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A special taxi motorbike classification.
Traffic jams are a plague in every big city, and Hanoi is no exception! Motorbikes are the most common vehicles on the streets here, and their number increased drastically in the last 10-15 years, taking over the bicycles; as wealth is growing, cars are beginning to replace the motorbikes; traffic congestion threatens to develop more and more.
Anyway! Riding as passenger on a bike is quite fun and interesting here (and if you like the smell of exhaust gases, it is the place to be! Haha); it is a bit faster than the cars, your driver sidles acrobatically in the traffic, you have a close view on the fellow commuters, hear really the traffic, and even are able to make some pictures.
There are 4 categories of taxi motorbikers in my classification:
--1 Men waiting for the tourists nearby tourists spots, and proposing their services; be prepared to demonstrate excellent bargaining skills (they propose fares higher than cabs! Example: ethnological museum to Old Quarter: 100.000 Dongs; end of bargaining: 60.000, still expensive).
--2 Women (quite few) waiting for the tourists nearby tourists spots, and proposing their services; be prepared to demonstrate excellent bargaining skills again.
--3 Men and women (very few), about everywhere, parked, or driving, waiting the customers call them; I do not know about prices.
--4 The fourth category is represented by quite nice looking young ladies who hook foreigners for a ride on their bike, and then to seventh heaven, probably; they operate in the area between the Opera and the southern side of Hoan Kiem Lake. I did not try to know how much the fare for that special destination was! They are quite few in Hanoi, compared to what I have seen in Ho Chi Min City 3 years ago.
- Arts and Culture
Take a ride on a motorcycle
Within the town centre you can easily ask people for a ride on their motorbike. This gives them an extra pocket money. For ca. 6000 DONG (US 0,40) you go everywhere whithin ca 4 KM on the backseat. Very fast and efficient. This service is called: SE HOMME, that´s what you must ask for.
Zig-Zag goes the Bike
You can also move around Hanoi in a rented motocycle or you can flag down a motorbike . It is a convenient and fast mode of transport within the town of Hanoi. The motorbike can zig-zag its way in heavy traffic areas.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Motorbikes Rule The Road
Not that long ago, traveling by bicycle was the way to go. Now, with the influx of millions of inexpensive Honda knock-offs from China, $500 gets you a new motorcycle! Everybody has them now.
These women were on their way to a wedding.
For a cheap thrill ride hop on the back of a moto-taxi and ride around town for around $1.
- Budget Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Like A Flood
The picture confirms you that this sure is the city of Hanoi. Its where you will see a flood of motorbikes all around. If you dare, rent a motorbike and join the honking parade. I bet it'd be a fun experience.
If you wanna rent one, walk around the Old Quarter. When you spot tens of motorbikes lined up..that is where you can rent one.
"I have moto-bike!"
The Vietnamese population thrives on riding motorbikes, and Hanoi is no exception to that rule. While visiting, tourists are privy to a constant stream of “motobike, motobike” as they walk down the street. So finding a ride around town is never difficult. It’s quite an experience to take one of these two-wheeled rides around town. It always feels a little like you’re taking your life into your own hands. But what a thrill! If you’re walking, take care as you cross the street because these bikes have the right of way. I recommend getting a birdseye view of the traffic to learn the ebb and flow of it all. It’s got it’s own kind of beauty.
- Budget Travel
Motorcycle Around Hanoi
Just like other areas of Vietnam, motorcycle is the way to go. Everyone is willing to give a ride to the "rich Westerner," so you never have to wander far until you find a willing driver. It is cheap, usually negotiated down to $1 or $2 per hour. These guys also know where the big tourist sights are so they may take you places you didn't know existed or hadn't planned to visit.
Road safety is definitely not one of the country's strong points. Vietnam's intercity road network of two-lane highways is becoming more and more dangerous due to the rapid increase in the number of motor vehicles that now travel on it.
Negotiating before you go, motorbike drivers are hard to negotiate sometimes. If they don't agree your price just walk away to the other, there are drivers appreciate your fixed price
Whilst trying to negotiate a ride back from the ethnology museum, I chanced upon Nguyen, a pleasant and friendly (disabled) rider with hanoi's answer to the tuk tuk in Bangkok.
Apart from taking the ride back to the old quarter, I engaged Nguyen for a half day trip to the Air Force museum the following day. I made 2 unplanned stops at the money changer and a silk shop along the way. Upon completion of the trip, I expected a request for a tip but to my surprise, none came. I gladly tipped him for the service.
I would highly recommend Nguyen to anyone who needs a ride around town, he speaks some English and can provide basic explanation for some of the cultures of locals.
Unfortunately Nguyen doesn’t check his email often but you can make arrangements via a local phone call at your hotel for 5000 dong. His mobile phone number is 0983076095
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
For getting around the city, it’s fun to take a motorbike taxi (Xe Om or hugging motorbike, you must hug the driver :p ). You can find them everywhere in the streets, a man with his motorbike. You can easily go and stop anywhere you want. Try your best to bargant, it’s about 2.000 vnd/km. Almost drivers can not speak well English, so just show him where you want to go on the map and bargant with your fingers hehe…
Remember to choose the driver with good and clean motorbike (SYM, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki), ask them not driving too fast and don’t forget to wear hamlet or the police will stop you (the driver has the hamlets for you & him too).
It’s easy and fun, believe me!
Madness on every corner
This isn't so much a tip about using a motorcycle as advice about avoiding motorcycles safely. They are everywhere in Hanoi, if you want to cross the road, very very bravely put one foot in front of the other into the onslaught of oncoming bikes. Or if you aren't that brave, hide behind a local as they cross, the first time is definitely the worst, just don't make any sharp movements. :S
rent a motorbike
this is THE best way to go around Hanoi, if you're brave enough that is. Rent your own, don't hitch a ride with the cyclos. It only costs about $5 - $6 for the entire day. It's a great way to see the Old Quarter and immerse yourself with the locals. It also makes it easy for you to stop as you please to take photos.
Motorbike - but take care!
I found it very convenient to get around Hanoi by motobike, but watch out for the terrible traffic! Accidents are very common and it is dangerous!
At almost every shop are 'motorbike parks' with guards who look for the bikes for some dong.
If the bike gets broken, don't worry: Vietnam is very service oriented. Everywhere along the roads you will find someone who offers you repair service. Also 'mobile filling stations' are easy to find.
Just the grade of service is sometimes debatable ;-)
Always lock your bike!
Motorbiking in Hanoi
Avoid the taxis and the crowded pavements and hire a motorbike. You need to provide some ID (I usually leave my driving licence) to the hire company and indemnify them for the possible loss of the bike (usually set at USD800). The daily hire rate is about USD5-8 per day. Petrol is very cheap. Riding the bikes is childs play. However, many tourists are put off by roads that are full of motorbikes, bicycles, cyclos, pedestrians and hawkers. However, I've found that this chaotic state of affairs actually makes riding a motorbike safer. Because the roads are so congested no one can go very fast. Just take your time; keep your eyes fixed firmly in front; and don't make any sudden or unexpected movements and you'll be fine. Parking a motorbike is very easy. There are areas all over Hanoi attended by parking wardens who look after your bike for 3-5 Dong. That said don't leave any valuables and lock the bike if possible. Once you've enjoyed the freedom of a motorbike I guarantee that you'll never go back to taxis (and all those tedious negotiations about the fare).
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
2 hours trip for USD5 per person on a bike!
hotel > HCM Museum, HCM Mausoleum, One pillar Pagoda, HCM stilt house>temple of literature>Hanoi Hilton>hotel.
above are the itinerary...was it a ripped off??i dunno...
if he does ripped me off because i'm not local..well, that was his sin...
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