Getting around

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Getting around

Tourists may be amazed by the traffic in the city that has long been chaotic with the endless flow of motorbikes, cars, buses and people. It’s easy to spot a foreigner who is cowering at an intersection or staring the bustling traffic in fear. Obviously, you may get lost in a town with a range of weaving and winding streets that seem to be alike to each other at first glance. Here are some suggestions for you.
  1. Motorcycle Taxi (Xe om)

Motorbike taxi (Xe om) is the perfect local commuting experience for tourists. It’s a piece of cake to find a xe om driver because they always appear nearby hotels, shopping malls, bus stops, stores,… Some tourists are initially worried that it’s unsafe to go with a strange driver. However, most of xe om drivers are plain and kind, especially familiar with local areas. They can easily worm one’s way through congestions and busy streets to take you wherever you want to go. Motorbike taxi rides within 2 kilometres should be around VND 30,000. You should search the distance to estimate the cost and possibly make a bargain with the driver. If you don’t trust drivers on the street, you may book a motorbike taxi from Grab Bike. Grab Bike offers a much cheaper price than the traditional motorbike taxi. 
  1. Cyclo (Xich lo)

A good tip is to travel by a cyclo – a fairly unique method of transportation in Hanoi. This three-wheel cycle is mostly taken by tourists with an aim to enjoy the unforgettable journey around Hanoi Old Quarter. You can not only do sightseeing but also take great photos. The average fare and price range from VND 50,000 to VND 70,000 for an hour-long ride. It’s noted that you should carefully negotiate the rate because you may be given an outrageous price.
  1. Electric car

If you’re a big fan of environmentally friendly vehicles, an electric car – without the smoke – is the best idea to get around some destinations. It’s particularly safe for the elderly and kids. You can jump in an electric car for one of three scheduled route. The Old Quarter route includes some outstanding streets among 36 old streets such as Hang Buom, Hang Bac and Ma May, and around Hoan Kiem Lake. Route 2 covers Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Railway Station, Hoa Lo Prison and the Opera House. Besides, Route 3 consists the Hanoi Pharmacy University, the Government Guesthouse, Quan Su Pagoda. The drivers know a little English, so he sometimes guides something and points out places. If you join a group, request your hotel to book the electric car tour. The average price is about VND 300,000 for an hour.
  1. Public bus

There are over 100 different bus routes throughout Hanoi, so just get on and get off the bus to travel everywhere following your plan. The bus is the best option if you want to save money without any worry about air pollution, hot weather and rain. However, you may feel uncomfortable because of the bad smell, the overload capacity and the time-consuming journey in peak hours. A good tip is to write your destination on the phone and then show it to the bus assistant so as not to go the wrong way. The usual bus ticket fee is VND 7,000 – VND 8,000. 
  1. Taxi

If you visit Hanoi for the first time and still wonder how to travel around, taxi is the best option.  Taxies are safe, abundant and, best of all, air-conditioned. Nevertheless, it’s not uncommon for taxi drivers to earn an extra fare. You should remember some companies of good repute such as Mai Linh Taxi, Hanoi Taxi, G7,… Most taxi drivers speak very little English, you should write the address of your destination down for the driver. It is about VND 11,000 per kilometre for 4-seat taxi and about VND 15,000 for the 7-seat taxi.
  1. Bike or Motorcycle Rental

If you are confident to take risks, hiring a bike or a motorcycle to go around Hanoi is not really a bad idea. You can easily find some shops around Ta Hien, Dinh Liet and Hang Bac with remarkable signs of advertisement Motorbike Rent. The renting price is relatively reasonable, you be able to negotiate a discount if you’re renting for some days or a week. In the standard price, it costs VND 5,000/hour/bike and VND 120,000/day/motorbike. It may be obviously dangerous for a foreigner to go for a drive in the crazy traffic in Hanoi. Therefore, you should go at medium speed, especially keep slow in busy streets and wear a helmet. It’s noticeable that driving a motorbike on your own is only perfect for a short journey.