Take a Bus to Ho Chi Minh Airport

Editor’s Note: Update – May 2016

 So much has changed since I first wrote this post back in 2014, and all of it’s good for tourists and locals alike. Ho Chi Minh city has finally got itself not one, but two, airport shuttle buses, to rival those in other popular destinations around the world. I’ve also discovered a crazy useful App that replaces all those paper and online route maps (that always seemed to be down!!) So now a decision to take a bus to Ho Chi Minh Airport has never been so easy. And there’s a new Hop On – Hop Off Service to get around District 1 and China Town. Although, I’m not as enthusiastic about that one. You can read my reasons below.

Most tourists wouldn’t even consider taking a public bus when visiting Saigon, but there are lots of reasons why you should make it an option. As well as the comfortable 152 bus to Ho Chi Minh airport, there’s also two dedicated Airport Shuttle buses to popular District 1 destinations including to Ben Thanh bus station near the market. The 152 costs between 30 cents and a dollar, depending on the amount of luggage you have. And the new airport shuttles cost between 12 000 and 40 000 VND (< $2), regardless of how much luggage you have. That’s much, much cheaper than the already inexpensive taxi option.

Check out the pros and cons of taking a bus and some handy tips here.

Online Resources

I’ve totally scrapped the links to all the other online routes and timetables. They were forever going down and creating frustration for my readers and me. The absolutely best way to find a bus route to where you want to go is to either download this fantastic FREE App or use the web version. It’s in both Vietnamese and English and is incredibly easy to use. CLICK HERE to access the APP.

The only downside at this point is it doesn’t have the details of the new SHUTTLE BUS. I’ll give you more on that below.

Here’re a couple of screen shots to help you find your way:

bus to Ho Chi Minh Airport

Crazy, helpful bus APP to help you find your way around Ho Chi Minh City

Bus to Ho Chi Minh Airport

Look up the entire route including each stop along the way

Bus to Ho Chi Minh Airport

Use the navigation function to find transfer point and connecting buses.

New HCMC Airport Shuttle Buses

Bus to Ho Chi Minh airport

The bright yellow buses are easy to spot – New, modern, spacious, comfortable, regular, convenient

Hooray!!! HCMC now has its own Airport Shuttle Buses. Click To TweetRoute 109 from the Airport to District 1 has been operating since mid-March 2016 and is proving a hit with locals and visitors alike.It terminates at Park 23/9, right near Pham Ngu Lao backpacker district and goes via Ben Thanh Bus station (it leaves from the same platform as the 152 at this station).

The trip costs 20 000 VND (<$1 USD) to District 1 and only 12 000 VND if you don’t go all the way.  Just tell the staff where you want to get off and they’ll tell you the price) And, there’s no extra charge for luggage. The buses are air conditioned, have non-slip floors, brand new modern interiors and large open areas to put your bags. And for your safety and security, video cameras have been installed. Only drivers with 5 to 6 years experience are allowed to drive the bus which hopefully makes for a smoother and safer ride.

Written information on the bus is in both Vietnamese and English, and staff speak adequate English to help out.

The bus leaves every 15 to 20 minutes between the hours of 5.30 am and 1.30 am. Time to the city depends on traffic but should be under 50 minutes.

Route 49, launched on the 19th May and is slightly more expensive but has more stops near the big hotels. Like route 109, the route 49 is operated with modern buses and trained staff with English and communication skills. It charges passengers a flat fare of VND40,000 and takes 30-40 minutes to complete the whole journey. The service is available between 5 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. the next day.

Route 49 goes via  Tan Son Nhat Airport’s international terminal – domestic terminal – Truong Son – Tran Quoc Hoan – Hoang Van Thu – Nguyen Van Troi – Nam Ky Khoi Nghia – Le Duan – Cong Xa Paris – Dong Khoi – Dong Du – Hai Ba Trung – Ton Duc Thang – Ham Nghi – Ben Thanh – Pham Ngu Lao – Nguyen Trai – Le Lai – Nguyen Huu Canh – Cach Mang Thang 8 – Dien Bien Phu – Nam Ky Khoi Nghia – Nguyen Van Troi – Phan Dinh Giot – Truong Son – International terminal

The bright yellow buses are easy to spot, and the ones I’ve seen are very spacious and uncrowded. This might change as the service becomes more widely known.

bus to Ho Chi Minh Airport

Les than 1 USD to get to the city in comfort.

 

Note: Some locals still prefer the 152 as it has a broader reach around the city and is cheaper if you have little or no luggage. But for most visitors to town, this new service is a clear winner for cost, comfort, and convenience. 

Key Bus Stations and Transfer Points.

For tourists wanting to get to the main sights around Ho Chi Minh City, the bus station near Ben Thanh Market will be the most useful hub. The station is right across the roundabout from Ben Thanh Market and is called Ga HKXB Sai Gon. The actual address is Pham Ngu Lao Street.

Ben Thanh Bus Station

Ben Thanh Bus Station is just across the roundabout from the iconic market

Transfer points around the city facilitate a wider coverage by connecting buses. Two of these include

  • Cho Lon Station District 5 and
  • Mien Dong Station District Binh Thanh

For catching buses to other destinations in Vietnam, – See THIS POST that has information on intercity buses and bus stations.

Popular Routes for Tourists

Bus to Ho Chi Minh Airport (Tan Son Nhat)

Route 152 –  This bus to Ho Chi Minh Airport is air-conditioned and the cheapest way to and from the city from Tan Son Nhat if you travel before 6 pm.  The new Shuttle Bus (see above) has much broader hours of operation and is almost as cheap, especially if you have luggage.  The cost is 6,000 VND (~30 cents) per person plus a fee for bags that varies from about 4000 VND for a smaller bag to 14 000 VND (70 cents) for two larger ones. The Airport is Stop 36,  Ben Thanh Market Stop 13 and Pham Ngu Lao-Bui Vien area, Stop 12.

Upon exiting the airport, turn right and you will see the bus waiting there. If not, walk down to the domestic terminal – about a 5-minute walk.  The bus waits across a small road. There is no signage indicating where the bus stop is.

Unless it is after 6 pm, IGNORE Taxi drivers and scammers that will try and tell you there are no more airport buses. The taxi rank attendants, easily identifiable by their uniforms will usually point out the spot to stand and wait if you ask politely.

You can also use this route to get close to Reunification Palace, The War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Central Post Office.

Other Handy Bus Routes

Get THIS APP to find exact locations of the stops.

Route 38, – New World Hotel (The stop (nr 8) is in Nguyen Thi Nghia) near Ben Thanh Market  to Damsen Water Park (Last Stop)

Routes 35– Ben Thanh Market to the Jade Emperor Pagoda. Get off at stop 29 at 87 Dien Ben Phu just before Victoria Healthcare. Cross the road and walk down the other side of the street (against the traffic) until you reach Mai Thi Luu and turn left.

Route 18 – Ben Thanh Market to Saigon Zoo. Get off at stop 13 on Le Duan, at Sofitel Plaza. Walk straight up the street to reach the main entrance.

Route 1 – Ben Thanh Market to Cholon (District 5 -China Town)

Route 102 – Ben Thanh Market to District 4 – Dragon House Wharf and the Ho Chi Minh Museum. The bus stop is on the corner of Pham Hong Thai and Le Lai street rather than the actual Ben Thanh bus station.The museum is about a 450m walk from stop 5, (first stop over the canal). Walk straight towards the river. Cross over Nguyen That Tan and turn left.

Routes 65 will get you close to the Saigon Train Station from Ben Thanh Market, but you’ll still have a little bit of a walk. Get off at stop 10 or 11 on Cach Mang Thang Tam.

Hopefully, some of you, especially those of you on limited budgets, will find this information useful in getting around Ho Chi Minh City. The bus system, including the bus to Ho Chi Minh airport, provides a cheap and reliable way to get around the city. Sacrifice a few creature comforts and you are guaranteed a genuinely local experience.

Hop On – Hop Off Bus

As of late May 2016, Ho Chi Minh City has it’s first Hop On – Hop Off bus service. For 199 000 VND (approximately $9), You can visit the major tourist sites in District 1. Frankly, many of these attractions are so close; you are better off walking between them. Especially if it’s peak hour (See my Day 1 walking tour HERE) There are a couple of the stops further afield – the zoo, the pier, and the  Skydeck. But a taxi between them will total up to around the same and save you heaps if there are more than one of you. However, you do have access to audio information in English, French and Chinese, so that might be a big advantage.  (Or, you could book a free tour with one of the guys at Saigon Hotpot and get your own personal guide) At the moment, it appears the District 1 schedule is every 30 minutes between 8 am and 5.30 pm.

For 149 000 (7 USD) you can get to the main sites in Cho Lon (China Town). Again, once you’re there, the stops are really close. There are some much cheaper alternatives available. A number 1 bus from Ben Thanh market to Cho Lon bus station will cost you 6000 VND (30 cents) either way. A taxi will set you back around 50 000 VND. I don’t think you would spend an hour at any of these sites, so you would spend a lot of time hanging around waiting for the next service (and probably walk there very easily). At the moment, it only runs hourly from 1 to 5 pm (finishing at 6 pm). That might change in the future if it proves popular.

You can combine both tours for 299 000 ($14) which will save you money, but I’m just not convinced it’s worth it. ESPECIALLY if there are more than one person.

So I’m not saying don’t take it. I commend the company for trying to make things easier for tourists to see the sights around town. I haven’t listened to the audio guide, but I’m sure it’s wonderful. Just be aware of the alternatives and the current limitations.

 

Note: I do not receive any payment for this post (or any others on the site for that matter!). I do receive a small amount of money by allowing advertisements on the site and any purchases made through those links.

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63 Responses

  1. Hi, I am going to hcmc next week. And I travel by my self. My plane landed at 9 pm. Is there any buses left that time? I heard the is none after 6 pm. Thank you

    • Sharyn says:

      The new airport shuttles run until after midnight so you should be fine.They’re the bright yellow buses. Just tell the guys selling the tickets where you are headed and they’ll tell you which bus to get on and when to get off. If you’re headed to the backpacker district it will drop you off right on Pham Ngu Lao.

  2. Yen Thanh Le says:

    The busmap.vn application has now updated for all new bus routes in Ho Chi Minh city.
    We also can view the real waiting time of buses at each station (just need to click on the station icon on the map).

    Cheers,
    Busmap team

  3. Karen says:

    This blog is really helpful and the effort you put in is greatly appreciated🙏👍 I only wished I’d seen it before we arrived to HCMC (slightly cheated by taxi!!) Fly back to HCMC from Phu Quoc and will be using bus to travel from airport to De Tham Street and also back to airport then when we fly back to Portugal. So thanks 🙏 x

  4. Jonathan says:

    Hi Sharyn,

    You help a lot of people on this site. Thank you.

    I will arrive at the Ho Chi Minh International airport very late Wednesday night/very early Thursday morning t 12:05 a.m. Will the 109 shuttle bus from the airport still be in operation at that hour. And is that the only bus available at that time?

  5. Geoff says:

    Greenlines DP (brand new) catamaran ferries are running to Vung Tau from the same place in HCMC but go to the second wharf in Vung Tau. This is located beside the ‘Big Mountain’ Cable Car. Probably an extra 20-30kVND if you are staying at Back Beach for a taxi. This is their website, http://greenlines-dp.com/en/service . Please note the Vina/Petro Express licences have expired 31DEC16 after 20 years of service but say their ferries are in for ‘repair’. There is a petition to extend their licences until 2020. Happy travels!!

    • Sharyn says:

      That’s awesome news, Geoff. I knew the old ones were stopping. I’m glad there’s a reliable replacement. It’s almost enough to make me want to take a trip. I’m sure there’s been a lot of changes since I last visited in 2011. I’ll update the details throughout the site.

  6. Pepe says:

    thank u so much for the info … so I can catch 152 from bus stop near Ben Thanh market (District 1) to Saigon international airport right? Also, do u know of shuttles from the airport to Vung Tau please?

    • Sharyn says:

      Yes you can take the 152 at Ben Thanh. And you can catch the new yellow airport shuttles there as well. Now that the ferry is being stopped to Vung Tau, I’m not sure where the buses are going from. I’ll check it out and get back to you. In the meantime, just drop in at any of the tour agencies around town and they can assist.

  7. eriko says:

    thank you for posting this very useful information!!!!!!!!!
    i was thinking to take a taxi from airport to district 1, however i found your very useful information of shuttle bus.
    thank you very much!!!!!

    • Sharyn says:

      You’re welcome. MAke sure you catch the right one. They have just introduced a new one that goes to Mien Dong bus station. Don’t take that one.

  8. ann says:

    hi I am staying near ben thah market ie silverland central hotel. which stop which I alight by taking bus 109? do I need to walk far from where I alight to the hotel?

    • Sharyn says:

      Just show the driver the address you want to get off at and he’ll advise which stop. I think probably the one before Ben Thanh but it might be the one before that.

  9. Geoff says:

    Oops I meant the ‘109’ yellow bus service. Please amend…

  10. Geoff says:

    Hi, took this service twice on a recent trip to Vietnam after finding this information page.

    This was my 8th trip to Vietnam and usually took the ‘152’ but had just missed the bus after a flight delay and the battle of the immigration queues (hehe).

    GOOD NEWS!! Is as written: 20kVND to the bus station at the market. New buses, good driver, great air-conditioning. WI-FI and VERY comfortable. Highly recommended if you are a backpacker or have lots of luggage (big bags). If you NEED to take a taxi go to the Mai Linh counter in arrivals and there is also a ‘pop-up’ counter charging 180kVND for City service.

    BAD NEWS! If it is your 1st trip to HCMC forget how close things are on the map…traffic in HCMC can and will be a shock for you. The route goes through 3 of the heaviest trafficked roads in HCMC. Especially via Independence (Reunification) Palace. The 1km road can take 30 minutes to get through. So, the trip from TSN airport to the market station can take 1.5 hours and the return to TSN just over an hour!! It did for me and I needed to catch other transport at the markets. My plans had to change and after 12 hours of flying took an extra 3 hours to get to my destination. PLEASE allow for this to avoid disappointment as road conditions can vary dramatically in HCMC .

    ‘The 152’
    The ‘152’ is consistent at about 45 minutes as it diverts away from these roads. It is a clunky older bus but 5kVND and sometimes they charge 5k for bags…so if you have to be somewhere within an hour of arrival take the ‘152’.

    All said, I will ensure I allow for the extra time and use the ’49’

    Thank you Sharyn for the page and highlighting transport alternatives.

    • Sharyn says:

      You’re welcome. I caught it myself the other day at around 6pm from the airport and it took an hour to the final station at Pham Ngu Lao which was fine because my friend and I were catching up chatting and barely noticed the traffic. But yes, you need to leave enough time if you are catching a plane in busy times. Yes the 152 is convenient but it starts later and end far earlier than the others. The yellow buses go right through to 1am in the morning.

  11. magda says:

    hi, i bought a ticket to kuala lumpur and i have 9 hours transit in Ho Chi Minh airport. do you have any suggestion for me to spend my time ? i really like your blog, but i have no idea about Vietnam and the time that i need to travel around the airport and cuty.
    thank you so much 🙂

  12. geoff barnes says:

    Very helpful blog, thank you

    • Sharyn says:

      You’re welcome. I actually took the shuttle the other day. It was slow in peak hour but everything is at that time of day. There was barely anyone on it. It’s air-conditioned, clean and the people very helpful.

  13. Kion says:

    Hi, I have little bit confusing. About the Route 152 to the city is backward route right? Then exit the airport after 6PM, is it still have any bus available? If not, what should I do?

    • Sharyn says:

      Take one of the Airport shuttles (109 or 49) I mentioned in the article. They run til very late and on a regular basis. They are a little bit more expensive than the 152 but superior in comfort and room for your luggage. When I caught one at peak hour last month there was barely anyone on board. They are both bright yellow, so easy to find and stop right outside both the international and domestic terminals.

  14. caroline pisani says:

    How can I travel from from Hano Noi Bai international Airport to Tan San Nhat international airport?
    thanks

    • Sharyn says:

      As they’re at opposite ends of the country, I’d recommend flying. Try VietjetAir and Jetstar for the cheapest prices. The domestic terminals are very close to the international ones and you can walk between them.

  15. lynm says:

    hi,
    do u know where i could take a bus from the ho chi minh city airport to mui ne?
    taxi a bit pricey for my budget, can u please help me what the best way and affortable to go i n mui ne ,ty

    • Sharyn says:

      Just talk to any travel agent in the backpacker district near Pham Ngu Lao/Bui Vien. They’ll know. Alternatively, take the train to Phan Thiet and take a local bus from there.

    • Sharyn says:

      But I just read the train line just north of Saigon is damaged and you have to take a 30 minute taxi ride to get to the first station. So best to take the bus.

  16. florence says:

    OMG this is so helpful. thanks a lot!!! You are the best!

    • Sharyn says:

      You’re welcome. I took the bus myself the other night. IT does take a while in peak hour (but no longer than a taxi mind you) so make sure you leave plenty of time if you are departing early evening.

  17. Kerri says:

    Is there a website about the new shuttle buses? Where do they wait?

    • Sharyn says:

      There is an information desk at the international airport. They will direct you exactly where to wait. Also a good idea to give them the address of your hotel and they will advise the best stop to get off. Both Airport shuttles stop at the international and domestic terminals. You can’t miss them, they are BRIGHT yellow.

  18. Constance says:

    If I want go to Saigon Central Post office from airport, so I can either can take route 152 (green bus-VND5000) or route 49 (yellow bus-VND20,000) . is it correct ?

    • Sharyn says:

      Sorry, neither of those are going to get you to the post office. They come down Nam Ky Khoi Nghia and turn off onto Nguyen Dinh Chieu. It’s close but still about 6 blocks away. Use the Bus App http://busmap.vn/map/navigation/2// in navigation mode to see if you can make connections for the 152. I just tried it and all the options given show it’s still a bit of a walk.

      You can find the 152 route here http://busmap.vn/map/lookup/route/37

      Route 109 is International Terminal – Domestic Terminal (Tan Son Nhat International Airport) – Truong Son – Tran Quoc Hoan – round about of Lang Cha Ca – Hoang Van Thu – Nguyen van Troi – Nam Ky Khoi Nghia – Nguyen Dinh Chieu – Cach Mang Thang Tam – Pham Hong Thai – Le Lai – round about of Ben Thanh – Ben Thanh Station – Pham Ngu Lao – Park 23/9

  19. Stewart says:

    I asked about the shuttle bus to airport at a travel agent in district 1 and he sold be the shuttle bus tickets and showed me where to catch it along pham ngu lao street 40000 dong a ticket, easy as pie.

    • Sharyn says:

      Great. Was that the small airport transfer buses or the big Airport Shuttle?

      • Stewart says:

        The tickets have got a photo of the small yellow shuttle buses on them! So i guest its the small buses.

        • Sharyn says:

          Interesting. Sounds like they’ve met the competition. The rides arranged by hostels and travel agents in that area used to be $8 USD!

          • Stewart says:

            Hi Sharyn,
            they are open tickets so you can use them anytime, they have Satsco emblem and VE XE shuttle bus on the tickets. If thats any help?

          • Sharyn says:

            Thanks for that. I’m heading down that way this week. I’ll do some detecting 🙂 cheers for letting me know.

  20. papaya says:

    Do we need to provide exact change for the bus ticket?

    • Sharyn says:

      Not that I’m aware of. But it will be more difficult for them to change very big notes. If you change money at the airport exchange counters, make them give you at least a couple of 50 000 VND notes. If you use the ATM, take out e.g. 4.9 million rather than 5 million. That will ensure you get at least some 100 000 notes, rather than all 500 000. There are small cafes around the arrivals area, you can always buy a bottle of water or something to get some change.

  21. stevepnza says:

    This is a really useful blog / website, thanks.

  22. Dan says:

    You may not reply in time but i need to go to the airport tomorrow from ben thahn. Google maps is telling me to take two buses, the 14 then 8 and will take 90 mins. Do i have to go to the bus station?

  23. Angie says:

    Until what time is the ben thanh bus station?

    • Sharyn says:

      Hi Angie, so sorry for the late reply. I’ve been on holidays with no internet access. I’m not sure what time it closes. Best to go through the links in this post to whatever bus route you want and see what time the last one leaves or arrives at Ben Thanh. Even though it may stay open late, your bus might not be arriving or departing.

  24. Bernadette Roque says:

    hi, what’s the easiest way going to Saigon Train Station from the airport?

    • Sharyn says:

      Hoping you got my email, Bernadette. I’m in Cuba at the moment with limited internet access. Taxi, in either Vinasun orMailinh. Read my blog on taxi scams to avoid the tricksters.

  25. Ania says:

    How long is the ride from the airport to the market or the other way round please?

    • Sharyn says:

      It totally depends on traffic and the time of day. Anything form from around 40 minutes to over an hour or more on bad days. Leave yourself plenty of time at peak times.

  26. Lee Chong Fatt says:

    thank you. it is very helpful

  1. October 21, 2014

    […] can check out key routes for tourists and how to catch a bus and visit key sites  here. This includes the very handy bus to Ho Chi Minh […]

  2. June 10, 2015

    […] to airport you can get help from  http://www.HoChiMinhCityHighlights.com.  U can board the bus Pham Ngu Lao Street which is very near Ben Thanh […]

  3. November 2, 2016

    […] neue Buslinie 109. Mehr dazu und zu den Haltepunkten hier….nur soviel hat bestens geklappt: Take a Bus to Ho Chi Minh Airport – Ho Chi Minh City Highlights Da der Wetterbericht ab 14 Uhr starken Regen und Gewitter vorhergesagt hatte, machte ich förmlich […]

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