a VirtualTourist member
I'm going to Ho Chi Minh and will arrive past midnight on Feb 9, the eve of Tet. Here are my questions:
1. Will there still be taxi booths of Vinasun and Mai Linh inside the airport at that time?
2. If not, will there still be taxis outside the airport?
3. Will taxi fare increase because it's Tet?
4. Is it safe to take a taxi (Vinasun/Mai Linh) alone at that hour? Or is it better for me to stay at the airport and wait until 5am or 6am before I take a taxi to the hotel?
My other option is to book a hotel taxi or an airport transfer service for my peace of mind. However, I just find the fee too high. It's 4 times more than what I would pay for a taxi (Tet surcharge). Thank you!
Sorry for posting this question twice. I'm new here and didn't know then if my first question was posted.
Taxis are available at the airport for the times of every flight. It might be difficult because that's the busiest night of the year. But I'm betting you will be able to get a taxi at that time. There is no place to sit inside the terminal. I saw a Burger King on the outside of the Arrivals terminal. It might be open if you are there all night. But, best to get a taxi and head downtown. If you're heading to district 1 backpack area, the driver might take a detour to the west of the city to get around the huge congestion. This will cost a few dollars more, but the driver may refuse to try to go through the congested part of downtown. Normal trip would be about 120,000 dong ($6 USD) to get to the backpack area. And he most likely will not speak English, even if he's able. Insist on the meter as well. You will probably be asked for25 if you go for a fixed price. Don't get into the taxi without knowing if he will use meter or a lesser fixed price. If you think you were dealt with fairly by the taxi you might want to tip about2, or 40,000 dong.
I've never experienced a Tet surcharge for any services. They may try to hustle you for it or even insist on it. Just get another taxi. I agree with you about the hotel van charge for airport rides. They are way too high.
Also, never get out on the street side door of a taxi. For one thing, it's against the law, even if the driver opens that door. I saw some lady get out of the street side and a motorcycle came alongside and swiped her purse. Taxi drivers are not allowed to let you out on the street side. If they do it's possible you're being setup by the driver for a snatch and grab. That's just a word of caution.
Better to be safe than sorry.
Thank you very much for the helpful tips and advice, Mike. I will keep those in mind.