A few years back, travelers would not even consider taking public transport due to the confusion on the routes and the hop-on-hop-off methods that most of the locals do there – at least; they seem to know what they’re doing. Everything seemed so chaotic and that taking a taxi straight out of the airport seemed easier. Now, taking airport shuttles has never been easier. The city now has NEW dedicated airport shuttles going straight to District 1 (city center) and the famous Ben Thanh Market.
Now, there are a few color-coded public shuttle buses, such as red, green, and yellow that go around the city. To make things simple, you just need to identify the yellow bus. Here are the 3 different buses that run between the airport and the city center:
Yellow Bus 109 – This is a brand new dedicated air-conditioned shuttle that has been operating since March 2016 and travels between the city center and the airport. To monitor the city’s crimes and safety, buses have security cameras on them. To make this tourist-friendly, the written information on the bus is in both Vietnamese and English. Staff on the bus speak limited English.
Costs: For a 1-way trip, it costs VND 20,000 or (USD $1) and VND 12,000 if you don’t go all the way to the city center. There’s no extra charge for luggage.
Timing: There is a bus every 20-30 minutes, and it operates daily between 5:30 AM – 1 AM. It takes approximately 45 minutes from the airport to 23/9 Park (pronounced 23rd of September Park or “Cong vien Hai Ba Thang Chin in Vietnamese) on Pham Ngu Lao street, right off of the backpacker’s area.
Where it is parked: you can find the bus station right in front of both the domestic and international arrivals’ entrances. When you walk out of the terminal arrival, turn right and walk across the median where the car pick-up lanes are, and you will see the Vietnamese and English signs pointing your way.
The bus routes go via Tan Son Nhat Airport’s international terminal – domestic terminal – Truong Son – Tran Quoc Hoan – Hoang Van Thu – Nguyen Van Troi – Nam Ky Khoi Nghia – Le Duan – Cong Xa Paris – Dong Khoi – Dong Du – Hai Ba Trung – Ton Duc Thang – Ham Nghi – Ben Thanh – Pham Ngu Lao – Nguyen Trai – Le Lai – Nguyen Huu Canh – Cach Mang Thang 8 – Dien Bien Phu – Nam Ky Khoi Nghia – Nguyen Van Troi – Phan Dinh Giot – Truong Son – International terminal
Ticket stall is at the arrival terminal
You would normally have to wait 15 – 30 minutes for the bus
Bus routes information board at the back of the seats
Each ticket costs VND 12,000 for routes under 5 kilometers and VND 20,000 for routes over 5 kilometers. Keep the tickets as the bus assistant will go around and check
All buses are air-conditioned and have cameras and boards to remind you of the routes
Yellow Bus 49 – This is the pricier airport shuttle with a 1-way trip costs VND 40,000 (USD $2). The reason for the doubled prices compared to the Yellow Bus 109 is that they will drop you off directly at your hotel in the city. There is no extra charge for luggage.
Timing: same as Yellow bus 109 above
Routes: same as Yellow bus 109 above
Bus 49 is temporarily canceled because of the lack of funding. Make sure to double-check the updated information at the airport before opting for this shuttle bus.
Red Bus 72-1
The red bus has only been introduced since 2019, and it travels to the beach city of Vung Tau. While there are several stops in Saigon’s city centers, the bus is more suitable for those traveling to the sandy coastline adjacent to Ho Chi Minh for the cost from VND 80,000 – 160,000 (USD 4 – 8) depending on the distance to your stop.
Timing: There is a bus every 35 – 45 minutes, and the bus starts operating from 6:30 AM – 11:05 PM.
Routes: Tan Son Nhat International Terminal – Truong Son – Tran Quoc Hoan – Hoang Van Thu – Nguyen Van Troi – Nam Ky Khoi Nghia – Dien Bien Phu – Sai Gon Bridge – Ha Noi Highway – Mai Chi Tho – National Highway – 51 Highway – Vo Nguyen Giap – 30/4 Street – Nguyen An Ninh – 2/9 Street – Le Hong Phong – Nam Ky Khoi Nghia – Vung Tau Bus Station
Green Bus 152 – This is a local public bus that travels between the city center and the airport. The cost is much cheaper, but you will need to pay extra if you have luggage.
The price is VND 5,000 (USD $0.25), and additional luggage is another $0.25 per piece. This green bus has more stops than the yellow buses, and the condition is older.
Note: The Green Bus 152 is government-operated whereas the other buses are privately owned.
Our Tips for Taking a Shuttle Bus from Tan Son Nhat International Airport
- Do not accept rides from random people offering to take you to the city center as you will be ripped off. Also, ignore people who tell you that there are no more buses in the evening. Please note that buses operate between 5:30 AM – 1 AM daily.
- If you want to avoid waiting for the next bus, walk to the other bus stop in the domestic terminals, which is a 5-minute walk.
- To check out the bus routes with data officially provided by the Ho Chi Minh City of Department of Traffic and Transportation, you can download this free Bus Map app or access it with your browser through http://busmap.vn/?locale=en
- Prepare small Vietnamese changes for the bus tickets, or some buses do accept online payment via the local app called Zalopay or Momo, but you would need 4G or wifi connections for the e-wallet to work.
- We’d only recommend taking the bus if you’re traveling solo with little luggage. For large groups or if you’re carrying lots of baggage, consider booking taxis on ride-hailing apps.
Check prices and books tickets in advance if possible:
For airport arrival tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport and other Vietnam Travel Tips, you can check other blogs published on this site.
If you have questions, feel free to leave a message in the comment box below.
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