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HO CHI MINH - GETTING AROUND

By Taxi

Taxis are a common, comfortable and relatively cheap way to get around the city and can be found in numerous places, outside attractions, restaurants, and hotels or hailed from the street. The general cost of a taxi is VND10,000 to VND15,000 for the initial ride and then VND6,000 for every 0.62 miles thereafter. Two reputable companies that are reliable in the city are Mai Linh Taxi (green) tel. 84-8-3925-0250, Vinasun (green and white) tel. 84-8-3272-727 and Vina Taxi tel. 08-3815-5145. Try to avoid taking a taxi during rush hour from 7-8:30 am and from 4:30-6 pm.

Uber and Grab are both available and provide an easy, convenient way to order a car and get from point A to point B. Download the apps on your Smartphone, enter your pick up location and the destination you are traveling to and pick a car. This is a seamless way to avoid the language barriers in the country and pay directly through your credit card on your phone.

By Boat

Boats are another way to see the sights of the city. Saigon River Express is situated next to the Renaissance Riverside Hotel in District 1. The offer tours to the Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta and jungle canal tours around the city along with sunset tours.

By Motorbike

Xe Om`s are motorcycle taxis found everywhere in the city, they are cheap and a speedy way to get around. Helmets are required and provided by the driver (this is the law, you will be fined if not wearing one) and rates start around VND 10,000 per 0.62 miles so a short trip will be at least VND 20,000 – 40,000 (VND 80,000 to the airport). Xe Om`s can be found outside tourist attractions, hotels and lined up on the street and will call out `you want moto?`.

Motorbikes can also be rented in the city especially in the city center and Pham Ngu Loa and the cost is generally around VND 80,000 for the day for a Manuel motorbike. A helmet is required and your passport is normally taken by the rental company as a deposit.

By Cyclo

Cyclo`s were once popular in the city but are now slowly diminishing, however, they are still a great experience and a slow paced way to see the sights of the city. The estimated cost is around VND 36,000 for an hour`s ride, bargaining the price of your ride is highly recommended and agreeing on your destination before taking the ride. Keep all valuables including cameras and phones out of reach when riding on a cyclo as thieves are known to drive by and snatch these items!

By Bus

Buses in the city cover over 150 different routes and are a cheap and quick way to get around. The main bus station is located at Ben Thanh across the street from the Ben Thanh Market in District 1, where you can pick up a map of the bus routes and timetables. A single ride will cost around VND 4,000 – 8,000, purchase your ticket on board from the attendant. Bus route 152 and 49 will take you to the airport, route 149 goes to Saigon train station, route 1 goes to Binh Tay Market and the Cholon bus station.

By Foot

Walking in the city can be dangerous and stressful due to the traffic and the number of motorbikes clog the streets and sidewalks. Trying to cross the street is a complete nightmare! it is advisable to find a member of `tourist security` who wear green uniforms that will help assist you across the road or cross with a large group of people and move slow and steady. The heat also makes walking around the city hard with the intense heat. Keep any belongings or valuables secured if walking around as thieves are notorious for snatching phones, camera`s and bags on motorbikes when zipping past pedestrians.

You can rent bicycles around the city and are especially prevalent in the Pham Ngu Lao district where daily rental costs around VND30,000.