6 Hour Layover in Ho Chi Minh

Jan 19th, 2015, 12:07 AM
  #1  
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6 Hour Layover in Ho Chi Minh

Is there anything we can do during a 6 hour layover at Ho Chi Minh (SGN) airport? We've never been to HCM and I'd love to go to the Cu Chi tunnels if possible. We land at 12:25pm (from Hue) and then depart at 6:25pm for Hong Kong on a Sunday. Both flights are on the same airline (Vietnam Airlines) so I assume our luggage will be checked through when we check in for the first flight.
lmschmale is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 12:21 AM
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The airport is on the right side of the city for Chu Chi so it would be possible to get there and back in the time available. It is about 50 km each way so I would allow an hour there plus up to an hour transit each way.

You could pre arrange a driver/ guide to meet you at the airport. Alternatively, at the airport negotiate a flat with a taxi to take you there. Personally, I would only use Mai Linh or Vinasun taxis to avoid getting ripped off.
crellston is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 07:23 AM
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Will you have a VN visa?
Kathie is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 10:41 AM
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Yes. We'll have just spent 5 days in the Hue/Hoi An area.
lmschmale is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 10:49 AM
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Great! Crellston has given you good information.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 11:01 PM
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Thanks so much Kathie and Crellston!
lmschmale is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 11:25 PM
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I just realized that the day we would do this - February 15 - is the start of Vietnam's week long Tet holiday. Do you know if this mean that traffic would be awful - maybe due to a parade or something - and leaving the airport would be risky (ie, we could get stuck and miss our return flight)? Or are most events later in the week on actual New Years Eve and New Years Day?
lmschmale is offline  
Jan 20th, 2015, 12:04 AM
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last time we were in Saigon over TET, taxis weren't a problem.. Most people just go home to their families for Tet and it can be difficult to get flights, buses and trains but taxis should be ok. I am in a homestay in Saigon at the moment so will try and check with the owner for her opinion/ advice. Will get back to you later.
crellston is offline  
Jan 20th, 2015, 06:16 PM
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Just had a chat with the owner of our homestay. 15-18 Feb are the beginning of the Tet holidays and the worst possible time to be travelling anywhere. Early in the hols there will be lots of traffic mainly because people leaving the city to head home for the holidays. I imagine this will include the routes in and out of the airport. I explained what you wanted to do and she basically just shook her head and said no, don't do it!

I suppose you could risk it by organising a tour to pick you up from the airport but, IMO there would just be too many variables to risk your flight to HK. Would your incoming flight arrive on time? (We are meeting friends at the airport on Sunday and their flight has just been rescheduled for 90 mins later - a not uncommon occurrence! ). Would the driver be there on time? What about the traffic back to Ton San Nhut. To say nothing of the extra crowds at the airport for TET.

If it were me, I would stay at the airport.
crellston is offline  
Jan 21st, 2015, 07:46 AM
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Thanks so much for asking, Crellston!!! Definitely sounds like we're better off just hanging out at the airport and (hopefully) scheduling a trip to Saigon another time when we have more than a few hours. Please thank the owner of your homestay for the word of warning!
lmschmale is offline  
Mar 1st, 2015, 05:12 PM
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TSN airport is about an hour from Cu Chi Tunnels, so it will take you around 2 hours for the transfer both ways. The time you need to tour in Cu Chi around 2 hours at max, including the short documentary film made in 1966-67. You can take a taxi to go there, the cost for a car will be around 50-60 dollars (private) with no guide, only driver. Entrance ticket in Cu Chi around 90.000vnd (4.5 US/person). In Cu Chi, there is a well trained tourguide team so you can ask them to guide you around with the very exact information. Or you can hire a guide and a car privately to take you there and back, then you can be listening to a lot of stories on the way. Hope this help. John from Saigon.
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