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Ho Chi Minh City is a popular tourist destination due to its distinct culture and popular sights for backpackers making their way through SE Asia. There are a lot of things to explore both inside and outside of the city.  Also, Ho Chi Minh transportation is very affordable for all types of travelers who want to explore some of the 24 districts of the city. In particular, districts 1 to 5 are certainly worth visiting as they house many attractions including bars, restaurants, shopping markets like Ben Thanh Market, and night clubs.

Get Around Ho Chi Minh

If you have never visited Vietnam before, then you’ll quickly learn just how popular motorbikes are around town. You’ll see them whizzing everywhere. Though there are many ways to get around the city, motorbikes offering up an exciting journey! Also, public buses, taxis, and rented motorcycles can be the best way to enjoy the city and its culture no matter where you choose to stay in Ho Chi Minh.

getting around Vietnam, transportation

Xe Om (Motorbike Taxi)

I’d say that the most exciting way to get around Ho Chi Minh is by Xe Om and/or motorbikes, although probably not the safest. You can zip around through traffic easily, and it’s a thrilling ride. Xe Om drivers are experienced and can the best companion throughout. However, if you don’t like their driving, you can talk to the driver and ask to make it smooth and slow. You can also cut the ride short if you just feel unsafe.

The key is to find a Xe Om. Though they advertise their services, they are not easily recognizable. If you find anyone sleeping on his motorbike on the corner of the road, then they might be a Xe Om driver. Typically they offer affordable ride services. You might be charged between VND10,000 ($0.42) and VND15,000 ($0.63) depending on the destination. If you want, you can book them hourly. They charge VND 25,000($1.06) hourly.

These drivers are pretty reliable and will provide you a helmet for a safe journey. The downside is that you might find it a bit hard to communicate in English with them. 

Public Buses in Ho Chi Minh

The public buses are another convenient way of transportation in Ho Chi Minh, and they are quite affordable. There are more than 100 bus routes and lines, and the buses are easily recognizable with their green and white exterior. The public buses in Ho Chi Ming are well-equipped. You can expect air-conditioning and the seats are comfortable as well.

When it comes to the price, it can be as low as VND300 ($0.01) that makes a good choice while traveling with a limited budget. If you want to travel from the airport, you can take No. 147 and no. 152 bus. There are some other popular bus routes for tourists such as bus no.13, bus no. 19, and bus no. 11. These buses can take you to some of the major tourist attractions. While there could be a bit of a wait for the bus, taking the local bus is always an adventure.

Taking Taxis in Ho Chi Minh City

You can also consider exploring the city with a taxi. This is the easiest way to get around town. You will find many taxis parked outside the restaurants, bars, landmarks, and hotels. You can make it even easier by using the Grab app. This taxi app is similar to Uber or Lyft and launched in 2014 in Ho Chi Minh.  Since then it’s become a popular choice among locals and international travelers. You can simply download the app. Then all you need to do is to enter your pickup location and the destination location. The closest driver will pick you within a minimum possible time.

The taxi fare is cheap. You might need to spend between VND10,000 ($0.42) and VND15,000 ($0.63). For every kilometer, they charge around VND6,000 ($0.25). In District 1, you can get around by spending less than VND80, 000 ($3.41). They offer flexible payment options. You can use your credit card or make cash payments.


While visiting Ho Chi Minh City, you should definitely consider using this transportation. Cyclo is a three-wheeled vehicle that is mostly seen in popular places such as temples, landmarks, bars, and restaurants. They charge only VND20,000 ($0.85) hourly. Riding by Cyclo is a memorable experience and it’s great for short trips in town, but it is not suggested to travel long distances throughout the day due to the traffic.

Saigon Metro

Another transportation option that will be available in the near future is the Saigon Metro.  Currently under construction, the metro will have six different lines covering many of the most popular areas of the city. Two lines are already in progress and the first line is expected to finish later this year. So, you might have a chance to explore the city in a metro anytime in the future.

Hop on-Hop Off City Buses

Hop on-Hop Off City Bus is a well-known, albeit a bit touristy, option in cities around the world. In 2015, this bus service is launched in Vietnam. If you are limited on time, it’s a good way to combine your transportation with easy access to all the major site around town. These buses are safe and reliable. The Line 1 bus will stop at nine famous tourist destinations, all you need to do is some research to know where you want to get off and explore.

These buses are well-equipped and modern. They also have free WiFi — so that’s a huge plus. Also, they have an audio guide where you can choose a language to get a bit of a tour while riding around.  Another benefit is that the ticket is valid for 24 hours and the buses run daily from 8:00 am to 17:00 pm. 

renting your own bike in vietnam

Rent Your Own Motorbike or Bicycle

If you are really up for an adventure and want to take charge of your transportation in Ho Chi Minh, then you may be interested in renting a motorbike during your visit. Motorbike rentals are widely available in Vietnam. However, it’s important that you know how to ride the bike already because you need to be prepared to navigate the city’s chaotic traffic. Bicycles are another option that you can rent, but only for shorter distances.

Your hotel might help you to rent your own bike; however, they are going to charge more. If you want an affordable option, you can consider visiting the Pham Lao district. In this district, you can rent a bicycle and helmet for a day by spending only VND20,000 ($0.85). For motorcycles, you need to spend VND120,000 ($5.12).

Enjoy Your Visit to Ho Chi Minh

With all these options for transportation in Ho Chi Minh, you should have no trouble finding ways to get around town. No matter if you prefer to see museums, do a bit of shopping, enjoy the nightlife or just relax. Ho Chi Minh is an exciting city to visit and can be a lot of fun.


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