Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Getting Around


By Motorbike

Motorbike Taxis
Motorbike taxis are plentiful in Ho Chi Minh City. They are cheap and are generally quite safe but get used to hearing "you want motor" everywhere. All riders in Vietnam are required by law to wear helmets and a rule that is strongly enforced. Make sure a driver supplies you with a helmet. If he doesn't, find another one as you'll be the one stung with a fine by the police.
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Absolutely agree on a price with the driver before you set on the motorbike. Short hops around town shouldn't be more than 20,000 dong and if you go between districts, this increases and all the way to the airport will cost you around 70,000 dong. Drivers are generally quite friendly and will go slower upon request. They're also not adverse to "bear hugs" if you're really struggling to hold on to the motorbike. Many of the drivers, especially in District 1, speak some English and like many Vietnamese will repay you in a flood of smiles (and probably point out all the sights) if you make a little effort to get to know them.

View from a motorbike taxi by 兵庫胡志明倶楽部

Renting a Motorbike
You can rent your own motorbike in many places, especially around the backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao in District 1. 110,000 dong should get you a decent 100-110 cc motorbike. However, driving in Ho Chi Minh City is best left to experienced drivers. Traffic is intense and chaotic, with a long list of unwritten rules that don't resemble traffic laws and "right of way" is nearly unknown here. However, if you're up for an adventure, it's best to keep a few things in mind - drivers with limited experience should consider renting an automatic bike (bit more expensive), as at busy crossroads there is no time for worrying about how to change gears. 

Mortorbike traffic by Thomas Schoch

Beware of thieves and always keep your motorbike in sight or parked with an attendant. Most restaurants have guards or parking attendants out front, who will issue you a numbered tag and take care of your motorbike. Independent parking lots in Ho Chi Minh City are scattered along the sidewalks, alleys and basements of buildings. Look for rows of neatly-parked motorbikes or signs that say "giu xe" to park. If you are in the city during the rainy season, make sure to buy ponchos or raincoats before you start. It usually rains for around 1-2 hours between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during July and August in Ho Chi Minh City.
Guide to
Ho Chi Minh City
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