Hanoi has busy streets. With the sound of its bustling and endless honking from motors and cars, it’s a bit of a challenge to go on your own way. Knowing how to go around Hanoi riding a motorbike could be a good choice as it will make it easier to squeeze in the queue of cars stuck in heavy traffic. But there are more options that you can consider if you’re touring.
Hanoi transportation comes in different shapes and sizes. It’s one thing about Asian countries never fails to amaze tourists. There are the usual train, buses, and taxis but there will surely be unique rides that will reflect the country’s culture.
The good thing about Hanoi’s transportation is it ranges from long distance to short distances. You no longer have to walk or face the problem of looking for a ride. Also, the fares are cheap and you can travel all around the city without exhausting your $20. Here are some of the choices that you have when traveling in the capital.
Let’s start with the basics:
From the airport and almost any point in Hanoi, there are buses that are ready to fetch you. These have red, white, and yellow decks that pass through the most famous attractions like the Hoan Kiem Lake and the Temple of Literature. It’s the easiest mode of transportation especially if you’re carrying a large bag. You can also look for sleeper buses where you can spend the night while traveling.
Fares for buses range from a standard $2 to $5. You have to pay for the tickets in cash and in Vietnamese Dong. Make sure to have smaller bills exchanged to the local currency to skip the hassle of waiting for your change or looking for a money changer before you ride a bus.
How to go around Hanoi via train rides
For long distance travels, riding an overnight train is a good option. It saves you the time of traveling during the day just like the sleeper buses. Just make sure that you’re carrying a small luggage as the trains here in Hanoi are smaller for Western body sizes. This is so you can put your luggage in the cabin together with the other passenger’s baggage.
There’s a mattress, reading light, charging ports, and meals on board. Total comfort if you want to cover long distance via train rides. Just make sure that you watch over your belongings to avoid encountering any hiccups.
Take note that train rides are more expensive as it will cover a longer distance. Let’s say a handsome $50 tops.
Going around the city with the comfort of AC is achievable through taxi rides. You can hail on the streets or request one from the hotel you are staying at. Just beware of scams where taxi drivers rip off the tourist with higher rates. How to go around Hanoi? Always go for metered ones where you will pay an initial $0.50 and $ 0.29 for the succeeding kilometers. You can go almost in any point of Hanoi while riding a taxi. To avoid getting duped, you can patronize some of the famous local taxis like TaxiCP, Hanoi Taxi, and 52 Taxi.
If you want, you can set an arrangement with a reliable driver so you can tour for the whole day. Tips are always welcome for drivers and they appreciate it when their passengers manage a decent amount.
And now, the quintessential mode of transportation in Hanoi. Like what I said earlier, the city traffic can get really crazy so one way of making your trips faster is to rent a motorbike. Just make sure that accidents relating to this are covered by your insurance, otherwise, you risk a great deal of money for possible hospital bills (knock on wood!).
Don’t be shocked to see a family of five all riding a single motorbike. It’s a common, but equally dangerous, sight here in Hanoi. One thing you can do to avoid any accident is to honk profusely when needed. The locals won’t mind as they are doing this too. Also, keep an eye on the people crossing the streets.
Now the unique ones:
If there’s one unique mode of transportation that could represent Vietnam, it would be the Cyclo. It’s a carriage-like structure attached to a pedal bike. This is used to tour shorter distances and narrower streets if you’re wondering how to go around Hanoi. However, it’s not a good option if you plan to ride on a busy street as it can get really squeezy. Caucasians also find it hard to fit two people in the seats as it’s built for the Asian body size. Still, not a big deal if you’re alone.
An hour ride in a cyclo will cost a measly $3. Make sure that you clarify the price before you hop on the rickshaw-looking ride. Some drivers tend to overcharge when they have a tourist passenger.
If you wonder where you can find a Cyclo, you don’t have to seek. The drivers lining the streets of Hanoi would bug you for a ride even if you don’t express the need for one.
Like the Cyclo, a three-wheeler is a steel carriage attached to a motorbike. It’s a faster ride and can accommodate a number of passengers at the back. However, it’s rare to see this as a means of public transport in the city.
Motorcycle taxis (Xe Om)
If you don’t know how to drive a motorbike but you want to ride one, maybe you should consider looking for a Xe Om or a motorcycle taxi. Same with conventional taxis, you get to have a driver that will bring you anywhere in the city. The only downside is that Xe Oms don’t have meters and you have to haggle the price and ensure that it won’t be overpriced. Usually, a two-kilometer ride would cost a maximum of $2.
These modes of transportation will help you on how to go around Hanoi. Just make sure that you won’t be ripped off and you’re safe on every ride.
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