Various Hanoi public transportation services for tourists are available but the most popular must be mentioned are taxis, xe om (motorcycle taxis), buses and cyclos.
Taxis are metered, inexpensive, and reasonably safe. Most drivers are quite honest. The trouble with taking a taxi is not all of them are well-versed in English, and some will try to impose a flat rate for your trip instead of relying on the meter. Even when they use the meter, some of them will have defective meters that run too fast! If hailing a taxi in Hanoi, look for one of these reputable taxis, instead of just any taxi that passes your way.
Xe om, or motorcycle taxis, are even more abundant than taxis. You’ll find xe om mainly around street corners; you can tell them by their green pith helmets. The price should be negotiable, and will depend on the distance you wish to travel. Make sure your xe om has a spare helmet; don’t get on if they lack this essential piece of equipment!
Bus is a one of the most popular Hanoi public transportation due to the low cost and its convenience. If you are travelling on a budget and want to fully experience Hanoi, bus is definitely a worth considering choice. The bus stops are located along the streets, with the signal of blue boards which provide the detailed routes for the bus lines. At the major bus stops, there are also the city map and all the other routes. Bus is available every 5-15 minute, from 5.00 a.m. until 9.00 p.m.
Cyclo are Hanoi’s bicycle rickshaws. Passengers ride in the front cab, while the driver sits behind the passenger. Cyclo cabs are made for two passengers, and are ideal for exploring short distances within Hanoi’s city center. Ride them only if you’re in no hurry, and if you don’t mind the fright of seeing Hanoi’s traffic whiz right in front of you.