a VirtualTourist member
I'll be arriving in Ho Chi Minh on the eve of Tet on a midnight flight. Here are my questions:
1. Will there be Vinasun or Mai Linh taxi booths at the airport at 1 in the morning?
2. If I get a taxi outside the airport, will the fare be doubled because it's Tet?
3. Is it safe to ride a taxi alone at that hour?
4. Is sleeping in the airport recommended? Say I wait til 5am or 6am before I take a taxi to the hotel.
Thank you very much!
Just wait for a taxi at the stands Vinasun is a white color cab and has the name on the side and Mai Linhn cabs are painted green and has the name on the side. Just wait for one of those cabs to appear and you will be okay. the fare should be 150,000 at the most into the city and districts, about 15usd. i shared a cab with someone I met going into town when I was waiting for a visa. We were both going to district one so we got a cab together and I paid six dollars for my share. There will be plenty of cabs and the fun is just starting at 1 am. Plenty safe to ride the cabs, and if you know about the two cab companys, you are on the right track,...Don't sleep at the airport when there are so many inexpensive hotels to sleep at for 15 and 20 bucks a night. they know about late check ins. good luck and have fun, I just retruned from there two weeks ago.
cheers tommy x
You should have no problems getting a cab at the airport.
My VN wife and I believe the prices do NOT go up because of TET. Most cabs are metered, so the drivers may try to tell you no meter to jack the prices, but at the cab stand insist on using meter. Remember cab companies do charge different prices.
I do not think there is anywhere to really sleep at the airport which is pretty small.
I suggest you book your hotel in advance and let them know you will be arriving late. There are many hotels close to the airport.
Check on the "Agoda" website or others for some ideas on hotels if you do not already have one booked.
Many hotels do lock up and some even have steel shutters, but you can ring the bell and they will open up (especially if they know you are coming in late).
Safety should not be an issue at all. Lock the doors if you feel uncomfortable.
Not sure where you are staying, but the party will still be going on in many parts of HCMC.
My wife and her family ALWAYS want us to come back to Vietnam during TET but thus far we have never made it, so enjoy it because it is a very special time.
Thank you for your replies, martensd, indian pacific, and xymmol. I find the hotel and airport transfer services too costly.
I had asked the question twice, not being aware this first one had been posted and had received replies. Thanks again for your help!
You are welcome and believe me, you are not the first to double or even triple post a question!
Remember, when you walk out of the airport, you may find many people standing around, this is normal any time day or night as the Vietnamese may have the whole family there to greet their relatives.
Just go past the people and off to the left you should see a desk and the taxi's lined up. Tell them where you are going, and ask for metered cab (which they all are). Always a good idea to write your destination in VN in case the driver has to ask again where you are going.
Also recommend you get some Vietnamese Dong at one of the money exchanges just before you exit. Check and see which offers the best rates. You will need some money for the cab fare, and the rates are as good as anywhere else.
Let us know if we can help with any other questions.
Thanks again, Tommy.
I've printed everyone's replies. I'll also bring with me pictures of the Vinasun and Mai Linh taxis. I've listed down their phone numbers as well (Vinasun 08 38272727, Mai Linh 08 38383838) just to be sure. Their drivers wear a necktie, right? Thank you!
I posted a picture of the cab and if you look in the Vietnam blogs under TAXIS, you will see several other members warnings and pictures of the cab.
cheers tommy x
Thank you for the picture, Tommy. I'll check out the forums on Vietnam taxis.
I was able to get a Mai Linh taxi from the SGN airport to the hotel. The airport was quite busy then so had to wait for 15-20 minutes. There were many taxis from different companies lined up on the arrival area, but as everyone had said, one must take either Vinasun or Mai Linh. As soon as I got one, a man in necktie wearing a Mai Linh uniform came to us and took down information about the taxi and my destination. I felt safe during the trip even if it was in the wee hours, with the streets so dark and empty. The hotel was in the outskirts of district 1. Metered fare was 140,000 dong. Flag down rate was 11,000 dong.
Going around Saigon, we took Vinasun, especially since this was the preferred taxi at the hotel.
Many thanks to all for your advice.