Ho Chi Minh City is step by step becoming the cultural exchange center of Southeast Asia and around the world. By traveling to Ho Chi Minh City, you would have the opportunity to discover the beautiful destinations, the unique cuisine of Vietnamese and the friendly people.
If it is impossible to visit many places just on foot, public transportation is unfamiliar to you, and you are scared of the motorbike, you may opt for hired transportation. However, there are still many drawbacks. Here are some of our precautions on hired transportation in Ho Chi Minh City that you should know to avoid scams.
Motorbike Private Tour
A private motorbike tour is the best option if you are looking for an adventure in Ho Chi Minh City. You can travel with a local, like a local, to local places and get every piece of local insight you want to know. At i Tour Vietnam, all of the tours come with insurance, and all of the services are private, which means you can be flexible with the itineraries and accommodations the way you want your tour to be. Our local guides and drivers are well-trained, pick up, drop off at your assigned location. Despite the fact that you will sometimes meet unexpected showers (but don’t worry, our private tour guides have it covered with a prepared raincoat) or get exposed to the heat of the tropical land, the fun of the adventure will soon turn those moments into interesting memory. Don’t take it for our words, see the reviews from our previous guests.
If you want to travel on your own, riding your motorbike in Vietnam, you must have a valid license. Otherwise, you will have difficulty renting a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh City because professional motorbike rental places will ask you to present your license and passport before renting. Besides, if you don’t have a license, you cannot claim insurance when running into accidents while riding a motorbike and could get into trouble with the local police.
Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
Taking a motorbike taxi is another option if you want to travel on a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh City. The drivers usually sit on their motorbikes on corners of streets waiting for the guests. Like any other place, there are good and bad people everywhere; some of the motorbike taxi drivers are honest and friendly people, but you should also be aware of the scams that come along with this type of transportation, like driving you around on a further route and ask you to pay a higher price. The drivers usually have limited English skills as well so you would have to spend more time communicating with them. The fare is also not clearly quoted and mostly depends on your negotiation skills.
Grab or on-demand taxis offering both motorbike and car services via mobile applications in recent years has changed how people use hired transportation in Vietnam. Apart from supplying discount values for customers to economize on expenditure, it also has many other outstanding advantages.
- Determining exact routes. The route to your destination, fare, and driving time will be displayed in detail on their app, restricting those who plan to cheat for your money by going on a detour.
- Information on drivers. In order to ensure the safety of clients, all drivers’ information details, the number of star ratings, and reviews about the driver will be shown up on the application.
- Fast and convenient in the contact. Any driver who receives your booking will contact you as soon as possible. This is to guarantee the availability of their customers.
However, you should also note that
- It is not possible to book a taxi without a smartphone
- Not all drivers can speak English or drive smoothly because most of the drivers are freelancers
- Drivers can cancel your requirement for some reasons like too long or too short distance ride
- The fare during rush hours is about the same as traditional taxis
- Their conflicts and sometimes quarrels with the motorbike taxis or traditional taxis drivers may put you in uncomfortable situations
- Aware of scams from fake accounts. There are cases where the actual drivers are not the ones shown on the account profile when you book because they buy or share their highly-reviewed accounts with others. This is an issue that Grab has been trying to eliminate.
You can easily hail a taxi on the streets because the availability is quite high in Ho Chi Minh City. Mai Linh and Vinasun are considered 2 well-known brands in Vietnam. Nowadays, both of these taxi brands also develop their own booking applications like Grab, increasing convenience.
Apart from the pros of taxis, such as being fast and convenient, there are also some cons that annoy the users. To have more information about taxis in the city, please check out our blog on Traveling around Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) by Taxi.
Here are some of our precautions on hired transportation in Ho Chi Minh City (both taxi and rental cars) and how to deal with them:
1. There are many fake or copycat taxis in the city, so you should take some steps to check the information carefully before jumping on one cab. Mai Linh and VinaSun are frequently imitated.
One of the ways to avoid these fake taxis is to check the logos, phone number, drivers’ uniforms, pictures, and names on the staff card. Since every cab has an identification number, finding this number on the side of taxis or in the interior could also do wonders for your verification. You should also go to the taxi stand in front of secured places like the airport, big hotels, and department stores.
For example, if you are at Ben Thanh Market, just go about 200 meters toward the 5-star hotels, which are generally placed at the left side of the market entrance, to catch a Vinasun taxi.
VinaSun Number (HCM): 028 3827 2727
Mai Linh Number (HCM): 028 3838 3838
2. In some cases, the meter on taxis can jump differently than quoted during the ride due to the technology that some drivers use. In addition, in order to get more of your money, they would increase the distance driven by driving around the city. Therefore, you should find out about the destinations that you want to come and consider the taxi price before getting on any taxis.
3. By raising their voice, most driver cheats try to scare the customers and make them quickly agree with their given cost. The tip for you when paying an unreasonable fare is always to stay calm.
4. You may get confused by the color and many zeros on the Vietnamese bill. Some dishonest drivers could take advantage of this and take your money without telling you that you gave the wrong bill and pay a higher number. It is important to check it carefully again before giving your money to the drivers.
5. You should check and roll up the taxi’s window as your phone, cameras may be snatched by snatchers on motorbikes when the taxi waits for the red light. They are fast, and you will not be able to catch up with them as four-wheeled vehicles move very slowly in the crowded traffic in Vietnam.
Rental cars for foreigners are impossible in Ho Chi Minh City without a local driver. In our opinion, choosing a driver who drives safely and has few English speaking skills is better. The cost of this service accounts for $80 or $90 a day going around and within the city. Some drivers can take you to the stores where they receive kickbacks in some cases, so you should negotiate the charge with them to have a reasonable price.
Summary of Our Precaution on Hired Transportations in Ho Chi Minh City
In this big city where the diversity of transportation makes it unique, those who come to Ho Chi Minh would have many choices to travel around. However, for safety reasons, you should always be careful with hired transportation in Ho Chi Minh City.