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The TOP 5 ultimate destinations for a scooter tour

It takes some getting used to, but it's really possible. Traveling by scooter to the gorillas in Uganda, through the hectic Saigon in Vietnam , the desert in the north of Kenya and past the volcanoes on Big Hawaii Island. Below are tips, tricks and a real TOP 5 of the most beautiful destinations for a round trip on a scooter!

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It takes some getting used to; the thought of a scooter

It is rare that people come up with the idea of distant tour or part of it using a scooter. On the one hand, because many countries are not equipped for it at all. In Australië, USA (except Hawaii), whole Latin America en Japan I definitely wouldn't recommend it either. On the other hand, a scooter does not seem like a means of transport on which you make a round trip of several days.

On an electric scooter at the chalkstone cliffs of Yangshuo
On an electric scooter at the chalkstone cliffs of Yangshuo

Nothing could be further from the truth. In SoutheastAsia renting a scooter is very easy and cheap. In Thailand many tourists rent a scooter on one of the islands. I can't begin with a worse example. Many foreigners do not know how a scooter works at all. You will see that after a few days, because they have a huge burn mark on their calf. A case against the exhaust pipe. Then there are those who use the scooter to visit the pub. It leads to many accidents. And what about Australians on Bali?

In any case, a scooter is usually only used to get from A to B or to make a day trip.

A flat tire is patched on the Bolaven plateau, Laos

In all my years on the scooter in faraway countries, I can't remember meeting fellow world travelers on a scooter. No shortage of motorcyclists, but scooterers no. Why not? Simply because we don't do it in our own country. A scooter is preferably a luxury means of transport in a city or village.

I remember taking a scooter trip in the summer of 2008 from Amsterdam to Belgium† Somewhere around eight o'clock I asked for directions from Sittard to Maastricht. "Where exactly are you going?" was the question. 'A Belgian village just across the border near Maastricht.' "Then you'd better find a hotel here and drive there at your leisure in the morning with that thing." The man pointed to my scooter. 'But I've already covered 200 kilometers. I left Amsterdam this morning at eight o'clock. So those few kilometers can still be added.' He didn't understand.

On the scooter in Voeren, Belgium
On the scooter in Voeren, Belgium

Why travel with a scooter?

A scooter has a number of advantages:

  • No driver's license required (in most countries);
  • Low fuel consumption (1 in 40);
  • Easy to transport and lift;
  • You stop much more often to rest for a while and therefore meet many surprised people;
  • In case of bad luck you have to work;
  • And you attract the necessary attention!
The scooter in a canoe on a XNUMX-day trip in Madagascar
The scooter in a canoe on a XNUMX-day trip in Madagascar

Tips for traveling with a scooter

  • Note the presence of mountains (preferably a scooter with 90cc or more);
  • When buying: go for a second-hand scooter with not too much mileage and not a new one (sale is always difficult at the end of the trip);
  • A liter of petrol and half a liter of oil are always handy as a reserve;
  • Wear gloves on long rides (no black fingers and no warts in the long run);
  • Only bring necessary items. In the photo below you can see my backpack. It contains all my travel gear. My lightweight Macbook is by far the heaviest;
  • Pay attention to the time and the weather; rain can cause a lot of delay.
A refuel in Madagascar with all the luggage on the scooter
A refuel in Madagascar with all the luggage on the scooter

Top five: most beautiful scooter to travel around

What are the ten most beautiful places in the world to take a scooter tour? In the last twenty years I have certainly traveled more than 100.000 kilometers on a scooter on my many travels. These are my five favorite countries and places to travel around on a scooter:

1. Madagascar

Without a doubt Madagascar the destination to make a round trip on a scooter. In the capital Antananarivo, excellent second-hand scooters (Yamaha Jogpro 90cc) are for sale for about $350. There are no scooters for rent.

So far I have been the only foreigner to travel the whole island on a scooter. I guarantee you thousands upon thousands of delirious Malagasy. It's like riding the Elfstedentocht.

The famous Baobab Avenue near Morondava
The famous Baobab Avenue near Morondava

There is also a lot to see and the main roads are in good condition. Repair of scooters is possible in almost every hamlet. Optionally, you can have the scooter transported on a minibus for a few Euros.

2. Big Hawaii Island, United States

It is true. On Big Hawaii you can rent a scooter to enjoy the race. The feeling of traveling around this beautiful island on a scooter is priceless. Watch out for lava overflowing, sudden downpours and traffic (Americans aren't used to scooters!). And don't wear flip flops when you drive to Hawaii Volcanoes Park. Chances are they will melt under the heat of the lava.

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Hawai'i Volcanoes NP, Hawaii.
Hawaii Volcanoes N.P., Hawaii.

You can easily rent a scooter https://www.konascooters.com.

Even when my scooter malfunctioned XNUMX miles from Kona, a replacement scooter was on site within an hour.

Oh yeah one more tip: Hawaii law requires all motorcyclists (including scooters) to wear glasses. A helmet is not necessary. Just so you know…

3. Uganda

Uganda is not really obvious as a place to travel through with a scooter. There are also hardly any scooters in the streets. Still, with a little effort you can buy a good second-hand scooter in Kampala. Buy a scooter of at least 90cc. After that, the whole of Uganda will be open to you.

A Karamojong tests my scooter in Northern Uganda
A Karamojong tests my scooter in Northern Uganda

In most National parks I was allowed in without any problems. Only in Kidepo National Park was a special rule. I was not allowed to go on safari on the scooter. I was allowed to travel to the rest camp on the scooter. That camp is located in the middle of the park, more than 20 kilometers from the entrance. Lions, buffaloes, elephants and giraffes have all seen me drive by… But mmm it wasn't a safari…

Also read: Top 5 sights of Uganda, the pearl of Africa

And what about a scooter trip to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the abode of the majestic mountain gorilla. And in case of bad luck (I had a flat tire) an employee of Uganda Wildlife Service just transports you to the main road, 30 kilometers away!

Alternative transport for a broken scooter in Bwindi National Park, Uganda
Alternative transport for my broken scooter in Bwindi National Park, Uganda

4. Indonesia (Irian Jaya)

On almost every island in Indonesia you can rent a scooter or moped for next to nothing. I rented one myself in Java, Bali, Lombok, Flores, Kalimantan, Irian Jaya, Sulawesi and Sumatra. Oh and if I had to choose on which island I had the most beautiful experiences?

At first I thought of the north of Sulawesi with its volcanoes, tarsiers, azure blue sea with snow-white sand and the gruesome market in Tomohon (including sale of meat from dogs, snakes, turtles and cats).

Right after in the middle of Sulawesi. There are the most beautiful rice terraces in the world and a funeral is a huge happening: The land of the Toraja.

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Cemeteries in Toraja, Sulawesi
Cemeteries in Toraja, Sulawesi

And what about a rupture through the lava sand on the way to the Bromo volcano on Java? Many went down.

Scooter Bromo volcano, Java
Scooter Bromo volcano, Java

Still, the journey on this retro scooter through the Baliem valley was the most unique experience for me.

On this retro scooter through the Baliem Valley, Irian Jaya
On this retro scooter through the Baliem Valley, Irian Jaya


I Myanmar visited a total of five times. Many touristic places have a ban on renting scooters to tourists, including: Mandalay , Inle Lake, Bagan and Mrauk U is not a scooter rental. In Yangon, nobody is allowed to ride a scooter in the city center at all. There is scooter rental in Moulmein, Hsipaw, Ngwesaung and Mkyitkyina.

Still, I managed to rent a scooter from a hotel employee in Mandalay three times. Then I tore through various parts of beautiful Myanmar for at least a week.

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My funniest scooter experience was the beach ride in Ngwesaung:

In good company on the beach of Ngwesaung, Myanmar
In good company on the beach of Ngwesaung, Myanmar

But the most absurd experience I had in the new capital of Myanmar: Naypidaw. In 2013, tourists were not really welcome in Naypidaw. Coincidentally, I drove into town and met a Dutch cyclist with a flat tire. He was chased by a Myanmar secret agent on a scooter.

This local James Bond eventually directed us to the special hotel zone for foreign visitors. How bizarre is the feeling of driving on a XNUMX-lane road that is completely empty. IT CAN ONLY HAPPEN IN NAYPIDAW!

The empty main road in Naypidaw has 8 lanes on both sides
The empty main road in Naypidaw has 8 lanes on both sides

A selection of other top locations for a scooter trip

'Top' lists are never complete. Below you will find a number of countries and places where you can travel around very nicely on a rented scooter.

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What is it like to drive more than 10.000 kilometers in Madagascar on a locally bought scooter? Or on a pikipiki (scooter in Swahili) through East Africa? In more than 20 years I have visited more than 100 countries. This has resulted in a lot of priceless travel experiences, which I would like to share with you.

– Likes to travel on scooters
– Share unique travel experiences.
– Favorite destinations: Madagascar, Uganda, Japan, India and Colombia.

1 comment

  • Nice article! I really miss a side note about the cc, in the sense that in Southeast Asia, for example, the scooters are almost always 55cc or more, otherwise you won't get up the mountain. That's an insurance thing, though. The Dutch government already considers 49cc as a motorcycle. So you need an international motorcycle license for that. Many landlords often give this anyway, but then leave your passport as a deposit. If you then have an accident, then you are good the Sjaak, especially if you damage someone else or worse, up to imprisonment. So I think it's an important detail to mention.

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