One of the challenges that tourists often have to encounter is arranging the right transportations while they are visiting an unfamiliar city or country. Especially in Vietnam, because of the traffic expansion, there are a lot of Vietnamese transportations that you can choose from to explore the country in your way. Let's look at the different types of transportations in Vietnam that will make your Vietnam trip unforgettable.
There are about 45 million motorbikes that serve as necessary means of transportations in Vietnam and are an essential part of the locals' lives. Thus, hiring a scooter or Vespas and getting around Vietnam on local transport by yourself would be an exhilarating experience. Being together with your local friends or tour guides, you will get more excited when traveling on adventurous routes and zip through small alleys. On a safety note, you should be knowledgeable about the traffic laws and the country's flow of traffic. If you wish to discover Vietnam on the back of the bikes with professional local tour guides, you can check here for the Ho Chi Minh City tours. The plus side is that you will get to enjoy the local experience and not have to worry about being lost.
Read more about Motorbike, Scooter, and Vespa Differences
In Vietnam, not many people own a car because of the high import tax, and that it is considered a luxury good. It definitely feels good to seat in an air-conditioned car and not have to worry about all the heat outside in Vietnam. However, there are pros and cons of driving this vehicle because it is difficult to find parking lots and moving on small roads with traffic jams in Vietnam.
Read more on Getting around Ho Chi Minh City.
When traveling, the taxi has become a top choice as it can take many people at one time to an intended destination while ensuring better safety compared to other transportations. Traveling by taxi will be a convenient choice if you want to escape the heat or inclement weather. In Vietnam, you can also use other on-demand taxis booked via apps. Read more on how to avoid taxi scams in Saigon and how to obtain SIM cards for mobile data usages.
The bus is another common means of transportation in Vietnam. The experience of using a bus will vary for different people and the types of buses they get on. There are three kinds of buses in Saigon: airport bus - bus that departs/arrives at the airport, shuttle bus - go back and forth between the airport and your hotel in the center of the city, and common bus - which is used more by the locals. While traveling by bus, you get more time to look around the hustling of the city, and it would not cost you much.
Traveling by plane is always among the fastest choices of transportation besides other transports like motorbike, car, bus or train. There is at least one airport in almost any major city, from the South to the North of Vietnam. The number of national airports in Vietnam has been up to 15 airports to support frequent flights for both domestic and international trips.
For your Vietnam travel information, check our guide on travel time and taxi fares from major airports in Vietnam to the city center.
The train is also a good choice for travelers. It often takes more time to move from one city to another, but it lets you see the incredible beauty of Vietnam sceneries along the way. While on the train, the ranges of mountains appear above the paddy fields in an amazing sight. These are a lot of experiences waiting for you to discover so that you should consider what means of transportation to make your Vietnam trips more enjoyable.
Find out more information about train routes and fares in Vietnam, check out Vietnam Railways.
Because of plenty of intertwining rivers and canals in the Mekong Delta, sampan is a helpful and convenient means of transportation for the locals in the Southwest areas of Vietnam to travel on the river. Tourists can also get countryside experience riding the sampan with the paddles. It may look easy to handle in the hands of an old lady or a young girl, but it hard to navigate it.
You check out more information on this sampan ride on our Mekong Delta tour.
In the past, without many bridges like today, most ferry serves as a vehicle taking the locals and scooters to cross the rivers. It is a useful means of transportations in the Mekong Delta to cross large streams. Moreover, the ticket price just costs you approximately VND 10,000 - depends on the areas. In Saigon, there are two main ferry ports. The first one is Cat Lai port that links the city to Nhon Trach - Dong Nai province, and the second one is Binh Khanh which connects the city to a province called Can Gio.
The motorboat is a type of punt. They are driven by an installed engine at the back of the boat. The body of the punt used to be made from woods, but recently it is more efficient to build it with wood plastic composite. Motorboats will remind most tourists of a countryside experience down the canals in the Mekong Delta.
This kind of vehicle will travel along the coast between places that have short distances. Generally, it just takes about one hour or one and a half hours to travel from place to place. There are two major routes for the high-speed boat: one is from Saigon to Vung Tau/Saigon to Can Gio and another is from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc island.
Look for high-speed boats tickets below:
High-speed boat from Saigon to Vung Tau and Can Gio: Vung Tau Travel Guide
High-speed boat from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc: Phu Quoc Island Travel Guide
Rickshaw is another unique means of transportation in Vietnam. It used to be popular in the past among the rich and noble, but now you can also pay a small fare, get a ride to many places, and take your time enjoying all the views. Getting around with a rickshaw has also been praised by many as one of most the unique transportations in the world that is worth the experience.
Experiencing the street in Vietnam with a rickshaw is fun. You won’t be sitting in a stuffy box nor have to worry about the sun or rain - the rickshaw has a foldable roof for these inclement weather, and you will have friendly drivers to take you to different corners of the city.
If you wish to discover the city on a rickshaw, read our common scams in Vietnam before you wave down your ride. For your peace of mind and personal safety, you can customize your adventure through a reliable tour company.
In the past, horse carriage was used to carry goods and produce of the southern locals to markets. However, nowadays with efficient trucks as goods carriers, horse carriage is more commonly used as a means of transportation for tourists in Vietnam. A ride on the carriage down quiet roads in the countryside will allow you to take your time sightseeing and getting rid of stress and worries.
This three-wheeled vehicle is mostly used in small moving services and in transporting construction tools and materials. In some countrysides, it can also be used as transportation for small groups of people, even though this is not common in the major cities like Ho Chi Minh City or Ha Noi. Ba Gac is one of the unique means of transportation in Vietnam.
The bicycle is a means of transportation which helps you get exercise at the same time while protecting the environment. Wandering around the city on a bicycle will give you an exciting experience, weaving through the road, getting into narrow alleys, and escape from the rush and crowd.
You can easily spot a motorbike taxi driver around every corner in Vietnam wearing a blue shirt. You might already know that the motorbike is the most popular means of transportation in Vietnam, and you would love to have this experience at least once, but you don’t know how to ride one. Don’t get upset yet because you can always choose to go on a motorbike trip by booking with a tour agency or you can go around the corner of any streets to take a motorbike taxi - or “xe om.” A motorbike taxi will be a good choice because you can get connected with the local friendly drivers; they will share with you many advice and experience. However, getting a motorbike taxi can be difficult if the drivers cannot communicate well in a foreign language. On the other hand, by booking with a reliable tour operator, you will have the experience of their professional services such as professionally trained local tour guides and using standard safety tested helmets. Either way, you will surely get to enjoy a ride around the streets in Vietnam.
Along the coast of Vietnam, you will find not only boats that fishermen use to fish in the big ocean but also small round-shaped vessels. These small boats or basket boats are made by netting bamboo shreds. They are used to catch fish and to transport near the coast. The open-air with the ocean breeze and a chance to learn how to balance on this boat would bring you a one-of-a-kind experience in Vietnam.
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Means of transportation in Vietnam vary from ones that travel on land to those that casually flow on the water. Some vehicles are not all comfortable and advantageous, but you could try traveling by them once to have a full local experience in this country in Southeast Asia. You should decide on what kind of experience you want to have and choose a vehicle accordingly. For example, you should not always travel by car or bus if you want to wander around Saigon’s Other Side districts because there are lots of small alleys in a different area, and the best choice would be to travel with a local. In the end, your Vietnam trip would be more exhilarating if you choose the right kind of transportations in Vietnam.
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I was super skeptical to hop on a motorbike at first, but I took the wild card a book your private bike tour. Best decision ever!