VietnamTransportationThe Different Types of Transportations in Vietnam

The Different Types of Transportations in Vietnam

One of the challenges that tourists often encounter is arranging the right transportation while visiting an unfamiliar city or country. Especially in Vietnam, because of the traffic expansion, there are a lot of options to choose from to explore the country. Let’s look at the different types of transportations in Vietnam that will make your Vietnam trip unforgettable.


About 45 million motorbikes are an essential part of the locals’ lives. Thus, hiring a scooter or Vespas and getting around Vietnam on local transport alone would be an exhilarating experience. Being with your local friends or tour guides, you will get more excited driving on adventurous routes and zipping through small alleys. On a safety note, you should know the traffic laws and the country’s traffic flow.

Read more about Motorbike, Scooter, and Vespa Differences


Not many people in Vietnam own a car because of the high import tax. It feels good to sit in an air-conditioned vehicle and not worry about all the heat outside in Vietnam. However, driving this vehicle has pros and cons because it is difficult to find parking lots and move on narrow roads in Vietnam.

Cars are considered luxury goods in Vietnam

Read more on Getting around Ho Chi Minh City.


When traveling, the taxi has become a top choice as it can take many people at one time while ensuring better safety compared to other types of transportations in Vietnam. Traveling by taxi will be a convenient choice if you want to escape the heat or inclement weather. In Vietnam, you can also use other on-demand taxis booked via apps.


The bus is another common means of transportation in Vietnam. The experience of using a bus will vary for different people and the types of buses they get on. There are three kinds of buses in Ho Chi Minh: the airport bus – the bus that departs/arrives at the airport; the shuttle bus – which goes back and forth between the airport and your hotel in the city center; and the common bus – used more by the locals.

Read more on how to take shuttle buses from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) City Center.


Traveling by plane is consistently among the fastest choices, besides other transports like motorbikes, cars, buses, or trains. Almost any major city has at least one airport, from the South to the North of Vietnam. The number of national airports in Vietnam has been up to 15 to support frequent domestic and international flights.

Check our guide on travel time and taxi fares from major airports in Vietnam to the city center


Vietnam’s railway has been around for hundred of years

The train is also a good choice for travelers. This might be one of the least favored types of transportations in Vietnam as the country’s railway system is outdated. However, traveling by train is much cheaper for long distances, and it lets you see the incredible Vietnam scenery. While on the train, the ranges of mountains appear above the paddy fields in a fantastic sight.

Find out more information about train routes and fares in Vietnam, check out Vietnam Railways.

Boats in Vietnam


Because of plenty of intertwining rivers and canals in the Mekong Delta, sampan is a helpful and convenient means of transportation. Tourists can also get countryside experience riding the sampan with the paddles. It may look easy to handle in the hands of an old lady or a young girl, but it is hard to navigate it.


In the past, without many bridges like today, most ferries took the locals and scooters to cross the rivers. The ticket price just costs you approximately VND 10,000 – depending on the area. In Saigon, there are two main ferry ports. The first is Cat Lai Port, which links the city to Nhon Trach – Dong Nai province, and the second is Binh Khanh, which connects the city to Can Gio.


Motorized boats make the river-based lifestyle much easier

The motorboat is a type of punt. They are driven by an installed engine at the back of the boat. The body of the punt used to be made from wood, but recently, it has been more efficient to build it with wood-plastic composite. Motorboats will remind most tourists of a countryside experience down the canals in the Mekong Delta.

High-speed Boat

This kind of vehicle will travel along the coast between places with short distances. Generally, it takes about one hour or a half hours to travel from place to place. Two major routes for the high-speed boat are from Saigon to Vung Tau/Saigon to Can Gio and from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc Island.

Get high-speed boat tickets from Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau

Get high-speed boat tickets from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc Island


Along the coast of Vietnam, you will find boats that fishermen use to fish in the big ocean and small round-shaped vessels. These small boats or basket boats are made by netting bamboo shreds to catch fish and transport them near the coast. The open-air with the ocean breeze and trying to balance on this boat would bring you a one-of-a-kind experience.

Other Types of Water Transportation in Vietnam

High-speed canoe
Tourists boat


Rickshaw is another unique means of transportation in Vietnam. It used to be popular among the rich and noble, but now you can also pay a small fare for a ride to many places. Getting around with a rickshaw has also been praised as one of the most unique types of transportation in Vietnam and the world.

Experiencing the street in Vietnam with a rickshaw is fun. You won’t be sitting in a stuffy box nor have to worry about the sun or rain. The rickshaw has a foldable roof for this inclement weather, and you will have friendly drivers to take you to different city corners.

Read our common scams in Vietnam before you wave down your ride.

Horse/Animal Carriage

Historically, horse carriages were used to carry goods and produce from the locals to markets. However, nowadays, with efficient trucks as goods carriers, horse carriage is more commonly used as a means of transportation for tourists. A ride on the carriage down quiet roads in the countryside will allow you to take your time sightseeing. Other regions might have elephants or buffaloes pull the carriages.

Motorized Tricycle

This three-wheeled vehicle is mainly used in small moving services and in transporting construction tools and materials. In some countries, it can also be used as transportation for small groups of people. Ba Gac is one of the unique means of transportation in Vietnam.


The bicycle is a means of transportation that helps you get exercise while protecting the environment at the same time. Wandering around the city on a bike allows you to get into narrow alleys and escape from the rush and crowd.

Motorbike Taxi

You can easily spot a motorbike taxi driver wearing a blue shirt around every corner in Vietnam. You might already know that the motorbike is the most popular means of transportation in Vietnam. What’s more, you would love to have this experience at least once, but you don’t know how to ride one. Don’t get upset because you can always choose to go on a motorbike trip by booking with a tour agency. You can also go around the corner of any street to take a motorbike taxi – or “xe om.” A motorbike taxi will be a good choice because you can connect with the local friendly drivers. However, getting a motorbike taxi can be difficult if the drivers cannot communicate well in a foreign language. On the other hand, by booking with a reliable tour operator, you will experience their professional services, such as professionally trained local tour guides and using standard safety-tested helmets. Either way, you will surely enjoy a ride around the streets in Vietnam.

Conclusion on The Different Types of Transportations in Vietnam

Means of transportation in Vietnam vary from ones that travel on land to those that casually flow on the water. Some vehicles are not all comfortable and advantageous, but you could try them out for an entirely local experience in this country in Southeast Asia. You should decide on what kind of experience you want and choose a vehicle accordingly. In the end, your Vietnam trip would be more exhilarating if you choose the right types of transportations in Vietnam.

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