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.
After reading so many other posts about how big a hassle it is to get to Hanoi from the airport, I was not looking forward to having to fight off Taxi touts and haggle over the fare. But, on arrival I was pleasantly surprised how easy (and cheap) it was to get into town.
After clearing customs, we stopped at the airport ATM to get some VN currency. At this point, one taxi tout offered us a ride but quickly left us alone when we declined. We headed straight outside and saw a line of clean taxis with a sign advertising a US$10 ride to downtown Hanoi. We jumped in, told the driver the name of our hotel, and headed off. Soon we were dodging hundreds of scooters, bicycles, and the occasional truck.. but we arrived safely at the right hotel in about 35 minutes. I paid the driver $10 and threw in a $1 tip.
So don't worry about your arrival in Hanoi.. just politely say no to any touts, go outside the terminal, look for the $10 cab, and enjoy your trip!
If you are travelling with another person, it is worthwhile taking the taxi around Hanoi. Taxis are plentiful and cheap in Hanoi and can be flagged down anywhere. The taxis are white Toyota Altis and go by the meter. The flag down fare is 11000 VND and increments are in 1000 VND units. A 15-minute taxi ride from the southeast to the northwest corner of central Hanoi should cost around 40000 VND ($2.5). Taxi drivers don't usually speak much English. Have your destination written down even though you can read the Romanised street names - your pronounciation will be inaccurate most of the time. Otherwise, have someone at the hotel or restaurant or shop speak to the taxi driver.
Make sure that you have 10000 VND and 20000 VND notes with you. Taxi drivers often do not have change for anything more than 50000 VND and rounding up of the fare is a common practice. If your metered fare is 27000 VND for example and you give the taxi driver a 50000 VND note, don't be surprised if he rounds up the fare to 30000 VND and gives you 20000 VND in change. Just treat it as a small tip.
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.
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 airport taxi charges a flat fee of 12,000 VND.
If possible, get the hotel reception to Dial 8733333 for you and give them your pick up time and venue.
Hotel do provide a transfer service which charges you a USD10 flat fee to the airport.
Another cheaper alternative is to take the Vietnam Airline Minibus for USD2 per person.
(story to be continued)
Take a taxi if you have 2 or more person heading for the same destination.
It will cost you about 65,000 VND to get to Museum of Ethnology. (the furthest we get to travel).
And do remeber to take the white taxis because their meters does not jump that fast.
Just ask the hotel reception to dial you a cab and they will turn up in 3 mins. And get the reception to tell the driver where exactly you want to go.
Else just call 8262626 but you got to speak to them in Viet.
taxis are not really expensive as the hotel officer told me when i them. to get arround to the little hanoi from horizon hotel to buy craft and gift.
its only cost you 30.000 VND or about 2 USD.
and the car is well maintained, clean and the driver can understand survival english.
there are several taxi companies. each of them has a different costing. the above cost is the highest.
so... i would recommend to use taxis in hanoi rather than bicycles since they could not understand even a survival english language.
If you need a taxi in Hanoi, it's better if you order from hotel or a restaurant, they will order taxi from good company.
And they say, it's free to make a local call for the first 3 minutes (cmiiw).
And don't forget to show the address, let him read the address you're heading to, and do not only say it, we never know the correct pronounciation of their language. So bring along your map and hotel's card name.
There's no standard price of the meter taxi. But from airport to Hanoi (or opposite) it costs about 12 USD.
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.
We found HanoiTaxis to be very reliable, clean cars, pleasant drivers and metered fares.
It is useful to have your destination written down as western versions of Vietnamese names are not easily recognisable to native speakers!
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.