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Discover a first-hand experience of what it’s like to cross the Vietnam-Cambodia border by bus, from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City.
An Instagrammer’s paradise, Ho Chi Minh City is home to many wonderful structures, each waiting for you to tell its story through the pictures you take.
Everything you need to know about taking the overnight bus from Vietnam’s coastal town of Nha Trang to the ancient city of Hoi An is right here.
Buzzing, crowded Ho Chi Minh City is an iconic destination for travelers in Southeast Asia. With great restaurants, nightlife and shopping, it's the ideal place to dive into Vietnam’s vibrant culture and cuisine. The city has plenty of history too, from ancient pagodas to french colonial villas, and several good museums where you can delve into Vietnam's past.
Whether you’re returning to Ho Chi Minh City after a break by the sea, or visiting the city for the first time, there are several different ways to do the 96 km (60 mile) journey from Vung Tau.
Buses and minivans depart Vung Tau for Ho Chi Minh City at regular intervals throughout the day. The bus usually takes three hours and the shared minivan usually takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The most scenic way to get to Ho Chi Minh City from Vung Tau is by ferry up the Saigon River, which usually takes 1 hour and 50 minutes. If you want more flexibility, or you're traveling as a group, you can also book private minivans and cars.
By road, the journey isn’t that special, as you’ll mostly be driving on National Route 51 which is a major highway. The journey is more interesting if you travel by boat. The ferry leaves Vung Tau Port and travels up the Saigon River to Ho Chi Minh City. It’s a busy seaway, with all kinds of different river craft coming and going.
The fastest way to get to HCMC from Vung Tau is in a Limo Minivan by Hoa Mai. This is a seat in a shared minivan with several departures throughout the day. The journey usually takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The cheapest way to get to Ho Chi Minh City from Vung Tau is in a Standard Minivan by Hung Phat, with prices starting at $6 per person one-way. This is a seat in a shared minivan, with several departures throughout the day. The journey usually takes 2 hours.
Bookaway customers prefer taking a Limo Minivan by Hoa Mai to Ho Chi Minh City. This is a seat in an air-conditioned minivan. The driver will collect you from your hotel in Vung Tau. The journey usually takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Traveling by shared minivan will get you to Vung Tau in the shortest amount of time. The route isn't the most scenic, as the driver will use the highways, but it is convenient, with plenty of departures throughout the day.
There are different shared minivan options; Standard Minivan, Limo Minivan and Luxury Minivan. They all have air conditioning, and all will stop at some point during the journey so you can stretch your legs and use the bathroom.
The Luxury Minivan option is the most comfortable, with decent legroom and seats that recline (some even have massage settings) as well as a charging port for your phone or laptop.
Depending on the company, the minivan might be able to collect you from your hotel in the center of Vung Tau and drop you at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, or take you to the airport if required.
Minivan pickups in Vung Tau:
Minivan drop-offs in Ho Chi Minh City:
The bus to Ho Chi Minh City leaves the bus station in Vung Tau (located in central Vung Tau) several times throughout the day and the journey usually takes 3 hours.
The bus is a ‘sleeping bus’, which means you have more space to stretch out as the seats recline to almost-flat. This is great if you want to get some sleep on the journey. If you're tall, however, you might feel a little cramped as the seats are designed for locals who are typically not as tall as Westerners.
The cabin is air-conditioned, so wear something warm as it can get pretty chilly. The driver will stop along the way so you can use the bathroom and grab some food. If you don't want to buy food from a roadside shop or restaurant then bring something with you for the journey.
While the bus isn't the fastest way of getting to Ho Chi Minh City, if you prefer slow travel, and like looking out of the window during a journey, it's a good choice.
If you're keen to keep that chilled vibe going all the way back to HCMC, you could opt to take the ferry. Ferry boats leave the port in Vung Tau twice a day in the afternoon and early evening, and take around 1 hour and 50 minutes to reach Ho Chi Minh City.
Ferries on this route are modern and in good condition. Seating is in an air conditioned cabin, so you’ll want to take something warm to wear in case it gets chilly. Depending on how rough the sea is, you might be able to sit outside on the small deck and take in the view. There are toilets on board the boat and you can purchase food and beverages.
The ferry journey is the most interesting way to get from Vung Tau to Ho Chi Minh City. As you leave Vung Tau, you’ll travel past coastal mangrove forests. The boat continues up the Saigon River past industrial areas, until you begin to see the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City. The journey continues into more built-up areas, and finally arrives at the port in downtown Saigon. You can expect to see plenty of interesting boats coming and going along this route.
If you’re taking the ferry, be mindful that tickets can be in high demand, so book in advance if you need to travel on a certain day. And, ferry journeys can be a little unpredictable. If there are rough seas, the boat might be delayed or canceled, meaning you’ll have to wait for a later one.
If you’re a group of friends or a family, you might want to book a private minivan to take you to Ho Chi Minh City. Depending on the size of your group, this can work out to be quite cost effective, with prices starting at around $90 one-way.
A private minivan on this route can take up to 13 passengers, and will collect you from your hotel in Vung Tau, and drop you at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, or at the airport if requested.
Hiring a private minivan gives you the most flexibility, as you can depart whenever you want. The vehicles are air-conditioned and comfortable, and during the journey, the driver will stop so you can stretch your legs and use the bathroom.
While it’s a good choice for a group traveling together, a private minivan is obviously a costly option for a solo traveler or couple.
Private minivan pickups in Vung Tau:
Private minivan drop-offs in Ho Chi Minh City:
Another option if you want maximum flexibility is to hire a private car and driver. Private cars can take up to 6 passengers depending on the vehicle, and will collect you from your guest house or hotel. You get to set off at any time, ride in air-conditioned privacy and be dropped at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City or at the airport. You can even stop along the way to see the sights.
While this is a good option for a couple or group, it’s an expensive choice for a solo traveler.
Private car pick-ups in Vung Tau:
Private car drop-offs in Ho Chi Minh City:
Approximately, there are 95 shared minivans departures, 7 bus departures and 2 ferry departures each day. Private cars and minivans can depart at any time.