Saigon Transportation - getting to Ho Chi Minh City

Most people arrive in Saigon at Tan Son Nhat Airport, which is located around six kilometres northwest of the city centre. However, a significant number of travellers also arrive overland, especially as the ‘Southeast Asian circuit’ (passing through Cambodia, Thailand and Laos) is so popular these days.

Travellers arriving from Hanoi will pull up at the train station, just three kilometres northwest of town, or at Mien Dong bus station, five kilometres northeast of the city centre. Most people coming from Cambodia travel by open-tour bus and are dropped off in the heart of the budget district, usually on De Tham.

Train

The ancient train system of Vietnam stretches past Hanoi to the magical delights of China to the far north and is still a romantic experience for travellers with a little time on their hands...more

Bus

There are a few terminals in Ho Chi Minh city for long distance travel so tourists should check out our complete guide to avoid unnecessary confusion and unfortunate delays...more

Airport

Most travellers arrive into the city via Saigon Airport and we have all the tips about getting out to the city centre where the hotels are and how much is a reasonable price to pay...more

Getting around

There are many different options for getting around Saigon offering different levels of comfort and safety, so get the inside scoop right here and avoid being stuck in traffic for half your stay...more

Arriving in Saigon and leaving Ho Chi Minh City

Tan Son Nhat Airport, which receives many direct flights from Europe, the USA and Australia, is very modern and easy to negotiate. There’s a SASCO (Southern Airports Services Company) tourist desk that can provide free maps of the city and offer tourist information. There are also hotel booking desks, foreign exchange services and a left luggage office.

If you have a booking at a hotel or guest house, they will probably send someone to meet you. If not, a taxi into town costs around US$12, a motorbike taxi (not advisable if you have much luggage) US$3 and the 152 bus to the Ben Thanh market, near the budget district, is 25 cents (5,000D) plus another 5,000 with luggage.

If you don’t have a hotel booking, be on guard for the scams perpetrated by taxi drivers, who see new arrivals to the country as easy prey. Some will try to negotiate a fare rather than turn on the meter, and of course the price will be higher. Be firm and insist on using the meter.

Others take a roundabout route while trying to convince you that they know somewhere better than your choice; the truth is, it’s better for them because they will get a commission from some places. However you travel into the city centre, if it’s your first time here, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by the chaotic traffic and honking horns – welcome to Saigon!

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