Driving in Vietnam

Oct 19th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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Driving in Vietnam

Anyone have any thoughts of driving in Vietnam. Was thinking of getting a car after a few days in Hanoi to drive up towards Sapa and/or Halong Bay. We would have two kids with us 6&8 and thought it might be nice to have some flexibility to stop along the way rather than tied to public transportation ( although it appears it is very good).

Or is it just crazy to think of driving?

ahm888 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 04:22 PM
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If I had any thoughts of driving in VN, I would quickly get myself to a doctor... Get a car and driver - safer, easier for you and not much more expensive. And you get full flexibility.
Kathie is online now  
Oct 19th, 2006, 05:09 PM
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Kathie isn't kidding!!! Check out this video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=jCxDKIerbOw

Where are the traffic lights?
j_4tay is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 05:28 PM
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car and driver...the only way and total flexibility...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 07:52 PM
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In three words, ahm888, DON'T DO IT! *laughs*. A car and driver are the way to go. besides, between Hanoi and Halong Bay there is nowhere really worth stopping off at anyway, in my opinion. Take a tour to halong Bay, which will include an air conditioned mini bus. Safer and more relaxing. Drive there yourself, and I suspect you will need a holiday to recover from the experience!!! Can't advise you about Sapa, as I didn't go there. The Sapa weather report when I was in Hanoi (April 2006) indicated it would be cold, wet and foggy. So I doubled my time in HoiAn.
Mitch04 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 08:32 PM
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I'm puzzled. I understood there aren't car rental agencies in Vietnam and that the only way to go is with a driver.
julies is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 08:38 PM
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A few minutes' observation of a Vietnamese street in full swing should convince you of the wisdom of the above advice. And if there are any reliable death-and-injury statistics, they should seal the deal, especially as you will be travelling with young children. I agree with Kathie - if I were ever to suggest such a thing I'd hope that someone would call those nice people with soothing voices in white coats at once.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 09:36 PM
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From memory we heard that it was either impossible or very treacherous to travel by road to Sapa from Hanoi. Even the roads in the Sapa region are not very good. We were bogged down in the mud for 3 hours on our way to Bac Ha markets.
Cilla_Tey is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 10:25 PM
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ok recommendation taken- no car rental for us. Will look at the possibility of hiring a driver as well as using some trains.

Thanks for setting me straight
ahm888 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2006, 10:46 PM
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Hanoi to Sapa is a great drive with fantastic scenery through the mountains and some nice minority villages if you get off the main road.
The road is mostly OK with very little traffic apart from the road out of Hanoi which is a nightmare trafficwise. The the last stretch through the mountain passes around Fansipan into Sapa is also amazing lots of hairpin bends and sheer drops. We had to have a word with our driver as he was hell bent on achieving 60mph through the passes despite the road and thick fog.
Be very care in selecting your driver and car. We started from Sapa and so had no choice but ours had no electrics,fuel guages etc, very little tread on the tyres and was at least 30 years old (but at least it was 4WD which is essential). There are no rental agencies in VN whcih tourists can use.
Other option would be to take the train up to Sapa. We took the Victoria train overnight which was very nice, but if I did it againgI would try a day train to see more of the countryside.
crellston is offline  
Oct 20th, 2006, 10:58 PM
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Don't even consider driving in Vietnam. The driving is chaotic, lots of motor bikes and scooters to avoid, it's bad enough trying to cross the road on foot, dogding all the motor bikes. I felt quite comfortable with our driver, although he didn't have a mirror in the front of his car and on questioning this he said that when driving in Vietnam no need to look behind you, as long as you look in front. Thought this was quite interesting. There are also no traffic lights.
turnjac is offline  
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