Vietnam is a scooter country. There are literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of scooters (or motorbikes) plying the roads all the time. For visitors, it sometimes becomes overwhelming to cross the road seeing the sheer number of these vehicles rushing back and forth on both sides. After a week-long stay in Hanoi, I (and of course, wifey and the kids too!) learned that the art of successfully crossing Vietnam’s streets requires knowledge of these three things:
1. In most roads (except probably major arteries and highways), majority of these motorbikes don’t care about traffic lights; that is, they will still move forward even though the light says stop (red). In this case, you have to be careful all the time, as the usual traffic rules don’t apply.
2. More often than not, moving your hands up on cars (signalling them to stop) won’t work, so abandon that idea when crossing roads. More importantly, once you started crossing the street, don’t ever toy with the idea of going back!
3. The art of crossing Vietnam’s busy streets lies on the knowledge that these scooters will circle or avoid you while you’re crossing the road. So, instead of waiting for them to pass you by (which might not end due to their large number), the trick is to find a small gap between groups of scooters, then walk carefully but purposely in regular strides, rather than darting here and there. If you find other people crossing at the same time, better walk with them, as it will be easier to cross the road in a bigger group.
Crossing roads in Vietnam requires skill that needs to be perfected for you to be able to enjoy it. However, once you perfected this art, it will be one of your cherished memories from this lovable country. You’ll smile every time you remember the adventure.
teachers for most of the last 15 years... into educational technology, e-learning and quality assurance. builds scale models of cars and robots, and experiments in photography in spare time. loves to travel and explore new places with family.
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