What to do
Known elsewhere as rickshaws or pedicabs, the cyclo's design slightly varies according to what part of the country on is in. These are a fixture in all major and minor cities in Vietnam. Cyclos should be booked through your tour company or through the doorman or concierge of your hotel. Any trip to Vietnam without riding a cyclo is a trip deprived.
This term literally means to "hug the motorbike." Xe Om drivers (motorbike taxis) peruse the streets in the cities and in the countryside looking for fares. An excellent and ready means of transportation only for the very brave hearted. How to hail a Xe Om: extend arm and hand directly outward; flutter your wrist as if waving goodbye to someone . . . this will hail the first available Xe Om . . . or perhaps even a mob of them.
Perhaps the best taxi service in the world exists in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; the taxis are new, reliable and economical. Always take a metered taxi. Some taxi companies:
- M Taxi - 822-2666
- Mai Linh Taxi - 822-6699
- Vina Taxi - 811-1111
- Saigon Taxi - 424-242
- Duong Sat Taxi - 864-5645
- Hanoi Taxi - 535-353
- Mai Linh Taxi - 822-2666
- Taxi CP - 826-2626
Cars and Vans
Late model Toyota, Honda, GM, Ford, Mercedes Benz cars and vans are available for hire (with driver) through your tour company or your hotel. Self-driven rental cars are not recommended for the rules of the road are entirely different from North America.
Not recommended for Saigon but for the more calm and quaint streets of Hanoi they are strongly recommended. Bicycle rentals can be made through your tour company or through the concierge or front desk of your hotel.
Motorbikes are available for rent but are strongly not recommended. They are well worthy of watching for their amazing feats. A terrific book "Bikes of Burden" by Hans Kemp displays Vietnamese motorbike ingenuity at its very best. www.bikes-of-burden.com