VietnamTransportationHow to Take Motorbike Taxis in Vietnam - Grab and Other Ride-hailing...

How to Take Motorbike Taxis in Vietnam – Grab and Other Ride-hailing Services

For tourists, especially solo travelers or small groups of friends, a motorbike taxi is undeniably one of the most convenient types of transportation in Vietnam. In this article, we’ll show you all you need to know about taking motorbike taxis in Vietnam.

How To Take Motorbike Taxis In Vietnam – Overview On Motorbike Taxi

Motorbike taxi (or “xe om” in Vietnamese) has been stable in Vietnam’s transportation scheme for decades. Traditionally, the motorbike taxi driver has a motorbike and a spot, usually in touristy or crowded areas. They wait for customers all day, and the price depends entirely on them.

Until 2014, before Grab’s arrival, this was still the ultimate choice because, in comparison to public transport, motorbike taxis have an edge on traveling: while public transport can be time-consuming, confusing (especially for foreigners who don’t speak the local language), and crowded, motorbike taxis can take passengers to the exact location in a shorter time.

However, since Grab came, the traditional “xe om” has died rapidly in the rise of digital drivers. The locals consider this new concept safer, cheaper, and more efficient, and with the increasing number of ride-hailing apps in Vietnam, this trend is here to stay.

How To Take Motorbike Taxis In Vietnam – Recommended Ride-hailing Services


Grab is the first ride-hailing app to dominate the Vietnamese market. Even as Uber (now shut down in Southeast Asia) arrived, Grab was still going strong. Thanks to a large number of drivers, Grab is easy to book, and it consistently offers promotions for users.


As a part of an Indonesian transport company, Gojek is becoming one of the locals’ top choices. Gojek has fewer drivers than Grab, especially in Ho Chi Minh City, but the app provides cheaper service.


Be is a Vietnamese ride-hailing app that launched in December 2018. Though it’s a new app, Be draws customers in with its hot deals and promotions and the quality of its drivers.

Xanh SM

XanhSM is a service developed by Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate, Vingroup. Drivers are dressed in blue and ride all-electric bikes. The cost for each ride is slightly higher than others, but the drivers are well-trained and friendly.

You can easily install these mobile apps for your Vietnam Travel from App Store or Google Play, but keep in mind that ride-hailing app is only convenient in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang. They aren’t available in rural areas yet.

Other Notes about Ride-hailing Apps

  • Most ride-hailing apps offer all-in-one services. They can arrange motorbike rides, taxis, deliveries, food orders, and more
  • You can share tracking of your rides to your friends and families as a safety tips
  • Ride-hailing apps are mostly available in bug cities only, such as Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Da Nang

How To Take Motorbike Taxis In Vietnam – Avoiding Scams

Like everything else, there are good and friendly “xe om,” but always make safety your priority.

You don’t see traditional “xe om” much nowadays, but if you find one and decide to get on, here are a few things you must remember.

  • Make sure they know where you’re going by bringing a map or have the written name of the place, in case they misunderstand the spoken name.
  • Traditional motorbike taxis may charge higher than ride-hailing services since they don’t have subsidization from the companies. However, some may charge twice the actual price once they spot a foreigner, so agree on a fixed price that you’re comfortable with first and don’t be afraid to bargain.
  • Prepare small changes because you have to pay with cash. More on Vietnamese currency here.

For ride-hailing services users:

  • Beware of snatch thieves while using your phone to book rides.
  • You can either pay directly with cards (Visa/MasterCard/American Express/JCB/ATM/Amex… are often supported) or with cash (prepare change for this option).

A few heads-up for both:

  • Try to avoid using motorbike taxis at night, even ride-hailing services, for safety.
  • Traditional motorbike taxis in airports and bus stops can charge higher, while booking with ride-hailing services can be confusing at the airport, so we recommend using the airport shuttle buses.
  • If you want to use a digital motorbike taxi at the airport, choose somewhere less crowded and give them detailed notes on where you’re standing.

Our Take On How To Take Motorbike Taxis In Vietnam

Motorbike taxis can provide both comfort and recreation for your trip. It’s a fast traveling option and a once-in-a-lifetime experience to explore the nooks and crannies of the bustling Ho Chi Minh City. However, motorbike taxis aren’t your only choice.

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