Hanoi Transportation Tips by King_Golo Top 5 Page for this destination
Hanoi Transportation: 188 reviews and 185 photos
Hanoi at night
3. Bike - a good way to get around, but also one of the more stressful ones... Imagine being the only biker among thousands of motorbikes! Bikes can be rented in many places in the Old Quarter (try Hang Bac street), as well as in some of the hotels. By the way: Don't expect anyone to show consideration for you. You'll be the weakest part of the food chain.
4. By foot - definitely one of the best ways to get around in Hanoi. It makes it possible for you to truly discover the city and its more hidden parts. When walking around, be curious. Check out the narrow lanes and hidden entries. You'll be surprised what can be found there.
5. By taxi - taxis are comparably expensive, but this will quickly pay out when there are more than two persons. Expect to pay about VND 30,000-100,000 for a ride in Hanoi. Make sure that your taxi has an officially registered meter. The prices are fixed, bargaining is not necessary.
6. By cyclo - cyclos (i.e. rickshaw or in Vietnamese xich lo) are almost exclusively used by tourists. In the Old Quarter, you'll here the ringing of their bells everywhere, but I would recommend not to use them. Prices are too high (most drivers can easily recognise a naive tourist who is overwhelmed by all the exotic scenes of his first day in Hanoi). Cyclos are too slow for going to some place quickly, but too fast for taking pictures of the exciting street life around them. Furthermore, you'll sit on the height of all the exhaust fumes.
7. Drive your own motorbike - this is certainly the best way to get around, if...
...you know the city.
...you're not afraid of millions of other motorbikes coming towards you from every direction without any traffic rules
...you like adventures!
Motorbikes can be rented at almost every hotel and in some shops in the Old Quarter, especially in Hang Bac street. Compare the prices and you'll be able to save some bucks. Most people choose a 110ccm Honda or Yamaha, but if you want to do longer trips, try to get a Minsk. This is a Belorussian motorbike that is nearly impossible to break down. It's good for tours in the countryside. Motorbikes can also be bought in Hanoi
Traffic in the Old Quarter
Visitors of Hanoi have plenty of possibilities to get around in the city. Most of them have some advantages, but be careful with some!
1. Bus - Hanoi has a pretty good bus system that gets you almost everywhere for an incredibly cheap price (VND 2500, i.e. $0,15) per ride. However, there are several drawbacks. First, buses are literally always overcrowded. When I'm talking about overcrowded, I don't mean the European or American way of overcrowdedness. I mean the Asian way, and believe me, that's not the most convenient thing... Second, there is no timetable - buses run frequently, but sometimes you have to wait quite long (just to find that your bus is completely overcrowded and it's almost impossible to get in!). Third, if you don't know Hanoi well, it is rather hard to find out where and when to get out of the bus. Bus stops don't have a name and are hardly visible in the hustling and bustling on the sidewalks. For those with a lot of time and some sense for adventure, going by bus is a good idea.
2. Motorbike - The first experience in Hanoi is some Vietnamese man shouting "Motobai?" at you. Just shake your head if you don't want to drive with him. If you want to go with him, tell him the address (be sure about the correct pronunciation, or it will be impossible for him to find the place) and start bargaining. In any case, you'll pay much more than the average Vietnamese and you'll still think "How incredibly cheap this is!". A good price can be reached only through good bargaining skills - and these have to be developed! Try VND 5000 for a short ride and VND 10000 for a long ride. DON'T pay with dollars - you will definitely be ripped off! If the drivers don't agree with your price idea (and they certainly won't), just walk away - this will quickly change their minds... Pay with small money as most drivers don't have enough change for anything bigger than VND 10000. A motorbike taxi is officially called Xe Om (pronounce Say Ohm (as in Oh my God!)) and can be found everywhere. Late at night, it's more difficult and prices double.
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