Public transport in Ho Chi Minh City has become more and more developed as the government is finding ways to tackle the rising traffic congestion in the city. Walking when getting around Ho Chi Minh City is the most practical mode to use but for most trips, you might need any of the following transport options given below.
One major transport in the city that has undergone significant changes is the city’s bus service. Locals have been delighted to experience the improving services of bus companies that have added many routes across the city.
There are also several taxi companies that operate within the city that make use of the meter to charge passengers. Taxis are usually the preferred form of transit as they are relatively cheap. Passengers, especially tourists, are advised to check the meter from time to time once it is turned on, to avoid being scammed. Tipping is not a must but is always welcome.
Unfortunately, there are many bogus taxi drivers and companies out there that tend to take advantage of travelers from other countries. Some horror stories involve taxi drivers bringing tourists that came in by plane to a Saigon hotel claiming that their supposed Saigon accommodation no longer exists or is fully-booked. Make sure to ride only with reputable taxi companies such as Mai Linh Taxi, Vina Taxi and Saigon Taxi.
Aside from car taxis, motorbike taxis are also available and convenient, but more of a dangerous mode of transit. These bikes have the ability to weave past large and slow vehicles and go through endless shortcuts making them the quickest way to get around the city. However, this might not be the safest way to get around.
One option to get around HCMC by land is to hire a car. It may be near to impossible to rent a car without a driver as Hochiminh city traffic can get traumatizing. The streets are crammed with darting motorcycles and bicycles from every direction. Bikes generally counter-flow and suddenly appear out of nowhere without the slightest warning. Motorbikes, on the other hand, remove their wing mirrors to allow them to squeeze through the smallest gaps. Luckily, car rentals usually come with English-speaking drivers when arranged through travel companies, leaving tourists with one less thing to worry about when traveling around the city.
For the most adventurous tourists that are ready for some intense Saigon travel, tourists may rent bicycles to get around the area. Bicycles should always be parked only in designated areas and it is advisable to bring with you padlocks for additional security. For the more leisurely type of tourist, Saigon river boats can be hired if you want to see the city from the river’s perspective. Tourists can get around Ho Chi Minh by boat with rentals that vary depending on size.
It is good to know that most of the central district of Ho Chi Minh can be covered by foot in a reasonable amount of time. The only drawback is that merely crossing the street is a chore, especially during rush hour. Traffic signals are generally viewed as suggestions rather than the law. Although enforcement of traffic law has gotten better over the years, the problem of the city is far too big for a few traffic cops to handle. Getting around Ho Chi Minh City is indeed an adventure, so it is best to experience the city as it is.