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How to Take Motorbike Taxis in Vietnam - Grab and Other Ride-hailing Services

take-motorbike-taxis-vietnam

For tourists, especially solo travelers or small groups of friends, a motorbike taxi is undeniably one of the most convenient types of transportation in Vietnam. In this article, we’ll show you all you need to know on how to take motorbike taxis in Vietnam.

How To Take Motorbike Taxis In Vietnam - Overview On Motorbike Taxi

Motorbike taxi (or “xe om” in Vietnamese) has been stable in Vietnam’s transportation scheme for decades. Traditionally, the motorbike taxi driver has a motorbike and a spot, which is usually in touristy or crowded areas, of their own. They wait for customers all day, and the price depends entirely on them. 

Explore the motorbike culture in Vietnam on our Bikelihood Gallery.

Until 2014, before Grab’s arrival, this is still the ultimate choice because, in comparison to public transport, motorbike taxi has an edge on traveling: while public transport can be time-consuming, confusing (especially for foreigners who don’t speak the local language) and crowded, motorbike taxis can take passengers to the exact location in a shorter time.

take motorbike taxis vietnam 1The motorbike taxi landscape in Vietnam has changed dramatically thanks to ride-hailing services.

However, since Grab came, the traditional “xe om” has died away rapidly in the rise of digital drivers. The locals consider this new concept as being safer, cheaper, and more efficient, and with the increasing number of ride-hailing apps in Vietnam, this trend is here to stay. 

How To Take Motorbike Taxis In Vietnam - Recommended Ride-hailing Services

Grab

Grab is the first-ever ride-hailing app to dominate the Vietnamese market, even as Uber (now shut down in Southeast Asia) arrived, Grab was still going strong. Grab is easy to book thanks to a large number of drivers, and it consistently puts out promotions for users.

Go-Viet

Being a partner of Go-Jek - a big transport company from Indonesia, Go-Viet is becoming one of the locals’ top choices. Go-Viet doesn’t have as many drivers as Grab, especially in Ho Chi Minh City, but the app provides cheaper service. 

take motorbike taxis vietnam 2 original

Go-Viet driver is in red and Grab driver is in green.

Be

Be is purely a Vietnamese ride-hailing app that hit the market in December 2018. Though it’s a new app, Be draws customers in with many hot deals and promotions, as well as the quality of its drivers.

Fastgo

Fastgo is designed by NextTech - the “Alibaba Group of Vietnam”. The app attracts passengers with Fastgo protection - an insurance package for each ride you book. However, as of now, Fastgo mostly operates in Hanoi.

take motorbike taxis vietnam 3 original

Be driver dresses in yellow and blue.

You can easily install these mobile apps for your Vietnam Travel from App Store or Google Play, but keep in mind that ride-hailing app is only convenient in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang. They aren’t available in rural areas yet.

take motorbike taxis vietnam 4

Most ride-hailing services only available in major cities.

Check out some great alternatives for transportation on our blogs:

How To Take Motorbike Taxis In Vietnam - Avoiding Scams

take motorbike taxis vietnam 5 original

Like everything else, there are good and friendly “xe om” but there are also bad ones, so always make safety your priority. 

You don’t see traditional “xe om” much nowadays, but if you find one and decide to get on, here are a few things you must remember.

  • Make sure they know where you’re going by bringing a map or have the written name of the place, in case they misunderstand the spoken name.
  • Traditional motorbike taxis may charge higher than ride-hailing services since they don’t have subsidization from the companies. However, some may charge twice the actual price once they spot a foreigner, so agree on a fixed price that you’re comfortable with first and don’t be afraid to bargain.
  • Prepare small changes because you have to pay with cash. More on Vietnamese currency here.

For ride-hailing services users:

  • Beware of snatch thieves while using your phone to book rides.
  • You can either pay directly with cards (Visa/MasterCard/American Express/JCB/ATM/Amex… are often supported) or with cash (prepare change for this option).

A few heads-up for both:

  • Try to avoid using motorbike taxis at night, even ride-hailing services, for safety.
  • Traditional motorbike taxis in airports and bus stops can charge higher while booking with ride-hailing services can be confusing at the airport, so we recommend using the airport shuttle buses.
  • If you want to use a digital motorbike taxi at the airport, choose somewhere less crowded and give them detailed notes on where you’re standing.

For more information on how to avoid scams, refer to our blogs on:

8 common scams and annoyances in Vietnam.

Precautions on Hired Transportation in Ho Chi Minh City.

Our Take On How To Take Motorbike Taxis In Vietnam

Motorbike taxis can provide both comfort and recreation for your trip. It’s not just a fast traveling option but also a once-in-a-lifetime experience to explore the nooks and crannies of the bustling Ho Chi Minh City. However, motorbike taxis isn’t your only choice. If you’re in it for the feeling, how about a Ho Chi Minh City Motorcycle Tour where you’ll still be exploring, but with safety and friendly local guides?

Get your travel insurance plan to travel Vietnam:

 

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© Written by Ngan Mai for itourvn.com

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