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Airport arrival tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
Tip 1: Be aware of pickpockets, elbowing and shoving when you exit of the airport terminals. Be mindful of your wallet, phone, camera, and passport at all times. The airport a very crowded place and unfortunate events can happen.
Tip 2: The airport has free WiFi access, so you don’t need to buy an internet plan unless you have to.
Tip 3: Transportations: when visitors arrive at the domestic or international terminals in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), there are several means of transportations out of the airport:
1. Taxi - When you exit the terminals with your luggage, there are designated taxi lanes that you can queue up to catch a cab; they are all parked on the left-hand side upon exit. Many taxi companies are operating in the city and scams occasionally occur. To lessen the chance of an unfortunate event, read our blog on “3 tips to avoid taxi scams in Ho Chi Minh City.”
Note: When you are queuing up at the taxi lane, you can wait until you see a VinaSun or MaiLinh taxi hop on. You don’t have to hop onto the next available taxi of an unknown brand given by the attendant. The average price to get into the city center in District 1 from the airport is around VND 150,000 or USD 7.
2. Motorbike taxi – The cheapest method but not recommended for tourists who have luggage and are in groups. This pickup requires you to walk out of the airport terminals as the motorbike drivers aren’t allowed to go inside the airport for pick-up. The price to get into the city center is around VND 50,000 ($2.5 USD). If you want to use a motorbike taxi, use them with caution.
3. Uber/GrabTaxi/3rd party pick-ups - If you have a pre-arranged transport, you can either walk out of the airport to the parking lot to catch your ride. Often, pick-up rides are not allowed to park and wait more than 5 minutes at the pick-up lanes as the roads need to be clear for loading and unloading. If this is your way out of the airport and into the city, make sure you have a local SIM card or a working 3G mobile plan to call the driver who is going to pick you up. At the arrivals, after you exit customs, some vendors sell local SIM cards that’ll work with an unlocked phone.
Tip: SIM cards and mobile internet plans are available for purchase at information kiosks. The average program costs 100,000 VND or USD $5.
4. Public transport (buses): to help with easing up traffic, the government now has dedicated shuttle transport. These are easy to take, and all you need is get some prior knowledge and tips before taking these. The buses are located on your right-hand side upon terminal exit. To read more about taking shuttle buses from the airport to the city, read our blog on How to take shuttle buses from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Ho Chi Minh City center.
Tip 4: LUGGAGE DROP OFF - For those who are doing airport transits, there is an airport service counter that will keep your bags if you want to see the city baggage-free. You can easily spot the counter after your arrival exit on your right. There will also be signs pointing your way.
The fee is VND 27,500/bag/hour, which is about $1.40. If you leave your bag there for more than 10 hours, they will charge VND 275,000/bag/day, which is about $14.