As mentioned above the cyclo drivers will never be far away and a nice idea to get your bearings on arrival might be to take a cyclo for about an hour which takes you on a tour of the Old Quarter. This shouldn’t cost you more than about 30,000 Dong ($2 US), in fact you’ll be approached by some riders offering ‘One Hour for One Dollar’.
We took a cyclo over to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Before leaving we’d agreed a price of 35,000 Dong (just over $2US) for this journey but after seeing the poor old bloke move our two heavy bodies across the city we paid him 50,000 Dong (just over $3US) and told him to keep the change. A $1US tip to us is nothing (even though it represents 50%) and for the hard work the rider has to do to earn a pittance he certainly earned it.
Some travellers would disagree with these comments, arguing that such behaviour fuels inflation for future visitors. A fair point but I’d argue that some prices in Vietnam are just too low and these poor cyclo riders deserve more for their efforts. We’re all entitled to our opinion.
This is certainly the quaintest form of Hanoi transport and well worth the journey just for the experience.