The traffic situation in Vietnam can be downright insane. Traffic lights and stop signs are not the law, but rather mere suggestions. Cross-ways do and do not exist in Vietnam and if you’re looking for pedestrian lights … you’ll have to keep looking.
The oncoming traffic will look intimidating when a massive craze of motorbikes are honking as they drive towards you. You feel like in a game of Frogger. If you’re not familiar with the game: The objective is to direct frogs to their homes by crossing a busy road and navigating a river full of hazards without getting flattened. Splat! Not a pretty picture…
So how do you cross a street in Vietnam? Very slowly!
Take a big, deep breath and get your zen on, before attempting the following steps:
DO as the Vietnamese do: Take the plunge and inch across slowly. Observe the miracle of the Red Sea, as the traffic parts like magic, flowing smoothly in front of you or behind you. We heard a local explain it like this: “The traffic in Vietnam behaves like a school of fish, the traffic will flow around you”.
Do not panic and never go back. Don’t try to turn around and go back the way you came or you risk becoming mincemeat!
Pedestrians NEVER have the right away. So don’t even think a red light and crosswalk means it’s your turn.
Remember the most important rule: You must ALWAYS move predictably! Don’t make any sudden or unpredictable movements. Freeze if you have to, but never lunge forward or backward towards the safety of the sidewalk. In fact, you can do just about anything, but do it with conviction! The oncoming drivers will anticipate your position and adjust their drive path accordingly.
So now that you’ve acquired the basic street-crossing survival guide, enjoy our Saigon traffic experiences 🙂
And don’t worry. If you survive the first few crossings, you quickly get the hang of it… 🙂This entry was posted in Asia, WorldMap