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51 Xuan Dieu, Tây Hồ, Hanoi
“We have been playing catch up after trying to get the local doctors to admit they are useless and do their jobs. So finally caved in and called SOS for an appointment for a vaccine consultation. The Doctor was nice, warm, well informed and had answers to everything we had to ask. My wife said...”
Taxi experiences in Hanoi can cover the full range of satisfactory to downright awful and a few expletive laden descriptors either side. Tonight I had one of those rare but precious Hanoi taxi moments that restored a degree of faith in the system.
After a dinner with colleagues, three Mai Linh (small) taxis were called for those of use heading in varying directions. I grabbed the nearest one, fell into the back seat and promptly switched off for the ride home. Except for occasionally monitoring the general route, I paid little attention. Imagine my pleasant surprise when mid-way down Xuan Thuy the driver asks me in English "Can you direct me from here as I am not so familiar with this area?" For a moment I was stunned.
Was this taxi driver actually admitting to not knowing the way and asking for directions? In English??? Holy dodgy meters Batman!!!
Naturally, enough we got talking. Great young bloke. Studied English at school and tries to practice regularly. He thinks knowing English as a taxi driver in Hanoi could be an advantage. Well duh! Works for me.
At the end of the trip I asked him for his number so I could book him in the future. He even informed me that I should call at least 30 minutes in advance as he lives hear the Temple of Literature. So, speaks English, smart enough to recognise a competitive edge and thinks ahead to be helpful to prospective clients. Mr Nguyen gets my vote! He took me the most direct route possible tonight and got me home in good time, but safely.
Needless to say he is now at the top of my taxi list. He agreed to a text message in advance for any booking and he will be there. Simply marvelous. I will update this review after calling him a few times. But, I reckon it's worth putting the note out there - decent cabbies are pretty darned hard to find in this town and Mr Nguyen just might be the first of a new crop.
Five big fat stars from me!
Mr. Nguyen: 0919398835
I didn't want to write this review, but the previous reviewer has prompted it.
Up until now, Mai Linh has been a "prefered" supplier of taxi services. But no longer.
Recently, my son, wife and I got into one of the smaller Mai Linh taxis. We asked him to take us to from Tay Ho Rd to Hanoi Cooking Centre.
Everthing was good, right up to the very last moment, when it came to give mew my change.
I over payed the man, way to much, I even counted it out but in the confusion of stopping, getting the kid out of the car, making sure I had the right small change, I gave him my big money, which he promptly pocketed and then denied he'd ever received.
I hadn't even got out of the car before I realised what happened. I insisted that he give me back the money I had inadvertently handed to him, but he just made a pantomime of me not giving it to him.
I insisted. I asked for someone to call the police. Thirty minutes of waiting for no police, abuse and hostile beratement from people on the street, a crying son, and tollerant wife later and I left the scene unresolved. 300,000 dong short.
So much, for a plesant celebration of my wife's birthday.
I hate this f***er, and I am not inclined to use the company again, unless there is no other choice.
Does anyone else think Mai Linh Taxis are the worst taxi company in
Asia? Just got in the third one in as many weeks that has refused to
take me where I want to go, and made me get out. This was the worst
one as he actually started to take me to the airport, rather than Hai
Ba Trung, as that was his preferred destination. This is taxi 5119. In
Shanghai it would sometimes take 5 or 6 taxis before you found one
going your way, but I have never been taken somewhere else before. I
thought one of the larger companies would have more of an idea that
the customer dictates the destination, but then again very little
shocks me here now, I'm just very disappointed"
Due to my work, I have to take a Mai Linh taxi everyday. Here's my review of the Mai Linh taxi service in Hanoi:
1. Most of the operators are unfriendly and rude. Normally, you have to call them 2 or 3 times to make sure the taxi actually arrives.
2. The taxi drivers of Mai Linh in Hanoi are generally ok. Of course, some are rude but at least they do not try to cheat you like other with black taxis. I was lucky to have met some very nice drivers (of course they are rare). If you do, just get their phone numbers and call them the next time you want to take a Mai Linh.
3. They do not have any efficient feedback system. If you want to lodge a complaint, well, good luck waiting on the phone to get to the right person.
In Hanoi, I think ABC is the best taxi service. Their cars are new, the drivers are generally nice and they have a direct SMS feedback system (thus, drivers must be nice). They might be cheaper or similar in price compared to Mai Linh. Thus, if you dont have to take a Mai Linh (compulsory like me), stick with ABC. Their number is +0437191919. They are especially very available in West Lake area.
3. In provinces or in HCMC, Mai Linh drivers are generally very nice, so you could go with them. But not in Hanoi, if you can make choice.
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