When you’re arriving in a new country, it can take a while to get used to public transport networks. Either they have confusing systems, they’re unreliable, or, in some cases, just non-existent. Increasingly, travelers are turning to Uber, the ride-sharing app that we all know and love. It’s in a ton of countries and you can feel reassured that you’re not going to get ripped off, as you know the price before you accept the ride. So, is there Uber in Vietnam and if not, what’s the alternative? Let’s dive in and find out!
Is There Uber in Vietnam?
No, Uber does not exist in Vietnam. Unfortunately as of 2018, you can no longer get Uber anywhere in Southeast Asia.
This was a corporate decision and now you’ll have to use alternate modes of transport or companies like Grab or Go-Jek which are local versions of Uber.
Was Uber Ever in Vietnam?
There used to be Uber in Vietnam. In fact, it was pretty successful in Vietnam until it was canned in 2018, with classic Uber and the motorbike and scooter versions both operating in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.
After they stopped operating in 2018, Uber handed over the reins to Grab, so you can still get rides in the same kind of way, but not through the official Uber app.
What Uber Alternatives Are There in Vietnam?
So, if you can’t use Uber to get around, what apps and methods can you use instead? There are a few to choose from.
First up, and probably the most similar to Uber is Grab. Founded and run out of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, this Southeast Asia-specific app includes ride sharing, deliveries, digital payments and more. If you’re traveling in Southeast Asia for any length of time, it’s well worth downloading this app. Grab also took over most of Uber’s interests when they left the region in 2018, so their taxi network is extensive.
2. Easy Riders
Want to hit the open roads of Vietnam on a motorbike without having to know how to ride the thing? Easy Riders is more like a transfer company that operates all around Vietnam. They pick you up on the back of their bikes and take you to your destination in a speedy way. Sometimes traveling in groups, they’re well known all around the country and a pretty common sight.
Traveling in and around Ho Chi Minh? The Indonesian company Go-Jek’s ride-sharing branch, GoCar, launched in the city, operating much the same as Uber. The Go-Jek part of the business is all about motorcycle and scooter-based ride-hailing and has had a presence in Vietnam since 2018, coincidentally when Uber left the country. Go-Jek is available across Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, so if you want to travel around on the back of a bike or scooter, which is largely faster and cheaper, this might be the Uber alternative for you.
What are Local Taxis Like in Vietnam?
Unfortunately, local taxis in Vietnam have a bad reputation for ripping off tourists, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. This is why there are so many Uber-esque apps in the area so that tourists and locals can see what they’re going to pay in advance, rather than experiencing a rude awakening once they arrive at their destination.
What’s the Best Way to get in Between Cities in Vietnam?
If you’re looking to travel between cities or regions of Vietnam, taxis are probably not the best option. Many travelers and locals alike opt for buses, trains, ferries, minibus shuttles, or even internal flights to get around. Of course, there are also plenty of tour companies, like Easy Rider, or international ones like G Adventures, Intrepid, and more that can help you get around at a premium price.
So, although there is no longer Uber in Vietnam, there are plenty of great alternatives like Grab or Go-Jek that work in a very similar way. As both these apps operate throughout Southeast Asia, it may be a more cost-effective and efficient way to travel within the major cities at least, than using Uber. Of course, public transportation is always an option, but if you’re unsure, book through one of these apps may feel safer.