A few cyclo drivers still frequent the Old Quarter, and if you’re only going a short distance, it’s a great way to experience the city (despite the fumes). Settle on a price first and watch out for overcharging – a common ploy when carrying two passengers is to agree on a price, and then double it upon arrival, gesturing ‘no, no, no…that was per person’.
Aim to pay around 50,000d for a shortish journey; night rides are more. Few cyclo drivers speak English so take a map with you.
Hanoi’s eco-friendly electric train is actually a pretty good way to get your bearings in the city. It traverses a network of 14 stops in the Old Quarter and around Hoan Kiem Lake, parting the flow of motorbikes and pedestrians like a slow-moving white dragon. Nothing really beats haphazardly discovering the nooks and crannies of the Old Quarter by foot, but if you’re feeling a tad lazy, the train is worth considering. The main departure point is the northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake, and there's another departure point outside Dong Xuan Market. A full journey around the Old Quarter takes around an hour.
You won't have any trouble finding a xe om (motorbike taxi) in Hanoi. An average journey in the city centre costs around 15,000d to 20,000d, while a trip further to Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum is around 35,000d to 40,000d. For two or more people, a metered taxi is usually cheaper than a convoy of xe om.