Xe ôm a.k.a motorcycle taxi is the most common mode of transportation in developing countries. This wagon in Vietnam can only carry one passenger at a time.
While learning Vietnamese in HCMC, you will have a chance to see this kind of vehicle in every corner of the streets.
“Xe ôm” is mostly favored by tourists because it’s cheap and convenient. Traffic jam is not a problem for them as it is for four-wheel vehicles, because they can easily thread their way on small roads or narrow lanes.
In Vietnam, don’t panic if you have not learnt Vietnamese yet, these motorcycle operators will try every method to help you understand, such as using hands to describe what they mean.
In other countries, this kind of carriage may have more than two wheels. In Pakistan, it is called “Chingchee” with three wheels and can carry four people at once.
In Cuba, it is called “Coconut motorbike”, which is also a tricycle. Hence, unlike “Chingchee” in Pakistan, this vehicle can only carry one person alike in Vietnam.
If you have a chance to learn Vietnamese, do it then you will find how useful it will be when talking to these xe ôm drivers. These men are not only familiar with every lane in the country, but also have many great stories about its history and people.