There’s no question about it: motorbikes are one of the most intimidating aspects of life in Ho Chi Minh City. Bikes zip around like hornets, governed by few rules and fewer enforcements. Most people move here with no knowledge of how to drive a scooter, let alone how to face such anarchic roads. I remember being terrified of the traffic and voicing hopes to have lessons. I was laughed at by more experienced expats – driving education is not the same rite of passage in Vietnam as it is in western countries. However one of the many things I wish I’d known when I moved here is that there is a driving school in Ho Chi Minh City: welcome to Ride With Me Saigon.
Who Are Ride With Me Saigon?
Ride With Me Saigon are a driving school catered towards expats in Ho Chi Minh City. All instructors are fluent in English and will let you take things at your own pace. They’ll be teaching you to ride an automatic 50cc bike, which is not only very manageable, it also means you won’t get in trouble with the police! The school is located in a quiet neighbourhood in Binh Thanh District and is partnered with DC Motorbikes, which means if you fall in love with your bike, you’ll be able to ride off into the sunset with it after your lesson.
What Do They Offer?
Each lesson with Ride With Me is an hour and a half long – usually just one or two lessons are needed. They’ve created a three-step program to get you from beginner to pro in 90 minutes (see what I did there?)
Step One: Controlling the Bike
Before you go anywhere near the traffic, your instructor will teach you how to control the bike. I couldn’t even figure out how to put the key in the ignition at first so trust me, this comes in handy. Ride With Me’s bikes are twist-and-go, so there’s nothing too complicated but it’s essential to be familiar with all of the controls before you even think about driving.
Step Two: Driving the Bike
You’ll practice riding the bike around the school’s carpark, ensuring that you can start, stop and do everything in between. There’s no danger and no pressure: your instructor won’t let you take on the traffic until you’re truly ready.
Step Three: Hitting the Road
Finally, there’s nothing for it but to get out there! But don’t worry – your instructor will be guiding you every step of the way. At first you’ll take on the quiet streets surrounding the school until you’re confident enough to venture onto busier roads. You’ll leave feeling like an absolute boss.
How Can I Book?
You can book your lesson with Ride With Me Saigon by messaging them via their Facebook page – click here. A ninety minute lesson costs đ500,000 ($21/£16) but if you mention How Far I’ll Pho you’ll save yourself 10%! They’re located at 82 Duong So 1, Ward 26, Binh Thanh District, HCMC. You can even go with a friend or in a group for an unforgettable bonding experience. Happy riding!
* This is a sponsored post, however all views and opinions are my own.