The gateway to Southern Vietnam, Tan Son Nhat International Airport, located just 7km from Ho Chi Minh City began as a small unpaved airfield constructed by the French Colonial Government back in the 1930s.
There are two separate buildings; the Arrivals Terminal does not have much to offer except a tourist information desk, post office and foreign currency exchange. It is really just a place to grab your bags and head in to the city. The Departures Terminal was completed in 2006 at a cost of $260 million and is a modern structure with air-conditioning, restaurant, duty-free shopping and a medical centre among other services.
There are a few transportation options to reach Ho Chi Minh City from Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The air-conditioned airport bus, service number 152, is the cheapest option. This bus passes most of the major hotels along De Tham Street and Dong Khoi Street and will stop to let you off if you tell the driver where you are staying.
Foreigners are not permitted to drive in Vietnam hence there are no car hire places however you may like to hire a car and driver for a negotiated period and price.
Minibuses and cyclos are available but you will have to negotiate the prices. Your best alternative is to catch a metered taxi however always go for a taxi that is in the cue rather than taking a private taxi where you may have payment problems. Always have some small change for the taxis as many of them do not like to change large notes.
Eating & Drinking
There is only one restaurant in the airport which is located on the third floor of the Departures Terminal. There is table seating and some booths offer more comfortable seating however the meals here are very basic. You can have a beer or a cup of coffee but if you are in need of something more substantial you had best eat in the city before you reach the airport. The restaurant bills in US dollars or Vietnamese dong.