Crossing Travel
TRAVEL TIPS Monday, 21 November 2016

The Art of Crossing the Street in Vietnam

If you plan to visit Vietnam, prepare to forget everything you ever learned about crossing the street. Forget about waiting for the traffic to stop, forget about zebra crossings, and forget about traffic lights.

Crossing the street in Vietnam
Crossing the street in Vietnam

 If you plan to visit Vietnam, prepare to forget everything you ever learned about crossing the street. Forget about waiting for the traffic to stop, forget about zebra crossings, and forget about traffic lights. Because in Vietnam, people cross the street by charging right ahead, weaving their way through moving traffic. It’s the only way to do it!

Most of the vehicles on the streets are quite small, mostly scooters, since buying a car in Vietnam is an expensive affair. People riding these scooters are quite careful, they move slowly, have unobstructed view, and are cautious not to crash into pedestrians. All you have to do while crossing is take it slow, and don’t panic. Walk very slowly, but don’t stop either. If you keep moving at a slow pace, you’re likely to make it to the other side safe and sound. Remember, don’t be scared.

Crossing the streets in Vietnam
Crossing the streets in Vietnam

 For those who come to Vietnam for the first time, the incredible volume of motorbikes on the road, added by car and non-name vehicle maybe intimidating. You want to get to the other end of the street but it does not look quite feasible. Unless you try it. Crossing over the jam is actually not that bad. You will just have to do it.

Crossing the streets in Vietnam
Crossing the streets in Vietnam

 The magic is that no-one will ever run into you.The relatively small size of the vehicle, the unobstructed view and especially the riders’ experience in managing around the city mean that they will take caution in the road, at least to avoid crashing into any walking-by passengers. The rule of thumb is that do not rush over to the other side of the street. If you observe carefully, you will see that most Vietnamese walk very slowly as they cross the street to allow time for moving vehicles to avoid any potential crash.  

 Of course it is advised you respect the traffic law and consequently set the example for others, do not feel scared crossing the road. Continue walking past while looking left and right at times. You can also raise your hand lower than your shoulders to signal to vehicles that you are crossing.

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