I - How is the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam?
1 - Statistics
Ho Chi Minh City transportation is quite "crazy" like Hanoi with lots of number of transports and often gets stuck with traffic jam at the peak hours.
According to the Saigon Giai Phong Online, as of early 2020, Ho Chi Minh City manages about 8.05 million vehicles (including nearly 755,500 cars and nearly 7.3 million motorbikes). The number of recent traffic accidents in Ho Chi Minh City is as follows: in 2018, the number of traffic accidents was 3817, the number of deaths was 718; but in 2019, the number of traffic accidents decreased by 5.58% to 3604 cases, the number of deaths decreased by 10.3% to 644. And that result is the best for 20 years.
2 - Ho Chi Minh transportation system & infrastructure
Road: Ho Chi Minh City connects the Mekong Delta region with provinces in the Central and the North by National Road 1A, Ho Chi Minh City expressway to Long Thanh and Dau Giay, or National Road 52 to Dong Nai province, and National Road 51 to Ba Ria-Vung Tau,…
Source: Quynh Tran
Railway: The North-South railway plays an important role in serving socio-economic development. Saigon Railway Station is the ending point of this railway. Currently, Saigon traffic has 166 train stations in the provinces on the route from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi.
Waterway: Visitors to Ho Chi Minh City can take a boat along the Saigon River - the symbol of the city. Regarding the trans-provinces route, at Bach Dang wharf, tourists can book a high-speed ship to go from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau city or Can Gio district.
Airline: Tan Son Nhat Airport is the airport with the largest flight frequency and passenger traffic in Vietnam..
3 - In-process metro lines information
Another new means of Ho Chi Minh city public transportation is the city metro system. By 2020, Ho Chi Minh City has a plan to construct 8 metro railway routes. Route 1 (Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien), Route 2 (Ben Thanh-Tham Luong), Route 3A (Ben Thanh-Depot Tan Kien), Route 3B (Cong Hoa-Hiep Binh Phuoc Crossroad), Route 4A (Thanh Xuan- Hiep Phuoc Urban Area), Route 4B (Gia Dinh Park Station- Lang Cha Ca Station), Route 5 (Depot Da Phuoc-Can Giuoc-Saigon Bridge), Route 6 (Dam Sen - Phu Lam). In addition, the city also has a tramline, Ba Son Station – Mien Tay Bus Station, and 2 single metro routes of Saigon traffic, Thanh Da - Binh Hung and Go Vap - Tan Chanh Hiep.
Among 8 metro routes, the route 1 and 2, are being deployed. Route 1 will pass through streets such as Le Loi, Ton Duc Thang, Dien Bien Phu,... and be expected to be completed by 2022, while route 2 will go through some famous streets such as Tao Dan, Dan Dan, Phu Dong intersection,... and will be completed in 4 years later, in 2026. The remaining five metro routes are in the process of investment promotion.
II - Ho Chi Minh bus station & airport
1 - Tan Son Nhat Airport
Tan Son Nhat Airport was inaugurated in 1930 and its official transaction name is Tan Son Nhat international airport. Currently, there are 4 domestic airlines and 45 international airlines having flights to Tan Son Nhat, of which IndiGo is the newest airline with a flight to this airport, only about 9 months ago.
Source: Quang Nguyen Vinh
Four domestic airlines include Bamboo Airways, Jetstar Pacific, Vietjet Air and Vietnam Airlines.
Tan Son Nhat Airport is about 8km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City. You can get rom the airport to the city center by:
By bus: Airport public bus system plays an important role in Ho Chi Minh traffic which is suitable for those who carry little luggage and want to save on travel costs. There are currently 4 bus routes No.49, 109 and 152 from the airport to the city center, with fares from 6,000 - 40,000 VND (~ $0.3 - 1.7) / one way.
By taxi: Travel time is only about 5 - 10 minutes. Taxi prices range from 50,000 to 60,000 VND (~ $2.2 - 2.6) depending on drop-off places. Famous taxi firms are Mai Linh Taxi, Saigon Airport Taxi, and Vinasun Taxi.
2 - Ho Chi Minh city bus stations
Ho Chi Minh City has 11 bus stations in all, many bus routes are traveling between these stations such as Route 14 (Mien Dong bus station - Mien Tay bus station), Route 26 ( Mien Dong bus station - An Suong bus station), Route 32 (Mien Tay bus station - Tu Ga bus station),…
Mien Dong bus station - the largest Ho Chi Minh bus station:
The bus station is a hub for bus routes traveling between Ho Chi Minh City and The Northern provinces (Hai Phong, Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh, Hanoi, ..), the Central (Thua Thien Hue, Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa,...), Central Highlands (Lam Dong, Dak Lak,...) and some routes from the Southeastern provinces (Binh Duong, Ba Ria Vung Tau,...).
- Address: No.292 Dinh Bo Linh street, Ward 26, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.
Mien Tay bus station:
This bus station is an important station of public transport in Ho Chi Minh city system which is the hub for bus routes to and from the city connecting to Central Highlands provinces (Lam Dong, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, ...) and main routes from the southwestern provinces (Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, An Giang, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau).
- Address: No. 395, Kinh Duong Vuong, An Lac ward, Binh Tan district, Ho Chi Minh city.
District 8’s bus station:
- Address: Ta Quang Buu Street, Ward 5, District 8, Ho Chi Minh City.
Cu Chi Ho Chi Minh bus station:
There are many ways to get to Cu Chi bus station by bus: Route 74 from An Suong bus station, the last one directly to Cu Chi bus station and Route 94 from Cho Lon bus station, the last station also directly goes to Cu Chi bus station.
- Address: National Road 22, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City..
Tran Bao Tran bus station:
- Address: No.391 Dinh Bo Linh, Ward 26, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.
Cho Lon (big market) bus station:
There are many convenient Ho Chi Minh bus routes to the ChoLon bus station: route 62-6 from Hau Nghia bus station to ChoLon bus station, route 16 from Tan Phu bus station to Cho Lon bus station,
- Address: Le Quang Sung Street, Ward 2, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City.
Bo Song bus station:
- Address: No.397 Dinh Bo Linh street, Ward 26, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.
An Suong bus station:
- Address: Highway 22, Ba Diem commune, Hoc Mon district, Ho Chi Minh city.
- Tel: 0985573573/ 0982573573
Thao Nguyen bus station:
- Address: No.83 Tan Thanh street, Tan Phu ward, district 7, Ho Chi Minh city
Tuan Hoa bus station:
- Address: No. 76 Le Lai street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city
Nga Tu Gia bus station:
- Address: No.720 Highway 1A, Thanh Loc Ward, District 12, Ho Chi Minh city.
III - How about Ho Chi Minh city transport for tourists?
1 - By Bus
The city is maintaining 152 bus routes, of which 105 subsidized routes and 2,776 vehicles are in use. The bus system in Ho Chi Minh City is divided into inner-city routes and inter-provincial routes. Ho Chi Minh bus route 120 is a bus traveling to the central area (55 minutes), with two different routes going around the attractions in the city, Cho Lon area and District 5.
Source: Ilya Plekhanov
You can take public transport in Ho Chi Minh city to many neighboring provinces, such as Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Long An, Tay Ninh, Vung Tau. Besides, many bus routes that stop at Tan Son Nhat airport, convenient for tourists who want to go to the airport such as 109, 119, 152, 159, 72-1.
Ho Chi Minh City now mainly uses paper tickets/ticket set (30 tickets), which are free of charge for some priority individuals, the ticket fares are as follows:
- For public Ho Chi Minh bus: single paper ticket prices are at 5,000-6,000-7,000 VND (~ $0.22-0.26-0.30) depending on distance.
- For express buses 13, 94: for ordinary people, only a single paper ticket is 10,000 VND (~ $0.43), while the ticket set is 135,000 VND (~ $5.82)...
- The people are entitled to a free bus ride in Ho Chi Minh City:
Children with a height of 1.3m or less are not required to purchase a ticket.
Persons aged full 75 years or older (with proof of age
2 - Ride-hailing motorbike taxi service
Ho Chi Minh City has many ride-hailing motorbike apps firms. Traditional motorbikes with drivers have a high price so the ride-hailing motorbike taxi based on technology is highly recommended to tourists. The available taxi apps include Grab, Goviet, Be, Vato, Mygo and Fastgo.
3 - Ho Chi Minh city taxi
Here is the most popular taxi companies in Ho Chi Minh city
- Traditional Taxi
+ VinaSun Taxi:
Address: Vinasun Tower, No.648 Nguyen Trai, Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
Tel: 02838277178/ 02838272727
Fare: The opening price is 11,000 - 12,000 VND (~ $0.47 - 0.52)
+ SAIGON Air Taxi:
Fare: The opening price is 12,000 VND (~ $0.52)
+ Mai Linh Taxi:
Address: No. 22, Nguyen Binh Khiem, Dakao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Tel: 0238277979/ 02838225999
Fare: The opening price is 10,000-12,000 VND (~ $0.43 - 0.52)
- App-based Taxi
+ Grab taxi in Ho Chi Minh city Vietnam
Price: Minimum price is 5,000 VND (~ $0.22)/first 0.3 km. From the second km is 3,800 VND (~ $0.21)/km. From the 3rd km to the 10th km is 16,900 VND (~ $0.73)/km. From the 11th to the 26 km is 12,600 VND (~ $0.54)/km. The first 5-minute waiting time fee is free, from the 6th minute to 3,000 VND (~ $0.13)/4 minutes.
+ Other popular app-based taxi agencies are Be, Gojek,..
4 - Motorbike rental
Driving a scooter in Ho Chi Minh is a great way of enhancing traveling experience. Besides, catching Ho Chi Minh public transport, tourists can consider hiring a motorbike with a reasonable price, so it is very suitable for travelers. The day rental fee ranges from 140,000-160,000 VND (~ $6.03 - 6.90).
Some motorbike rental shops:
- Thanh Lan: No.17C Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1 (0902840361).
- Tigit motorbikes: No.72 Nguyen Co Thach street An Loi Dong Ward, District 2 (0788758055)
5 - Bike rental - nice transport to get used to traffic in Ho Chi Minh city
The price of bicycle rental is about 50,000-500,000 VND (~ $2.16 - 21.56)
Some addresses for your reference:
- Dragon Bikes: No.182/5A, Tham Street, District 1 (0909283280).
- Bike Saigon: No.103A Street No.6, Long Truong Ward, District (0974424163)
IV - Tips when participating in Ho Chi Minh city traffic
1 - Road congestion in Ho Chi Minh city
The peak hours are around 6-8am, 11am-1pm and 4-6pm.
2 - Notes for safety
From May to October is the rainy season in Ho Chi Minh City, the area of Binh Thanh or District 7 often occurs heavily inundated.
Ho Chi Minh City has quite a few one-way roads, so visitors need to pay close attention while driving, one-way roads that can be mentioned are: Le Thanh Ton, Ly Tu Trong, Pasteur, Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, from Bach Dang to Binh Trieu bridge, …
In District 1 along Nguyen Hue pedestrian street, there is a collection of restaurants, cafes, clothing stores, shopping areas, so traveling by motorbike here is quite hard, you should park the scooter at a location nearby then walk to explore.
In general, calling a taxi is the best way for getting around Saigon. Renting a motorbike will be so exciting for those who want to experience by mingling in the traffic in Ho Chi Minh city Vietnam.