How to Cross the Road in Vietnam

Caitlin Adventure, Asia, Featured, Places, Vietnam Leave a Comment

You’re in Ho Chi Minh City. You stop at an intersection. You need to cross the road.

But there’s no little green man to send you across… And the zebra crossings? Don’t even think about it – no drivers pay attention to those.

The motorbikes are coming at you as a never-ending mass of noisy, impatient riders.

How do you get to the other side?

Noone is stopping for you. The traffic never ends. There’s no space for you.

This is the fear of everyone when they first arrive in Vietnam, and see the extent of traffic on the city streets. After four months travelling the country, I’ve discovered a simple process to get it done. Although, you’re going to need a little faith in those riders…

Really, it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.

1. Find a Gap

I know. I know. I know. There’s no such thing.

But I don’t mean the sort of gap you’d find back home that gives you plenty of space between yourself and any oncoming traffic to get safely over to the other side.

I mean a small one. Like enough where someone who’s coming towards you on their scooter can adjust their path and move around you. We’re talking mere metres here. Not much. Just enough. Experiment a little and you’ll see what works.

2. Avoid the Big Vehicles

So you’ve found your gap, but you’ve got a truck coming straight through behind it.

Don’t walk yet.

That truck isn’t going to be able to move all that quickly to adjust course around you.

What you need to do is wait until it’s a motorcycle or a scooter coming towards you. The riders of these vehicles are (or so it seems) immensely skilled at manoeuvring themselves and adjusting their course just perfectly that they won’t be hitting you when you step out.

Which brings me to point 3.

3. Keep a Steady Pace


Begin your walk.

Don’t hesitate.

Keep your pace steady.

Like I said, the riders are skilled. Without thinking, they’ll guess where you’re going to be on the road when they get there and make sure they’re not hitting you.

If you hesitate, the predictions go out the window, and anything could happen.

The first time I was in Vietnam, I was told to close my eyes and do it. While I wouldn’t recommend that (terrifying), it gives you an idea of just how important it is to keep that pace steady.

So give it a go, and let me know about your experience in the comments below.

I’ll warn you though, these habits soon become second nature, and you’ll find yourself being a little reckless when crossing the road at home…

Read More at: Vietnam Travel

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