Best riding apps in Vietnam
Image adapted from @grabvn
Over the past few years, ride-hailing services have become the preferred mode of transportation for locals in Saigon. Convenience is a big reason why – you just have to book a ride through the app, agree to the stated fare, verify the driver’s identity when he or she comes to pick you up, then pay for the ride through the app or in cash.
It’s also safer than taking traditional cabs and bikes, because you don’t have to worry about hailing an illegitimate ride and having to pay an exorbitant fare.
Here are the best app-based ride-hailing services in Saigon that locals trust:
1. Grab – the standard-bearer
Image credit: @omahrosemusic
Grab has become the standard-bearer in Vietnam’s app-based ride-hailing industry since Uber’s exit in 2018. It allows users to know exactly how much they will be paying for the trip before the ride begins, so you don’t have to worry about hidden costs. But note that there is a surge in price during peak hours, so it might not be the most wallet-friendly at these times. You can always compare the different ride-hailing services for the best rate before committing to a booking.
While there is no way to make a comparison between GrabBike’s charges versus traditional bike rides because there is no fare chart to refer to.
Grabcar charges VND 25,000 (~USD1.08) for the first 2km, while Vinasun, a popular taxi operator charges VND31,000 (~USD1.33) for the same distance.
One of the best things about using Grab is that you can collect and accumulate GrabRewards Points to exchange for cashback, discounts, and air miles. It also provides a comprehensive range of services such as ride-hailing services, food deliveries, online payments, and quick mobile top-up.
Grab’s transportation fare for a bike ride between HCMC University of Education and Bitexco Financial Tower stands at VND 20,000.
Distance and traveling time, however, are not displayed.
Download it here.
2. GoViet – always cheaper and cashless
Image credit: @qurratayub
GoViet, which joined the ride-hailing market less than a year ago, has been getting many thumbs up from locals and expats in Saigon. Like Grab, GoViet allows users to track their trip and see who their driver is.
GoViet allows you to book multiple rides at the same time, so you can order food delivery from them while you are riding home – something that other apps don’t let you do. Its fares are also about 10% lower than Grab’s most of the time, which makes it one of the most affordable transport options in Saigon. But fares tend to be marked up during peak hours and when it’s raining, so it’s good to check other apps to compare prices.
GoViet offers three main services: two-wheel hail-riding service (GoBike), courier service (GoSend), delivery service (GoFood).
GoBike’s app being used in Saigon. GoViet’s fare for a bike ride between Ho Chi Minh City University of Education (HCMCUE) and Bitexco Financial Tower stands at VND 15,000 (~USD0.65) at the same booking time as Grab.
Travelling distance is clearly shown as 3.3km.
Download GoViet here.
3. Be – fares fixed rain or shine
Image credit: @iam_hphan
Despite being the new kid on the block, joining the ranks of Grab and Go-Jek, Be has seen exponential growth in the number of users.
The app offers two ride options:
- BeBike – to request a bike for immediate pickup
- BeCar – to request a taxi for immediate pickup
Be’s fares average 20% higher than that of Grab and Go Viet during off-peak hours, but it doesn’t have a price surge feature. This means that the fares remain the same at all hours of the day. If you are worried that a short ride home with Grab or GoViet could surge drastically during peak hours, turn on Be.
You can pay using cash, so make sure you have enough loose change before hopping on a Be ride. Be riders also accept debit or credit cards.
For the same traveling distance, a bike ride from Be costs VND21,000 (~USD0.90). But don’t get dismayed, Be’s fare rate is fixed at all hours.
Download it here.
Comparing functionalities of the top 3 ride-hailing apps in Saigon
Convenient ride-hailing services in Ho Chi Minh City
These ride-hailing services have gained popularity in Saigon is because downloading an app on our phones and booking rides on the go makes it so much more convenient to travel around the city.
And because prices are fixed or stated from the get-go, you never have to worry about being extorted by drivers who are looking to make a quick buck, especially if they know you’re not local.