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Getting Around in Ho Chi Minh City & Hanoi

"Grab-ing" around Vietnam

Upon arriving to Vietnam, one thing is apparent—the streets are crrrazzzyyy. The first time I crossed a road in Saigon, it took about ten years off my life…madness I say!

With overwhelming traffic, the worry of taxi scams, and the confusing roads and alleyways of Vietnam, it can seem like a lot to get from point A to point B.

Thankfully, on my second trip to Vietnam, I discovered something wonderful…Grab. Grab is an app like Uber, but it offers more options, such as Grab motorbike rides. Uber does exist in Vietnam; however, it has not picked up as much, and there are far more Grab drivers than Uber drivers. Using Grab to quickly get around the city can cost as little as 50 cents. Grab has completely taken over Saigon and Hanoi in the past few years. On just about every street you can spot Grab motorbike drivers in their notorious green jackets and helmets.

Grab is very simple to use. First, place your pick up location and destination, choose whether you want a Grab bike, car, or shared car, and then wait for your driver to arrive! Personally, I am obsessed with Grab bikes. I take them everywhere. I am not confident (or crazy) enough to rent a bike in the city, so I always order a Grab bike if my destination is too far of a walk, if it is too hot out...or I am too lazy to walk that day. Plus, it is an awesome experience to be on the back of a bike in the city! Grab bike drivers carry an extra helmet too, so you can always enjoy a safe ride. Just make sure to hand your driver the helmet back when you get to your destination, because I seem to always forget and try to walk away with it on my head…whoops!

The only setback with Grab, is that you will need to have a working Vietnamese SIM card. Fortunately, SIM cards are really cheap in Vietnam. I picked mine up for around 5 USD.

You can use my link to download the App here, or simply search for Grab in the App store. Before you use Grab, google to see what promotions they are running for first time users! Usually you can get your first several rides for free! Currently there is a promotion running until 9/30/2017 to get 40,000VND off X 10 GrabBike rides if you apply it on your first time using GrabPay. To get this promo, use the code “GP10.” Also, your first two rides should be free if you sign up with a Mastercard!

Happy travels!

- Danielle

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