Go for a whirlwind ride around the city in a Cyclo, a cross between a trishaw and a tricycle. Experience HCMC like you never before with the traffic coming straight at you! Remember to bargain with the driver before you actually board one less in case you get hookwink.
Jan 2007 UPDATE: Comments from friends - ..."the cyclos are few in numbers now...they hover around the tourist spots only. Our tour guide said that the government has restricted their use"...
This is the best way to get around the city. It will cost you a dollar an hour plus tip. The drivers generally don’t speak English but they have a list of the major sights in English, French and Vietnamese so you just point and you’re on your way. Traffic can be pretty scary and there are no rules but the great thing is that you are able to see things as you are peddled along and still experience the sounds and smells.
Ho Chi Minh City is sprawling, and the tourist sites are rather spread out. The easiest way to get around is by motorcycle, cyclo (tricycle), or taxi. Of these, cyclo rides are perhaps the most enjoyable. The price is negotiable, but hiring a cyclo typically costs $1-$2 (15,000 to 30,000 VND) per hour.
If you crave some excitement or are just curious to know what it's realy like riding on one of the thousands of cyclos (motorbikes)...I recommend that you hire one from the Tourist Info Centre on Le Loi Rd., in front the Rex Hotel. The ladies working there will secure you a driver who won't rip you off or take you in circles. I hired one for 2 hours and he drove me to Chinatown and back. Make sure you tell the driver what time and what exact spot to pick you up at your destination!!