Yes, the service is excellent, and they are often 15 mins prior to our booked time. For Airport - Hanoi, I often take the elevator from Arrival to Departure hall, bargain at any taxi outside, it is about VND 300,000 as of Jan 2012 from the airport to Tay Ho area, 20% cheaper than in arrival area as most of taxi have to come back to Hanoi with their empty cars. Depends your time of arrival in Hanoi, if it is after 21h, I recommend the regular airport taxi just outside of arrival hall. If you are free from your luggage, take a bus, which is VND 30,000 to downtown. Kumho bus is my choice. They parked by the end of the terminal, at your right hand.
I have used this service quite alot and highly recommend contacting Mr Ken when you or a friend needs a taxi to or from the airport. I have also used his company to hire a car for a day to go to Tam Dao. The cars are in good condition, dirvers are experienced and usually arrive earlier than the booked time. I really like using this service for when friends and family are visiting Hanoi for the first time. The driver will stand at the arrival gate with their name on a sign. A great way to make the arrival of friends and family relaxed and welcoming! Thanks Mr Ken for your excellent service. I'm moving back to Aust but I'll pass on your details to others!
There are a huge number of domestic connections, particularly to the ports of Halong City and Haiphong.
Independently from Hanoi. There are 4 main ways to transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay:
From HaiphongCat Bi International Airport in Haiphong is roughly 2.5 hours away from Ha Long city by road. The metered taxi fare is approximately 850,000 VND but you should be able to negotiate a taxi for under 800,000 VND as there are likely to be more than one taxi operator competing for your business.
From Nanning, Guangxi, ChinaFrom Nanning in China's Guangxi province, the Nanning International Tourist Distribution Center (有爱南路10号(中华路口); Yǒuàinánlù shí hào (zhōnghuá lùkǒu); #10 You'ai Nanlu on the corner of Zhonghua Lu) provides daily buses to Halong City (170元, 11 hours) at 08:20.
Flight arrival delayed and finished with baggage and customs around 11pm....
Guy wearing green jacket approached and said official airport taxi and showed ID. Appeared very friendly, asked where we are from, welcome to Hanoi, etc. Showed the way to the money exchange and ATM. Even chatted in Vietnamese with the teller of the money exchange. He said 800 dong to Old Quarter, very far away, around 1 to 1.5hrs, lots of other people waiting outside for taxi, late at night, etc. Teller hears the amount he said and did not comment about the price. I asked again if the price was ok, teller did not say anything contrary so we thought it was the norm. Green sweater guy then called someone to bring over the taxi
He carried one of our backpacks and ran to the taxi, so we had to chase him. He got inside and asked for payment immediately. Said don't worry I know your hotel, I will give you receipt and I will sign the receipt... Thinking about 'meter accelerators' and night differential (not followed in Vietnam btw, unlike in Malaysia and Singapore), feeling very tired and sleepy, we agreed...
Since he knew we were not used to the currency, he grabs the money from our hands and says, I will show you (this btw often happens in Vietnam, they would even pull out the bills themselves from your wallet, saying I show you).....He then attempts to pocket 500,000 dong while he confused us by returning the smaller denominations rapidly...and gets 800,000 dong (around 40USD for what we found out was only a 300-350,000 dong ride)...
After getting the money, he steps out of the cab quickly without a word...here comes another guy...Green sweater guy says need not to pay anything, gives receipt, says new guy will take you to the hotel - all from outside the car and runs away...
Taxi speeds out...so no time to chase green sweater guy or ask, new guy barely speaks English...
Once out of the highway, takes us to poorly lit area, minimal cars passing, what appears to be a toll gate a few meters ahead....stops the taxi, says pay 900,000 dong for toll for another highway...says in broken English can not pass unless pay...shows a ticket showing 900,000 dong (entirely in Vietnamese).... says if you not pay can not pass, 800,000 only for taxi, you pay me, pay me, shows empty wallet, yells and finger points to toll gate, yells some more in Vietnamese...
We said ok we will pay, just pass thru the toll gate and we will pay the toll fee directly to the teller if there is...he screams some more...some other cars arrive...he finally moves the taxi and we pass the gate but man at the gate did not collect anything from us nor from the other cars following our cab...
He then takes us to a road more poorly lit than the previous one, below a bridge with one long wall covering the other lane, no houses ahead, only one side open but that is the one open to the river...got really afraid, I think this would have been the worst part - he would have pointed a gun or a knife...luckily, a group of students in bicycles and motorbikes came and when he tried to slow down and let the students pass us, other cars came and by that time, we were already at a well-lit area...
once we reached the hotel, we said we would ask the concierge about the toll fee and the taxi fare...later, we found out there was no toll fee, we took the long way, and they charged us more than twice the amount... Even if the hotel guards intervened, taxi guy says it was another person who took our money, his pockets are empty, and he was not asking for any additional money..
MODUS/TOTAL SCAM ATTEMPTS:
2. MONEY GRABBING and POCKETING
3. BOGUS TOLL FEES
4. LONG ROUTE
5. possible meter accelerator
6. GUN or KNIFE THREATS
7. INNOCENT PLEA, other guy not working with me
LESSONS: Book the hotel taxi, go only for metered taxi monitored by the government (Mei linh-green and white, Hanoi, and Hanoi tourist), pay in smaller bills, know the currency and conversions, ask usual fare, ask usual route, bring a map, insist on the change, ask to be brought to the hotel and pay there, know the phone numbers of the police, hotel, etc., ask a buddy to take note of the taxi plate number or better yet take pictures of the cab and driver...
Hope this does not happen to anyone else...Thank you and travel safe.
At the time of writing ( Jan 2014) It costs you $ 17 usd per 4 seats car per trip. You can find details at http://www.noibaiairporttaxi.org/ homepage for latest updated
I'm wondering if anyone has used the hotel for airport pick-up. We are 4 adults and I contacted the hotel asking about the airport pick-up service that the hotel provides. They sent me an informative limousine menu detailing their services. The hotel suggests that we order the mercedes mini van (most expensive option at $95 one way). This mini van has 16 seats! This really seems like overkill to me. Has anyone used this service that the hotel provides and if so what did you do and what are your suggestions for us?
Obviously an alternative is to go to the taxi desk and simply get a taxi which we may do, I'm just thinking that after our long trip from the East coast of the US our brains may be slightly addled and our negotiating skills not up to par!
Thanks for advice and suggestions!
P.S. we're arriving midday on a Sunday
Noibai Airport Taxi answers:
Hi, it costs you 19 usd per 7 seats van or 35 usd per 16 seats van
Its 043.9907199 if you are within Vietnam or 008443-9907199 if you call from outside Vietnam. Thank you
From Noi Bai airport to Hanoi Old Quarter, there are taxis that run at fixed rates waiting outside of the arrival hall. It costs between 315,000 - 345,000 VND depending on the type of taxi you get (or $16-18). Three official taxi brands for airport routes are: Noi Bai Taxi, Viet Thanh Taxi and Dai Nam Taxi, you can also take a look at our Guide to taking taxi at Noi Bai airport here.
In any case, do not go by the meter because the rate will be much higher than the fixed rate. You also need not pay any toll fees. Tips are not required though if the driver is really nice you can also give tips
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