Getting Around the City by Ho Chi Minh City Metro
Regarding public transport in Ho Chi Minh City, buses are the only option available now for you get around the city on a budget before the metro is scheduled to operate officially in 2021. Ho Chi Minh City Metro will enhance transport infrastructure and improve accessibility to tourist attractions around the city.
While the number of personal vehicles has been booming in Vietnam, especially in big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, public transport is woefully underdeveloped. First-time visitors to Vietnam are easily blown away by the chaos of motorbikes galore and noises from vehicles. Ho Chi Minh City metro hopefully offers tourists better travel experiences in the busiest city of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City Metro Map
Ho Chi Minh’s first metro network aims to cut down on heavy traffic congestion in the city center. There are six urban lines and three lines of tramway and monorail. The total length of the project is 174km. Ben Thanh Market which is already a crucial hub for bus traffic continues to serve as a crucial hub connecting several lines. The six urban lines are:
♣ Line No.1 (Saigon Line): Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien (projected to extend to Binh Duong Province) | 20km
♣ Line No.2 (Ba Queo Line): Thu Thiem – Northwest Town of Cu Chi | 48km
♣ Line No.3A (Tan Kien Line): Ben Thanh – Tan Kien | 19.8km; Line No.3B (Thi Nghe Line): Cong Hoa Junction – Hiep Binh Phuoc | 12.2km
♣ Line No.4A (Go Vap Line): Thanh Xuan – Hiep Phuoc | 35.75km; Line No.4B (Tan Son Nhat Line): Gia Dinh Park – Lang Cha Ca | 3.2km
♣ Line No.5 (Can Giuoc Line): New Can Giuoc Bus Station – Saigon Bridge | 23.39km
♣ Line No.6 (Dam Sen Line): Ba Queo Junction – Phu Lam Junction | 6.8km
Three lines of tramway and monorail are as follows:
♣ Tramway 1: Ba Son – Vo Van Kiet – Ly Chieu Hoang – Western Bus Station
♣ Monorail 2: National Highway 50 – Xuan Thuy (District 2) – Binh Quoi
♣ Monorail 3: Junction Nguyen Oanh and Phan Van Tri – Quang Trung Software City – Tan Chanh Hiep Railway Station
The fares on Ho Chi Minh City Metro will be set low around VND 15,000 ($0.65). Compared to buses, the prices range from VND 5,000 – 7,000. Bus #152 (Trung Son Residential Zone – Ben Thanh Market – Tan Son Nhat International Airport) costs VND 6,000/way.
Visit Top Attractions by Metro
When Ho Chi Minh City metro lines start operations officially, tourists will have more than one option to travel around the city. Here are some must-see tourist attractions every visitor should know before planning for a tour in Ho Chi Minh City.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the best Catholic churches in Ho Chi Minh City. The cathedral was built with all the original building materials imported from France. It features unique neo-Romanesque elements including the two giant bell towers which are also the biggest bell towers in Vietnam. It is always among one of the places to visit first when tourists come to Ho Chi Minh City. Don’t forget to get your camera ready for stunning photos.
- Location: No.1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
- Openings: 8.30 AM – 10.00 AM | 2.30 PM – 3.30 PM (Monday to Friday)
- Entrance fee: None
Ben Thanh Market
You will have amazing shopping experiences at Ben Thanh Market where the sheer number of goods attack all of your five senses. The distinct cream-colored market is a cultural hub that blends the old values with modern highlights. Visiting Ben Thanh Market is a good way to dig into the local way of life that is hard to be found in air-conditioned malls.
This is also a fantastic street food paradise where you will find some of the best street food in Saigon. There are dishes for everyone, from the traditional Pho, Com tam to sweet soup desserts to cool you down in the scorching heat. From Ben Thanh Market, you can reach Le Cong Kieu Antiques. Street or Fine Arts Museum in walking distance.
- Location: Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward
- Openings: 6.00 AM – 6.00 PM (day market)
- Entrance fee: None
» See more on Saigon Street Food & Where to Find Them
This is a historic place ‘witnessed’ a remarkable moment in Vietnam’s history when a tank from the North Vietnamese army crashed down its gate, marking the reunification of the South and North Vietnam. Tourists can travel back in time to see secret rooms, antique furniture, and bunkers.
Before you get inside the palace, the oval front yard of green grass creates the feeling of peacefulness and tranquility. There is a semicircular lake with lotus and water lilies evoking the image of ancient temples and pagodas. The palace is also surrounded by lush lawns, old gardens, precious potted plants and four tennis courts.
- Location: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
- Openings: 7.30 AM – 4.00 PM (Ticket office closes from 11.00 AM to 1.00 PM)
- Entrance fee: VND 40,000
Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Nguyen Hue Walking Street is packed with tourists both day and night, making it a hotspot connecting street bands, street artists and a large number of indigenous people. It is a 900-meter long pedestrian strip that runs from the People’s Committee Building down to the Saigon River. There are some interesting skyscrapers along the way too.
You can enjoy the lively local vibes as many Saigonese gather here to walk, socialize, sing, dance and ride hoverboards. As you walk along the street, visit some souvenir shops to buy something to impress your friends and relatives at home. If you want to escape from the crowds and enjoy a cup of coffee, visit the Cafe Apartment, choose a good seat and watch the world go by.
Cu Chi Tunnels
Cu Chi Tunnels is located 70 km to the northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. It is an intricate underground system that will give you an insight into the Vietnam War and Viet Cong guerilla fighters. In addition to the underground labyrinth, you can explore Ben Duoc Temple and experience Cu Chi Tunnels firing range.
If you want to travel by bus, take Bus #13 from Ben Thanh Bus Station to Cu Chi Station, and then hop on Bus #79 and pay attention to the road or ask the driver to notify you to get off at the right stop. With the upcoming metro line, the locals and tourists can reach Cu Chi Tunnels much more conveniently.
Ho Chi Minh City is an interesting mix of different cultures and unique cuisines. A trip to this bustling city will become a souvenir of fantastic memories to bring back home. Whether you are into energetic vibes or historic sites; you love street food or fusion cuisine, Ho Chi Minh City has all to satisfy your favorites. You can’t go wrong!
Trinh Tran written for Maika Tours
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