Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Surviving the Ho Chi Minh City Traffic

The first most noticeable thing about Ho Chi Minh City (still fondly known by their old name, Saigon) is definitely their crazy, noisy traffic. Motorcycles, cars, buses, trucks, trishaws and pedestrians seemed to come together in all directions, criss-crossing and zig-zagging across each other.

There is almost never a moment of silence on the street, although much worse at rush hour which actually seems to be like forever. Be prepared to entertain your ears with a series of music composed of multitude sound of honks, roar of engines and booming exhaust pipes.

Fun fact : As of 2008, there are more than 3 million motorcycles in Ho Chi Minh City!

The crazy Ho Chi Minh city traffic at night

Seriously, it definitely takes a lot of skill and courage to cross a road in Ho Chi Minh city, to make it out of the stream of motorcycles, buses, trucks, cars  and whats not alive in one piece when you finally emerged at the other side of the road.

The secret to surviving such an insane traffic is honestly to JUST KEEP WALKING, else you will be stuck eternally just looking at passing vehicles. And better still in groups of people, while holding on to each other. Yes, as suicidal as it may sound, your journey to the other side only began once you pluck up sufficient courage to take that first step on the road. And once you set foot on the road, continue walking while motorcycles, cars, buses and trucks gradually slowed down and even stopped allowing you to complete your all important mission of crossing the street. It's unlike our country where pedestrians stop for vehicles, in HCMC, vehicles do actually stop for pedestrians.

None the less, while most of the motorcyclists and drivers in Ho Chi Minh City are understanding and considerate enough to slow down and prioritize pedestrians, there are handfuls that drives as though on a racing track so do be very careful as well and don't ever take for granted that it's always 'pedestrians first, vehicles later'.

Just to get a glimpse of the crazy, noisy HCM traffic, I had included a vid below, taken at about 8 pm at the popular Ben Thanh market. This was seriously how their daily traffic condition is like everyday. But well, now that you had learnt the secret to surviving their traffic, you can brace yourself to cross their street successfully next time.  :)

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Wow, I don't think I cant visit Ho Chi Minh then when I can't even cross the city streets in KL >.<

Hilda : Hahaha! Just keep walking in Ho Chi Minh and you'll survive. :)