If you are looking for cheap transport in and around Saigon that most tourists rarely consider, try the local Saigon Ho Chi Minch City Bus service SaigonBus, at a bargain basement cost between VNĐ 4,000-8,000 (aprox AUD/USD $0.20-$0.40) depending on the route this is the cheapest transport to be had in and around the city, and as far as quality and reliability goes the buses are clean, relatively modern and best of all many are now air-conditioned.
Most Saigon buses have two bus service employees on board one driver and the other to collect the fare. Route wise the Saigon Ho Chi Minh City bus service covers 152 routes from the district 1 Ben Thanh Interchange out to destinations as far flung as Cu Chi.
A map of the Sai Gon Ho Chi Minh City Bus service can be found below, click the thumbnail for a high resolution version.
Before you get started on your Ho Chi Minh city Bus adventure I highly recommend stopping into the Ben Thanh Interchange and picking up a free map/route timetable, head to the desk behind the glass in the middle office area.
For tourists popular bus routes on the SaigonBus network include:
13 – Ben Thanh to Cu Chi
11 – Ben Thanh to Dam Sen Amusement Park and Water park (Dam Sen Nuoc)
30 – Tan Huong – Suoi Tien Amusement Park from the West end of Saigon through district 1 then out west to Suoi Tien.
152 – Tan Son Nhat International Airport – Trung Son. This bus route will get you from Saigon’s International Airport to District 1 for the measly sum of VNĐ 4,000 (AUD/USD $0.20) add another VNĐ 4,000 for baggage.
If you are looking at going further afield to other provinces then you will need to catch a bus from either the Mien Tay or Mien Dong terminal however I find these interprovincial buses are a lot more crowded than the local Ho Chi Minh City Bus service so I tend to shy away from these and use private mini buses for longer trips, that is unless I am travelling on my own, without family in toe.
Tips for travelling on the Ho Chi Minh City Bus Service:
- Few bus service staff speak English so it is important to research well before your trip
- Start with short trips to get used to how things operate then expand out to destinations further afield
- If you find yourself lost there are always students with reasonable English who are more than happy to help and at the same time gain a free English lesson.
- Bus stops can be few and far between and sometimes not well marked (normally painted on the road)