In Vietnam, specially in Saigon and Hanoi, traffic can get a bit crazy at every single time and not only during rush hours. There are specific road rules that are only applied to Vietnam. Therefore, in order not to get you feel shocked about the traffic when you’re here for the first time ever in your life, we’ve complied a short list of certain road roles in Vietnam that you need to know. Once you get the hang of it, you can stroll along the streets of Vietnam like a pro.
- There’s no such thing as rush hours:
By this, I mean…literally, every single hour spent in Vietnam is rush hours. The traffic is full, people get annoyed with smoke and dust, and this is normal. The space between each type of transportation on the street is less than 2 inches, from dusk to dawn. This happens literally everyday, but craziest on Mondays and Fridays. So if you wanna some space when the traffic is not as busy (to practice your motorbike riding), then it better be from 1AM to 4AM.
2. One way road doesn’t exist:
Now this can a shock to you all, but it’s insanely true. As long as you can get yourself to the destination faster when you’re in a freaking rush, it’s acceptable and ALRIGHT to drive on the wrong lane, or even when the road says “one way”, people will find their ways to make it two-way, as long as they can be at their designed destination. Watch out for the cops, though.
3. Be stern like a rock while crossing the street:
This is whole-hearted advice from the bottom of my heart, if you’re not daring enough to cross the street in Vietnam then don’t consider doing it at all. The traffic is indeed insane, but as long as you keep your walking pace steady then you’ll have no problem with it, because you’ll feel like all the bikes are coming towards you to shut you down. But once you’re used to it, then this shouldn’t be a problem. Remember, keep walking and looking out for traffic, and DO NOT stop midway.
4. Always wear a helmet:
You never know what happens out there in the traffic, even though the space between each bike and car is limited but still be double prepared for the baddest cases. And of course, we can easily get caught by the police for not wearing our helmets. It protects you from accidents and the popos.
5. It’s normal to squeeze in the traffic:
By this, I mean…it’s okay to squeeze your bike in between the traffic hours when you’re in a huge rush. And you might not like it (because I personally don’t like it), but when you’re in a hurry then this would definitely do the trick. Others might feel annoyed (and you would, too), but you gotta do what you gotta do. As long as you get to the destination safe and sound (and right on time), then it doesn’t really hurt.