The Tan Son Nhat International Airport of Ho Chi Minh City is the largest airport in Vietnam handling over 30 million passengers a year. It is also the main gateway into Vietnam having numerous international connections, more than the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi.
Tan Son Nhat Airport was a major US Air Force base in the Vietnam War. During the height of the war the airport was one of the busiest military airbases in the world. After the US forces left and the subsequent fall of the South Vietnamese government, the airport was transformed for civilian use.
A Master plan exists to build a new airport (Long Thanh International Airport) 40 km east of the city but this will not be ready before 2025.
There are two terminals at Ho Chi Minh International Airport. The modern International terminal (opened in 2007) and the old domestic terminal a few hundred meters away.
The airport is conveniently located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City having being slowly surrounded by the Metropolitan area. The old city is maybe 4 km away.
A public bus (no 152) departs in front of the domestic terminal and heads for the bus terminal close to Pham Ngu Lao Street until 6pm. Bus fee is only 5000 dong and another 5000 dong for any bags. There is no sign where the bus departs, ask one of the airport officials where the bus stop is.
Taxis are not often reliable and ripping passengers off is common in Ho Chi Minh City so best to take one of the reputable companies: Mai Linh or Vinasun which have reasonable fares and use the meter. A ride into the city to the main tourist street would cost around 150.000 dong but it depends highly on traffic conditions as traffic can come to a near standstill during rush hour.
Upon arrival at the international terminal the Mai Linh company has a counter in the terminal building, or you can walk outside and head for the main taxi queue. At the domestic terminal only Sasco taxis are allowed to pick up passengers at the terminal.
Alternatively you can walk 100 meters to the car park were other taxis are waiting too.
All prices quoted here were found in July 2017
Most flights from Tan Son Nhat International Airport are to Hanoi and to Hue but there are many more flights to other destinations as well, most of them by Vietnam Airlines. Every day there are flights to 21 destinations from Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Here are the most popular destinations: