Ho Chi Minh City is legendary for its chaotic and frenetic traffic.
At first glance, the sheer number of vehicles on the road can be intimidating. Observing the street from one of the many high-rise buildings in the city, it appears as an army of ants scurrying around without any rhythm or reason.
However, once you enter the biomass and spend some time learning the traffic flow, getting around town isn’t as difficult as it initially seems. The principal means of transportation include walking, motorbikes, buses, cars, taxis, motorbike taxis (xe ôm), water taxis and bicycles. There’s also a metro system being built, but the finishing date is still written in the stars.
Ride hailing apps like Grab and Uber enjoy great popularity for they are a cheaper and more convenient alternative to traditional taxis and motorbike taxis.
In general, mass transit clearly takes a back seat to personal transport. Saigon has some of the highest personal transportation rates outside of North America. It is estimated that personal vehicle travel is 91 percent, leaving just 9 percent for public transport.
Motorbikes remain the most popular mode of transportation with a staggering 7.6 million registered two-wheeled vehicles compared to 700,000 cars on the road, but movement via four wheels arise, becoming more popular among the local population.
With an average of 1,000 new automobiles purchased every day, the city’s infamous traffic jams will be even more congested in the future.