Taxis join the Pokemon hunt in Vietnam

By Vien Thong   August 13, 2016 | 05:00 am PT
Cab drivers have come up with a special package to help Pokemon players catch 'em all.

Minicab drivers in Vietnam are making a quick buck of the Pokemon craze by driving game players around to chase down the imaginary creatures.

Pokemon Go was officially released in the Southeast Asian country last Saturday. Since then the mobile game that overlays the virtual world on real locations, has taken Vietnamese game players by a storm.

Players roam the streets in search of virtual creatures in real time with many willing to take a few extra miles to catch the rarest ones. 

Minicab drivers have quickly seized business opportunities from the fever, charging between VND150,000 ($7) and VND250,000 ($11) for an hour of pursuing Pokemon around town.

“Go on hunt for Pokemon in an air-conditioned cab. As a bonus, we play music and serve free mineral water. It is an extremely safe hunt!” A driver put up an advertisement on Facebook which has received a lot of favorable responses.

Da Thuong, a white-collar worker in Ho Chi Minh City, who uses low-cost ride-hailing Uber to get to work every day, said her drivers have enthusiastically advertised the service in the past few days.

These drivers even guarantee to take customers to the best locations in the city where there are plenty of digital creatures so that the chance of chasing down the rare ones is high, Thuong added.


Drivers are putting up adversitisement for taking Pokemon Go players on rides to catch 'em all on Facebook.

Uber drivers won’t have it all their own way, however, as many private car owners in major cities are descending on the market at speed.

Tran Ngoc Tan, a car owner in Hanoi, has offered the service for a week. He said customers are offered the option of taking a four-seater cab or a 16-seater minibus.

“Most of my customers are people who have both time and money,” Tan added.

A cab service operator in the beach resort city of Nha Trang offers a $13 package for a five-hour Pokemon hunt on the outskirts of the city.

Some motorbike drivers have also entered the market, helping players track down Pokemon without violating the traffic law. Recently, police has warned people not to play the game while driving motorbikes around the streets.

For $4, motorbike drivers will take the mobile game players to any Pokestops in the city for two to four hours.

Players too lazy to go out for a hunt have opted for Pokemon farming services. Many even tried to submit fake locations to Google Maps to bring pokestops closer to their location.

Pokemon Go has become the most downloaded app on the App Store charts, with many people now spending more time on game than Twitter.

Related news:

Map maker community cries for Pokemon Go players to stop meddling with Google Maps

Pokemon farming services sprout in Vietnam

Pokemon Go: Flappy Bird who?

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