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Useful Information


Posting date: 27-08-2015 - View: 2154



The cyclo is a bicycle rickshaw. This cheap, environmentally friendly mode of transport is steadily dying out, but is still found in Vietnam’s main cities.

Groups of cyclo drivers always hang out near major hotels and markets, and many speak at least broken English. To make sure the driver understands where you want to go, it’s useful to bring a city map. Bargaining is imperative. Settle on a fare before going anywhere or you’re likely to get stiffed.

Approximate fares are between 10,000d and 15,0000d for a short ride, between 20,000d and 35,000d for a longer or night ride, or around 40,000d per hour.

Travellers have reported being mugged by cyclo drivers in HCMC so, as a general rule, hire cyclos only during the day in that city. When leaving a bar late at night, take a metered taxi.


Few travellers deal with city buses due to communication issues and the cheapness of taxis, cyclos and xe om. That said, the bus systems in Hanoi and HCMC are not impossible to negotiate – get your hands on a bus map.

Xe Om

The xe om (zay-ohm) is a motorbike taxi. Xe means motorbike, om means hug (or hold), so you get the picture. Getting around by xe om is easy, as long as you don’t have a lot of luggage.

Fares are comparable with those for a cyclo, but negotiate the price beforehand. There are plenty of xe om drivers hanging around street corners, markets, hotels and bus stations. They will find you before you find them…


Taxis with meters, found in most major cities, are very cheap by international standards and a safe way to travel around at night. Average tariffs are about 10,000d to 15,000d per kilometre. However, dodgy taxis with go-fast meters do roam the streets of Hanoi and HCMC, they often hang around bus terminals. Only travel with reputable or recommended companies.

Two nationwide companies with excellent reputations are Mai Linh and Taxi Group.


System of railway in Vietnam now is developed quickly and conveniently. There are daily trains leaving station, from North to South. It takes passenger about 30 hours to get along the length of Vietnam. Sightseeing with wonderful landscape is the amazing experience for every passenger on train. Besides, they also provide the service of transfer from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City to other province in whole country.

Boat / Cruise

There are many kinds of different size of boat used in Vietnam for tourism proposes. -Express boat is the high speed boat used for the transit from the harbor to the luxury cruise or for the transport of customer from the harbor to the islands in organized itinerary. For example, Co To island, Quan Lan island, Cat Ba island…

-The small wooden boat is usually used for the itinerary in Me Kong Delta, where there are interlaced systems of canals. Nowadays, travellers are offered the shuttle boat, pick up and drop off at harbor with around-trip bus from the hotels.

-The luxury cruise is the big modern yacht in Ha Long Bay, where tourists can enjoy the perfect service with high class facilities.

Fare’s fair?

For most visitors one of the most frustrating aspects of travelling in Vietnam is the perception that they are being ripped off. Here are some guidelines to help you navigate the maze.

Airfares Dependent on when you book and what dates you want to travel. No price difference between Vietnamese and foreigners.

Boat fares Ferries and hydrofoils have fixed prices, but expect to pay more for the privilege of being a foreigner on smaller local boats around the Mekong Delta and to places like the Cham Islands.

Bus fares More complicated. If you buy a ticket from the point of departure (ie the bus station), then the price is fixed and very reasonable. However, should you board a bus along the way, there’s a good chance the driver or conductor will overcharge. In remote areas drivers may ask for four, or even 10, times what the locals pay. Local bus prices should be fixed and displayed by the door, but foreigners are sometimes overcharged on routes such as Danang–Hoi An.

Rail fares Fixed, although naturally there are different prices for different classes.

Taxis Mostly metered and very cheap, but very occasionally some taxis have dodgy meters that run fast.

Xe Oms & Cyclos Fares are definitely not fixed and you need to bargain. Hard.

While this is all very frustrating, in many ways it’s a legacy of the early days of tourism in Vietnam, when all hotels were government-owned and charged foreigners five times the local rate. A similar fare structure existed for rail travel until quite recently too.

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