Top 10 Essential Tips to Deal with the Traffic in Vietnam

Ten Tips to Surviving the Traffic

“Vietnam will be the most beautiful country in the world if only its traffic is not too bad.” said the tourists on Vietnam vacation. Thousands of motorbikes on the narrow streets make crossing the roads impossible. Most people are willing to break the rules, the signs, and traffic lights will scare you whenever you drive. The complicated traffic system like a maze will make you become a joke in front of the locals. Do not worry. These local tips below will help you “survive” among Vietnam traffic.

vietnam traffic

Vietnam Traffic Tip #1

Do not spend hours waiting to cross the street on foot: that constant tide of traffic won’t stop until late at night.

Vietnam Traffic Tip #2

Do as the Vietnamese do: take the plunge and inch slowly the Miracle of the Red Sea, as the traffic parts like magic, flowing smoothly in front of you or behind meeting up again on the other side.

Vietnam Traffic Tip #3

Do not make any sudden or unpredictable movements: freeze if you have to, but never lunge forward or backward towards the safety of the sidewalk. In fact, you can do just about anything, but do it with conviction!

Vietnam Traffic Tip #4

Do not forget, if you’re riding or driving, to look where you’re going all the time: if you hit anything in front of you, then it’s your fault.

Vietnam Traffic Tip #5

Do give way to any vehicle bigger and noisier than yours. Trucks and buses are particularly dangerous: often old, sometimes unsafe, and usually all over the road.

Vietnam Traffic Tip #6

Do watch out for unfamiliar obstacles: water buffaloes, rocks of various sizes, broken-down trucks, deep holes, people sitting in the road, missing bridges, girls in ao dai cycling five abreast, slow-moving mountains of farm produce, dog fights, impromptu football matches, piles of building materials – and almost no lights on anything at night…

Vietnam Traffic Tip #7

Avoid going out in the rush hours (7.00 am to 9.00 am in the morning and 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm in the afternoon). It will take you hours to reach your destination.

Vietnam Traffic Tip #8

Do not trust Google Maps completely about streets in Hanoi Old Quarter and Ho Chi Minh City. You will get lost or go into one-way streets. You should travel with your local guides or friends.

Vietnam Traffic Tip #9

When crossing the roads, cars are not what you need to worry but motorbikes are. Some of them ride their motorbikes at high speed and accidents may happen.

cross roads in Vietnam

Vietnam Traffic Tip #10

Even when you are walking on the pavements, be careful as motorbikes may go behind you.