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Off topic: Vietnam - how to rent a car and for how much?
Thread poster: Veronika Hansova

Veronika Hansova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:57
Member (2006)
English to Czech
+ ...
Feb 29, 2008


I am planning to spend one month in Vietnam travelling from the north to south (Hanoi, Sa Pa, Bac Ha, Lao Chau, Ninh Binh, NP Cuc Phuong, NP Bach Ma, demilitarization zone, ... Ho Chi Minh City). I would like to rent an old car (no AC needed). The cheaper the better.
Would any of our Vietnamese colleagues or other travellers help me with advice?

I do not want to pay the money for renting the car to any large car-renting company. I would like to give them directly to the driver. How much would it be? (car rental+road fees+driver's lodging and meals). I will pay for the fuel by myself.

I would appreciate any advice.

Many thanks in advance,


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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
try a different site Feb 29, 2008

I think a travel site would be much more useful to post this question.

I would recommend, and open the "Thorn Tree" section. Here you can find various topics, including one on South-East Asia.

BTW, I find the idea of renting a car in VN a bit odd. Roads are terrible, even the main "national highway 1" between Saigon and Hanoi. It is very easy to find tourist buses along the main road, and there are easy day trips designed for tourists to most other places of interest, including the Mekong Delta, Dalat, the Hoi An / Hue area, plus, in the North, to Sapa, Bac Ha, and the Halong Bay.
As a foreigner, you are not supposed to take local buses, only tourist buses (at much higher prices). This rule is observed on the main highway. When we travelled for a month in Vietnam (9 years ago), we successfully took local buses on less travelled routes, although we had to pay much more than the locals. (4-5 times)

I think if you really want to have the freedom of moving aorund, you could hire taxis for long distance rides for a day, then take another one as you move along. But I think this would cost way too much to be justified. And it feels much safer to be in a bus than a car with all that hectic driving.

preji te hezkou cestu


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Veronika Hansova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:57
Member (2006)
English to Czech
+ ...
Different site - I did - that was the first thing Feb 29, 2008

Hi Csaba and thanks for your reply

I did post my question on several sites , but no helpful responses. Looks like everybody travels with their national or local Vietnamese travel agencies.

I contacted various travellers - no success. Either they were not there, or they travelled with a travelling agency, or purchased pre-planned trips with a local guide from a local travelling agency. But, LP talks about the possibility of renting a car and having own itinerary.

We need the car due to the nature of the travel - we will be trying to avoid mass tourist locations (with the exception of few historical sites). My husband takes pictures of nature (birds, above all, and some macro-photography). So we wanna stop wherever we want and not to be transported with tens of other tourists. Also, we were planning some night-spotting etc. Sort of individualists

We have been travelling a lot like that in the Near East, driving the car on bumpy roads and large cities by ourselves. As it looks like, we will not be able to drive the car in Vietnam personally, so we will have to have a driver. Well..

I have been in touch with some Vietnamese people and students here in the Czech Republic, so they are helping us somewhat but I was wondering if some of our colleagues could help us too.

Also, as it looks like, Lonely Planet advice and tips are getting more and more expensive. It serves as an advertisement for the locals when they are published in LP. Subsequently they double their prices!

So, we want to avoid this too.

Ooooh, it is getting complicated

But thank you anyway


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