On every corner are cylco owners who try to get you to hire them for an hour or two. They charge 200,000 dong an hour and dont worry if the two of you cant fit in the one carriage as they always have a friend on stand by waiting to assist. If you do decide to take a ride please be firm and make sure you know how long you want to go for . It is a very relaxing way to see the city.
It¡¦s very excing to get around Hanoi by cyclo. I recommend you hiring cyclo through tourist agents since you will make sure where they take you and how much you will have to pay.
If you want to take it by yourself be sure that you are good at bargaining ƒº Just tell them the places you want to go and bargant, jump on it and let the tour begin!
The most popular Cyclo provider is from Sans Souci Tourist Company or you can get any cyclo you meet in the old streets.
Price: Around 50.000 VND (3 usd) for 2 hours trip to get along old streets.
For trips outside of the Old Quarter but inside the city itself cyclos were my favorite form of transportation. The Cyclos in Hanoi are wider than the Saigon version so two fit Westerns can usually cram into one…although they are pretty inexpensive so you can easily hire one for yourself.
Cyclos are amazing contraptions where you are sitting IN FRONT of the driver who is on a bicycle behind you so you really feel part of the crazy street traffic without the vulnerable feeling of being on the back of a motorbike (also available). The breeze often kept you cooler than in taxis (Vietnamese have an aversion to using AC in cars they think it takes too much gas)
When taking a cyclo make sure you agree on a price BEFORE you get on and write it down. If your putting two people in one cyclo make sure you get the price for both people…or you will get to your destination and find the price has doubled. I found it easier to hire the cyclos by the day or by the hour then by the trip. Most of the sights in Hanoi don’t take a lot of time so having the drive wait while your in the museum.
From a letter home
It's not quite lunchtime so we are off for another one of Mr. Toad’s wild rides on a cyclo to see more of Hanoi. There is just no way to describe the traffic here. We actually saw our first red light this morning and we almost took a picture since it is so rare. Imagine thousands and thousands and thousands of bikes and motorcycles on the roads with no stops signs or apparent rules. When you hit an intersection, everyone just keeps on going. On a 4 way intersection on a one or two lane road you may have 100 motorcycles in the intersection at once...all going different directions...about 50% coming straight at you. I really enjoy being on the cyclo (where you sit in FRONT of the driver in a buggy) and are part of it all.
Cyclo is a cheap transportation around Hanoi. It is fantastic of watching the crowd and the chaotic traffic.
When we are tired of walking we catch cyclo. Make sure you know where you want to go. Negotiate with the price before you hop on. Don't bargain to hard remember they have low income and they work hard, physically probably harder than you.
Around the Old Quarter we usually pay the cyclo driver around $2 to $3. They will accept US dollar.
Updated: Just realised I had to update this tip, which was written some years ago. After my last trip to Hanoi in Dec 2006, I must say that NOOO... you don't have to go searching for cyclos anymore... they're EVERYWHERE! And it can get very annoying when they cycle along with you as you're walking along the roads... every street corner there'll be at least one or two and they'll even holler at you from across the street "Woo-oo, woo-oo!" "Hello hello? Hello miss!!! Missss??!!! Cyclo ride??? One hour???" *sigh*
Original tip: Like the "beca" or trishaw in Penang, and the tuk tuk in Thailand, these cyclos are a must ride in Hanoi! They're not available in all street corners though, you do have to walk around a bit and come upon some of them by chance... they're not more expensive than the motorcycle taxis so try one sometime!
The Melia Hanoi hotel have a few of their own cyclos too, but these guys I found outside the Sofitel Metropole Hotel
15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hanoi.. which is also where the Malaysia Airlines office is.
try to get a cyclo rider that speaks at least a lill english and u have yourself a free guide as well,well, sorta.
the ride codt me USD1 per hour and i hired him for about 4 hours,paid for his lunch and beer, cos i really wanted to taste the local food.he could spoke all right english and all.but at the bottom of our 4th beer,he was speaking to me in vietnamese.hahahaha.
he was a really nice guy and brought me to some festival where we met a few more friends and drank rice wine sitting on some grass patch and his wife was bbq-ing cuttlefish by the side.
It can be used for short distance trips especially after your shopping adventure. The damage should be USD 1 or less if you bargain. If not, the cost will be doubled or tripled. In addition, there are many to choose as they will flocked to you. Try to take those who are cycling around instead of those who are staying out in a spot. Pay only when you reached your destination!!
The best way to have sightseeing in Hanoi, especially in Old Quarter, is to hail a cyclo. You can pay by trip or hourly. The cost is about 30000VND per hour for 1 person or 40000VND per hour for 2 persons. It's quite worth as you can enjoy sitting and taking picture along the 36 streets in Old Quarter.
Cyclos not too long ago were still one of the primary methods of movement in Hanoi. Increasingly they exist mainly for tourists. If it is your first time in Hanoi the cyclo can be a very good form of transportation. The drivers generally have good english skills and know everything about their town. Make sure that you bargain and agree to a price beforehand. Paying upfront can be a good idea. Carry exact change as the guys never have change. It should be about $2 USD for an hour if you bargain hard enough.
Deal the price before you get on cyclo and make sure you have exact change because they always say they dont have a change for you. Keep your eyes open all the itme --- you sit in front of the driver !!!
Unlike the cyclos in Ho Chi Minh City, the cyclos here will actually take you to where you want to go and only of you’re interested. Otherwise, they will leave you alone.
This ride across town cost us 16,000VND ($1US). We sat and watched as traffic swerved to avoid us. Great fun!
The prices are good, about 2-5 us$ for a ride. bargaining with the rider will help. ;-) It is a wonderful way to see hanoi from the roadside, you can hear all the noise, and at times it was even nerve -wracking when the rider manged to worm his way thru tiny gaps in the traffic! Fun!
Eventhough I mentioned in the warning section that I got cheated by a tricky cyclo guy, I still encourage you to take a ride around the town. Some will offer you a trip around the town for 15-30 mins. We paid about 40.000 Dong. Anyway, you can practice your bargaining skill.
We took one cyclo trip while in Vietnam -- from the Old Quarter to Apocalypse Now late one evening. It cost about $2, but it took almost 30 minutes with our drivers pedaling like mad. We had two cyclos and we talked the drivers into racing... it was entertaining, but don't expect this to be your primary means of transportation.
Very educational experience to first-timer, like me. Cyklodriver with understandable english is worth of gold: he knows everything about everything - and more. Only problem is to find the common language, because most of them speaks as fluet english as I speak vietnamese! Other only problem is money: agree the price always before trip. Otherwise they can demand enermous amount of money! Its cheaper to rent driver to all day than only one hour.