Skating - Hanoi - Vietnam                                                                                                                             Return

Hanoi is an old city. And it is a cool city. This is the place to skate! It is the best! The Roads are rough, but it is cool place, tree lined lanes, friendly people, friendly traffic. You can say Hanoi is not planned with rollerbading in mind, and you would be correct. Nevertheless it is my favourite city to blade in. My preferred section to blade in is south of West Lake and all throughout the old part of the city. The roads need to have a close eye kept on, as well as do the cars. There are plenty of hazards (rough roads, daydreaming motorcycle and bicycle riders (so helmet and pads are required). The city offers considerable items and locations of interest, and I find rollerblading through the old part of town, a great way to visit.

In the eleven or twelve years I've been traveling to Hanoi, I have seen it transformed from one of the least tourist friendly cities in Asia into one of the best.  Hanoi is now one of my favorite blading locations in Asia.  It is a scenic city.  There are several small lakes and the the streets are shaded with trees to cruise.  The weather is temperate, so you can spend hours blading with no fears of heat exhaustion.  The streets rise and fall gently without any huge surprises.  The people are friendly. The food is great. Accommodations plentiful. I have bladed almost everywhere in the city, and whether you are blading in the old quarter or down the tree lined boulevards, it has been both a pleasant and a memorable experience each time.

To take movies of our skating (see photogallery) we found a motorcycle taxi and we tooks turns. First I sat on the motorcycle behind the driver, backwards. I sat so I was facing the rear with my skates on the road, and then took movies of Gabriel skating through the old part of town. After a few 30 second movies of Gabriel, Gabriel then got on the motorcycle in the same fashion and took movies of me.

The only "trouble" we had skating in Hanoi. We wanted to cross the Chuong Duong Bridge. The bridge was wide, good for skating, but the police stopped us. Instead the motioned us to cross the busy intersection, much more dangerous than the bridge. So we tried to cross the Song Hong river by going north to the next bridge. It was a railroad bridge with lanes on each side for bicyles. Starting out it was ok, but as we move further on the surface was so bad going finally (at half way) became impossible. Going bad I crashed twice when my wheels were stuck in ruts.

 

Category

Category Description

Graph

Explanation

Road Surface

Describes road surface conditions

 

The road surfaces here we experienced were, let me say, challenging. There are good spots, but staying focused all the time was important.

Road Conditions

Is there enough room for skating on the road? Are intersections crossable?

The roads were pretty busy, but we never had a problem skating. Roads were wide enough for the most part so we could share with cars. Traffic always was friendly towards us. Traffic is HEAVY so we had to keep our eyes, and ears, open. There are lots of bicycles, so that is fun, skating with them. There are lots of small motorcycles, that is fun to.

Traffic Conditions

Describes level and condition of traffic. Is the traffic heavy, fast or erratic.

Traffic was HEAVY, BUT it was slow, bet even so we had to keep our eyes, and ears, open. But everyone was friendly and unlike the USA no cars tried to frighten us or make as to hit us. The roads were always busy, but we never had a problem with cars when skating. People would come up on their motorcycles and say HELLO and the like. Many people on the sidewalks would wave, and the few who knew a bit of English would want to chat.

Driver Attitudes

Describes how drivers react to and treat skaters

 

We were polite skaters in Hanoi, (as always) and everyone was friendly and unlike the USA  and no cars tried to frighten us or make as to hit us. The roads were always busy, but we never had a problem skating.

Danger Level

Describes overall danger of skating in this location. Everyplace is dangerous to street skate. Street skating means crumbling roads, bad drivers (or worse), air pollution and even nature. But some places are more dangerous than others

Roads could be tough here. Most of the main roads are in "OK" condition, but there are still cracks and rough areas around. Some of the market areas can get pretty slick, and turn from cement to mud very quickly. Also small lanes can change into shops or other quickly. I was skating fast down a really cool lane, turned a bend and the lane was being used for a outside restaurant. I had to slam myself down to avoid hitting a elderly lady.

Criminal Factor

How serious is crime in this location.

 

Have not seen anything, have not heard anything, lovely, friendly people (Why would anyone want to have a war here???)

Cool Factor

Is this a cool place to skate.

The coolest. Skating through the old art of down, down tree lined lanes, stopping and chatting with friendly people. Tired? stop at one of the many drink stands and have something and try to chat to the owner.

Fun Factor

Is this a fun place to skate.

 

Yes, skating in and out of the slow traffic, down the long lanes is fun. Skating at night is really fun.. It was so much fun to pass people and see there surprised expressions. Everyone, even the police were very nice to us.

Sidewalks

Are there sidewalks, and if there are what are they like? Often having sidewalks can be worse than not having them. With a bad sidewalk drivers may assume you should be using it - no matter how dangerous it is to use, and react very badly when they see you on the road instead of the sidewalk.

 

I think there might have been lots of sidewalks, but the roads were so cool, I never thought to try them.

Misc

Any other conditions or issues that were found while skating here

 

 

Summary

A summarization of the skating experience at this location.

This is a great place, fun busy roads, cool places to skate to and through. I love it here. I have skated here several times and I can not wait to go back!!

Desire to Return - Overall Rating

The bottom line. Is the place good enough that we want to return here to skate it more. With all the above taken into consideration how much are we looking forward return and skate this location further.

 

Return? As soon as I have a chance!! The roads were challenging, the people are great, the traffic exciting, friendly and fun. Great places to see and skate.

Country Information

Hanoi Photo Gallery HCM Photo Gallery

Disclaimer

                                                                                 

 Country Information

 

Services

Airport Pick Up

Please arrange car pick up to and from airport.

Airport Tax

Airport tax is USD10.

Business Hours

Government offices are open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (with a one-hour lunch break) from Mondays to Fridays; closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Banks are open 7:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 7:30-11:30 a.m. Saturdays. Shops are generally open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Sundays, sometimes with a lunchtime closing

Clothing

Normal business attire consists of a suit and tie for men and suit or dress for women. During the hotter months, formal dress for men is a shirt and tie or golf shirt and slacks, depending on the situation. The trend in the south is to be more casual, as suit jackets are worn only on very formal occasions and first meetings.

Currency

VND (Vietnamese Dong)

Custom Rules and Regulations

Alcoholic Beverages: 3 litres of spirits under 22% alcohol and 2 litres of spirits over 22% alcohol.

Entry Requirements

A visa must be obtained prior to arrival. Check visa validity and conditions carefully.

Please have two passport photos ready.

Getting a single-entry visa for a month's stay in Vietnam is fairly easy. But extensions are generally not given while inside the county. People who want to spend more than four weeks in Vietnam can fly to Bangkok or Vientienne to get an extension. Visa regulations may change, so contact a Vietnamese Embassy near you for details. It is also good to bring extra photos with you.

Health Risks

Drink only bottled water. Bring your own medicine and prescription drugs. Have your immunizations updated, and if you intend to visit remote places, you should also consider having a doctor prescribe pills to prevent malaria.

 

 

Language

The official language is Vietnamese (Quoc Ngu) -- a hybrid of Mon-Khmer, Tai and Chinese. English is increasingly favored as a second language. In addition to English, many Vietnamese officials and businessmen speak some French, Russian or Chinese.

Local Climate

Hanoi has a mean temperature of 63 F (17 C), while the annual average temperature is 74 F (23 C). Vietnam has three climate types. In the north, temperatures are sub-tropical. The central and southeastern areas have a tropical monsoon climate, with high temperatures and abundant rainfall. The southwest has distinct wet and dry periods but with higher temperatures than in the north. The typhoon season on the central and northern coasts occurs between July and November.

Miscellaneous

Drug smuggling carries the death penalty.

Name of Airport

Noi Bai International Airport

Phone adaptors

Power adaptors

Tipping

VND (Vietnamese Dong)

Useful Links

Government of Free Vietnam
Vietnam General Information
Airport of Vietnam
Vietnamese Law
Vietnamese Business Online

Useful Numbers

Dial 113 (Police); 114 (Fire) or 115 (Ambulance).

Voltage

220V

 

 


Disclaimer

All material included in this Web site is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current developments, nor does it promote physical activity of any kind. The authors are not professionals and should not be interpreted as being such. They are not offering instructions, but are sharing of personal experiences, that should not be construed as advice, instruction, or best practices. This information should in no way be taken as an guarantee of future results. As such, the material contained herein is not offered as official advice on any particular matter. The contributing authors expressly disclaim all liability to any person in respect to actions taken or in respect to the consequences of anything done or omitted, and which may be done wholly or partly in reliance upon the whole or any part of the contents of this Web site. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a relationship between us and the user or browser. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any matter contained in this Web site without seeking the appropriate professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue. Nor are we responsible for any third party contents which can be accessed through the website

COPYRIGHT AND REPRODUCTION NOTICE:

Copyright 2006, WetCatAsia. All rights reserved.

Reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited other than for individual use only and may not be recopied and shared with a third party. The permission to recopy by an individual does not allow for incorporation of material or any part of it in any work or publication, whether in hard copy, electronic, or any other form.