I. TYPES OF TRANSPORT
The pedicab/ cyclo
The most environmentally friendly means of transport in Vietnam: no engine, no smoke, no noise. Perfect for flat cities like Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An. The city of Saigon where it is forbidden the rickshaw rides for tourists for quite some time. And the city of Hanoi, it is more difficult to organize a trip to the old quarter because of the number of traffic in culminentes hours (between 7:00am - 9:00am and 4:00pm to 6:00pm)
Tips: If you want to take yourself a pedicab we advise you to haggle over the fare before boarding, and always VND (never in dollars!). Specify any conditions. Provide extra money. This mode of transport is more expensive (for tourists), but more picturesque than the taxi.
The motorbike taxi (xe ôm)
You see everywhere, especially at every corner in every city. People who rely on their scouter in trotoits where even the street sometimes are motorcycle taxi drivers. They are mainly found at the intersection to wait for customers.
Economic growth is accompanied by an exponential growth in the number of motorcycles, and this creates odd jobs around. The race does not cost more than cyclo (often less) and it's much faster. However, fearful avoid this means of transport, especially during peak hours when traffic is awesome!
A good point however, the Honda-ôm, as they are called, are less likely to rip the tourist that cyclos. Most of the time, the driver hands you a helmet: it is both a wise precaution and a necessity since it was made compulsory throughout 2007 (in town too).
There are many companies of private taxis in major cities. VND in prices at the counter (12 = 12,000 etc.). This is the most reliable transportation and safest in the city. Moreover, the rates are very affordable. Counting from 20,000 to 25,000vnd (0.70 to 0.90 €) for the first two kilometers, then 9,000-11,000vnd for the following kilometers.
Note however that Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, where some small companies show a departure package attractive price, but the race is more expensive on arrival because their meter is racing along the way (the counters are often doctored)!
So if you want to have your free time and go for a private taxi ride into town we advise you to watch the taxi mark before stopping and boarding the taxi. Some brands that are recommended are MaiLinh Taxi, Taxi Sunsice, ABC Taxi, Hanoi Taxi Group...
This is the cheapest means of transport. As in all countries of the South, dense network of communications by minibus or bus. Apart from the N1 and some sections attached to it, the quality of roads and conduct of the driver varies from acceptable to worse. As in the mountains, we talk hour drive rather than kilometers.
- The Vietnamese buses are modernized and are increasingly international standards. One of the best companies is Mai Linh, represented in southern and central Somalia (green bus), and Hoang Long in the North.
- The express bus is slow but are faster than local buses, which stop anywhere on demand.
- Significant disadvantage: bus stations are almost always located on the outskirts of cities. Therefore it is often necessary to take a taxi to get there, which is to double the ticket price ...
- There are also common bus (transit) in cities such as Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh - city and etc ....
It is recommended that means of transport is improving year by year. The train leaves and arrives almost on time. Express trains linking Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City bearing the name Reunification Express (Doi Moi). There are 5 a day in each direction. There are other smaller lines. Modernization of equipment is underway, but travel remains for rather slow time. That said, it is also faster than the bus, more secure and comfortable.
A Vietnamese version of the Japanese Shinkansen is under consideration. This could be achieved by 2020.
You can eat on trains, but the food is not always very good.
- Reservations: TYPIC TRAVEL will organize all types of these tickets. It is always booked at least a few months before for berths.
- Destination: SE registered trains are the fastest, while the registered trains are TN (much) slower.
- Mind your business: during the day, have someone compartment to keep your business if you go out. In any case, beware of thieves, especially at stops.
Only expatriates have the right to drive in Vietnam. Tourists are condemned to rely on a driver, hoping it will be careful (this is rare).
As traffic in Vietnam is very unusual for foreign touristtes so if you are just a visitor and you want to rent a car to drive you even this will be impossible.
This is why we suggest you take a trip with a guide that gives you explanations and with a driver who takes you to the places provided by the travel program being agreed with us.
The bicycle and the moped (motorcycle)
Officially, the conduct of motorcycles and mopeds is prohibited to foreigners (excluding expatriates), as for the car. However, in practice, it is easy to find in rent, at attractive rates (less than 20€ a day). In major cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it is not advisable to cycle or motorbike because the traffic has increased sharply in recent years and the kamikaze driving Vietnamese generates a real safety hazard. This is the strongest to prevail, which is easier than in 4x4 bike ... Elsewhere, renting may be considered with a little more serenity.
- If you rent a bike, think about headphones. For the bike, it is mandatory (the day before police grain).
- The Embassy of France in Vietnam advises against driving mopeds or motorcycles, because of the increasing number of accidents recorded each year by their services. Knowing this, no insurance will cover you in case of problems.
- Attention: in case of accident, it is not uncommon for police demands on the scope of damages - even if you had nothing to do. A painful moment in perspective.
- The roads are better in the south than in the north (aside N1), although with time, those in the North are improving.
A single track connects the North to South, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City through Hue, Da Nang and Nha Trang. This is Highway 1. Almost all roads are two-way.
- Caution! There are crowds on the roads and the road is often invaded the aisles. Result: you can not drive fast without taking risks. The cars use the horn constantly.
Could not drive faster than 50km/ h. Traffic is particularly intense with the addition, the two-wheel variety and slow-moving vehicles of all kinds. It hardly bus and truck drivers who frequently impresses run amok at a speed contrast sharply with the natural rhythm of the peasants! We also see a lot of accidents in the city and on the highways.
- In Vietnam, we drive on the right.
- He sometimes has tolls. Count between 10,000 and 20,000VND per car.
Vietnam Airlines, One national company, has a good reputation. In 2010, its fleet one of the youngest in Asia, were fifty aircraft, including ten Boeing and Airbus twice. Some 18 cities are served within the country, a dense network and convenient, and affordable accommodation.
Since these years, there is also a low-cost airline: Airline Jetstar and Mekong now.
II. HOW TO AVOID RISK?
There are very few security problems in Vietnam, apart from pickpockets in some districts of Ho Chi Minh City and some cases of pickpocketing reported on the beach of Nha Trang. There is therefore here that developing a petty crime.
Do not allow course of valuables in hotel rooms. Keep them as "your moitiée". Finally, physical assaults against tourists is extremely rare.
Noise and pollution
Noise is present in large cities because the movement of the two wheels is becoming increasingly important. This incessant buzzing (it quiet at night) is accompanied by pollution (exhaust fumes). Saigon is the noisiest city and most polluted Vietnam. Hanoi comes next. Hue city remains a bit crowded, noisy little. Night karaoke can also be a source of noise. They start in some areas at 7 am ... Do not forget your earplugs.
Cyclo who follow you in single file to the souvenir traders, shoe shiners through the guides and mototaxis: the visitor is often asked in Vietnam, insistently but not aggressive. Be patient, know refuse calmly. And do not forget that for many people, so does their survival.
Besides the small common scams in tourist areas (deliberately inflated prices), Vietnam is not a country seeking to mislead visitors.
When you buy a souvenir in a shop, if the seller gives you the packaged after going a few moments in his back shop, open the package and make sure that they are the object you have selected shelf.