If you’re in Vietnam and looking for an easy way to get around, your first question will probably be, “Is there Uber in Vietnam?!” Well, you can’t get an Uber, but don’t worry, there are some excellent ride-sharing alternatives, such as Grab.
Based on the Uber business model, Grab has taken the Asian market by storm. The Singapore-based company was launched in 2012 and has since expanded into eight countries after buying out Uber’s southeast-Asia business. To this day, Grab remains Vietnam’s market leader in the ride-hailing industry.
Grab is app-based, and anyone who has used Uber should feel right at home. It includes a reviews system, pricing, and route information as well as a messaging platform for communicating with your driver (including a Vietnamese-to-English Google translator). Finding and hailing a ride is as simple as just a couple of taps on your phone.
GrabTaxi | GrabCar | GrabBike
You can choose between three transport options: taxi, car, or motorbike.
- GrabTaxi: Traditional taxis that also operate via the Grab app. This allows you to take advantage of the benefits of the Grab system (honest pricing and routes, reviews, convenience) while using a traditional, registered taxi. Unlike GrabCar and GrabBike, the prices given in the app are only estimates of the metered fare.
- GrabCar: Private cars that are registered with Grab. Cheaper than GrabTaxi, all GrabCar operators are still subject to reviews in the app, which gives you peace of mind that you’re getting a safe and reliable operator.
- GrabBike: Something a little different and arguably much more fun than taking a car! GrabBike is the most affordable and the quickest way to get around crowded cities. Helmets are provided and, if you’re a little nervous about getting on a stranger’s motorbike, you can check out their reviews to see how people have rated their driving skills!
If you’re in the mood for a meal, but don’t want to leave your room, GrabFood is a convenient delivery service. At the time of writing, the service is only available in selected areas of Ho Chi Minh City, but they are expanding fast! You can easily find GrabFood’s latest locations in the app.
GrabFood is as simple to use as the ride-sharing service, and, much like Uber, you can track your delivery right to your doorstep.
Cost & Payment
On average, GrabCar is only slightly cheaper than the meter rates in a traditional taxi, and the prices will increase significantly during peak hours. However, traditional taxis are notorious for overcharging or taking unnecessarily long routes to wring extra cash out of unsuspecting customers. Grab’s transparent pricing makes it easy to avoid this potentially costly pitfall.
You can pay by card in the app or pay cash directly to your driver at the end of the journey.
TIP: If you’re visiting Vietnam and don’t have a Vietnamese bank account, cash might be the best option. Most banks charge some kind of international payment fee or foreign exchange fee. Considering that most Grab fares will be less than $5, the bank fees could easily double your bill.
- Download and install the Grab App.
- Set up an account using either a Vietnamese phone number or a Facebook/Google account.
- Select the type of service you want on the homepage.
- Check your location. Grab should detect it automatically, but the system isn’t foolproof.
- Select your destination. You can type it in manually or drop a pin on the in-app map.
- You’ll see the fare and be given the choice of either cash or card payments.
- Click “Book”.
- If you need to contact the driver, the in-built messaging service will auto-translate from Vietnamese to your chosen language.
- You can see your driver’s location and registration number in the app. When they arrive, double-check that their registration plate matches up.
- After your journey is complete, complete the cash or in-app payment and give the driver a rating.
Grab Your Next Ride
Whether you need a ride or want food delivered to your door, Grab is one of the best ride-sharing and services in Vietnam. Convenient to use from your smartphone, this app makes getting around easier, especially in some of the busiest cities in the country. And if you’re still curious about other ride-sharing apps before downloading the right one for you, check out Gojek and Be!