Ho Chi Minh City taxis are an essential means of transportation for tourists, especially for first-timers. To make things easier, we have updated some need-to-know information about traveling around Ho Chi Minh City by taxi.
An Overview of Taxis in Ho Chi Minh City
In Ho Chi Minh City, you can easily grab a taxi thanks to the high availability (about 30,000 are active). There are many brands which you can catch on the spot or book a ride via an app.
Pros and Cons of Traveling by Taxi in Ho Chi Minh City
If it’s your first time in the city and are still wondering about how to travel around, taxi should be on your list for many reasons below:
- Airport pick-up: There are lines of taxis parking at the airport, ready to pick you up when you arrive. You can jump in a cab and hit the city center in about half an hour without difficulties.
- Taxi fare: It is about VND 15,000 per kilometer for 4-seat taxis and about VND 17,000 per kilometer for 7-seat taxis.
- Privacy and convenience: This should be why tourists choose taxis instead of other Vietnamese transportation. You can enjoy Ho Chi Minh City’s beauty without any worry about air pollution, hot weather, or rains.
On the other hand, taking a taxi for your trip is also inconvenient. Sometimes, taxis in Ho Chi Minh City are unsuitable for short-distance tours because they take time to deal with heavy traffic jams, and parking is not easy. Another disadvantage of taxis in Ho Chi Minh City is that the drivers speak limited English. Therefore, you should have business cards or the Google Maps address of where you are going.
If you are looking for a new way to explore the city, traveling with a local guide on a motorbike is worth considering.
Some Notices for Using Ho Chi Minh City Taxi
Taxi Scams. If you decide to travel by a Ho Chi Minh City taxi, you should be aware of taxi scams. Therefore, we suggest some tips below to help you avoid these annoyances.
- Keep in mind 3 well-known Ho Chi Minh City taxi brands you should choose: Mai Linh, Vinasun, and Xanh SM
- Never negotiate a fixed price before traveling
- Pay with small cash
For detailed information, please visit our guide 3 Tips to Avoid Taxi Scam in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Transportation Apps on Mobile. There is a bonus for the transportation system in Ho Chi Minh City. Mobile apps for transportation services like Grab, Gojek, Xanh SM, or Be (UBER is unavailable in Southeast Asia) should help you save your budget a little more. In recent years, they have grown in number and popularity because of their easy-to-use features, the distance of your trip with the estimated fare, and a lot of promotions. You can book and hail a ride with ease.
Download these apps on your mobile app stores and install them. With some simple steps, you can freely book their many choices of vehicles to get around the city. One more thing you should notice is that using these apps requires you to have a SIM card for the driver to confirm the booking and contact you when they arrive at your place. Check out Where to Buy a SIM Card in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Some Useful Vietnamese Phrases. Besides the names of the destinations, you also need to know a few simple Vietnamese phrases to communicate with drivers when hopping on a taxi in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Go straight: Di thang
- Turn left: Re trai
- Turn right: Re phai
- Turn around: Quay lai
- Stop: Dung lai
- Thank you: Cam on
Our Thoughts on Traveling around Ho Chi Minh City by Taxi
In this big city where the diversity of transportation makes it unique, visitors will have many choices to travel around. If you use the taxi, have the address and directions to your destinations, check the rate and the meter clock before you go, and use small cash to make payments. For more personalized service, contact us for pick-up services at the airport or a city tour on a motorbike.