Taxi is cheap and easy to get..
One thing that we noticed, we always have to pay more if we use the meter...
Yeah! Dumb huh...
If you insist on using the meter, please make sure that you dont leave your eyes off the meter.. Because in a split second, the meter can jump up by VND15,000 (equivalent to US$1) or more...
And if the place that you want to go is near, they will become a very "good driver" and follow the traffic rules and giving way to other vehicles... It's very sickening!! And the meter can really go up to abt VND30,000 for just a few mins drive...
If the place that you want to go is near, agree on the fare (without meter) and you'll save money plus you will get to your destination faster!! One method that you can use is to offer them US$1 for any destination within HCMC.... Trust me, you'll save alot!
Throughout our stay, we got cheated by taxi drivers everyday and it's so unbelievable!
On the last day to the airport, being so pissed off, I walked up to a driver and told him that I dont want to use the meter and will only pay him US$5 to the airport and he agreed immediately... A very good deal indeed!
Taxis are readily available, although do make sure they use the meter. It cost for us 300,000D from Dist 3 to Dist 1, although you sitll have to add in a tip about 1USD equivalent. Our trip to the airport from Amara Hotel in Dist 3 costs us 38,000, although the total we paid was 50,000D.
Note that the drivers prefer Dong rather than USD. The latter currency is not as popular as before, unless you're shopping at the airport, or tourist places. Everywhere accepts dong more often than not.
For simplicity just purchase a taxi ticket the moment you get passed the custom. I paid 160,000 Dong or US$10 from airport to District 1. They will try to offer you a bigger car which cost US$20, just insists on getting the cheaper fare.
Anywhere in the world the taxi drivers will try to "run" around the city to rack up the fare
HCMc is the same anywhere in the world! in HCMc, there are lots to choose from (just like the Bangkok Taxi )
It was only later I was told that the reputable taxis are, amongst others, Vinataxi, Saigon and Vinasun.
I cannot figure out why some starts are 15000Vnd and some at 12000Vnd.
My advice :
Stick to these and you should not get "run around". But of course there is always a bad apple among them.
I took one which was NOT one of the three taxi companies above and it cost me US2 (approx 32000Vnd) from the Notre Dame Catredral / Post Office to New World Hotel.
When I went from New World Hotel to Notre Dame Catredral / Post Office in a Vinataxi - IT COST ME 16000Vnd ONLY!
I did a search before i go Ho Chi Minh City. Base on tips from the internet, reasonable taxi fare to town area from Airport is US$5 or it can bo as low as US$4.
There are many cabs waiting outside the airport. First, I tried to look for a cab that uses meter (the taxi always shows "Metered Taxi"). After i spent 10 mins looking for a cab that really use meter, i can't find any. They offer me fixed price, which is US$10 or US$8. There was one taxi driver said he would follow meter and asked us to get into hir car, i doubted and reconfirmed before i put my luggage inside. Again, he said he won't follow meter. So dissappointed. I rejected him immediately.
We give up. Finally, we took another cab by paying US$6 (to Pham Ngu Lao area, Bui Vein street).
Taxis in Saigon should not charge you more than necessary. Most taxis have meters installed and you should insist the driver turn it on when you get in.
Otherwise, a ride around the city center shouldn't cost more than US$1 or 16,000 VND e.g Ben Thanh market to Sheraton Hotel ~ 1-2km. If you go further than that, insist on the meter
The most convenient way to get from the airport to downtown is via taxi. It should cost about US$4.00, and the trip takes less than 30 minutes. Be wary of the scams and touts -- be sure to negotiate a fair price before you get in the cab!
When you get to the city just tell them you have a hotel room, even if you don't, otherwise they'll take you to their brother's hotel and try to rip you off. They might even try to offer you a tour of the city after you check in, so they can take even more of your money! My best advice is to get to the city then shop around a little before you make too many deals... they are pushy at times, but so what!
If zipping around the city on the back of a xe om (motorbike taxi) is not your thing then try the four wheel version. They're widely available and you should only go with taxis that look "legitimate". While this is up to debate, use the taxis that are clean in appearance and have their company name as well as number in big letters. Some of the big companies include Vinataxi (yellow), Vinasun (white), Deluxe (white green letters), Mai Linh (green).
Usually about a dollar for the first 2 kilometers.
The best way to get from the airport to downtown is by taxi. A taxi ticket booth near the exit sells coupons to take a taxi at $6 USD. The trip takes around 30 minutes to the centre of District 1 (Saigon).
If you are skilled at negotiating and walk outside the confines of the airport parking lot then you may be able to get one for $4 USD. However, in this instance, the taxi driver may try to get you to go to a hotel where they receive a commission but you will be fine if you stick to your original destination.
Metered taxis are pretty easy to find around the city area. They are a hassle-free and cheap mode of travel, especially if you're sick of trying to cross the roads full of chaotic traffic (mostly motorbikes) while attempting to walk to your locations.
After staying in Ho Chi Minh for several weeks I figured something out that I have never seen written anywhere before. I figured this out after trying to take a taxi to a District 1 hotel .... I showed the taxi driver the card of the hotel I wanted to go to ... he said OK ... and off we went. About 15 minutes later I found myself at an address that was completely wrong. The street number was correct, and the street name was kinda close ... but it was the wrong location altogether! How did this happen? The driver was not trying to con me ... HE COULD NOT SEE WELL. Turns out this is true much of the time in Vietnam. People need glasses so they can read (or drive safely!!) but they simply can not afford to buy them. THE TRICK: I started to use 3X5 cards and would write down the name and address of the place I wanted to go to .... and I would write in very clear large letters. Wow ... it really helped ... hope this helps you also.
Although cyclos are good for sight seeing, when going from place to place in the city nothing beats the taxis for convenience, speed and price (If you value your life that is, after a few moto trips around the country you do). Taxi fares start from aound 12.000 dong (USD 0.75), and doesn't increase much for the first couple of kilometers (50-60.000 dong will take you from the airport to district 1). All taxis I took in HCMC started the meter without being asked, even at night. But do show the driver on a map where you want to go, as their English is usually a little 'rusty'.
I took taxis the whole time I was there. It's so cheap!!! Be sure to ask the driver if he knows how to get to your destination before getting in. Some drivers will act like they are lost and drives you around the block a few time.
The average taxi ride in HCMC is US$1-$2 so it makes it VERY convenient to just carry alot of ones with you.
We found this to be very nice because we didn't have to convert numbers in our head when thinking about 20,000 dong for a cab ride. Plus, the drivers like the dollars better and when you give him a tip (like the .50 leftover from the fare) he's very appreciative.
We positively LOVED the taxi drivers in HCMC. They were very easy to deal with and NONE of them were trying to scam us. Unlike some southeast Asian countries where you have to be somewhat on your guard.
The taxis in HCMC are great. After several trips to Thailand, I was prepared for getting hassled about shopping, etc every time we got in the taxi but that was not the case.
The level of tourism in Thailand has not yet hit Vietnam so the taxis have not yet started hassling fares to "go shopping" in order to get kickbacks. Very nice.
The entire three days we were there we NEVER had any taxi hassle us ABOUT ANYTHING. We told them (or showed them) where we wanted to go, they flipped the meter and off we went. No haggling, no messing around.
Now, perhaps it does happen and we were just lucky enough to avoid those drivers? I don't know. All I do know is, don't worry about it! If you've been to Bangkok and you're expecting sneaky taxi drivers, you're in for a treat! :)