Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Saigon Trip: Journey with Bus 152

10:30 02/11/2013 Various language echoed at the exit area of Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Audibly we heard  thick accent English speakers, bubbly European backpackers,  and feisty Vietnamese who tried to lure everyone's attention. Noise coming from the touts, drivers for hotel transfers, family members of arriving guests and curious bystanders. We expect non will wave nor shout our names indistinctly as we didn't intend to get a hotel transfer or hired a private transport. Just like our Bangkok Trip bus journey , we took the public bus from airport to Ben Tanh Market through bus 152. 





There are numerous mode of transport from Tan Son Nhat Airport going to Ho Chi Minh City proper. Metered Taxis, Private Cars, Rental Cars and Airport Pick up from Hotel Arrangement are to name a few. But we opted taking the Bus, aside from being cheapest way to Ho Chi Minh. This option will get us more acquainted with local Vietnamese.





Just outside the airport, we walk few meters to right, where bus 152 was waiting. This bus usually left the airport on schedule (roughly every 15 minutes) or once all seats been occupied. Bus service runs from  6:00 AM till 7:30 PM Local time.




We asked the security personnel if bus 152 goes to the city , they just replied and gestured to hop on the bus. In which we're so pleased as the welcome humid of Saigon was unforgivable that latter made our shirt drench with sweat. 




After settling, we politely asked the locals if the bus goes to the city. All we could hope was affirmative YES, instead we got a smile. 




Then we tried understanding some Vietnamese scripts attached on the top window which was more likely to be a bus route.Only Ben Tanh and Tan Son Nhat  was familiar on the places listed above. We hope this will take us to the famous Ben Tanh Market. 





The driver confirmed and mentioned the bus will halt at Ben Tanh Market itself after collecting our bus fare. We paid 10,000 Dong (5,000 each which was roughly 10.50 Pesos). An extra 5,000 Dong will be charge if you carry an extra luggage. By experience, this is one of the cheapest  bus transfer from airport to the city in Southeast Asia.





After the folks paid their respective fares. The driver went back to his seat, started the engine and obligingly turned on the AC which gratified the passengers including us.





Few minutes passed, the towering billboards greeted us just outside the terminal complex. Which kinda resembles that of in EDSA except of course that chaotic traffic. 




Along the journey hundreds of motor bikes were going in all directions. Racing each other every time the traffic signal turned green. It looks chaotic for a foreigner but seems locals are accustomed to it. The traffic all went smoothly and had never got chance being stuck for more than ten minutes.

Modern Buddhist Temple, Ho Chi Minh



Each time our bus halted we gaze from window and admire their old building side by side with contemporary ones. These edifice makes up the modern  Ho Chi Minh. 


Roundabout in Tuong Dai Phu Dong Thien Vuong
Notable skyscrapers surrounding Toung Dai Phu Dong Thien Vuong signifies we're already in the city. Few minutes we passed opposite of Ben Tanh Market before it went to a complete stop. 





The forty five minutes  travel to the city from airport through public bus wasn't that bad after all. The traffic was moderate and we'd reach to our destination with minimal expense.

Bravely criss-crossed with bikes at Ben Tanh round about, sip the famous Pho bo and became millionaires in an instant. That will be on the succeeding post.


Note: Fare quoted in this Trip is based from the time this entry is created 09/04/2014. So it will change without prior notice.



Public Bus Commuters,


Sky and Summer




29 comments:

  1. Wow!! You guys are so brave to be winging it like that.. Inggit ako I don't know if I can actually do it like you guys.,,

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  2. Yamito Uytingco CalambaApril 12, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    You're right! If only not of the temples, it would really look like EDSA. :D

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  3. WOW! It looks very nice and clean. Hope to see better as for our country.

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  4. Jonas Ignatius LabagalaApril 13, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    The city is surprisingly clean considering the chaotic traffic in there. Ho Chi Minh really is hot as of course, located in tropical region.. :)

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  5. You traveled with this beautiful place and nice photos you've got.

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  6. I hope my family and I can travel this way as well as I've always wanted to do so for a long time now.

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  7. i remember that market that's where I buy my pasalubongs hehe. Haven't tried riding a bus in vietnam and only tried riding a motorbike once. I would like to come back in vietnam and go to dalat! love the photos!

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  8. It is very nice to stop by with blogs like yours because at least even we can not visit a place like this now we will be inspired by your beautiful photos and stories. Thank you for sharing your experience. Keep up giving us free travel guide and we will find this useful in the future.

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  9. I have heard a lot of good things about Vietnam from my friends who have gone there. And this looks like fun for you as you were adventurous enough to take a bus ride to the city.

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  10. I was only Saigon before for just a day and I enjoyed the place. It's also nice to see that there is finally Starbucks in Vietnam.

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  11. Saigon is beautiful nowadays,, and the structures are superb awesome.

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  12. Wow. Such beautiful place. I hope I will be able to visit it someday.

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  13. Indeed, more photos of nice places will be revealed in Saigon. :)

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  14. Now, it's now slowly catching up with Manila in terms of progress.

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  15. The Starbucks is centrally located, but we haven't tried there. We opted for the local coffee shop referred by Vietnamese friends.

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  16. Only few temples you can see in Saigon, more of museums. But I know there's a lot in Hanoi.

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  17. Right Ms. Kathy, on our last day we bump to Teacher retirees from Philippines, who just went to Saigon for shopping.

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  18. Thanks for dropping a nice comment Kenneth. Surely we'll not stop sharing the nice places we visit and encourage people to travel on a budget.

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  19. We wen't so gaga on Ben Tanh Market. There's a part, where you can haggle and there is fix price. Thanks.

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  20. With all the cheap airfare now Ms. Teresa, pretty sure you can score one. Saigon is nice place to visit.

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  21. Just like in Metro, there some areas are clean and some weren't.

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  22. So many things we can learn from Vietnam, One is orderliness and two is Discipline.

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  23. But still I love the eye sore of EDSA especially the billboards along Guadalupe. hahaha

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  24. You can do it Ms Leira. Kunti guts and push lang :)

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  25. Nice place huh...and it looks clean as well.

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  26. Saigon will always be in my head for one thing - I almost got into a big trouble because of a cheating taxi driver. I was very naive back then but it was a horrible experience. So many cheaters in Saigon back then but I'm not sure if they have wised up now.

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  27. Sad to hear that, But I'm pretty sure you'd learned a lot from that experience. We'd also been cheated numerous times in our travel but instead of getting upset we just think of it as a gesture of goodwill for that needy people.

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