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How To Reach Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, is the commerical hub and financial capital of Vietnam. After being colonized by the French in 1859, the city has finally recovered and is turning into a popular tourist destination. The city offers visitors an interesting mix of French architecture, ancient pagodas and delicious Vietnamese cuisine. The city of Ho Chi Minh City is best reached via flight, with a number of international and local flights landing at the Tan Son Nhat Airport daily. Travel by train is terribly arduous and not recommended due to the massive travel time. Getting around locally in the city is efficient and easy due to the availability of taxis, busses and motorbike taxis at every corner. Indian travellers have the option of getting a visa on arrival, by simply applying online to the Vietnam Immigration Office.
Tan Son Nhat Airport is the closest to the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, approximately only 6 km away. The airport has two terminals that receive both national and international flights with a high frequency. To travel to and from the airport there are a number of budget busses and mini taxis that are available to all visitors. Most flights to Ho Chi Minh are via 1 to 2 stops, depending on the choice of airline. Thai Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airlines are the most popular options for tourists from India. Most flights have at least 1 to 2 stops. This is easily the best and the most efficient way to reach your destination.
There is a highly limited number of bus and taxi services travelling to Ho Chi Minh City. Visitors are restricted to only getting a bus from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to travel through the Cambodian perimeter entrance which takes visitors to Moc Bai, the most suitable means to reach Saigon. From here it’s a 6 hour journey to reach Ho Chi Minh via numerous bus and taxi options. This is not the most ideal way to reach your destination as it is quite time consuming.
Reaching Ho Chi Minh City via train is highly time consuming and impractical. The trip is concluded in three phases. Firstly, visitors need to take a train from Nanning or Beijing in China. Following this, visitors catch the train at the perimeter of Pingxiang/Dong Dang or endure a 4 hour stopover for entry to the Nanning Express. On arriving at Hanoi, the Reunification Express finally helps visitors reach their destination via a ludicrous 40 hour journey, landing at Saigon Railway station. Not the best way to reach this beautiful city.
Getting around Ho Chi Minh City locally is extremely easy and affordable. Apart from exploring the city on foot, there are multiple transportation options available in the form of local busses, taxis and motorbike taxis for visitors to choose from. Visitors should be mindful of the fact that during peak traffic hours there can be nasty traffic jams. It is also important to note in the case of motorbike taxis, visitors must be given a helmet to wear when riding as a passenger or could end up being fined by the traffic police. Lastly, visitors should be ready to bargain to get a decent fair when using the taxis and motorbike taxis.