Hanoi: Crossing the Street.

The traffic in Hanoi is crazy.  Motorbikes rule in this city and the rest can follow their lead or get out-of-the-way.   This video was taken during a really ‘calm’ time, well before I even knew that it gets 10x’s worse during rush hour when traffic takes over the sidewalks as well.  It’s quite an amazing sight.

So how does one cross the street in Hanoi?

You hold your breath, swallow the lump of fear in your gut and step off the curb.  Then you look every direction, not that it helps, before slowly proceeding forward.  The motor bikes simply keep honking and then swerve and dodge around you.  I should add that it helps to wave your hand in a fanning motion as I observed some of the elderly ladies doing.

Crossing the road while holding both Emma and Jacobs’ hands adds an additional element of fear for me.   Jacob follows my lead without hesitation, putting his full faith in me being the leader.

Emma, on the other hand, tends to hesitate and then stalls or zigs and zags which is the worst thing you can do.  In Hanoi, the motorists simply don’t navigate around someone dodging and darting through traffic and that’s what is something that stresses me the most when crossing with her.  She’s learning, but in the meantime she’s stuck to my side like glue.  No worries, Mom,  I’ll throw myself down before a vehicle has a chance to hit her.

It’s amazing that you don’t see accidents left, right and centre in this city.  I’ll admit, I’ve been nicked by a van while walking down a narrow alley way.  I was lucky that the van had a hinged side view window and the one that stuck my shoulder just bent back without really injuring me.

Have you experienced other crazy motorists in other parts of the world?  Any tips or tricks on crossing the roads with kids in tow would be hugely appreciated.

5 responses to “Hanoi: Crossing the Street.

    • They do have traffic lights at some intersections but they seem to be used more as a guideline, rather then a means to maintain order.

  1. Wow. Time flew by! You’re done with your China portion already! Been interesting following your blogs. Connor & Keira send their regards. ^^

  2. Pingback: Lessons in Hanoi |·

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