Difference between revisions of "Vietnam"
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Revision as of 02:02, 22 January 2012
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There is no word for Hitchhiking in Vietnamese but hitchhiking in Vietnam is generally easy, especially if sticking to the AH1 (Asian Highway 1) from Hanoi to Saigon. The hitching method is to use the flat palm sign, like in China or using a sign. Using the thumb is less likely to work.
Vietnamese people will often tell you that hitchhiking is impossible, but in almost any road in the country pedestrians are offered to hop in various vehicles. Generally people are expected to pay, but the concept of a free ride is accepted if you are a strange foreigner.
Using a sign with "Xin Xe" ("please drive me to") followed by your destination works well. Expect every bus and van to stop as well, even if you don't have your hand stretched out. Most of the time they will charge, but you may get a free ride. Ask before entering by saying "Miễn Phí?" ("free?"). The Vietnamese can be very generous. If you want to be clear you want a free ride, make a sign that says "Cho tôi đi nhờ" in the north or "Cho tôi quá giang" in the south, it means "give me a ride". Some minibuses will still stop and ask for money though.
If you're staying with Vietnamese people and leave them with hitchhiking they may be worried about your safety. It would be polite then to consider paying a bus when you leave them (even for a short ride) so they are not too worried.
If you can ride around 50km/hr you can consider it a good average in Vietnam. If you want to visits some places and hitchhike at the same time try to not ride more than 300km a day as the roads are slow and streets are dark at 6pm. Unintentionally ending up in cities should be avoided since there are very few trucks in them and very many buses and motorbikes.
In rural areas hitchhiking is easier. Trucks have no problem stopping for you. Using a sign with "Xin Xe" followed by your destination works well. Expect every bus to stop as well, even if you don't have your hand stretched out. Most of the time they will charge, but you may get a free ride. Ask before entering by saying "Miễn Phí?" ("free?"). The Vietnamese can be very generous.
Nonsờ has barely ever waited more than 30 minutes with over 50 rides in the country.
There is a substantial problem with police corruption. This is usually no problem for hitchhikers. However your driver may request that you pay the "fine". Drink driving is also common. It is up to the hitcher to use their discretion in these situations.
You may even try to get a boat ride on the Mekong.