Updated: Feb 29
You should keep in mind how to go around by taxis in this big tourist city with plenty of transportation in order to avoid the taxi scams in Saigon.
This is your first time travelling to Ho Chi Minh City, and you are a little bit confused about the transportation here. You have heard some facts about Vietnamese taxis and you are scared of travelling around by taxis and getting overcharged. How to go by taxis in Saigon? Which taxi brands are truthful? How about the fares? Which ones are fake? How to avoid taxi scams? Your mind is full of questions, but don’t worry, here is all you need to make sure you will not be overcharged and get accurate taxi brands.
Two big traditional taxi brands are Vinasun and Mai Linh. Taxis of these two companies run every city around the country. Please carefully remember their logos or you should save the pictures on your phones and check it if possible. There are three ways to take taxis of these brands.
You can easily find taxis of these companies everywhere around the city, especially at the city center. There are many kinds of taxis, 5-seat cars, 8-seat cars with equivalent fare.
Mai Linh Taxi
For the Mai Linh Taxi, the price is different from each kind of car, so remember to check the fare tags on the car before you go. Moreover, the drivers of these two companies have to wear uniforms all the time. If not, don’t go with that driver.
You can book a taxi via phone from where you want to start. Then the offices from the central will call a driver to come and pick you up.
Vinasun taxi: 028 38 27 27 27
Mai Linh taxi: 028 38 38 38 38
Nowadays, thanks to the development of technology, you can book a taxi on by apps of these two companies. By this way, you can check the price from where you start to where you stop. However, sometimes the price is a little higher due to traffic jams or toll fees.
Vinasun taxi: http://vinasunapp.vn/
Mai Linh taxi: https://mailinh.vn/tin-tuc/ung-dung-dat-xe-taxi-mai-linh-mai-linh-bike-191.html
It should be noted that some places in Ho Chi Minh City collect toll fees, especially Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (10.000 VND/2019), avenues with BOT… The drivers should show you the fee tickets before collecting your money.
Although Vietnamese people are very friendly and nice with foreigners, some take advantage of tourism to make money, especially in terms of transportation. Although Vietnamese government is trying as much as possible to strictly inspect and find the people and companies running fake taxis and making money illegally, they are still smartly working under the laws. They imitate the original taxis such as logos, brand names or phone numbers.
That is why you should save the pictures of original taxis to compare which one is fake. However, sometimes you cannot compare which is fake and which is original, there are other clues for you. Whether they are wearing uniform or not. Does the driver have his/her name on the uniform? Is there any meter counter on the car?
The meter counter… What a bad story. Some travelers took a taxi from the airport and they didn’t know that it was a fake one. The meter counter was still correct until they arrived where they wanted to stop. The fare...of course highly overcharged.
One of the best ways to avoid fake taxis and being overcharged, you can book a car via Grab App which you can know how much it costs, how long it takes, how the price changes due to high demands and traffic jams…
The minus point of this way is you have to book online that you have to access wifi or mobile data. Moreover, due to the improvement of Grab in Vietnam, some people make money from this. Some fake drivers approach you and ask whether you want to book a car, they act like they are Grab drivers as they show you the booking screen via Grab. Then, they have their own ways to trick you. Therefore, don’t ask any strangers, especially drivers, to book a car for you.
Traditional motorbike taxis
In Vietnam, the motorbike taxi is much more popular than taxi. People go around by motorbikes and right, motorbike taxis (in Vietnamese “Xe ôm”) appeared from years ago. With this, because there are no clear rules for how much 1km costs; hence, ask the price before you take this. Ask them from where you start to where you stop costs how much money.
Technology motorbike taxis
The name “technology motorbike taxis” appeared from the day Grab and Uber came to Vietnam and started their business here. With this kind of motorbike, you can book Grab, Go-Viet, Be… many options for you. Sometimes, there are some promotions which make your trip cheaper.
Drivers have to wear uniforms and helmets belonging to their companies. Remember to check the information with the drivers before taking a seat on their motorbikes.
Despite the fact that taxi scams are still working illegally in Ho Chi Minh City, you have your own clue to distinguish from fake to original ones.
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