Journal

An Organised Chaotic People Mover System – First impressions on Vietnam traffic

There were three lanes on the road:

  • The left lane allows you to go straight and turn left.
  • The right lane allows you to go straight and turn right.
  • The middle lane allows you to go straight… and turn left and turn right!!!

I’m serious! Here’s a photograph to prove my point.

Confusing Traffic Signage
Confusing Traffic Signage

Vietnam2Welcome to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City.

For a foreigner, traffic here will seem like chaos. If you intend to cross the road at the zebra crossing, do not wait for the traffic to stop for the traffic will not stop. But rest assured, the traffic will look out for you. But you should look out for them too. Just cross!

Motorbikes are a staple people mover system here and everyone will transport everything from fruits, to furniture, to an entire family of four on these nifty machines.

Vietnam4
But yet, throughout the four days I was in Vietnam, I’ve never seen a single accident occurring on the roads. Hence, I decided I must “feel” the traffic for myself. I asked my friend to ride me back to the hotel after dinner.

Yes, it was chaotic. But there were also some form of organisation in there which made the entire system worked. Vehicles are travelling at lower speeds so there was always time to react to situation. Drivers and riders seemed pretty alert to me. Most importantly, people do give way majority of the time!

The rules are confusing but the people are considerate. I believe that is the thing that makes all the difference.

This year marks Vietnam’s 40th anniversary of liberation. Ho Chi Minh City looks like an up and coming great metropolis to be. Street sellers speaking every language I know, somwhat, English, Mandarin, Malay and Japanese. People who are willing to work hard to move forward. A subway system is currently being built and that is definitely going to change the way people commute.

It’s going to be a vibrant city full of opportunities.
Vietnam3

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