Have you seen the video posted on BBC of a job’s worth traffic officer in Vietnam trying to stop a bus by clinging onto its front?
It’s shocking for us, but I can imagine it’s not that such isolated a case in Vietnam. During our trip in 2009 we witnessed some blood-curdling scenes on local roads. Have a look at the photos below to see how crazy traffic in Vietnam can be.
During our trips we’ve visited many countries where rules of the road were as loose as a drunk girl on a Friday night. However, none of these places were as bad as Vietnam, where traffic lights, road signs and road surface markings are a mere decoration and nobody seems to notice their existence. Nowhere are you safe and even being on the pavement you would fear for your life, due to the fact that for Vietnamese drivers there is no such thing as pedestrian areas.
Also crossing the road is an extreme sport only for those with nerves of steel, as in Vietnam the concept of cars stopping to allow pedestrians to cross the road is laughable and you pass at your own risk.
Fear is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, so the key is to look confident and determinedly cross the road without stopping or looking back. We crossed roads in Vietnam many times and they never stopped for us, but we never got run over either, so fair play to them. Have a look at this video we took while crossing one of the roads in Ho Chi Minh City.
All’s fair in love, war and the roads of Vietnam.
Our video was also published on TravelinAsia on 20th April 2012.
written by: Ania