VietnamHo Chi MinhPublic Bus Transportation in Ho Chi Minh City

Public Bus Transportation in Ho Chi Minh City

You can choose from many types of transportation in Ho Chi Minh City to get around. With over 100 routes, the public bus is one of the cheapest vehicles to explore the city on a budget. Check out our guide below to learn how to catch the bus and some popular routes to the famous attractions of Ho Chi Minh City.

How to Catch a Bus in Ho Chi Minh City

Bus stops in Ho Chi Minh City

When waiting at the bus stops, you must watch for your incoming bus number and wave to signal the driver that you want to get on it. As the streets in Ho Chi Minh City are relatively narrow with many vehicles, the bus may pass any bus stop if you don’t give a signal wave from afar. It would help if you got on the bus from the front door. Some older buses may have broken doors, so you can get on from the back instead.

Paying for the bus fare

If no assistant is on board, buy the ticket from the bus assistant or the driver. You can give the money directly to them or put it in a box next to the driver and receive a ticket from them or the machine. The fare usually varies from VND 7,000 to VND 40,000 depending on the type of bus and distance. Note that they only accept Vietnamese Dong.

Getting off the bus

When the bus closes to the next arrival station, the bus assistant may or may not announce the next stop. If you are not sure, you can tell the bus assistant or driver in advance where you want to be dropped off. When the bus is about 20 meters from your stop, press the red button on top of the door or at a seat near you, or tell the driver and assistant directly because they may drive on without stopping.

Some tips for the passengers

  • Catch the right bus. Check the bus number and the direction the bus is heading – towards the last stop or back to the first stop.
  • You should get on and get off quickly (and carefully!) as some of the bus drivers will not wait for you.
  • Watch for motorbikes driving near the bus door when stepping on and off the bus
  • Beware of pickpockets and scams lurking around at bus stops, stations, and on the bus
  • Make sure to check your belongings before getting off the bus.
  • Pay for the bus fare in the exact amount with small changes (VND 1,000, VND 2,000, and VND 5,000) to save time
  • You might need to pay for an extra ticket if you’re carrying large items or luggage
  • 7 AM – 9 AM and 5 PM – 7 PM are Ho Chi Minh’s rush hours. Most likely, the buses will get overcrowded, and you will have to stand on the bus. You might also get into a traffic jam.
  • Take notes of the location of the safety hammer to break the windows in case of emergencies.
  • See the bus schedule and routes on or use the bus map app to find your suitable route.

Bus Stops, Bus Parking Lots, and Bus Stations in Ho Chi Minh City

How to Recognize a Bus Stop in Ho Chi Minh City

Ham Nghi bus stop

You can recognize the bus stop in Ho Chi Minh City when you see a painted zigzag yellow line on the road next to the pavement. There are some bus stops with steel benches and cover overhangs. However, some stops are only steel posts with information about the bus routes, similar to a street sign.

The yellow line marking on the street
A simple “bus stop” with a blue sign post
Bigger bus stops have an electronic information board

Different Types of Buses in Ho Chi Minh City

You will notice three coded colors for public bus transportation in Ho Chi Minh City: yellow, green, and blue.

The yellow is for bus transport back and forth from the Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN). They are more modernized, with a capacity of 70 passengers in total (sitting and standing).

Airport bus 109 fare: VND 20,000
Airport bus 119 fare: VND 12,000 (under 5km/route) and VND 20,000 (over 5km/route)
Shuttle bus 49 fare: VND 40,000 (29 passengers in total)

The yellow bus is usually for airport transportation

The price difference between the green and blue buses is not much, ranging from VND 7,000 to VND 10,000, depending on the routes. However, they are painted with different colors because of the fuel they use. The green buses run on diesel, while the blue ones run on CNG, an environmentally friendly gas fuel. The blue buses also tend to be more significant as they can carry more capacity. However, you will see more green buses running on the streets in Ho Chi Minh City.

The green bus
The blue bus has a slightly bigger capacity
Most buses have adequate seats and AC

There is a new bus line operated by Vingroup Corporation in Vietnam, with the number D4. The bus runs on electricity and stops at multiple locations frequented by Westerners, such as District 2 (or Thu Duc City) and Ben Thanh. Since it is a private-owned bus, the service is friendlier and the seats are more comfortable. There’s wifi on board, and you have other payment options with a Napas ATM card or e-wallets, instead of just small change.


Some Popular Bus Stations and Routes in Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh and 23/9 Park Station

23/9 Park (near the backpackers’ district) and Ben Thanh Station are the largest bus stations in the city’s center. Ben Thanh Station, which used to be the opposite of the Ben Thanh Market, has moved to Ham Nghi Street, also near the Ben Thanh Market, because of the ongoing underground metro project. There are four rows of big modern bus stops along the sides of the street. From here, you can catch buses connecting to many places in the city, such as Chinatown (Route 1), Tan Son Nhat Airport (Route 109, 152), and Dam Sen Park (Route 11). Check the bus routes below.

Ben Thanh Station is the central terminal for many buses

Cho Lon Station

Cho Lon Station is located at the center of Chinatown. You can use the buses to reach Dam Sen Park (Route 144), around Chinatown, and districts west of Ho Chi Minh City.

Mien Dong (East) Station

You can not only go to places in Ho Chi Minh City like Ben Thanh Market, Chinatown, and Dam Sen Park with the public bus but also find buses that go to other provinces on the Southeast coast of Vietnam, Northern and Central Vietnam. This station also offers domestic parcel service, which allows you to send packages to other provinces.

Mien Tay (West) Station

Like Mien Dong Station, at Mien Tay Station, you can find public buses going around the city, and buses go to other provinces in the Mekong Delta. They also have packages mailing services to these provinces as well.

Tan Son Nhat Station

From the Tan Son Nhat Station, you can find many buses going to hotels and attractions connecting to Ho Chi Minh City’s center. However, their bus fares are more expensive than others.

Tan Son Nhat Station
  • Route 109 will take you to attractions like the Independence Palace, Ben Thanh Market, and 23/9 Park.
  • Route 49 will take you to hotels in District 1, Saigon Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the backpackers’ area at Pham Ngu Lao Street.
  • Route 119 will take you to the West Station through some food streets in District 10 like Thanh Thai and Nguyen Tri Phuong.

Find bus tickets online to Tan Son Nhat airport:

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Summary of Public Bus Transportation in Ho Chi Minh City

You may find that catching a bus in Vietnam is quite a different experience from other countries. You have to hail the oncoming bus in advance and be conscious of the motorbike madness, and it might not be the most convenient form of transportation yet. However, as the Vietnamese government is investing more in solving traffic issues in major cities, you may find traveling by public bus more convenient and cheaper to travel around.

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