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HomeNews and travel articlesTravelogue from Vietnam: Organised chaos

Travelogue from Vietnam: Organised chaos

13 September, 2019
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In May 2019, our colleague Sofia travelled to Vietnam for the first time. One of the things that made a big impression on her was the traffic. Read her journal below.

Bike in Vietnam

The first thing that fascinated me when we arrived in Vietnam was the traffic.

Having landed in Hanoi, we had to drive from the airport to our hotel, which was in the old quarter of the city centre. My first thought was: We’ll never get to our hotel in this traffic – such chaos! After a while, however, I realised that what looked like chaos to us Scandinavians was, in fact, organised chaos, where everyone actually moved forwards all the time, without really following any traffic rules. In Vietnam, it’s all about driving at a lower speed and avoiding one another at a crossroads or a roundabout. Everybody crosses the road willy-nilly and comes out unharmed on the other side.

If you want to overtake someone, you just have to sound your horn to let the person you want to overtake know you are there – this often takes several beeps! You don’t use the horn because you’re angry or irritated, but just to say, “I’m coming through and I want to overtake you, so please keep right.”

Vietnam, bike

Finally, we also had to learn how to cross the road on foot. According to our guide, you just have to start walking out slowly and then walk at the same pace across the road – then all cars and scooters just drive around you. I thought: Okay, I’m never going to cross a road – it’s deadly! When we were dropped off at our hotel and left to spend the afternoon and evening on our own in this big city, it soon became clear to us that we would have to cross the road to get to all the good restaurants and the Old Quarter, which is an absolute must-see when you’re in Hanoi.

We did as our guide had told us to do – despite the protests from my brain – and it was incredible. We reached the other side in one piece! Having been thrown in at the deep end, we got used to crossing the road, and soon we were doing it with ease, just like all the locals.

Sofia, Asiatours.co.uk

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