Hanoi - Post Report Question and Answers

Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes, most people have moved to Grab for taxi usage and cheap, but you can also find occasionally other people willing to take you. - Aug 2021

Grab (Asia version of Uber) is the main game in town. It generally works well, though their surge pricing algorithm occasionally goes bonkers and what's charged doesn't make any sense at all. It has helped curb the occasional issue of pirate taxis with funny meters that you'd get in the past. Even normal taxis aren't too expensive, though. A 30-minute drive to work was typically $3-4. Buses are much, much cheaper, but I have no experience with them. - Dec 2019

I only used local taxis, which are very safe and cheap. Grab (like Uber) is readily available, too. - Jul 2019

I would never take local mass transit. Taxis are relatively affordable. You’ve got your nicer/expensive ones, and not-so-nice/cheap ones. We tend to use Uber/Grab (although Uber is no longer available),as the cars are nicer and the fare is half the cost of a taxi. You then don’t need to carry those small bills around to pay them, if you link to credit card. The only downside is waiting for it to arrive. From our housing to embassy is roughly 40,000 VND in Uber and 80,000 in a taxi. - Apr 2018

There are lots of transport options available. Buses are cheap and (despite what the RSO may say) relatively safe -- but the bus network is limited and not so convenient. Hanoi should be getting its first elevated metro line in a couple of years, so stay tuned on that. Taxis are plentiful, but make sure to choose the right companies/colors if you don't want to be scammed/cheated (a growing problem especially in touristy areas of the city). The best option is to use Uber, which is reliable and has cleaner cars than taxis. There are also plenty of private car services that provide excellent, clean service, including for airport pickups -- as a colleague or the CLO for details. It's easy to rent a minibus and driver if you have family in town and want to do day (or even overnight) trips outside of the city. - Dec 2017

Yes - May 2016

Taxis are plentiful and safe. I haven't every taken a local bus. They're cheap (about 30 cents), but the crowds and the heat make them look awful. I'd much rather spend a few bucks on a cab! - Aug 2015

All pretty safe. Local buses aren't all that convenient. Affordable for sure. Taxis US$4 for a 20 minute driver. Uber is here now at the same price. There are some taxis that run up the meter, but after you have lived here a week it's obvious how to spot them (not one of the main 5-6 companies). - Mar 2015

People use all and all are cheap. A cab ride across town is rarely more than US$5-7. Buses are 10 cents (I think) and a couple brave expats use them. They can be hot and packed. Train service is possible with the best service to Sa Pa. - Aug 2014

Taxis are cheap and you can go around town for only a few bucks, without ever needing anything else. They are everywhere, including in front of the supermarkets. To go further out, there are plenty of organized tours, trains that are relatively safe and comfortable (but noisy), if you chose the highest category. You can also fly –- lots of domestic connections. - Dec 2011

All are affordable. Taxi's are plentiful are fairly cheap. (Unless you get one that's trying to rip you off.)I haven't taken buses but I know some people who do. - Aug 2011

Taxis are cheap and affordable. I wouldn't try the buses, they are strictly for the locals. - May 2010

Taxis are cheap and plentiful. - Dec 2009

Taxis are plentiful and very affordable. A typical 20-minute ride will cost $3. - Feb 2009

There are no mass transit trains in Vietnam's cities. Train travel between cities is acceptable and many expats have enjoyed using trains to see the countryside. Buses are crowded with limited routes and long waits. Petty crime is also a problem so few use buses for transportation. Taxis are reliable and inexpensive. Use of larger well known companies is advised as smaller independent taxi operators have been know to rig the meter or take passengers on longer routes. Even the drivers from large companies have been know to take the long way there but customers can call and complain with the taxi number to seek redress. Preferred companies are CP Taxi, Hanoi Taxi and Mei Linh Taxi. Taxis from these companies must frequently be called as the generally prefer to wait near large hotels or other tourist areas and do not roam the city looking for fares. Business cards with addresses for destinations are very helpful as taxi drivers do not speak English. - Sep 2008

Taxis, yes. Trains and buses, no. - May 2008

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