Our rides were technically bicycle-powered rickshaws, but many Vietnamese people use the Thai word for rickshaw which is “tuk tuk” or just called them bike taxis. Either way, it was a pretty neat way to see the city. We needed to check out a hotel we had booked for a few nights later and the manager of our current hotel suggested we do the tuk tuk ride instead of walking. Since we had walked a great deal already and weren’t totally sure about the best route to get there, we agreed to let someone else navigate for a change.
The cost was cheap (around $4 CAD each, plus we each gave a $1 tip) and quite a memorable thing to do. At first it felt awkward, like some out-of-place debutante being cycled around town to visit the mayor or something of some such importance. It was clear that only tourists were doing these rickshaw rides but after a few minutes I settled into the neon “tourist” sign I imagined over my head and just enjoyed the ride.
A note of caution if you do take a rickshaw ride anywhere, keep your purse/camera straps wrapped around your arms securely in case of drive-by motorbike thieves. It happens sadly, since some tourists are so taken by the sights that they forget to be careful with their belongings. The drivers are pretty good about making sure your things are secure before you start, but don’t rely on them – stay alert!
And thus concludes our mini-tour of Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi. Most of our time was spent just walking and exploring. For Hanoi in particular we were in search of cheap massages and Hanoi’s famous “egg coffee.” Both were found and we also stumbled upon some unexpected fun as well. I’ll sign off with some shots of Hanoi’s famous egg coffee shop, since photos of our massages would be weird.
Next week I’ll be writing about one of the ultimate highlights of our holiday – an overnight cruise ship tour on Halong Bay!