This is the most common means of transportation in Ha Noi particularly and in Viet Nam generally, and an essential part of the locals’ life. There are about 5 million motorbikes on the city’s streets – a huge number in comparison to other means of transportation like cars and bicycles.
Hiring a motorbike, getting around Ha Noi and discovering every corner of the city with the local tour guide is a exhilarating experience. It will be even more exciting to travel on adventurous routes and small alleys, stop then and there to try exotic street food. Just be prepared for crowded streets and traffic flows in rush hours, and be knowledgeable about traffic laws.
Otherwise, you can discover the capital city on the back of Vespa with professional local tour guides. This is a good choice to ride through the narrow streets, experience the true Ha Noi and discover its heritage. The service is provided by some local operators, such as Hanoi Vespa tours and Motorbike Tour Hanoi.
Taxi is definitely a top choice for travelers, since it is convenient and safe compared to other transportation. Travelling on a taxi is a good choice to escape from the hot summer of Ha Noi. Along with conventional taxies, you can use Grab car/Grab taxi at a reasonable price. Uber stopped its operation in Viet Nam, so now Grab is the most popular alternative choice.
Bus is a very common public transportation available in Ha Noi.
The city has taken measures comprehensively in recent years to improve the bus system, such as increasing service quality and attitude of drivers, putting new vehicles into use, and expanding bus routes for convenience of passengers. Travelling by bus does not cost much; you will have more time to look around the hustling city.
Buses can be divided into three categories:
- Airport buses: buses depart/arrive at Noi Bai International Airport
- Buses in city center/urban area
- Buses to suburban areas
Xe Om (motorbike taxi)
Xe om (zay-ohm) is a kind of motorbike taxi. Xe literally means motorbike, om means hug (or hold), so you get the picture.
Getting around by xe om is easy and cheap, as long as you don’t have a lot of luggage. The price is negotiable, so don’t forget to make a deal beforehand. There are many Xe om drivers around street corners, hotels and bus stations. Otherwise, you can find a Xe om with Grab Bike app; the drivers in uniform will come and pick you up quickly.
Cyclo or Xich lo (in Vietnamese) is a human-powered transport with a seat at the front for passengers and the driver at the back. This “authentic” way allows visitors to discover the city center in intense emotions. Once being a popular means of transport of Hanoian, now it is used mainly to serve tourists. You can enjoy not only the sights but, the smell and sound which you cannot experience when travelling by taxi.
They are sometimes decorated colorfully for weddings. It is exciting, jolly and strangely unique wedding ceremony to recall the old days of plain and lovely memories.