Ho Chi Minh City Transportation

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Walking

One of the best ways to check out Ho Chi Minh is on foot. A leisurely stroll through Ho Chi Minh’s District 1 is a great opportunity for photographers or street – food enthusiasts. However, it can be a bit maddening when motorbikes are parked on the sidewalk and you have to share the road with traffc.Make sure you walk with purpose and be quick on your feet.Crossing the street is an art form, watch how the locals do it, and copy them.
Local insight: Anything with a strap, mainly bags and cameras, should be kept in a backpack, to deter bag snatchers.

Cyclos

Cyclos are an interesting way to take in the city. They feature a giant cushioned seat for passengers strapped to a bicycle propelled through traffic by a cyclo driver. Negotiate a price beforehand about VND60, 000(HCMC) an hour, and make sure to have the exact change. Cycling through the city is a hard job and deserves a tip.
Local insight: A cyclo tour is a great way to see Binh Tay Market in D5 of Ho Chi Minh City.

Xe Om

Motorbike taxis are an easy and fun way to see the city. Most xe om jockeys can be found sitting (sometimes sleeping) on their bike. Look for the unofficial uniform: an untucked, long-sleeve shirt with rolled-up sleeves, trousers, and sandals. Pronouncing street names can be challenging, so point out your destination on a map or have it written down. If the driver does not have a passenger helmet, find another driver for hire.
Local insight: Short trips around town will cost around VND 20.000 but make sure you agree on a price beforehand.

City Bus Service

Buses great for getting around the city in air-conditioned comfort (at least, in the newer models). Most major streets are accessed via a bus line and cheap at VND6,000 for a short trip. During rush hour, buses can actually be faster as they have an informal right of way on the streets: no-one will try and cut them off. Main bus stations are 23/9 Park (near Pham Ngu Lao area), Cho Lon, Mien Dong (to travel to the north) and Mien Tay (to travel to Mekong Delta). There is also a new hop-on hop-off bus (No.120) launched this year which is a good way to discover major attractions around the city.

City to City Bus Service

Long-distance bus services connect most cities in Vietnam and tickets can be purchased at the main bus stations. However, Vietnam is a very large country with a coastline that runs for 3,444km. It is advisable to break your bus journey into destinations within six hours’ drive.
Several companies run sleeper buses that have reclining seats for added comfort. These buses have lights that would put most ’70s discos to shame and unfortunately, they tend to stay on most of the night.
Many tour companies run multiple bus-stop journeys called Open Tours that run up and down the country. For a ridiculously low price, you can choose to stop in a destination and stay for as long as you like. When you decide to get back on the bus, go to their offce the day before you plan to leave. But there is a catch to this convenient and low price. You may be brought to a well- established network of hotels at each stop and pressured to stay at each. If so, hold your ground and insist on being dropped off at your preferred destination.
Local insight: Bring some headphones or earplugs, or prepare yourself for hours of karaoke and badly dubbed movies on your journey.

City Distance Duration

  • HCMC Vung Tau 96km2 hours
  • Phan Thiet 198km 4 hours
  • Mui Ne 223km 4.5 hours
  • Da Lat 310km 7 hours
  • Nha Trang 451km 10 hours
  • Hoi An (호이안) 1012km 15 hours
  • Hue 1106km 19.5 hours
  • Ha Noi 1609km 33 hours
  • Phnom Penh 290km 6 hours
  • Siem Reap 554km 12 hours

Futa Express
274-276 De Tham, D1 08 3820 6564
Kumho Samco Express
292 Dinh Bo Linh, Binh Thanh D, 08 3511 6861
Mai Linh Express
400A Le Hong Phong, D1 08 3507 3587
Hoang Long
47 Pham Ngu Lao, D1 08 3915 1818

Trains

The north to south railway line is known as the Reunifcation Express which is an excellent way to see the countryside, not least because the ride is much less jarring than road travel on Highway 1. The train system is slowly being modernised with technological advances and more comfortable trains. Sleeper cars are available for long trips, and there is one private company that does a sleeper run from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet and Nha Trang called the “Golden Train”. It is a bit more expensive but more modern and comfortable than the normal train. Check the schedule at golden-train.com.
Train tickets can be purchased through travel agents for a fee or directly at the train station. Ticket classes include hard seat and soft seat, and hard-berth and soft-berth compartments for overnight trips. A drink and light snack are usually included in the ticket price. Many train routes have dining cars with fair rates and snack carts that roam the aisles, but bring your own food if you do not care for basic Vietnamese fare.
Trains usually leave on schedule but allow some time for delays. For a detailed schedule of departure and arrival times as well as fees and availability, please check seat61.com/vietnam.html

From            To             Duration

HCMC   Phan Thiet     4 hours

               Nha Trang     8 hours

               Da Nang        18 hours

               Hue                21 hours

               Hanoi             33 hours

Make sure to reserve your train ticket at least one month before peak seasons such as Tet holiday, public holidays (1 September, 30 April, 1 May) to avoid lack of seats and overpricing.
Ho Chi Minh City
Address: 1 Nguyen Thong, District 3
Phone: +84 839 318 952
Local insight: Bring some headphones or earplugs, or prepare yourself for hours of karaoke and badly dubbed movies on your journey.

Local Airlines

There are three carriers offering domestic fights in Vietnam. Flights are relatively cheap and are a faster and more comfortable alternative to buses or trains. The national carrier is Vietnam Airlines. Jetstar Pacific Airlines also operates locally. A newcomer to the market is VietJet Air, which offers budget pricing.
vietnamairlines.com / jetstar.com / vietjetair.com
Local insight: Vietnamfight.net is a great resource for domestic fights.

Motorbikes

Local traffic does not really flow so much as it lurches in waves. Leave everything you learned about traffic rules at the airport departure gate. Officially, you drive on the right side of the road, although in practice that is not always the case. Vietnam has recently banned all foreigners from renting motorbike without a Vietnamese driver’s licence. So, check with your travel insurance to make sure that you are covered in case of an accident (refer to page IV for more information).
To rent a motorbike, you will need to provide a passport, sign a rental agreement or pay in advance. Longer rental periods may require you to leave your passport or a cash deposit equal to the motorbike’s market value. Make certain that your rental motorbike is roadworthy and has functioning brakes, lights etc. It is a good idea to park your motorbike at an attended parking lot to diminish the chance of theft. Just make sure to keep your parking ticket: if you lose it, you will need to verify ownership of the bike, which means contacting your rental place. Helmets are mandatory for all occupants.
Local insight: Manuals rent for VND100.000 per day, and automatics will cost a bit more at around VND 140.000 per day.

Taxis

Taxis are numerous and cheap compared to some neighboring countries. Don’t assume that your driver knows how to reach your destination, as they typically grab fares from all over the city. They also speak very little English (if at all), so it pays to write down your destination or at the very least carry a small map or a 3G smartphone with GPS capability.
All reputable taxi companies will start the meter as soon as you start the journey. Make sure you have small notes with you. For quality assurance, choose larger taxi companies such as Mai Linh or Vinasun.
Local insight: Check the spelling of the taxi company before you get in. You could be stepping into an off-brand company
Mai Linh
HCMC Hotline +848 3838 3838
Vinasun
HCMC Hotline +848 38 272727
Vinataxi
HCMC Hotline +848 38 111 111
Saigon Airport
HCMC Hotline +838 446 666
Saigontourist
HCMC Hotline +848 3845 8888

International Flights

The main port of entry is Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat (SGN). Due to congestion, the number of onward fights into Vietnam from these airports is limited and most will involve a transit stop along the way. Luckily for international travelers, two new international Airports opened in Cam Ranh and Phu Quoc.
Local insight: Make sure you keep both white and yellow duplicate customs forms as you will need them for your departure.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN)

Located only in 10km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, and is the busiest airport in Vietnam. It has separate domestic and international terminals,

with a modern international terminal that opened in 2007. A taxi ride between the airport and center should cost about VND 200.000. However, you can go by bus 109, 49 or 152 with a much better ticket price.
Ward 4, Tan Binh District, HCMC +848 3844 1039 hochiminhcityairport.com
Local insight: Check your flight status online at hochiminhcityairport.com/fight-status-arrivalsdepartures.

Airline Listings in Ho Chi Minh City

Air France
airfrance.com / 130 Dong Khoi, D1 08 3829 0981


American Airlines
aa.com / 194 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D3 08 3933 0330


All Nippon Airways
ana.co.jp / Sun Wah Tower, 16th Floor, 115 Nguyen Hue, D1 08 3812 9612


British Airways: britishairways.com
2nd Floor, 170-172 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D3 08 3930 2933


China Airlines
china-airlines.com / 37 Ton Duc Thang, D1 08 3911 1591


Emirates: emirates.com
1409 Sun Wah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue, D1 08 3911 3099


Etihad Airway: etihad.com
11th Floor, Bitexco Financial Tower, 02 Hai Trieu, D1
08 7300 1300


Jetstar Airways: jetstar.com
airfrance.com / 130 Dong Khoi, D1 08 3829 0981


Korean Airlines
koreanair.com / 9th Floor Le Loi, D1 08 3824 2878


Qatar Airways
qatarairways.com / 1-3-5 Le Duan, D1 08 3827 3888
Singapore Airlines: singaporeair.com
Saigon Tower 29 Le Duan D1 08 3827 3888

Thai Airways
thaiairways.com / 29 Le Duan, D1 08 3822 3365


Turkish Airlines: turkishairlines.com
Room 6, 8th Floor, 76 Le lai, D1 08 3936 0360


Vietjet Air: vietjetair.com
2C Truong Son, 48 Phan Dinh Giot, Tan Binh D 08 3845 4640


Cathay Pacific Airways
72-74 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D3 08 3822 3203


Cebu Pacific
35 Ton Duc Thang, D1 08 2221 7620


Emirates:
1Sunwah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue, D1 08 3933 0777


Eva Airways
2A-4A Ton Duc Thang, D1 08 3822 4488


Etihad Airway:
1370A Cach Mang Thang 8, D3 08 6254 8383


Finnair
170-172 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D3 08 3933 0777


Royal Brunei Airlines
35 Ton Duc Thang, D1 08 2221 7633


United Airline
115 Nguyen Hue, D1 08 3823 4755


Philippines Airlines
91 Pasteur, D1 08 3827 2105

Source: visithochiminhcity.vn


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