Figuring out transportation in a new place can be tricky, especially if you don’t know the language. It can be difficult to navigate the public transportation system when the signages have very little to no English, and there are few English speakers around to help. Not to mention trying to communicate to a driver with where to go and you end up playing a game of charades before trying the next taxi driver in the queue. So, what is the best way to get around? The answer can probably be found in your pocket!
When visiting Vietnam, I highly recommend bringing along your unlocked smartphone. It is inexpensive to get a SIM card that will keep you connected to data. This will make getting around Ho Chi Minh city, and lots of places in Vietnam, a piece of cake! Danton and I relied on our smartphones to get to where we needed to go. Keep reading to see what we used to get around the city.
Three Ways To Get Around Easily
People seem surprised when I tell them our main method of transportation in Ho Chi Minh was Uber. The transportation company was introduced in Vietnam mid-2014, so there are a ton of drivers now- making getting around quick and painless. We felt safe using Uber for several reasons: we had a record of who our driver was, we can get to our destination without worrying about language, and payment is taken through the app.
The rides we took were always inexpensive and in many cases cheaper than taking a taxi. The most expensive ride I can recall from our trip was the 30-minute ride from the airport to a relative’s place. The cost, approximately $5 CAD.
Most memorable Uber experience was singing Spice Girls with one of our drivers. He was a rad dude with awesome music! I definitely recommend this app as a must have for getting around the city.
Download it here:
Grab is another transportation app you can use while in the city. This is a little bit different from Uber. With Grab,
you have to pay the driver with cash after the ride but the function to hail a driver and chose your destination is about the same.
We never got around to using it because it was always more expensive than Uber, and we wanted to keep our cash for an emergency. I believe the price changes at peak times, and that was usually when we needed to get around. I would still download the app in case Uber is not as convenient for you. You could even request a Grab motorcycle and experience what Ho Chi Minh traffic is like! It will be an unforgettable experience!
Download it here:
When we weren’t riding in Uber cars or on the back of our friend’s motorcycle, we took Vinasun taxis. We were told by relatives that they are the most reliable taxis to take (read- less scams). Taxis in Vietnam are inexpensive when compared to the ones in the Western world. I would still suggest making sure the driver agrees to take you to your destination by meter rather than a fixed rate. It will usually be cheaper and more transparent this way.
Let me know what your favorite travel apps are in the comment section below, or share your favorite way to get around in a new place!
Live large. Live Jennormously!