Motorbike taxi service- the speciality of Sapa

08-Oct-2019

Coming to Sapa, Lao Cai province, going into the villages or tourist attractions, people usually use a special means of transportation: motorbike service. No winding around, no ridiculous increase in price, no fighting for customers, Sapa motorbike taxi service is an accountable moving method for tourists.

Sapa motorbike taxi drivers sometimes are like professional racers, overcoming small and big holes skillfully; sometimes are like local tour guides who introduce to travellers everything about the nature and people here. Many people from other regions coming to Sapa and make a living by driving motorbike for decades… there are happy moments as well as risks everyday.

Motorbike taxi service

Remember every big hole, small hole

Everytime going on a business trip in Sapa, I always count on motorbike service to go to villages or to the town center because it is not only cheap but also convenient. This provides job opportunities for thousands of local people and immigrants from nearby provinces. This time in Sapa, we hire a motorbike drive called Hong to get into Sapa ancient stone gallery. 

Sometimes, on the road, he asks if we wanted to stop by to take a picture or wade across the stream. He introduces every village and every stream to us, just like a true tour guide. 

Born in Vu Ban, Nam Dinh province, Mr.Hong has been a motorbike taxi driver for 6 years. He knows by heart every hole from Sapa city center to tourist attractions like Cau May street, Silver Fall, Ham Rong peak, rose garden, etc… The Wave motorbike, bought by selling 3 pig litters in the hometown, is as old as his age of work. 

However, the tire and tube of the motorbike has been changed approximately a thousand times. That is because the roads in Sapa are mostly hills and mountains, winding and rocky. Mr.Hong brings customers around Sapa 4 times a day, each time he earns almost a hundred thousand VND because wandering around the city center only costs around 10.000VND. In this motorbike, he always prepares 2 raincoats so that the customers will not catch a cold. 

Mr.Hong told us that he only came home about 3 times a year: 2 in the harvest season and 1 during Lunar New Year holiday. Sapa is 300km away from Nam Dinh but he usually chooses motorbike instead of train: “I like wandering. Travelling using motorbike can take up to a whole day but it is more convenient, I can stop as I please”, Mr.Hong smiled as he remembered the trip home. At home, he can only spare a few moments with the family, help his wife with farm work before setting off again. 

Motorbike taxi service

“Motorbike taxi service has a close connection with me. As more and more people are coming to Sapa, my life condition is improving. However, I often miss my wife and children very much”. 

The happiness and sadness of a motorbike taxi driver

In many motorbike service driver in Sapa, a faction of them are ethnic. With a “horse” more than 110cc, they take tourists to faraway villages and places. They know all the roads and they are fluent in both their native language and native Vietnamese. They are willing to be the tour guide if the travellers want to.

Motorbike taxi service

The motorbike service fees can be seen in main roads for tourists to refer to.

Mr. Ma Long, Xa Pa commune, Sapa province also has 5 years experience in motorbike service. In the morning, he takes his wife and agricultural products to the market then quickly goes to the Cathedral street to pick up customers. After a whole day, he comes back to the market to drive his wife home before calling it a day with a few cups of alcohol. 

Talking about the ups and downs in life, Mr. Ma Long told us: Once, he reminded a customer to put on the helmet, the customer refused to do so, which led to Mr.Ma Long wrongfully money lost. From that time, he refuses to provide service if the customer do not agree to put on the helmet.

Vu Tien Hung, the captain of Police Officer team, Sapa Police Station told us that the province has gathered “motorbike taxi service team”, divided into small self-governed groups to control and active in different places like Nha Tho street, Cau May street, roads to Fansipan, etc… Each group includes 75 to 100 people with a group leader, and a vice leader to make sure that everybody obeys the law.

Motorbike taxi has its own policy to avoid scrambling for guests. Police officers also hand out leaflets instructing transport laws and safety processes especially for transporting at night. There has been numerous accidents due to hinders in the road. Besides, kills and robbery happened make drivers scared. 
When stopping by the road, enjoying a cup of hot tea, I asked him when would he move to the lowland. He hesitated, smoked a cigarette  to ease the cold, looking faraway then said: “When I have enough money to do up my house in the hometown, I will give up motorbike driving”. I understand that every job is for bread and butter. Every job matters because it has lots of trials and hardships as well as dreams and hopes, including motorbike taxi service. 

Some travel schedules to Sapa for your reference:

The information above is about an interesting means of transportation in Sapa. To get more information or arrange a vacation in Sapa, please contact JTA Tours here or by hotline: (++ 84) 90 493 0000

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