Hanoi, Vietnam

Getting Around

 
 

By Motorbike

Motorbike Rentals
Motorcycles can be rented for around USD5-6 a day and can be arranged by most hotels. A typical bike will be given with 1 litre of fuel, so top up at the nearest petrol kiosk. A motorbike is good for making lots of trips around the city and riding outside the city is a refreshing change. However, be careful if you are new to the city and unaccustomed to Hanoi's "chaotic" traffic - a great place to sharpen motorbike skills, provided you emerge alive!
 
 
 
 
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Winding through the alleys and local markets (inaccessible by cars) allows you to see Hanoi from a different perspective. Park on the sidewalk with other bikes and be sure to lock the front wheel. Many shops that have bike attendants will give you a ticket in exchange for parking your bike. This may or may not come with a fee and typically range from 2,000 to 5,000 dong. However, parking at Hoan Kiem lake on a weekend can go up to 10,000 dong. The ticket will either have your license plate number written on it or the ticket itself will be numbered with that number subsequently chalked somewhere on your bike.

Parked motorbikes in Hanoi by William Whyte

Motorbike Taxis
Motorbike drivers can be found on virtually every street corner, especially in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Expect to be offered a ride every half-block or more. You should absolutely negotiate a fare in advance and turn around and walk away if you don't like their offer. There seems to far more drivers than tourists, and they know it - your fare could be the only one they get all day. You should also write down the negotiated fare (with all zeros) to avoid confusion. Even if you do speak Vietnamese, a driver might pretend that you said 50,000 instead of 15,000 dong.

A typical 10 minute fare should not cost more than 15,000-20,000 dong and many drivers will accept US dollars. At the end of a ride, some drivers will offer to hang around to drive you to your next destination. Either be clear that you don't want a return ride or get a price in advance - otherwise, the driver may tack several million dong for having waited. Keep your wallet out of arms reach of the drivers, less honest ones are not adverse to grabbing your wallet and helping themselves to any notes before speeding off.

Riding a motorbike by McKay Savage

 
Guide to
Hanoi
 
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