Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport, about 7 km (4 miles) north of the city center, is Vietnam's largest, with a domestic and an international terminal. Direct international flights are available from major cities in Europe, Australia, and other parts of Asia, including Cambodia's Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. It takes about 10 minutes to walk between terminals along a covered walkway, so it's a relatively easy airport in which to transit.
Ho Chi Minh City is also served by domestic flights from just about any airport in the country, including the major tourist destinations of Hanoi, Hue, Danang (for Hoi An), Dalat, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and Con Dao.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Hoang Van Thu, Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City. 28/3848–5383; vietnamairport.vn.
The cheapest way to get to the city is by bus. Route 109 and shuttle bus 49 pick up at column 15 at the international terminal. Bus 109 goes through the city center and terminates at September 23 Park near the backpacker area. Shuttle bus 49 is slightly more expensive because it stops at the major hotels, terminating at the Ben Thanh Bus Station. Hotels that offer airport transfers usually charge a premium for this service, and you'll probably pay two or three times what it would cost in a taxi. To take a taxi, ignore the touts who congregate outside the arrivals hall, turn left and look for someone with a clipboard and a Mai Linh or Vinasun taxi company uniform. Tell them your destination and they'll organize a taxi for you, although it might take some time and local travelers are likely to jump to the front of the line. It takes 20 to 45 minutes to get downtown, depending on the traffic, and the fare should be between 130,000d and 170,000d (slightly more if you have to negotiate peak hour traffic). There's a 15,000d taxi exit toll that will be added to the fare shown on the meter. Saigon Air Taxi has a monopoly at Tan Son Nhat airport and at some government-owned hotels in the city. If you purchase a prepaid Saigon Air voucher at the airport (not recommended), do not pay the driver any additional sum. Only take a Saigon Air taxi if you can't find a Vinasun or Mai Linh taxi.
Mai Linh. 028/3838–3838; www.mailinh.vn.
Vinasun. 028/3827–2727; www.vinasuntaxi.com.