Here are some warnings and tips to help you avoid problems during your visit to Hanoi
How to avoid taxi scams
We strongly advise you to book our airport or train station pick up. One of our drivers will meet you with your name sign. Our staff will be from the Hanoi Violet Hotel. There is a trend in Hanoi at the moment for scam taxi drivers to copy the names from airport sign boards and pretend to be that hotel airport pick up person to meet you.
If you get an airport meter taxi from outside the arrivals terminalthe cost is likely to be higher than our fixed fee airport pick up service.
Scam taxi drivers or fake airport pick up services may try to charge you for the road toll fee. If this happens you know you are in the wrong car. Do not pay any toll fee.
Scam taxi drivers may try to take you to the wrong hotel so make sure you have the full hotel address and telephone number.
Please book an airport pick up in advance
PRINCES TRAVEL AND SERVICES CO LTD.,
Add: 18 Cau Go, Hoan Kiem Str, Ha Noi
Tel: +84.24 6270 1050 / +84.24 6270 1018
Fax: +84.24 6270 1023
A few problems visitors may have when visiting Vietnam, and Hanoi especially
This information may be useful if this is the first time you visit Vietnam.
Some people worry that they don’t have enough information about Vietnam before arriving.
Check the online travel sites and Tripadvisor which are all pretty accurate. And if you are flying with Vietnam Airlines, Vietnam Airlines inflight Heritage Magazine has lots of information about the country. If you have any specific questions please email us and we will be happy to help you.
What is the best way to get from the airport or train station to my hotel?
At NoiBai Airport the airport taxi service is reliable and safe which you get from outside the arrivals hall. Do not take a non-airport taxi. Rates start from $16 into the town centre. Make sure the meter is on. You do not pay an airport toll fee. Or book our airport pick up service before you arrive – details above.
Some people get confused with the Vietnamese currency
The VND currency has the following notes:
200 and 500 (now limited supply)
Rate to the $ fluctuates between 22,500 - 23,000 VND to $1
Always check that you hand over the right money and receive the right change when purchasing something. It has been known for some unscrupulous traders to pretend to help you count your money and they take more than what you should pay for.
When changing money, count the notes to make sure you have received the correct amount. And change your money ONLY in reputable places – hotel receptions, banks (lower rate), many jewellery shops have good rates for changing money. Do not change money from the ladies walking around HoanKiem
Your valuable items
Please DO NOT walk around with your passport, credit cards or lots of money. Be aware of pick pockets especially in crowded areas, times of festivals, shows, and at bus stops. Carry only what you need and leave your valuable items in your room hotel safe or in our reception safe.
When you are walking around street sellers may pester you to buy postcards, chewing gum and books and maps. Again they may scam you and charge you too much. It is best to buy these items in bookshops and reputable outlets.
It is also common for some street fruit sellers to follow you and beg you to buy their products. They invite you to have a go at carrying their baskets of fruit balanced on a long pole. They will encourage you to have your photo taken. You may think it is funny but they will ask you to buy their fruit or ask you for money. And they may ask for 3 to 4USD.
Unless you want to pay more than you should then just walk on and take no notice
Booking tours and transportation
In the old quarter there are many small travel agencies offering to sell cheap flights and train tickets and tours. Often they are of a lower quality and standard. Go to a reputable tour operator eg. Sinh Café or book your tours and tickets through our hotel
Being ripped off
Throughout Vietnam foreigners are often charged more. There are common complaints of a 3 tiered pricing structure. Vietnamese price, expat price and foreign tourist price. Before you go spending your money check with our reception how much you should pay for certain items. In the markets bargain and settle on a price that you think is reasonable. The prices in the supermarkets and shops are fixed prices
Hanoi is famous for its mad traffic. Even Vietnamese people from other cities comment how bad the traffic can be. When crossing the road you must move at the same pace into the traffic and the vehicles will pass around you. Don’t vary your speed or suddenly stop as this will cause problems for car and motorbike drivers
The North has 4 seasons – winter (cold), spring, summer (hot, humid and prone to flash downpours) and autumn (for many the nicest season). The south has 2 seasons – rainy and dry. If you visit Vietnam during the rainy season then make sure you have good rainwear and an umbrella
In the summer temperatures can get very high and Hanoi can be very humid so make sure you drink plenty of water
When buying water from the smaller stores, make sure the cap is sealed. It is not uncommon for bottles to be refilled with tap water
Hanoi has numerous taxi companies and also some rogue taxis where the meter jumps. Watch the drivers all the time to make sure they don’t try to tamper with the meter. We recommend you take the good reputable companies such as Mai Linh and ABC. Please speak to Reception for advice
Before you venture out check the opening times of museum and city attractions. Many places close for lunch between 11.30am-13.30 and museums are often closed on Mondays.
Hanoi Violet Hotel