Cycling is not a common way of travelling in Ho Chi Minh City where most people want to travel by motorbike or car to save time. However, going by bicycles is an excellent way to explore the city. Pedalling through the city, you can experience this dynamic gem of Vietnam at a slow speed to discover the hidden beauty: from the small shops along the streets or the delicious food stalls - those that you might never notice before when going on a motorbike.
The excuse for not cycling is usually the traffic jams and polluted smog at all hours. However, surprising enough, cycling can help you get out of traffic jam faster than any other vehicles because it is easy to move among the other bigger cars and motorbikes.
Besides, cycling can save you lots of money because you can cut down on the cost for fuel especially for budget travellers. When fuel prices keep going up, cycling is the best option for you. The cost of renting a bicycle is only half of a bike - with about $2.5 you can have the bike for the whole day. Moreover, you can exercise yourself when cycling whether you travel in short or long distances. Do not mind the heat, since it is already there anyway so unless you are in an air-conditioned car, you still sweat no matter what. With a bike, however, the exercise will make you feel lighter and healthier! The last reason we can give to encourage you to bike in Ho Chi Minh City is - of course - to protect the environment. Since bicycles don’t use fuel, it does not emit smoke into the air. As a result, air pollution will be reduced, and that sure makes a big difference in the motor-jamed Ho Chi Minh City.
Where to rent one?
The cost for one bicycle in Ho Chi Minh City is about 1,5 million to 3 million VND ($75-150) depending on the brand names and the type of bicycle you want. If you want to hire a bicycle to go around the city, you can easily find one on Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1. You may need to present a copy of your ID and shop owners will ask you for some minimum deposit money.
Where to bike?
Some streets that are suitable for you to travel by bicycles is Nguyen Hue Street, Le Duan Street and some streets in District 7 which are usually not very crowded and safe enough. Despite the benefits of bicycles, we should take into consideration some small notice about using it. It is not a good idea to use bicycles in Ho Chi Minh City on wet days. It rains almost every day and sometimes, the streets are overwhelmed with water. It is really hard to cycle in such a weather condition and you may need time to acquaint yourself to the traffic. Borrow a helmet from the rental shop if your gut tells you so.