Hanoi Transportation Tips by Greggor58
Hanoi Transportation: 182 reviews and 180 photos
Xe Om Guy and Greggor,Ha Noi,Vietnam.
I used the services of a Xe Om driver that I had seen daily that was parked and hustling business not too far from the front door of the Heart Hotel, our “home away from home” in Ha Noi.
The last full day that I was visiting Ha Noi I wanted to get to two different attractions that were pretty far apart from each other, one being Tran Quoc Pagoda that’s located on the shore of West Lake, the other was the Temple of Literature or Van Mieu located in Ba Dinh District.
Using the Xe Om was both affordable and kind of exciting…take a look at the videos attached to the Page here. I don’t know exactly what the costs were, Im not good at writing logs or diaries but I know this mode of transport is less than half the costs of using taxis in Ha Noi.
The fellow was friendly and waited for me at my first stop, the Tran Quoc Pagoda. When I was finished there he took me then to Van Mieu for another low cost transit, and that is where I left him.
All of the rides I had with this gentleman were quite fun and were not quite comparable to riding in Canada, or for that matter, any “Western” country. We dodged traffic on solid lines and at one point ignored the concrete boulevards at an intersection to make a left turn.
EVERYONE drives about the same speed throughout the parts of the city that I was driven in and it all seems to work even with minimal traffic lights to organize flow. It seems a little hair rising but in fact I saw not one accident so it all seems to work I guess.
On my return to my hotel at the end of another day of walking I found another Xe Om and had a ride through THICK traffic to get back to the Hoan Kiem Lake District.
Cost was minimal and though it seems a little crazy and dangerous…it all works quite well here. Both drivers and all that I saw looking for business have helmets for you to wear while you’re riding!
Both drivers were open to some haggling on price although its so cheap to begin with I didn’t push it too far. They are after all just trying to earn a living.
For SANITARY reasons…I would suggest that you were a ball cap or some type of hat between you and the helmet that they offer you…it just might help prevent picking up some unwanted friends along the way. :O)
Ticket Purchse/Waiting area,Ha Noi Train Station.
We used the train to travel from here to Lao Cai..to get ourselves to Sa Pa. Our experience was limited though to “showing up” at the appointed time previous to our departure and picking up our pre-arranged tickets and getting onto the train.
We arrived straight from the airport upon our arrival from Da Nang. With some time to kill before our departure we FOUND and USED luggage LOCKERS that were found on the extreme left hand side of the facility. To get to them you must pass by the ticket purchasing area and keep on going to the end of the building. It’s not a large facility at all so you should have no issues finding these lockers..
Before I left Canada I had some difficulty determining that there were actually lockers here at all…so in fact now I know and share with you that this service is available for a nominal fee. There is an attendant and a guard present at a desk beside the lockers so security wouldn’t be an issue I would think. You get a locker assigned to you and the attendant gives you a receipt and the ticket for the assigned locker. When you return to collect your things you present her with the receipt and you are allowed to open the locker.
The train station is located in the downtown core about a fifteen minute drive from the Old Quarter, depending when you are transiting. I would think during busy traffic you can expect a longer transit than what I experienced.
There is plenty of seating and because we were traveling with Livitrans we were waiting in a separate area from the general public and we boarded through a separate doorway out onto the rail yards. We walked across a few sets of train tracks in the dark to arrive at our train. No modern “Western” conveniences of covered and manicured walkways here Im afraid and at times the concrete was rough and broken…you NEED to PAY ATTENTION walking to your train.
There were people looking to help with backpacks and luggage for a small fee so if you’re limited or challenged physically you will be able to find some help carrying your luggage to your coach.
We tried to find schedules via the internet but the website for Vietnam Railways was of no use at all…the English version links were not working, and just checking again now they still don’t work. The hotel we booked on with in Sa Pa offers a booking service with Livitrans as do a lot of the hotels in Sa Pa…so this became the easy solution to arranging our train transport between Sa Pa and Ha Noi.
Other Contact: 120 Le Duan Street
Noi Bai Airport,Ha Noi,Vietnam.
Ha Noi International Airport…IATA Airport Code HAN…is a relatively modern and fair sized airport that handles flights from about twenty five major international air carriers.
It’s located about 45 kms from the city center…I arrived here on a domestic flight with Vietnam Airlines…and departed on an international flight with the budget carrier Air Asia.
The facilities were ok I guess…the check in process was slow and long but I attribute that to the process of Air Asia…and not the airport itself. On arrival with Vietnam Airlines the baggage was pretty fast to the carousel and ready for pick up quickly.
There is the usual assortment of “souvenir” shops and Duty Free once you pass through security when you’re transiting out of Ha Noi..AND for all that might SMOKE there's a SMOKING ROOM on the upper level thats well signed...and easy to find.
There are also two different restaurants that are available for full meals, although I only sat long enough for a coffee at the one. Funny or not, the restaurant that I had coffee at was the ONLY place that I can say I saw a cockroach in my entire four weeks traveling in Vietnam…so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of eating at either of the two.
I used a taxi arranged through my hotel to get to the airport on my departure and the cost from the Old Quarter was equivalent to $ 14.00 USA… the ride was adventurous to say the least, first driven through the dark streets of Ha Noi and eventually arriving onto the freeway that crosses the Red River eventually arriving at the airport…fast and furious, without traffic it took about forty five minutes..
A word of caution when arriving by air or train for that matter anywhere in Ha Noi or any other city in Vietnam.
As you leave the secured areas after collecting baggage YOU MUST present the portion of your baggage claim that stays with your ticket to an ATTENDANT that guards the exit. This is done to ensure that you have YOUR luggage…and YOU luggage ONLY…so DO NOT forget this or you will encounter some unnecessary hassles PROVING that the luggage you are exiting with is indeed YOURS!!!
There are taxis, public buses and mini buses available to get you into the city. Our arrival transit downtown was the same price as my exit transit…about $ USA 14.00.
You’ll find taxis just outside the Arrivals area. The same for buses, once you’re through the front doors look on your right…buses 7 and 17 will get you downtown and cost only about 30 cents USA equivalent.
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