Hanoi’s electric buggy service has carried more than 1 million tourists on tours around the capital’s Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of the city over the past three years, overtaking the traditional cyclo as the ride of choice for visitors.
Designed by the Dong Xuan Joint Stock Company, the 7-km Old Quarter route takes visitors around 28 commercial, professional and culinary streets, 121 historical sites and 859 pieces of valuable architecture.
Each car is equipped with an audio system presenting information in Vietnamese and English about the places along the route, creating an innovative image of the city and helping visitors better understand the history, culture and the daily life of local people in the district.
The company has also organised these tours for over 30 schools in the city to provide students with knowledge about Hanoi’s Old Quarter, thus raising their awareness and sense of responsibility for preserving and upholding the values of the capital’s cultural and historical heritage.
Following the success of the Old Quarter route, the People’s Committee of Hoan Kiem district has launched two additional routes to be taken by the sightseeing electric buggy tours, which take visitors through several French-influenced architectural areas such as the railway station, Pharmaceutical University, Opera House and the Government Guest House.
Other historical spots such as Hoa Lo Prison – once dubbed the “Hilton Hotel” by American pilots shot down during their bombardment missions against the North – and Quan Su Pagoda are also among the locations on the tour’s agenda.
The company owns a fleet of 30 electric buggies, including 10 which use solar batteries.
Its clean traffic project has also received warm support from many quarters and been hailed for preserving the Old Quarter and popularising visits there.