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I hailed a Thanh Nga Taxi (driver 446) last night on Xuan Dieu Street in Tay Ho. The taxi driver was on the way to my house when another person tried to hail the taxi. He tried to make me get out of the cab about 2 blocks before my house so that he could pick up the other person. When I told him to keep driving until he arrived at my house he yelled at me in Vietnamese and spitefully drove closer. When he stopped the car and I gave him money for the fair. At first he refused to give me change. When I waited in the cab longer with my hand out expecting change he finally gave me some but not all of what was due me and refused to give me the rest. Then he yelled at me in Vietnamese to get out of the car. When I exited the car, he violently reversed and trapped me between a wall and 2 motorbikes. He was reversing the car very quickly and obviously threatening to back the taxi into me and hit me. He kept backing up and actually hit one of the motorbikes and knocked it over, stopping about 12 inches short of hitting me. He then peeled out and drove away. I have never felt so unsafe or offended in Hanoi for the 15 months that I have lived here. I will no longer be using this taxi service as the other companies are all relatively the same price and just as readily available. If you do take a Thanh Nga taxi, make sure you don't get into taxi #446.
This is my taxi of choice for late night rides. They have similar prices to taxi companies like Van Xuan or Morning Taxi (the cheapest ones) but Thanh Nga has more taxis available at night. The drivers told me they have about 400 taxis that run around Hanoi throughout the night. It usually takes no more than 5 minutes for them to get to your location (unless you’re really in the middle of nowhere) when you call them late at night, which is truly terrific. There have been times when they had no taxi near my location, but they would tell me straight away or call me back in 3 minutes to inform me.
I see no reason for not giving them 5 stars: they are reliable, they are quick, and they are the cheapest in town. I’ve also never seen them try to take the long route, even when I was clearly drunk. They don’t have any full-size sedans, but I don’t mind that as I think smaller cars are better for Hanoi.
We started catching taxis to work since sometime before Christmas, and so Guadalquivir’s review has spurred me to report on some of the companies we’ve been using. Happily, most of these reports are going to be positive.
Thanh Nga is my wife’s favourite taxi company. Not only because they start with a low price, but because of their always impeccable service. We happened to wave one down when we were going across town, and jumped in gratefully. Suddenly, he took a random deviation, but we were too tired to kick up a stink about it. In the end we were glad we didn’t as we ended up getting to our destination quicker than the route we knew. We’d learned a shortcut! We still use that route every time we drive a similar path now.
We were never organized to save their number when we were in the cabs, but now, it’s on my phone. We will definitely be ringing them regularly. I know that the head of our Vietnamese studies gets taken to and from school by Thanh Nga, too.
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