Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Getting Around

 
 

By Taxi

Taxis are the most comfortable way of getting around Ho Chi Minh City, and very modest in price compared to other major cities in the world. However, rates fluctuate over time depending on the cost of fuel. Taxis in the city are numerous and it's usually not hard to flag one down anywhere in the city centre from early morning until about 1:00 a.m., though finding one in the rain or during the workday rush hour can be difficult.
 
 
 
 
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Taxi rates are not regulated by the city government, so each company sets its own fare structure which changes from time to time. Therefore, you cannot choose a taxi at random and expect a standard fare. Beware of a fringe of dishonest taxi drivers, which prey on foreigners in particular. Fortunately, the market is fairly competitive and 80% of the taxis are operated by reasonably honest companies with similar rates.

Dishonest taxi drivers may start driving without starting their meters, then demand a high fare or try to negotiate for a fixed price at a location where it's difficult for you to hire another cab. Therefore, make sure your taxi driver agrees to use the meter and turns it on before you get in. Some taxi companies such as Mai Linh and Vinasun have meters in their taxis that start automatically once the vehicle starts moving.

Vinasun taxi by Ovidius 1313

Drivers generally speak limited English and do not speak any other foreign languages, so it's wise to write the name and address of your destination, preferably in Vietnamese, to show the taxi driver - your hotel staff can assist. It also helps to carry one of your hotel's business cards so you can return to the hotel without too much fuss. Carry small change and bills for paying fares, since drivers are often short of change. 

Taxi drivers are likely to drive too fast when given the chance. Ho Chi Minh City has a unique traffic pattern in which cars and buses drive in the centre lanes on two-way streets, or the left lanes on one-way streets, while the outside or right lanes are reserved for motorcycles. Rush-hour traffic in the city has become so bad that you might consider just planning not to go anywhere between the hours of 7:00-8:30 a.m. and 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Traffic in Ho Chi Minh City by Der tomtomtom

 
Guide to
Ho Chi Minh City
 
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