Saigon City Guide

3 Helpful Tips Before You Arrive at Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport

In this article, we will share some helpful tips that will allow you to feel more comfortable before you arrive in Saigon, particularly at Tan Son Nhat International Airport

1. Visa
- Getting your visa on arrival is a lot cheaper than applying outside of Vietnam. You can save double or triple the amount just by applying when you arrive to SGN airport.
- If you have accidentally used a company online which turned out to be a scam, make sure you report the name of the company to avoid problems for other travellers.
- If you’re going to apply for your visa online, be sure to make sure that the visa company is trustworthy, because there are a lot of websites that are scams. Check with a travel company, or a tour company before applying to confirm that it’s a legitimate visa website Viet Nam's visa exemption list (updated on January 2016)

2. Timing
- The service at immigration can take a long or short time, depending on if it’s high or low season.
- If you have a connecting international or domestic flight, make sure that you have at least three hours in between your landing time and departure time.
- Delays in flights can depend on the airline and the company that is the most reliable is Vietnam Airlines.

3. Transportation to the City
- Taking a taxi is the most convenient method of transport into the city. Vina Sun taxi or Mai Linh taxi group is the most reliable, and the most fair with prices.

Vinasun taxi

Make sure that you write down the number of the taxi (you can see it in the front or the back), the license plate number and the taxi name, or have someone who works for the taxi company to arrange a taxi for you, and they will write down all of the information about the taxi, so you won’t have to worry about that. Writing down this information is very important, because if you leave any of your belongings in the taxi then it won’t be a problem to contact which taxi you took to find them. If you don’t have the information, then they can’t help you.
If your hotel is in District 1, you should be paying 150,000-200,000 VND (7-10 USD). If your hotel is in District 2 or 7, you should not be paying more than 250,000 VND (13 USD) included toll fee at the airport (about 0.5 to 1 USD). The number shown on the taxi meter box may look confusing, since sometimes it shows so many numbers, but we will show you how to read it! 

Taxi in Saigon

If the meter box shows 35.0 it means 35,000 VND (about 2 USD). NOT 350,000 VND
If it shows 56.5 it means 56,500 VND (about 3 USD). NOT 565,000 VND
Basically just add two zeros to the number shown on the meter box, and that will be the amount that you pay.

If you think that you’ve been ripped off by the taxi, please contact the people who work at the hotel immediately to help you, or call Tiger Tours at +84 129 586 8586, we are happy to help!
- Taking a private car from the companies at the airport is about 15-30 USD depending on the size of the car. There are several companies that arrange private cars and they can show you where to go to get one. You’ll need to pay the fee at the counter, so that there is no need to pay the driver anything when you arrive at the hotel unless you want to leave him/her a tip. The person that arranged the private car for you will give you a small ticket with information about the driver, the plate number of the car, etc.
- Taking a private car from a transportation company, hotel, or tour company is a little bit more expensive than private transportation (20-35 USD depending on the car size) from the airport, but the driver will wait for you to arrive (sometimes they will wait 2-3 hours if your flight is delayed!), the price normally included all toll fee and they will make sure that you get to your hotel safely. This is a lot cheaper to use if you’re travelling with a group, because the cars can have up to 16 seats, but they also have an option of a bus with 45 seats.

By Tiger team