Crazy Traffic in Vietnam
by Vaskatabaska on October 1, 2011
I hope I didn’t scare you with stories about police in Vietnam and how dangerous it is to ride a motorbike. Don’t be afraid! I think that the motorbike is the best transport ever! Especially in Vietnam. You can go anywhere if you have it, and it’s much more profitable to take a motorbike for rent, than to pay money for a taxi (even if it is a mototaxi). There are a lot of parking lots where you can leave your motorbike and be sure that no one will take it. So, it’s an easy and quick way to get anywhere you want. All you need to survive on a motorbike is to be confident, attentive, and know where you can find the danger.
As I promised, I’m going to tell you about things that can disturb you on the road.
1. Pedestrians. These guys appear unexpectedly and rush under wheels of the cars, motorbikes, bicycles, and buses. Everybody who intends to cross the road in Vietnam is risking his and other’s lives. More than that, usually they don’t cross the road on the crosswalk, preferring simply to walk in any part of the road, towards the traffic. Sometimes they like to stop in the middle of the road and think about something global.
2. Bicycles. The most widespread bicycle drivers are students. They want to grow up so much that they think that there is no difference between a bicycle and a motorbike. That’s why they allow themselves to drive in the center of the road at a smaller speed, slowing down and braking all the time and racing just at that moment when you lose your patience and try to overtake them.
3. Motorbikes. As you understand, this is the largest group on the road. I can really spend an eternity speaking about it. They are cool! They can drive all their stuff from place to place, such as bicycles, t.v. panels, refrigerators, and other things. They are not afraid to drive with pregnant woman and little kids. Sometimes you can see the act of breastfeeding on the backseat of a motorbike. Sometimes you can see pregnant women driving at dangerous speeds. You know, I have a theory, that every time when a man sits on a motorbike, a huge importance rise inside him. So, going out to the city with this huge importance, he thinks that he is a racer in a competition. He drives fast, overtaking everyone and even tries to get closer standing on the red light. If someone or something disturbs them or doesn’t allow them to go fast, they start to beep until they get what they want. If there is an opportunity, they will never lose it to go breaking all road laws. They just love to drive across the traffic, toward it, backwards, without showing any signals, turning left from the right line, etc.
4. Cars. These guys are the same as motorbikes but with aircon. There is no difference between the two in driving and mentality. Car drivers like to think that they are bosses on the road. That's why they don’t hesitate to beep twice more than motorbikes, trying to drive faster that everyone.
5. Buses. Wow, they are really dangerous. It is really so scary when they come from the back and give a long shrilly beep right in your ears. Also they like to talk, eat, and even read on the road. They always drive from the left side of the road to the right side to take passengers, so it really becomes a challenge to overtake a bus. Also, one tip for young drivers: try not to drive close to bus windows, because buses and other transport make the Vietnamese sick, and some passengers can belch right out of the window.
I’m sure that there is always what to tell about traffic in Vietnam, but I think, that it’s enough for people who are just starting to drive a motorbike! Good luck to you and straight roads!