Places Known For

international driving


Kisumu

runs two trips a day, one departing early in the morning, the other late at night. Day buses are safer as the night buses have been known to be attacked by highway robbers. In Nairobi, the buses depart from the Country Bus Station near Wakulima Market, between Pumwani Road and Landheis Road. By car Make sure to have an international driving license. You can obtain one from the Road Transport Office in Nairobi. Traveling by day is recommended as the roads can be unsafe at night. You may


Federated States of Micronesia

to hire or charter. Also, on Yap there is a school bus that runs twice daily from Colonia to the villages. Taxi Taxi service is available throughout the islands and are inexpensive. Car Hire There are self-driven cars available in the major towns of the islands. However, It is required to have a National Driver's License or International Driving Permit. Talk ; '''Languages''' : English (official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro


Taichung

lines (Routes #51-58) run from various points around the city free of charge. A few of these routes require a traveler to walk several hundred meters to the northeast along JianGuo Road (建國路) to reach the beginning of these free routes. Traveling by scooter is the most convenient option. Renting a scooter can be done with a Taiwanese driver's license or an International Driving Permit accompanying the original foreign license. Otherwise, you will need to take taxis. Taxis are convenient


Kaohsiung

. Often, they come with larger wheels as well. All passengers on a scooter must wear helmets by law. Helmets are sold almost everywhere, and range in price from 100 NT$ to upwards of 2,000 NT$. A helmet with visor is strongly suggested. Legal Issues Scooters with an engine size of 50cc require a light motorcycle license to drive, and should be insured and registered in the owner's name. If you have a Taiwanese automobile driver's license or a valid International Driving Permit you do


Dubai

support himself with only $2,800 cash to his name, and suspicious that he intended to become an illegal immigrant as he was using a one-way ticket. He was sent back to Dubai, and subsequently returned to Pakistan. United States On June 5, 2001, Wail obtained an International Driving Permit, which was issued in Sharjah (Sharjah (city)) in the United Arab Emirates.

, ''and'' get their estimate of how bad the traffic will be. Women should travel in the back of the taxi as some drivers see it as a sexual invitation if you get in the front. Taxi drivers are usually friendly, but may have a different ideas on hygiene By car There are a countless number of Rent-A-Cars that will provide a mode of transportation for very cheap rates and very little paperwork. An International Driving Permit is not necessarily required, but hire companies may not rent a car without one. Some agencies will hire out cars complete with drivers. Visitors taking advantage of this option will need to make certain that their driver knows his way around as many do not. When driving on the main roads, such as Sheikh Zayed road, the junction numbers are not in logical order. Junction 13 is just after Junction 18 and are rarely as shown on the maps. Road names can also be very confusing with slight differences in spelling (due to different transliterations from Arabic) being very important. The construction work that is taking place throughout and around Dubai can make finding your destination a challenge. Temporary road layouts change with alarming regularity and temporary signs can be misleading or non existent. As GPS maps are not up to date (and usually not anyway available to rent with hire cars), you will be very well off with a printed map (you can get an excellent one in Virgin stores, for example. There is a Virgin Megastore on the top floor of City Center). Driving during morning and afternoon peak hours is not recommended, as traffic slows to a standstill and even a simple trip across a bridge can take up to 45 minutes. There is also a scarcity of parking spaces in many parts of the city. With such a mixture of nationalities residing in the city, driving styles are mixed to say the least. Both dangerous and experienced driving will be witnessed or experienced frequently, and bear in mind that Dubai has one of the highest per capita road death rates in the world. There is zero tolerance for alcohol and driving with stiff penalties meted out including jail and deportation. See Salik for information about '''tolls''' on certain routes in Dubai. If you rent a car, usually a Salik tag will be provided by the car hire company and you will be charged separately (normally 5 dhs a gate) when returning the car. thumb right 300px An abra motoring across Dubai Creek from Bur Dubai to Deira. (image:Abra with passengers in Dubai Creek.jpg) By boat An easy way of crossing Dubai Creek is by '''abra''', a small ferry. Abra stations are located along the Creek on both the Bur Dubai and Deira sides, and the system of filling the boats is remarkably efficient. The cross-river trip costs 1 dirham, payable to the driver after the boat has left the station, and affords a '''very picturesque view of the city'''. Abras set off very regularly, and the service is available round-the-clock. Air-conditioned '''water buses''' are a way to avoid the abra crowd and the heat. They are part of the public transport system, so a Red Nol ticket or a Nol card is required. Tickets can be purchased at the water bus station. The fare each way is 2 dirham. The water bus also features a 'tourist route' round trip – while it is convenient, it can get quite expensive (50 dhs per adult, 25 dhs per child). The Creek is also the home of many boats offering more comfortable (and correspondingly more expensive) tours, often in boats designed to resemble dhows. Prices tend to be higher, particularly for dinner cruises with on-board entertainment. 250px thumb Wind tower in the Bastakiya district (File:Bastakia Windtower.JPG) 250px thumb Dubai Museum – al-Fahidi fort and a dhow (File:DubaiMuseum Dhow.JPG) See Commons:Category:Dubai Wikipedia:Dubai Dmoz:Regional Middle East United Arab Emirates Dubai


Djibouti


Doha

WikiPedia:Doha Commons:Doha


Uzbekistan

Commons:Category:Uzbekistan WikiPedia:Uzbekistan Dmoz:Regional Asia Uzbekistan


Vietnam

for your hand luggage and lock everything up in there before you go to sleep. By car International driving licences are not accepted in Vietnam. The concept of renting a car to drive yourself is almost non-existent, and when Vietnamese speak of renting a car they always mean hiring a car with a driver. (After a short time on local roads with their crazy traffic, you will be glad you left the driving to somebody used to it.) Since few Vietnamese own cars, they have frequent occasion to hire vehicles for family outings, special occasions, etc., and a thriving industry exists to serve that need. Vietnamese can easily hire anything from a small car to a 32-seat bus, for one day or several. Tourists can tap into that market indirectly by way of hotels and tour agents found in every tourist area. Additionally, international car brands have started to surface. Budget Car Rental, one of the largest car rental companies in the world, now offers chauffeur driven services in Vietnam. Hiring a small car for a day trip returning to the point of origin costs around USD60 for 8 hours (though the price changes with the cost of fuel.) (If you shop around and bargain hard for the lowest possible price, you will probably get an older, more beat-up car. If you are paying more than bare minimum, it's worth asking what sort of car it will be, and holding out for something comfortable.) Few drivers speak any English, so make sure you tell the hotel agent exactly where you want to go, and have that communicated to the driver. It's also possible to hire a car and driver for inter-city travel, at somewhat higher cost. A small car from Saigon to the beach resort of Mui Ne, a 4- or 5-hour trip depending on traffic, costs about USD70, and Dalat to Mui Ne about USD90. Long distance travel by car may be a good choice for several people travelling together, as it provides a flexible schedule and flexible access to remote sites. Keep in mind that long-distance road travel in Vietnam by whatever means (bus or car) is slow, with average speed less than 50 km hour. Highway 1, the north-south backbone of the country, is a two-lane road with very heavy truck and bus traffic. Generally speaking, describing Vietnamese driving habits as atrocious would be an understatement. Road courtesy is non-existent and drivers generally do not check their blind spots or mirrors (in fact, many vehicles have had their wing mirrors removed). Vietnamese drivers also tend to use their horn very often to get motorcyclists and cyclists out of their way. In addition, most roads do not have lane markings and even on those that do, drivers generally ignore the lane markings. As such, driving yourself in Vietnam is not recommended and you should leave your transportation needs in the hands of locals. By bicycle Adventurous travellers may wish to see Vietnam by cycling. Several adventure travel tours provide package tours with equipment. Most of the population get around on two wheels, so it's an excellent way to get closer to the people as well as off the beaten path. Bicycles can be rented cheaply in many cities and are often a great way of covering larger distances. Good spots for cycling are Dalat, Hoi An, Hue and Ninh Binh. On the other hand, attempting to cycle in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is virtually suicide without proper experience of traffic rules (or lack thereof, 'proper experience' in this case means understanding that everyone around you could potentially change direction without signalling and at any moment...) In cities like HCMC and Hanoi, parking bicycles on pedestrian areas is not allowed and you'll have to go to a pay parking lot: 2000 dong per bike. By motorcycle taxi The ''xe ôm'' (literally "hugging vehicle") is a common mode of transport for Vietnamese as well as tourists. They are widely available and reasonably cheap -- about 10,000 dong for a 10 minute trip, which should get you anywhere within the city centre. Walk the city streets, and every couple of minutes a guy will flag your attention and say "You !! Motobike?" Longer trips to outlying areas can be negotiated for 20,000-25,000 dong. Always agree on the fare before starting your trip. As with most things, a tourist will often be quoted an above-market price initially, and you need to be firm. If quoted anything over 10,000 dong for a short trip, remind the driver that you could take an air-con taxi for 15,000 dong so forget it. Occasionally drivers will demand more than the negotiated price at the end, so it's best to have exact change handy. Then you can pay the agreed amount and walk away, end of discussion. Taxi-motorbikes, known as ''xe ôm'' are available everywhere and they will constantly harass you offering you a ride (no matter if the drivers speak English or not). It's advisable not to pick them since they will always make you pay much more than to locals and they will surely take you around for hours before getting you to the point you requested. In some cases they will take you wherever they want (tourist attractions or shops you didn't request to go) and sometimes they will wait for you to come back (even if you don't want them to wait) and will ask you for more money for having been waiting. Even if you speak some Vietnamese, this is not useful, since they will cheat you anyway or they will act as if they don't understand even if they do. By motorcycle The 110 cc motorbike is the preferred mode of transport for the Vietnamese masses, and the large cities swarm with them. It's common to see whole families of four cruising along on a single motorbike. In most places where tourists go, you can easily rent your own, with prices ranging from 100,000 to 160,000 dong per day. Before reading on, however, you should be aware that it is illegal for foreigners to ride a motorbike in Vietnam unless they are in possession of a temporary Vietnamese motorcycle licence, which in turn requires you to have a current licence issued by your home country country of residence or an International Driving Permit. To convert your licence or International Driving Permit into a temporary Vietnamese licence you must hold a Vietnamese residence permit of at least three months' validity or a three-month tourist visa. In Hanoi you should apply to the Centre for Automotive Training and Mechanism, 83a Ly Thuong Kiet St; in HCMC to the Office of Transportation, 63 Ly Tu Trong St, District 1. You should also be aware that if you ride unlicensed and have an accident in which a third party is injured or killed you could be subject to a term of imprisonment of 10-20 years, as well as paying a large sum in compensation to the victim or the victim's family. Moreover, even if your travel insurance policy covers you for motorcycling (check the small print as many don't), if you are injured when riding illegally the insurance company will not recompense you for medical attention, hospitalisation, evacuation to another country for hospitalisation or repatriation, the cost of which can run into tens of thousands of dollars. With all that firmly in mind, please read on. Desk clerks at small hotels often run a side business renting motorbikes to guests, or have a friend or relative who does. Tour booths can usually do the same. In small towns and beach resorts where traffic is light, e.g. Pho Quoc, it's a delightful way to get around and see the sights, and much cheaper than taxis if you make several stops or travel any distance. Roads are usually decent, though it's advisable not to ride too fast and always keep an eye on the road for the occasional pothole. Riding in the big cities, especially Ho Chi Minh City, is a very different matter, and not advisable unless you are an experienced rider with a very cool head. Traffic is intense and chaotic, with a long list of unwritten rules that don't resemble traffic laws anywhere else. "Right of way" is a nearly unknown concept. Riding in HCMC is like finding yourself in the middle of a 3-D video game where anything can come at you from any direction, and you only have one life. Expats who brave the traffic at all typically have an apprenticeship of a few weeks or months riding on the back of others' motorbikes to learn the ways of the traffic, before attempting to ride themselves. Extreme caution is advised for short-term visitors. Riding long distance in the countryside can also be harrowing depending on the route you take. Major roads between cities tend to be narrow despite being major, and full of tour buses hell-bent on speed, passing slow trucks where maybe they shouldn't have tried, and leaving not much room at the edge for motorbikes. Two main categories of motorbike are available to rent: scooters (automatic transmission); and four-speed motorbikes, the gears of which you shift with your left foot. The ubiquitous Honda Super Cub is a common 4-speed bike that has a semi-automatic gearbox i.e. no clutch so is relatively easy to ride. Other models may be fully manual and therefore you must also operate the clutch using your left hand - this takes a lot of skill and it's all too easy to over-rev and pull a wheelie or stall the engine - if you end up with such a bike then practice releasing the clutch gently before hitting the roads! Dirt bikes are becoming popular for rent in Hanoi, other cities are not yet ready for these beasts. Rental agents tend to steer foreigners toward scooters if available, on the (plausible) assumption that they don't know how to ride motorbikes that require shifting gears. Motorcycles of 175 cc and above are only legal to ride if you make a connection with a Vietnamese motorcycle club. Most places you would want to stop have parking attendants who will issue you a numbered tag and watch over your bike. Sometimes these parking operations are overseen by the establishment you are visiting, and sometimes they are free-lance operations set up in places where a lot of people go. You will usually see rows of bikes lined up parked. Depending on circumstance, you might park the bike yourself, or just put it in neutral and let the staff position it. In all but rare cases you keep the key. Parking is sometimes free at restaurants and cafes (look for "giu xe mien phi"). Elsewhere, fees range from 2,000 to 5,000 dong. Traffic police in the cities pull over lots of locals (often for reasons that are hard to discern), but conventional wisdom has it that they rarely bother foreigners due to the language barrier. Obeying the traffic laws is nevertheless advisable, especially if you have failed to obtain a Vietnamese licence. Cities like Ho Chi Minh have several one way street, and it is too easy to just steer into them unknowingly as there are limited signs warning you. BE SURE that if you break law, the police who are sneaking just at the right spot, will ask you to pull over and will fine you. They will also threaten confiscating your bike. The quoted price for fine is negotiable, and being apologetic and friendly can get you back on road quickly, with a few dollars less in your pockets. It is less likely that they will bully or harasses you. Helmets have also been required by law since December 2007, so if you don't have one already ask your rental agent to provide you with one. By cyclo thumb Cyclo in Hue (Image:Cyclo Purple.JPG) While slowly being supplanted by motorbikes, '''cyclo''' pedicabs still roam the streets of Vietnam's cities and towns. They are especially common in scenic smaller, less busy cities like Hue, where it's pleasant to cruise slowly along taking in the sights. Though the ride will be slow, hot and sometimes dangerous, you'll generally need to pay ''more'' than for a motorbike for the equivalent distance. On the plus side, some drivers (particularly in the South) are very friendly and happy to give you a running commentary on the sights. Cyclo drivers are notoriously mercenary and will always ask for a high price to start with. Sometimes they will also demand more than the agreed price at the end. (Japanese tourists, especially women, are most often targeted with this scam since they are more responsive to the threat that the driver will call the police and make trouble for them if they don't pay as demanded.) A reasonable price is about 20,000 dong for up to 2 km (1.2 mi), and if the driver disagrees, simply walk away. (You won't get far before that driver or another takes your offer.) Prices for a sight-seeing circuit with intermediate stops are more complex to negotiate and more subject to conflict at the end. If you plan to stop somewhere for any length of time, it's best to settle up with the driver, make no promises, and start fresh later. Some drivers start with a very low rate to get you into their cycle and then if required to wait for you or otherwise vary the agreed price, bring out a typed up price list of their "standard rates" which are inflated beyond belief. If even slightly unsure ask the driver show you his list of charges. Then negotiate from that point or walk away. To avoid trouble, it's also best to have exact change for the amount you agreed to pay, so if the driver tries to revise the deal, you can just lay your cash on the seat and leave. By boat thumb A ferry on the Perfume River. (File:Hue Vietnam Ferry-over-the-Perfume-River-01.jpg) thumb Tomb of Khai Dinh, Hue (Image:KhaiDinh Mist.JPG) You will be missing a big part of Vietnamese life if you do not spend some time on a boat. Do be careful though because many boats, although seaworthy, are not designed to first world standards. An example is the ferry from Phu Quoc to the mainland. This ferry has one tiny entrance for all passengers to board. When full, which it usually is there are approximately 200 people on board. In the event of an accident, the chance of everyone getting out of the boat fast enough would be very small. The idea of an emergency exit also does not exist there. Tour boats can be chartered for around USD20 for a day's tour; but beware of safety issues if you charter a boat, make sure the boat is registered for carrying tourists and has enough life jackets and other safety equipment on board. Or you can book a tour through a tour company; but be aware that in Vietnam most Tour Agents charge whatever markup they want and therefore the tourist is often paying margins of 30-40% and the boat owner and operator (of anything from a van to a boat etc.) are paid very little of the total amount. Ha Long Bay is a famous destination for one- to three-day boat trips among its scenic limestone islands. Problem is that all the boats seem to visit the same places - and with high prices, poor quality boats and service real value is hard to come by. Many boats have a USD10 corkage fee, and forbid BYO alcohol, with on board alcohol and seafood is about the same price as Europe in some places. If there is rain, mist or low cloud, you may not see much. Try to pick a clear day. Dozens of small family-operated boats ply the river in Hue taking visitors to the imperial tombs southwest of the city. This journey is long because the boats are slow taking about 4 hours or so to make the journey in one direction. Snorkel - fishing - lunch trips are available from Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Phu Quoc to nearby islands. In Central Vietnam northeast monsoon season limits many sea boat tours during the months Sep-Feb; other parts of Vietnam seem less affected. A 90-minute hydrofoil boat operates from Saigon to the seaside resort of Vung Tau for about 200,000 dong each way, the fastest way to reach the beach from the city. Rivers tours are perhaps the most interesting. A day-long boat trip forms the core of almost any tour of the Mekong region. Talk Commons:Category:Vietnam


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