Our first full day on the island we rented a motor bike from our hotel for $7. They will want your passport but will accept other forms of ID if you are persistent. Also, cash is king and an ample cash deposit (VND1,000,000) will usually substitute for a passport. We had to fill it with gas since it came empty which was an additional $2. Make sure you take lots of pictures before you ride off otherwise they will try to make you pay for any damage preset on the bike even if it was not done by you. Also, technically you are suppose to have an international drivers license to drive so make sure you don’t get stopped by the police. We didn’t run into any and no one seemed to mind too much. There were a lot of other tourists biking around as well.
We decided to go south but didn’t have a destination planned. We ended up driving around most of the day without really getting anywhere because most of the resorts have the beaches walled off. We tried to go to Long Beach but most of the roads are not paved or are through the hotels so with a motor bike we couldn’t do that. The Marriott owns Sao Beach so unless you stay there a security officer will stop you and make you turn around. Google maps is basically useless here since the island is literally changing every day. Ignore satellite images and maps. Lonely planet is hopelessly out of date too. If you decide to rent a motor bike, my suggestions would be: first, don’t go to the beaches with a motor bike since you will have no where to put the bike. Second, know where you are going and how to get there before you leave your hotel. Third, if riding with more then 1 person, drive around alone first to get the hang of it before adding a second passenger.
When you return the bike you will invariably be charged for damage. Just show them the pictures you took before setting out. You could reason with the rental people too about how there isn’t a scratch on you so you couldn’t have fallen. Either way, good luck.