When you arrive in Vietnam especially in a bigger city you will get your free share of traffic frenzy, mostly consisting of hordes of motorbikes and scooters. Riding these vast bulk of machines are the commuters consisting of teenagers, families (you might not believe it first but yes - whole families) and sometimes you can see some scared looking foreigners clinging on their dear life onto the driver – that’s Vietnam style public transport.
As Hanoi is a large city and traffic congestions can make it feel a lot more outsized, motorbikes and scooters are offering a problem and at the same time a solution. To reach some destinations taxi or if you know the bus lines by bus can take 30 to 40 minutes as compared to approx. 10 minutes by xe-om.
Hanoian officials reckon than about 2 million motorbikes and scooters are servicing a population of about 5 million. Bus stations, the train stations and the airport are in different locations and the possibility to take a xe-om is often the most appropriate solution.
If you like roller coasters and fun fairs than it should be quite hilarious for you to take a ride with one of this drivers. The Xe-ôm literally means hug vehicle and by the way passengers grab hold of the driver it is just the right name. So getting on the back of a motorbike, hugging the driver and speeding through unknown streets, what more of a thrilling experience do you wait for.
I just came from the airport and as it is obvious stayed in a taxi which needed do to some road congestions 90 min for the 35 km ride. should have taken a Xe Om as well.