Crossing the street in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city, or any other city in Vietnam can be an daunting. The traffic is maddening and chaotic, there seems to be no traffic rules, and there is not a working cross-walk in the country.
To help you cope with the action of crossing the street safely, here are a few tips that we picked up along the way:
Don't hesitate. Waiting for a lull in traffic is hopeless, so if you want to get across, just go.
Don't stop and make a sudden unexpected turn in opposite direction when you're in the middle of the street. Keep going at an even pace. Know that traffic will adjust to you.
Don't look just one way. Vehicles can sometimes go against the flow of traffic so do pay attention to both directions. Make eye contact with oncoming road users helps see whether they notice you and your movement pattern.
Don't run! If anything is going to get you killed in Vietnam, it's attempting to run across the street. Take it slow, walk in a straight line, keep a steady pace, and traffic will flow smoothly around you.
Crossing the street in Vietnam is anything but pedestrian. But if you approach the problem with a healthy dose of newfound confidence you should live to tell the story.
Rules of the road when travel in Vietnam.
Here is a fun list that candidly describe the Rules of the Road in Vietnam
Obey the road rules if you can work out what they are
Maintain direction no matter what
Remember the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Expect the totally unexpected
Do not be surprised when a 10-metre boat slung on a pole between two motor cycles crosses the expressway in front of you.
Do not be surprised if, despite bird flu, a flock of ducks suddenly fills the entire the highway
Do not be surprised if a laden bus (or anything else) comes at you on the wrong side of an expressway.
Red traffic lights often seem to be only advisory
Do not stop immediately on a red light or someone behind will run into you
The man with the two full-size refrigerators on the back of his mortor cycle is NOT going to stop at a red light.
Traffic roundabouts are only a slight inconvenience to traffic
It’s quite reasonable to go the wrong way up one-way streets
When doing something totally stupid like going the wrong way up a one-way street or into oncoming traffic, blast away on your horn
Ride with a finger pressed almost continuously on the horn since this is easier than obeying road rules
Just because you have four on the bike and are going the wrong way up a one-way street does not mean the police will stop you
Lights are not used during the day because they use too much electricity
Traffic lights can often be hidden behind trees or signs
“No left turn” signs are usually inconspicuous and can be moved from time to time
Just because you are turning left and on the left side of the carriageway doesn’t mean someone will not pass you on the left to go straight ahead
Just because someone is on the left side of the carriage-way in front of you does not mean they do not intend to suddenly turn right
Ditto if they are on the right side of the road
Just because there is a wall of motorbikes spanning both sides of the road facing you, don’t think you are necessarily heading into a one-way street.
Just because there is a car bearing down on you on your side of the road doesn’t mean he’s on the correct side of the road
Crash helmets are for putting in the basket at the front of your bike
Remember most car drivers don’t own a cars – they own motorbikes and drive accordingly
Double ditto for bus drivers
If you are going to be hit by a car make sure it is not a government car
Avoid foreigners since most are riding Russian bikes and need to keep going or the engine cuts out
Avoid any drivers wearing a green hat as they are probably xe om drivers and thus feel they are right of way