It is a long, 45 minute drive from the Hanoi airport to the center of the city. Grab a taxi at the airport and negotiate the price before you leave. There is a toll on the road from the airport to the city. Our driver tried to make us pay 3 times the toll amount. When we refused he tried to make us pay only the exact amount of the toll. Since we had negotiated with him for $10, all inclusive ride to the city, we refused this as well. We just told him to pull over an let us out... he changed his mind and took us to the city for our original price.
Getting around in Hanoi is easy. You either take a Taxi or ride a Cyclo. However, Cyclo can only accomodate ONE person. if you cant take the heat, taxi is preferred choice as all taxis are air conditioned.
Just to caution travellers that meter cab are driven by time/ duration rather than solely distance. On different days, we took taxi to one same place. However, one is more expensive than the other.
In Hanoi, you will get the impression that everybody is rushing. Honking and speeding. But this particular driver was driving VERY extremely SLOWLY at one point. 30km/hr perhaps! And when we reach our destination, we realise it costs 8000VND more than our 1st trip! It is then we realised the meter is going by the seconds!
So my advice to save cost is - drive faster! haha!
The most convenient, and safest way to get around Hanoi is by Taxi. They are plentifull and pretty cheap. Depending on the taxi company, a trip within the city center shouldn't cost you more than a dollar or two.
Personally, I get around on motorbike, but if you don't know the city, and keeping in mind that traffic is absolutely mad, this might not be the best option for a short-term visitor.
Bicycles can be rented, but that is probably even more dangerous than a motorbike, and only really advisable within the Old Quarter.
Forget cyclos, the cyclo guys are a pain in the neck, and most roads these days are banned for cyclos. Again, this might only be an option for the Old Quarter.
Taxis are taxis, and you're a tourist (with a fat wallet). Do your homework in advance rather than having to learn the expensive way. It's illegal for a taxi in VN to charge USD. Most of the taxis at Noibai will quote you a fixed rate to your destination in the city. If you're willing to walk to the Mailinh taxi stand, they charge half-rate into the city--half of what they charge to the airport--since they're based in the city. Only dummies pay in advance. Only dummies pay 300k to the Hoan Kiem area. Only dummies dump their bags with a stranger and think he's looking after your interests.
This is May 2012 and the VND/USD exchange rate is around 22,000. The guy down there talking about a 5- or 8-passenger van was using an exchange rate from 2005.
Well what can i say we were at the airport, planes were canceled and there was no way of knowing how we were going to get to Hanoi City. We found http://www.hanoiairporttransfer.com and called the number on the site. The person on the other end of the phone was very friendly and helpful, they suggested buses and then offered a quote by taxi. We decided to take the taxi and in no time at all we were on our way, the taxi was clean and the driver was very helpful. would definitely recommend this taxi service and will definitely use them again.
I recently used Hanoi Transfer Service for getting around in Hanoi as well as getting to and from the airport ..I was told by a friend that had used them before how reliable they were and he was correct ...I paid 16.00 to get to and from the airport and the price for the day and half day tour were more than fair .The car was clean , and the driver friendly and helpful...They turned up when they said they would and verified my travel arrangements by email ..I would reccomend them to my friends .
I just came back from Hanoi yesterday.I paid 16usd for private car from Hanoi airport to our hotel near Hoan Kiem Lake.The car is news model and very clean,the driver very friendly and speaking English very well.I highly recommend : http://hanoitransferservice.com
When you arrive at NoiBai Airport, a convenient way to get to Hanoi town is to hire a taxi. Airport taxi, Noibai taxi, Viet thanh Taxi, However this is not always the case as tourists have been overcharged, even up to $100USD for a taxi, according to some topic. Besides that, do be careful of taxi touts.It isn't a bad idea to arrange an airport transfer with your hotel or travel agent in Hanoi.
I'm very lucky when i came to hanoi .Because i have friend been there before,My friend recommend me a good pick up private car from Noibai airport to our hotel with the best comfortable and nice service. The car is news model and very clean.I paid 15usd/1 way to hotel . the driver very friendly and speaking English very well.Would definitely recommend this car service and will definitely use them again.
I would encourage you to ONLY take CP taxi or Hanoi Taxi. When you or somebody calls for a taxi for you , it is best to emphasize. Otherwise you may end up paying double the amount.
WE once took a CP taxi, we thought, a restaurant called, and he had a fake "label" outside. It was a magnet. He touched something under the glove compartement and the meter started to run , my husband told him what was happening and suddenly the meter stopped. We paid the fair price.
Make sure the meter is covered by glass.
I hope they have told us when we first arrived.
Off the airport, don't worry about not having any Vietnamese Dongs (VND's) on you, just make sure you have $10 in loose change and get on waiting cabs outside the arrival area. there are three licensed companies running this, DO NOT get on with drivers who approach you at the arrival hall. Be specific with the hotel you're going to so as to avoid them taking you around for a ride. We tipped our driver US$1.
If you hang around the old quarters, there are actually $7 rides to the Noi Ba International Airport from the doorstep of your hotel. You just need to find Sinn Cafe offices (they have like half a dozen in and around the Old Quarters, just ask around or ask your hotel concierge where to find one on your map), and pre-book it. One word of caution, if you're staying at either Sofitels, be sure they have the right one on record. Our ride was 30 mins late because it went to the Sofitel Plaza instead of the Metropole to pick us up. Lucky we made it anyway.
When arriving into Hanoi , only use hotel arranged transportation , or There is a Taxi arrangement at the airport of 15-16 usd paid in advance to your destination, most meters jump , most taxi drivers in the city take you the long way around, Hanoi Taxi group excepts credit cards in taxi as well as Mah Linh , the smallest taxi's charge the least per km , and if just taking one and coming back after 30 minutes just have the taxi wait , usually only 2,000 vnd for 6 mins waiting time. You can rent a motor bike when you are here but technically its illegal to do that, if you will be here longer than 3 months you can apply for temp driving license then you'll be legal.
Airport taxis to your hotel should cost only 10-12 USD one-way. Do Not let the hotel put you in a minivan if you have already requested a car- the minivan is only 2 USD and they'll probably pocket the taxi fare when you arrive at the hotel.
I was told that the usual taxi fare for a journey from the old quarter to the Hanoi train station area should normally cost between 20,000 to 40,000 dong. However, more than half our rides turned up higher fares - I was observing how some taxi meters simply jump practically almost every second.
But having said this, I think there's little one can do about this situation.
I just returned from a trip to Hanoi and it couldn't have started out much worse than this: The man listed in my title (Mr. To Vu) approached me upon arrival stating that he was sent by my hotel to take me to my hotel (which turned out to be a lie, of course). However, he did not have a placard with my name on it, nor did he know the address of my hotel (he said there were two locations and he didn't know which one it was - another lie!), and his answer as to how he knew I was the person he was supposed to pick up was shady and inaccurate as well. All of these should have alerted me to the scam but I went with him anyway (I'm still not sure why, but I'm blaming fatigue). He actually ended up being the passenger, as he had a driver - Lai Xe - who was silent during much of this short trip. On our way to the airport exit, To Vu informed me that he needed my passport for some tourist ticket so he wouldn't have to pay an exit toll or something (that part is still not clear to me). That was the final straw for me and when I refused to give him my passport, he said he was taking me back to the airport. He then asked for his business card back and when I refused, he became irate (his face turned red and he was spitting as he talked and everything!) and verbally abusive, using the "F" word several times, saying, "Don't F with me!" and pointing his finger in my face and telling me not to talk. It was all I could do to stay calm and ask him to stop yelling at me and take me back to the airport. He attempted to drop me off at a taxi gathering point outside of the actual airport grounds but I insisted that I be dropped off at the terminal, which he grudgingly did. I didn't have to pay (monetarily) for this little ride, but it definitely took an emotional toll! My attempts to lodge a complaint while in Hanoi were unproductive due to the language barrier and I am still trying to see if I can do so via the internet. However, I know how many people use these travel sites, so if I can get the word out there about this person in particular (if he even works for Vietnam Airlines Airport Taxi - that could have been a lie as well, since the car we were in was a black Toyota Camry with no decals on it), then I've done my duty. So beware!! I'm a pretty savvy traveler (most of the time), so if it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody!! Travel safely!!