Information / Getting Around
Wandering Around Hanoi
Getting around in Hanoi is easy, thanks to the location of its main tourist attractions. Its eateries, hotels, major tourist spots, and shopping arcades are more or less located at a stone’s throw from one another. Even the city’s populace travels on motorbikes. However, for traveling to other districts within Hanoi, buses, private cars, and motorcycle taxis are readily available. Most of the travelers visiting Hanoi prefer to stay within the Hoan Kiem, for its Old Quarter and the French Quarter, Hai Ba Trung, Tay Ho for the West Lake, and Ba Dinh. You can hire a self-driven car or book a driver, even take a taxi, each option is comparatively cheaper than the other cities of Vietnam.
Motorcycle taxis or Xe Om are a fast and cheap way of getting around in Hanoi. The rides are available throughout the city, especially around the major tourist attractions, hotels, and streets. The rides are fitted with meters which mean you will need to bargain hard to settle on a charge. It is thus advisable to ask the concierge before you leave the hotel, about how much a ride would cost. A two-kilometer ride should cost you 20,000-30,000 dong, i.e. 86 cents to $1.30. The only downside is that the drivers speak little to no English. A good tip is to write down the address on a piece of paper and show it to the driver.
Taxis – Best way to see Hanoi
A reliable way of getting around in Hanoi is its taxis. You can either hail one on the street or request for one at the hotel. The starting price of the taxi is anywhere between VND 10,000 to VND 12,000 and every subsequent kilometer is priced at VND 4,000 to VND 6,500. There is no question of overcharging as the taxis are always metered. You can appreciate the taxi driver by rounding up the meter and leaving a tip.
Perhaps the most inexpensive way to getting around in Hanoi is the Cyclos as they charge an amount of VND 20,000 for an hour-long ride. Though a two-seater, many cyclos can fit only one passenger. Cyclos can be used more for a quaint experience and less as a means of transportation as it can be off-putting to find a way through the traffic in Hanoi. It is also much better to use the Cyclos in the streets of the Old Quarter.
The city has a good system of local buses decked out in white, yellow, and red. They cover regular routes within the city stopping nearly at every major tourist attraction like Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, The Literature temple, and the Old Quarter. A standard ticket is priced between VND 5,000 and VND 10,000 payable only via cash. The charges, however, vary from destination to destination depending upon the distance. It is thus advisable to carry smaller bills. It can safely be said that the best way to see Hanoi is in its taxis which are affordable, reliable, and more comfortable than the remaining modes of transportation.