Only Aeroflot flies direct from Moscow to Ho Chi Minh Airport – 2-4 flights a week, depending on the season, travel time is 10 hours. Those who need to fly on a specific day of the week can choose Vietnam Airlines flights with a transfer in Hanoi, China Eastern Airlines via Shanghai or Emirates via Dubai. But not only the flight time increases (at least 13 hours 20 minutes), but also the cost of tickets, and significantly. From St. Petersburg to Ho Chi Minh City, the fastest – in 13 hours – you can fly by Aeroflot with a transfer in Moscow.
Many cities in Southeast Asia are connected with Ho Chi Minh City by flights of the budget companies Air Asia, VietJet Asia, etc. The flight time from Kuala Lumpur is 2 hours, from Bangkok – 1 hour 40 minutes, from Hanoi – 2 hours.
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From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, trains run by the state railway company Duong Sat Viet Nam (off. site in English) – 5 times a day, 34 hours on the way. A seat in a shared carriage costs VND740,000. However, given the duration of the trip, it is better to take a ticket in the Soft Sleeper Cabin class car with 4-seater compartments, air conditioning, soft shelves and improved service (VND 1,260,000). Railway service also connects Ho Chi Minh with the popular resorts of Da Nang and Nha Trang.
From the resort of Vung Tau, located 60 km southeast, there are ferries (3 hours on the way) and hydrofoils of Vina Express and Greenlines (2 flights per hour from 7:00 to 16:00, 1 hour 15 minutes, ticket weekdays / weekends – 200,000 / 250,000 VND).
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Intercity buses in Vietnam are quite comfortable and inexpensive way to travel. For trips from Thailand and Cambodia, sleeper night buses (sleeping bus) are convenient, going to Ho Chi Minh from Bangkok (5 flights daily, 21 hours on the way, ticket 700,000 VND), Phnom Penh (7 flights, 6 hours, 230,000 VND) and Siem Reap (4 flights, 19 hours, 360,000 VND).
Intercity buses also arrive at the Ho Chi Minh bus station from Hanoi (on the way 30 hours, 950,000 VND), Nha Trang (10 hours, 340,000 VND), Da Nang (21 hours, 500,000 VND) and other cities of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh Hotels
Ho Chi Minh City has the best selection of hotels of any category in Vietnam – from modest hostels to luxury five-star hotels included in international hotel chains. Maximum comfort combined with a convenient location, restaurants, swimming pools, saunas, fitness centers and accommodation in a spacious double room is available for 2,400,000 VND per day.
3/4* hotels costing 420,000/ 1,200,000 VND are the choice of travelers who prefer the best value for money. The most numerous in the city are “kopeck pieces” worth 240,000 VND, quite suitable for a one-night stop.
Regardless of the number of stars, any hotel room will have a towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, slippers and Wi-Fi.
The most diverse and numerous category of housing is apartments. These include the five-star Sherwood Residence in the center at VND2,400,000, and the modest VND230,000 studio in a quiet urban area.
There are about 130 bus routes in Ho Chi Minh City, exclusively recommended for tourists, as they pass by all the main attractions. Buses are clean, comfortable and inexpensive, a free and understandable route map can be found at the Ben Thanh bus station. In particular, they can take you to the airport (No. 152), railway station (No. 149), Binh Tay market (No. 1), Mien Tay bus station (No. 102) and Mien Dong bus station (No. 26). The ticket is purchased on board.
The second most popular mode of transport – taxi – is also inexpensive and comfortable. Popular Companies: Ben Thanh Taxi, Future Taxi, Mai Linh Taxi, Saigon Taxi, Vina Taxi, Vinasun Taxi. Many cars are equipped with meters that automatically turn on when the car starts moving. The cost of a trip around the city is 80,000 VND, payment only in cash. It should be kept in mind that during peak hours – from 7:00 to 8:30 and from 16:30 to 18:00, the fastest mode of transport in Ho Chi Minh City is scooters and bicycles.
A great opportunity to enjoy the beauties of Ho Chi Minh City is from the water by renting a 5-meter motor boat. You can charter a cruise at Bach Dang Pier.
Scooter and bike rental
If you are brave, agile, skillful, you can rent a scooter and then buy yourself a T-shirt with the inscription “I Survived Saigon” in good conscience. Many people say that this is the best way to travel around the city (or to get to the nearest hospital faster). You can rent a vehicle everywhere: in a cafe, hotel, guest house or in the Pham Ngu Lao square area. Saigon Scooter Center (25/7 D Cuu Long, Tan Binh) offers classic Vespa and Lambretta rentals.
A nice alternative is group tours. For example, Vietnam Vespa Adventure (near Cafe Zoom) organizes tours of southern Vietnam, including Vung Tau, Mui Ne, and picturesque Dalat.
A bicycle is a worthy replacement for a scooter. Despite the chaotic traffic, it is quite safe to ride it around the city – the right lane on the carriageway of the streets is reserved for scooters and bicycles. Other vehicles are prohibited from entering. You can rent a bike in some hotels and numerous street shops.