In a hectic city like Saigon of Vietnam, you need a motorbike. That is such a firm statement I have been receiving since I moved out. I came to this city with my bicycle and my belief that I do not need any motorbike to live. So far, I have managed well to travel around the city.
Until early this week, I found myself another cool way besides bicycles and walking. Bus. At least this is the cheapest option for me when I want to use an air-conditioned vehicle to work.
How come until now I decide to take bus? A long story to be short, I did not have good experience with public bus system in Vietnam. Dirt. Messy routes. Unsafety. I still have that feeling. I just want to give it a try to prove the public transportation system here is getting better.
Since September 2012, Saigon local authority started to run a brand new model of public bus in downtown of District 1. Bus number 35. This is a subsidized bus service that will pass through the City Center covering administrative offices, schools and commercial centers. In all, the route will cover a distance of 10.20 kms. Multiple trip tickets and monthly tickets are accepted.
Ticket Rate (today exchange)
More details are listed here. You might have to use Google Translate for English
- One-time ticket:
- 5,000VND per person (0.23USD/0.17EUR) for distance < 18 km / 11.18 miles
- 6,000VND per person (0.28USD/0.20EUR) for distance > 18 km.
- Pupil and Student: 2,000VND per person (0.09USD/0.06EUR). Student cards must be shown
- Yearly ticket booklet:
- 30 tickets with 112,500VND (5.3USD/3.8EUR), valid in one year and applied for distance < 18 km
- 30 tickets with 135,000VND (6.4USD/4.6EUR), valid in one year and applied for distance > 18 km. Note: no applicable for bus #13; 94 and 96
1 year, 240 tickets needed are equal to 1,200,000VND (56.95USD/41.5EUR)
1 year, 8 yearly ticket booklets needed are equal to 900,000VND (42.71USD/31.17EUR)
I can save up 300,000VND per year for traveling to work. Such a nice option.
Mainly downtown of District 1. You might be confused a bit at first. All in Vietnamese, even the voice telling us next bus stop. You can find more info about public bus routes here. I dare you to read and understand it at the first sight. LOL. I hopped on a wrong bus more than once. I kinda figure out how this bus runs at some point. If you use Android or iOS map, it might give you other options for public buses which I believe is very stupid no-sense routes and time wasting. Personal experience.
First Leave: Station HKXB Sài Gòn (Park 23/9) – Lê Lai – Tôn Thất Tùng – Bùi Thị Xuân – Cống Quỳnh – Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai – Nguyễn Văn Cừ - Trần Hưng Đạo – Station HKXB Sài Gòn (Trạm Bến Thành) – Huỳnh Thúc Kháng – Nguyễn Huệ – Lê Thánh Tôn - Pasteur – Lý Tự Trọng – Hai Bà Trưng – Nguyễn Du – Công xã Paris – Lê Duẩn – Đinh Tiên Hoàng – Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai – Phùng Khắc Khoan – Điện Biên Phủ – Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm – Nguyễn Đình Chiểu – Bến xe buýt đường Hoàng Sa.
Then Back: Bus stop street Hoàng Sa – Nguyễn Đình Chiểu – Hai Bà Trưng – Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai – Đinh Tiên Hoàng – Lê Duẩn – Công xã Paris – Đồng Khởi - Lê Thánh Tôn – Nguyễn Huệ – Hải Triều – Hàm Nghi – Phạm Ngũ Lão – Ga HKXB Sài Gòn (Trạm Bến Thành) – Phạm Ngũ Lão – Trần Hưng Đạo - Nguyễn Văn Cừ – Phạm Viết Chánh – Bùi Thị Xuân – Tôn Thất Tùng – Pham Ngũ Lão – Station HKXB Sài Gòn (Park 23/9)
Do not expect to have a clear info at bus stop, except there is a sign of bus #35. You know that bus will stop but you cannot find out which route it is headed next.
Station HKXB Sài Gòn (Park 23/9): 1st leave at 5:50AM and last leave at 20:00PM
Bus stop street Hoàng Sa: 1st leave at 6:00AM and last leave at 20:00PM
If you take a whole route, it can take you up to 45 minutes. Waiting time is between 8 to 15 minutes and they operate 150 bus rides per day.