Buying a bicycle in Hanoi

VietNamNet Bridge – As a foreigner coming to Hanoi for the first time, I have spent a day locating a bicycle shop and haggling about the price, but found it not easy to get one.

Hanoi, Vietnamese bicycle, secondhand bicycles 

I was immediately entranced by my first bicycle ride around Vietnam; all the while sneering at the unsafe pollutants rushing past me. Bringing back my childhood I was popping wheelies around traffic in no time. After realising Hanoi provides you with a generally flat surface all round my mind was made up to getting my very own Vietnamese bicycle.

I was directed to Ba Trieu Street after tracking down a “xe om”. Upon arriving I was immediately disappointed. Perhaps this was naïve of me but I was expecting to see a bicycle shop.

In front of me appeared a few shops where I hoped to find a bicycle to match the countless others around this city which can peddle slow, like meditation, never in a rush.

However, I got all information I could to overcome language barrier in two or three shops displaying secondhand bicycles.

They are apparently refurbished Japanese and Taiwanese bicycles going by the general name “Bridgestone”, generally in blue or black. No gears. No shocks. No frills.

A choice could be made from Taiwanese bicycles with a light attached to the front and 6-speed gears costing VND2.65 million each.

Looking around the street you would find similar bikes all in this price range.

Finally, I happened to see electric bicycles in different shapes and sizes. I was really impressed by the perfect marriage of being eco-friendly and relaxing”. However, I found them far beyond my reach to pay somewhere between VND13.7 million and VND18.5 million for one.

Also for those interested in a more “hardcore” bicycle, there is a Giant dealership located on the same street. Check giantvietnam/vn for prices.

I alas did not find the peaceful cruiser I was searching for, my feet cursing my inability to compromise all the way home.

Then I heard of a place selling a lot more of secondhand bicycles, and decided to check out tomorrow. Will keep you posted.

Adrian Solomon

Source: VOV

Hanoi, Vietnamese bicycle, secondhand bicycles