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Getting familiar with Vietnam traffic

Home Travel Blog Getting familiar with Vietnam traffic

Getting familiar with Vietnam traffic

Being known for owing a large number of motorbikes, Vietnam is also famous for straight phenomena in traffic. Almost most of the travelers coming to this S-shaped country have traffic problems, especially ones who first visit this Southeast Asian nation. Therefore, finding information about the condition of Vietnam traffic, particularly traffic in Hanoi and Saigon as well as essential rules will help you deal with such issues.

Overall of Vietnam traffic

Motorbike – the major means of transport in Vietnam

The first impressive thing in Vietnam transport system should be the number of motorbikes. Vietnamese people tend to choose motorbikes because of their great benefits. The first one is that this means of transportation is the most suitable for residents living in the country with low income. Only with over 10 million VND, people can easily buy a motorbike. Besides, roads of Vietnam, in general, are too narrow, the house in the city center is narrow too. When using a motorbike, you can reach everywhere you want, from the restaurant beside the large road to the mini house in a small corner. Moreover, compared to driving a car, using a motorbike would be more simple.

Motorbike – the major means of transport in Vietnam

Traffic jams

The second problem with the traffic in Vietnam is traffic jams. Like everywhere else in the world, traffic congestion is always the most obsessed thing for everyone when moving in the street. During rush hour, especially of weekends and holidays, it is possible that you get stuck with many vehicles around. However, this status will not last for long hours in many other nations. This is because Vietnamese people are very flexible. They want to escape from traffic jam as soon as possible so they often ride their motorbikes on the sidewalk rather than waiting. This action seems impolite and weird but the redeeming factor is that it helps to decrease the time being tired with traffic congestion.

Traffic jam

In addition, while roads are repaired, there are some structures still under construction and pot-holes. Therefore, you should watch the road carefully and control your speed.
Moreover, “Street ninjas” is a well-known term when referring to the face of Vietnam traffic. Most female motorists in this tropical area wrapped themselves almost fully when going out until being safely out of the sun. They try to protect their skin from sunburn as in Vietnam, light skin tones are considered an example of beauty and high social status.

Traffic in Hanoi and Saigon

Each city’s transport system has its own feature, thus, travelers need to have a good knowledge of them. Here we offer you with an overview of traffic conditions of the two largest cities in Vietnam.

Hanoi traffic

With the population of around 8 million people, Hanoi – the capital city of Vietnam has a large number of communicators.  Like Vietnam traffic in general, traffic jam is the major problem that Hanoi traffic has to deal with. During peak hours from 7h to 8h in the morning and 17h to 19h in the afternoon, all the roads are bombarded with flows of goers. Giang Vo – Cat Linh – Giang Van Minh; Le Van Luong – Lang Ha; Minh Khai – Time City; Hoang Quoc Viet – Pham Van Dong, etc. are the outstanding places among 37 spots of traffic congestion.
To some foreigners, the confusing thing with traffic in Hanoi is how to identify different police in that country. Police officers are dressed in various colors ranging from blue, tan to green with various kinds of headgear, badges and epaulets dealing with issues from traffic flow management to work-permit registration to riot control situations. The ones who are in the tan suit are traffic police while those in dark suits are mobile police. Public security officers wear their pine- green uniforms whereas youth volunteer appears with blue ones.

The Old Quarter Walking Street – where you can try Vietnamese traditional games

Contrast to ugly issues above, Hanoi traffic still offers visitors nice experiences. The Old Quarter Walking Street, which consists of the route surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake from Friday 6 p.m until Sunday 12 p.m, is the wonderful place for tourists to enjoy Vietnam culture through Vietnamese traditional games and activities as well as to take pleasure from the beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Playing fold games in Hanoi walking street on weekend

Saigon traffic

The conditions of traffic in Saigon – the largest city in Vietnam, seems milder than that of Hanoi: the roads are larger and infrastructure is more modern. Thus, the time you get stuck in a traffic jam in Ho Chi Minh city is shorter, compared to that in Hanoi although traffic congestion is still the most difficult challenge for the local authority. Some routes whose traffic are heavy that need to be mentioned are Su Van Hanh – Thanh Thai, Truong Chinh, Cong Hoa – Hoang Hoa Tham, Pham Van Dong – Nguyen Thai Son – Bach Dang – Hoang Minh Giam, Nguyen Thi Dinh, My Thuy, Thu Duc, Dinh Bo Linh – Bach Dang, Xo Viet – Nghe Tinh. Besides, in spite of modern infrastructure, Saigon’s mobility cannot meet city dwellers’ needs as the number of people is increasing considerably.
Not only modern infrastructure does Saigon has, but the fare for using public transport in this city is also lower than in Hanoi.

Entertainment activities on Nguyen Hue Walking Street

Like in Hanoi, in Saigon, travelers can enjoy the relaxing time in Nguyen Hue Walking Street. This area is the place for you to try interesting entertainment activities of the most modern city in Vietnam.

Nguyen Hue walking street

Vietnam traffic rules

Wearing helmet is mandatory

Since Vietnam traffic has its own features, it’s essential for the newcomers to understand Vietnam traffic rules while voyaging to the country. Here are 9 basic rule you need to observe:

  • Go on the right of the road
  • No more than two people on a motorbike
  • Don’t use horns at night
  • Wearing helmets while driving a motorbike or an electric bike is compulsory
  • No drinking before driving
  • Don’t use a cell phone when driving or even walking
  • The seat belt is mandatory especially for those sitting on front seats
  • Abide by the speed limit


Helmet on when joining traffic in Vietnam

Keep calm when crossing the street in Vietnam

To some foreigners, crossing the road in Vietnam is a nightmare. To make this become easier, here are some tips for you:

  • Observe what the traffic is doing, when the road is relatively free, it’s time for you to go
  • Keep walking, slow down if necessary
  • Don’t be worried when people driving towards you, as they will change their direction
  • Do not run as fast as possible because that will make drivers unable to change their direction
  • It’s useful to use a hand to wave to ask them for giving way
  • Following a local to cross the road isn’t a bad idea


Keep calm when crossing the street in Vietnam

That’s all basic information about Vietnam traffic you need to know. Hope that it will help you have a nice Vietnam tours 2019!
Toan Do – Travel Lover

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