your kind reply for this.


    1. Tom says:
      September 9, 2018 at 9:12 AM

      Hi SG,

      I would think so, but I don’t know for sure. But it would be easy to find out at the station.


  23. Ross says:
    June 16, 2018 at 1:56 PM

    Is there a specific train station in Hanoi you would recommend? I want to to transport my bike to Vinh.

    Thank you


    1. Tom says:
      June 17, 2018 at 9:34 AM

      Hi Ross,

      Go to the main train station at 120 Le Duan Street.


  24. Kimbo says:
    June 5, 2018 at 3:47 AM

    Hi Tom,

    Is it possible to ship motorbike on buses? I saw some videos of people doing it and I’m wondering if it’s posdible because I wanna save some time and take overnight bus from Sapa to Halong

    1. Tom says:
      June 5, 2018 at 4:07 AM

      Hi Kimbo,

      On some buslines on some routes it is possible, but again, your bike doesn’t necessarily travel on the same bus as you do. You’ll need to check with the bus companies to find out more information. There are lots of bus lines serving Sapa so you should be able to go to their offices and ask.

      Good luck,


    2. Ross says:
      June 16, 2018 at 1:55 PM


      I have just put my bike on four buses in the last 11 days. Most buses accommodate bikes but the cost of transferring the bike is 300-500k (plus then you need to buy your own ticket).

  25. Josephine says:
    May 27, 2018 at 1:35 PM

    Hi Tom, I know it is going to look like a silly question as you provide the station you can send your motorbike from but I was wondering if there was a way to send it from Dong Ha?!

    1. Tom says:
      May 27, 2018 at 1:43 PM

      Hi Josephine,

      Yes, you should be able to send a bike from Dong Ha station. The stations listed in this guide are just the ones that the Door to Door company send bikes to – but the regular train freight companies should be able to send bikes to all, if not most, stations on the mainline.

      I hope it works out for you,


  26. Leon says:
    March 24, 2018 at 11:33 AM


    You say they charge 10k for everyday you’ll pick up your bike later. Is it possible to do that on purpose and just pick it up 2 days later? Happily pay 20k for that.



    1. Tom says:
      March 24, 2018 at 11:59 AM

      Hi Leon,

      Yes, I’m sure that would be fine.


  27. Sienna says:
    March 17, 2018 at 7:24 PM

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for this information! I am in the midst of planning a trip from May20-June18 going from HCMC to Hanoi. I’m wondering how this process works when you’re renting a motorbike vs having bought one. When you rent do they give you the blue card as well? If so, I’m sure it’s the same process you described above. However, if you don’t receive a blue card for your bike is it possible to send your bike on one of the freight trains with some type of identification? I saw a conversation before about the difficulty without a blue card so I’m wondering how it may be different if we choose to do one-way rentals from one of the companies you’ve suggested. I’m thinking if you can’t do it with rentals because of the blue card if it’s more incentive to buy and sell a bike. We were going to go with rental because of the 24/7 support that they offer when you rent vs. buy. We figured it’s better to be safe than sorry as it’s our first time in Vietnam. What are you thoughts?

    Thank you in advance!!

    1. Sienna says:
      March 17, 2018 at 7:53 PM

      Also- I’m curious what your thoughts are on one other thing (and all other’s who have done this trip, I’d love to hear your thoughts too)….. If there’s any section you’d skip over what would it be? We are primarily sticking to the classic route and the easy rider.
      We are definitely going to send our bikes with us from HCMC— Phan Thiet to avoid the craziness of leaving the city (thank you for your articles! bummed to miss out on Binh chau spa) and because of time.
      The other section I’m considering skipping (if need be for time’s sake) and using the train is either Dong Hoi–Hanoi or Vinh—Hanoi. I know we’d have to go a off to the planned route in order to get to the coast for the trains. I saw some people said it might not be worth the hassle of sending a bike when the ride isn’t too long, so I figured sending it from Dong Hoi might be a more efficient option but don’t want to miss out on anything particularly stunning that’s en route I haven’t heard about. It seems that this specific northern area is the least documented on your site, so I’m not quite sure what the ride is like. We’re thinking it’d be better to ride up and spend some days cruising in Sapa. I just know some of the coastal stuff down south seems absolutely beautiful and that we can’t miss out on the western part of the HCMR. Love to hear what you think! THANK YOU

      1. Tom says:
        March 19, 2018 at 1:04 AM

        Hi Sienna,

        Yes, you could send your bike from Dong Hoi to Hanoi. Although that section of the ride takes 2-3 days usually, and your bike would take about 1-3 days to arrive in Hanoi if you send it by train from Dong Hoi anyway, so there’s a chance you wouldn’t save much time in the end.

        You can send your bike on the train from Hanoi to Sapa (Lao Cai) easily, because the bike travels on the same train as you do. However, the northern part of Vietnam is best explored on a separate trip because there’s a lot to see and the terrain is so mountainous that it can take a long time to travel around.

        I hope this helps,


    2. Tom says:
      March 19, 2018 at 12:57 AM

      Hi Sienna,

      The process for sending your bike on the train works the same for rental bikes – you will be provided with the blue/green card for the bike from the rental company, so there shouldn’t be any problem with it.

      Another option that some rental companies offer is to send your bike for you to pick up somewhere (you’d have to pay extra for this, of course), which would mean, for example, that you can pick your bike up in Phan Thiet.

      I hope this helps,


  28. Mathew says:
    February 8, 2018 at 4:18 AM

    Hey Tom! Back with another question for you. I’m trying to gauge the timeline of how long it would take to ship a motorcycle from Hanoi to Dong Hoi. Generally it seems that Hanoi to HCMC takes 4/5 days. Would it be safe to bet on a shorter timeline of a day or two?
    As always, thanks for all of the information!

    1. Tom says:
      February 8, 2018 at 4:51 AM

      Hi Mathew,

      Yes, probably a couple of day from Hanoi to Dong Hoi, but it depends on the time of year too – for example, during the Tet Lunar New Year period (or any other national holiday) a lot more people are using the shipping service so it will take a lot longer. Severe weather can also make journey time a lot longer.


  29. Adam says:
    January 30, 2018 at 10:14 AM

    I want to buy and then transport my friend’s bike from Hanoi to Saigon (where I’m staying). How could this be done considering he would have the blue card? I suppose he could post it to me.

    1. Tom says:
      January 30, 2018 at 10:38 AM

      Hi Adam,

      Yes, I think that would be the best way to do it. Or you could ask at the station if there’s an alternative way of doing it.

      Good luck,


  30. Jérôme - Endless Travel says:
    January 8, 2018 at 5:08 AM

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for this useful article ! It was very handy when my wife and I decided to put our bicycles in the train for 300km, in order to escape the rain in Central Vietnam at the end of December.

    From Quang Ngai to Gia by SE21, our tickets for two cost VND 189 000. The bicycles transportation fee for the same distance was about VND 120 000, while packing them was more expensive : VND 150 000.

    The process was not exactly straightforward : the three freight employees at the station spent a lot of time quarreling about whether it was possible or not to transport the bicycles in the same train. After they finally agreed, we thought it was okay, but as we came back early the following day, another employee announced us that it was not possible to disembark the bicycles at Gia. More discussions lead him to finally accept the bicycles; I must point out that he was actually a pleasant and competent-looking person, unlike the 3 employees from the day before.

    The bicycles got partially wrapped in cardboard; we also saw employees nailing wooden protections for motorbikes.

    We removed all bicycles bags and took them with us on the train. There were large overhead racks where everything fitted nicely. Overall I was surprised by the level of comfort in the train, much higher than I expected ! However the overall noise level was hard to bear, as often in Vietnam; between the loud phone calls, the TV broadcasting American Ninja Warrior New Jersey (I kid you not) and the YouTube videos on mobile phones, it was a painful time for our ears, as often in Vietnam.

    Getting our bicycles back at Gia was quick and easy. I’ll add some comment on your post about this place as some changes seem to have taken place since your last visit !

    1. Tom says:
      January 8, 2018 at 8:41 AM

      Hi Jérôme,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, I would imagine it would be difficult to negotiate taking your bicycles on the same train, as this is not possible with motorbikes on the vast majority of rail routes. The staff would not be used to dealing with such a request so I’m sure they were a bit confused. Unfortunately, rail staff in Vietnam can sometimes be a bit gruff, but I’m glad to hear that you got it all sorted out in the end.


  31. Jerry says:
    December 30, 2017 at 2:41 AM

    Dear Tom,

    I just sent my bike from Da Nang to Saigon and Meansville I fly to Bangkok to do a visa run and holiday. Do you know in how many days I have to pick up the bike from the train station?

    Or is it a better idea to send my blue card and pick up voucher to a friend in Saigon in case I won’t make it in time back to Saigon?

    Thanks in advance!


    1. Tom says:
      December 30, 2017 at 6:21 AM

      Hi Jerry,

      It usually takes between 2-5 days to arrive at the destination station.

      Sometimes, if you are late to collect the bike, they will charge you 10,000vnd per day for each day that they keep it in storage. So if you are only going to be a couple of days late then I don’t think it’s worth sending the blue card and receipt to your friend.

      I hope this helps,


  32. Hai says:
    November 10, 2017 at 9:15 PM

    Hi Tom
    Have you ever sent your Givi box along with the bike?
    And would the Door to Door accept the box attached along with the bike?

    1. Tom says:
      November 11, 2017 at 12:58 AM

      Hi Hai,

      Yes, I’ve sent my GIVI boxes before. Door to Door or any of the other companies can do it, but you need to take the boxes off the bike and send them in a separate bag. If you insist then they will probably let you send them attached to the bike (you still pay extra of course).


      1. kiki says:
        October 9, 2018 at 3:13 AM

        I shipped my winner several times on the HCM – Nha Trang train, it’s equipped with three givi boxes. They loaded the winner with the two side cases. I had removed the top case to travel with it. I also saw people loading a bile with a surf side carrier, so accessories on the side doesn’t seem to be an issue as long as they are not too bulky.

        1. Tom says:
          October 9, 2018 at 3:22 AM

          Hi Kiki,

          That’s great information, thanks for the update.


  33. Carlo Alberto Cavallo says:
    October 30, 2017 at 3:22 AM

    Just sent my motorbike from Hanoi to Saigon. 4 days, 650.000 dong. SuperEasy.

    1. Tom says:
      October 30, 2017 at 8:24 AM

      Hi Carlo,

      That’s great. Glad it worked out well.


    2. Hai says:
      November 10, 2017 at 10:32 PM

      Hi Carlo,
      What company did you use?

      1. Tom says:
        November 11, 2017 at 1:05 AM

        Hi Hai,

        If you’re looking for cheaper companies than Door to Door try the ones inside the station (in Saigon) or beside the station (in Hanoi, Danang)- they have names like Ratraco and Hatraco, something like that. I think they are the state-owned ones, not privately run. I’ve never had any serious problems with those companies either, but sometimes they are a little less efficient and organized.


  34. Mark Gichrist says:
    September 22, 2017 at 4:36 AM

    Great website! I shipped a rented motorbike across northern India and had to pay for the bike and my passage, and also buy a ticket for the owner, who wasn’t traveling! It went on the same train as me, which was nice. Had to push it to a gas station in Calcutta because they completely drained the tank.

    1. Tom says:
      September 22, 2017 at 2:13 PM

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks. Good to hear you can transport your motorbike on the train in India too. I hear the riding is great there.


  35. Alysia says:
    August 28, 2017 at 5:41 AM

    Any advice on how difficult they might be if you don’t have a blue card? Never received one with my bike!

    1. Tom says:
      August 28, 2017 at 10:04 AM

      Hi Alysia,

      Probably pretty difficult – perhaps impossible. But it can’t hurt to just go down to the station and give it a try – maybe there’s some ‘extra payment’ to send the bike without the green card 🙂


    2. Ida says:
      November 26, 2017 at 3:41 PM

      Hey Alysia!
      In any case you read this, did you made it without the bluecard? Because I have the same problem. I will send the bike from Sa Pa to Hcmc, back to the vietnamese owner. Hope I can do that somehow.

      And Tom, thanks for this great page.

      1. Tom says:
        November 26, 2017 at 4:09 PM

        Hi Ida,

        You will probably need to send the bike from Sapa to Hanoi first and then again from Hanoi to HCMC.

        I think you should be able to send the bike on the first train without the blue card because the bike travels on the same train as you do, but the second train from Hanoi to HCMC might be difficult without the blue card.

        Good luck,


        1. Ida says:
          November 27, 2017 at 2:09 PM

          Hey Tom.
          Thanks for the answer. The Vietnamese owner will call the company, explain them the situation and we will see.
          Is it also “door to door” who is sending the bike from Sa Pa to Hanoi or can I do that direct on the train station with my normal ticket?

          1. Tom says:
            November 28, 2017 at 12:12 AM

            Hi Ida,

            No, it’s not Door to Door for the Sapa-Hanoi section. When you buy your train ticket at the Lao Cai (Sapa) station you can ask them where you put your bike on the train – it’s just next to the main ticket offices. But make sure you get there at least a few hours before your departure, or more if you’re travelling on a weekend or public holiday.


  36. Tom says:
    August 26, 2017 at 7:11 AM

    Do you know if it’s possible to put a bike on the train from Lang Son to Hanoi? I know you can do it from Dong Dang but I’d prefer to finish up a journey in Lang Son than the border town Dong Dang. On that route there are only certain stops that they allow freight to come and on and off.

    1. Tom says:
      August 26, 2017 at 7:56 AM

      Hi Tom,

      I’m not sure, but I would imagine it’s possible because those two stations are so close to each other. But even if it’s not, it’s only a short ride from Lang Son to Dong Dang anyway.

      I hope it works out,


  37. Diana says:
    August 24, 2017 at 12:51 AM


    I’ve put my scooter on the train many times, but this last time there seems to be a new procedure in place (at least it was implemented in Dong Hoi where I sent the motorbike). The train now requires two copies of your passport and two copies of the front/back of the blue card. Just an FYI.

    Love your site!


    1. Tom says:
      August 24, 2017 at 1:41 AM

      Hi Diana,

      Thanks. Yes, that’s right, whenever I’ve sent my bike by train they’ve always required my passport and green/blue card to make copies of it. Perhaps some stations have been lax about it in the past 🙂


  38. Al says:
    July 23, 2017 at 10:55 PM

    Another great write-up. I used your site extensively for my month long trip from South to North. At one point it rained and flooded quite a lot so I put the bike on a train from Hue to Dong Hoi. It was just as you wrote, as if I took the pictures myself lol. In the end though, it would have been much easier to just ride this short distance (9 hours) as the train prep and train ride and bike collection etc took much longer than simply riding not to mention the price was high.

    After the train there was a lady with large glass bottles, maybe 1.5 liters, selling fuel at the train station. Unfortunately the price for the 1.5 liters was as much as a full tank would be so I took a chance rode to a station from google maps, they didn’t get all the fuel 🙂

    I am glad I did it though, the whole experience was memorable and the train ride was … interesting 🙂

    1. Al says:
      July 23, 2017 at 11:07 PM

      ooops. that should be train from Nha Trang to Da Nang.

    2. Tom says:
      July 24, 2017 at 3:21 AM

      Hi Al,

      Glad to hear you found the experience relatively painless. Yes, it’s pretty efficient, but it does take quite a bit of time to get it all done.


  39. Jan caruel says:
    July 10, 2017 at 8:24 PM

    I plan a trip in the north and would love to put my 750 Honda shadow in the train, do you have any infos about big bikes in the train?

    1. Tom says:
      July 11, 2017 at 12:28 AM

      Hi Jan,

      Yes, you can transport big motorbikes on the train, but it costs more money.


  40. Daniel says:
    July 10, 2017 at 12:11 PM


    Thanks for all the tips. Your website is very helpfull. Maybe a silly quistion, but do you know anything about putting a motorbike on a sleeperbus? I’ve heard that happens some times. Thanks in advance!

    1. Tom says:
      July 10, 2017 at 12:26 PM

      Hi Daniel,

      Yes, it is possible on some bus lines and on some routes, but I don’t have information about which ones, I’m afraid. Also, as with the trains, your motorbike may not go on the same bus as you do.

      I hope this helps,


      1. Daniel says:
        July 10, 2017 at 12:51 PM

        Thanks a lot Tom! Guess we’ll just have to wait and see, haha. Driving down south now, but we might want to skip some parts.