When traveling to Vietnam, you can get on buses if you’re not brave enough to rent your own motorcycle to go around town. Each bus in Ho Chi Minh City has a sign just above the driver with its line number and the ward that it drives through. Instead of worrying about following its route to a bus stop, simply wait on the side of the road and flag your arm to get the driver’s attention for them to halt and pick you up when you see the bus you want. You can always ask the driver if they’re passing through your destination before getting on board. For expats, this may be the challenging part as a lot of them may not be able to understand or speak in English.

Once aboard, a ticketing agent will ask where you are headed and charge you according to the distance you plan to travel. Beyond that, it is just as easy to get off the bus. Some of the buses will have buttons on railings but if they don’t, just indicate to the ticketing agent that you want to get off and he will let the bus driver know. Some drivers can be impatient, so be careful when getting off the bus. Please refer to the city map for a simple bus map.

What are the benefits of taking a local bus?

If you are an adventurous person and appreciate gliding around the city in air conditioned comfort, take the bus. During heavy traffic periods, the bus can actually be faster as they have an informal right of way on the streets.

There are colour-coded route maps that will at least give you a rough idea of the routes. A map of Saigon’s bus routes can be found at the Ben Thanh Bus Station but be warned, it is more confusing than the London Tube map. There are also numerous privately operated bus companies that run mid length routes to destinations outside Ho Chi Minh City.

For more information on buses go to Eco Friendly Buses in Ho Chi Minh City