A driver identified as Tuan walks around the
electric buggy to collect VND15,000 (less than US$1) from each of his guests
before he sits behind the steering wheel and starts the 35 minute trip around
the Old Quarter and Guom Lake.
Tuan and other drivers of Dong Xuan Joint-Stock Co. take tourists from Dinh Tien
Hoang Street by the lake and then to nearly 30 streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.
Shops in old buildings along the way sell food, clothes and souvenirs.
O Quan Chuong, which is the gate vestige of the former Thang Long Palace whose
central citadel has just been recognized as a world cultural heritage site,
stands intact to greet newcomers in the city. Dong Xuan Market and hundreds of
old buildings are historic landmarks that Tuan points out to his passengers.
The tour by electric buggy is a must-try for visitors, either during the day or
in the evening. It’s a no-sweat way to observe local life and smell Hanoi’s food
specialties sizzling on the hot coals on Ma May and other streets.
The electric vehicle runs around Guom Lake, also known as Sword Lake, before
returning to the starting point on Dinh Tien Hoang Street.
Dong Xuan Joint-Stock Co. launched the electric buggy tour about one month ago
to provide both foreign and Vietnamese visitors to Hanoi an eco-friendly way to
explore the capital city in the run up to the extravagant celebration of the
1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi.
Tuan told the Daily that Dong Xuan has put a dozen electric buggies into service
to transport individuals and groups around Hanoi. The first trip leaves at 8:30
a.m. and the last trip is at 10 p.m. everyday.
You can hop on the buggy at the station by Guom Lake and wait until there are
seven passengers aboard for the trip, while a group of seven travelers can hire
the buggy for VND105,000 (around US$5.5).
Children under three years old can take a free ride.
The buggy is one of the best ways to travel around the Old Quarter and Guom
Lake. The Xich lo or cyclo is also a great way to experience the city from the
comfort of a seat.
Many local citizens and visitors still opt for xich lo because it’s inexpensive
and slow enough for passengers to see everything.