How Not To Be Cheated by Taxi at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, HCMC, Vietnam
As we provide the overseas support, we travel often. Usually we only provide travel tips in Japan but our main goal with this website is to make everyone's trip safe and happy one.
We have great response for the article " How Not To Be Cheated by Taxi at DPS Airport, Indonesia ".
In this article, we would like to show some tips for your trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Even you go to Hanoi or other main parts of Vietnam, some of the tips here can be useful.
Yes, you have Free WIFI at HCMC Airport
If you are flying to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, you arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Once you arrive at the airport, you have a free WIFI. If you are inside the airport building, first finish reading this before you get out of the building to lose your free WIFI. If you see below screen, you are on the right track to get the public WIFI. (Valid as of Oct. 2016)
The 4 tips
There are many taxi and car waiting in front of the arrival area. Many people will talk to and ask you "taxi? taxi?". Do not worry. We will give you the clear instruction how to " minimize (just minimize, our method is not fault proof!)" problems on your way from the airport to your stay.
There are only 4 tips. But very important 4 tips.
1. Use only two taxi companies: Vinasun and Mai Linh
2. Once you get out of the arrival area of the airport building, you walk to the LEFT
You ignore all call from the people talking to you. The Vinasun and Mai Linh taxi are waiting at the taxi area on the left when you are out of the arrival gate. There are other taxi companies in the line. You ignore all others and find the Vinasun and Mai Linh.
Not the silver good looking taxi, not the yellow good looking taxi, not the red good looking taxi! jus find these two Vinasun or Mai Linh taxi!
( Alternatively, you go to the right and go back into the airport building and go up to the departure gate area (just ask the airport staff how to go to the departure gate.). On that floor, you find taxi which drop the people who depart or see their family/friend off . You can also get Vinasun or Mai Lihn. In this case, you need to pay around 10,000 VND (dong) first when the taxi goes out of the airport. Then, you pay the amount based on the meter. Yet, this tip. 2 is much simpler and easier.)
3. Keep only small amount in your wallet
It is important to have little money (small bills) in your wallet. When pay, just give the right amount.
Even when you use two companies Vinasun Taxi and Mai Linh taxi, it is quite common that the driver gives you only "part of" change when you get off. Let say, if the taxi meter was 150,000 VND (dong), you give 200,000 dong. The driver only gives you 10 dong back as change and try to keep 40,000 dong. The driver tends to say "is this okay?" when he/she giving you not-enough change and tends to get out of the driver's seat to get your bag/luggage out from the rear to finalize the business!
When you get in Vinasun, the staff gives you the piece of paper about the driver who will drive the taxi for you. If you are cheated, you report to the taxi driver based on the information on the piece of paper.
4. Never take any car which parked in the parking lot in front of the airport
Once you are at the arrival area, there are people talking to you and giving you some price (something 140,000 dong to the city). These people will take you to the parking lot across the street. DO NOT EVER FOLLOW THEM. Do not even respond to any call until you are in the Vinasun or Mai Lihn tax.
Regarding 4. above, we have had a scary experience to share. we were almost in this " trap ". For the first time at the airport, we were not sure where to find the taxi so we wandered a bit. There was a guy talking to us. He was in his not-so-suspicious uniform (a white shirt with a short sleeves and long trousers). He showed us some card he had from his neck which looked like a company's entry card. We did not know what it was written there but he tried to impress us that he was an official taxi broker. He told us 140,000 dong for the city center.He took us to the parking lot across the street then put us at the back seats.
He told us to wait for a driver. A driver came and asked us if this was the first time to visit HCMC. We did not say it was the first time (careful with the answer to this type of question, better not to show that you are the beginner in the city. Drivers may charge you even more if they think you do not know anything!).
He started driving to the exit of the parking lot. Then, the driver asked us to pay a parking fee. The guy in the uniform told us 140,000 dong in total but now the driver asking us to pay something extra already. We said "no". The driver insisted on us paying the parking fee. We had some argument and we showed our wallet with only 150,000 dong. He was furious to find out we had not much money in the wallet.
He told us that we better take taxi and drove back to where the car parked. We tried to open the doors. But there were no levers to pull to open the doors. That moment we realized the levers of the back seats were deliberately cut so that the guests can not open the doors from inside!! This way, only the driver can open from outside. We were very lucky getting away from the scam car.
Imagine that you drive with that trap car out of the airport!
So keep these 4 points in mind when you fly to HCMC.
Uber in VIETNAM?
If you have Uber, Uber is available in Vietnam. Just use Uber. Make sure you have a skype credit so you can call the driver.
Trust your common sense and have a safe and fun trip!
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Source: Wikipedia, taxi company official websites
Disclaimer: Even though we try to make the info as updated and accurate but the accuracy of the information herein is not guaranteed by us. If you have any uncertainty, please contact the information source.