The common street scene in Hanoi is utter chaos with swamps of motorbikes and other vehicles travelling in haphazard way unknown to the rest of the world, all weaving in and out of each other on the pavement. The enormous amount of motorbikes in this city is stunning making up 95 percent of the vehicles on the road
Vietnam, with a population of about 80 million, has now nearly 10 million motorbikes, one of the highest per capita levels in the world.
One of the biggest dangers around Hanoi comes in the form of this two-wheelers, the kings of the road. It doesn't matter whether they are bicycles, scooters or mopeds, there's thousands of them dominating the streetscape at any one time and they seem to be continually coming at you. The roads in Hanoi can be anything from wide to narrow but they always seem to manage to get a least 2 lanes of traffic on each side. There are very, very few traffic lights or pedestrian crossings so to cross the street you simply have to grin, bear it and walk like a local.
So, step out with logic and confidence, the rule of the day is to walk in a straight line at a reasonably steady pace, the motorbikes will simply weave their way around you but keep moving - they'll buzz around you as long as they can predict where you'll be and these riders are highly skilled in avoiding you. Do not make abrupt change in your direction or pace. Don't make sudden retreats as they would be caught off guard. This requires a level of trust in your fellow Vietnamese riders, but it does work. Cars will work their way around you or simply slow down so long as you walk with confidence. Of course the safest bet is to follow the locals, It takes a lot of nerve the first time, but gets easier with practice.
If you wait for the traffic to clear, you will never reach your destination!
Critiques | Translate
SnapRJW (31627) 2012-10-12 4:56
Hello Abmdsudi - This is a great shot and a really useful note. Having been in SE Asia several times (but not Vietnam) I am always terrified of crossing the road, do you think this would work in Bangkok too? The pedestrians in your image seem to be surrounded by a sea of two-wheelers which appear to be rushing towards one another at an alarming pace. They seem to be oblivious to what is going on around them. One even seems to be reading a book! Your elevated vantage point shows off the organised chaos so vividly, I love the feeling of motion .... colour blurs across a neatly painted intersection. Super work. Warm regards Rosemary
Nard (6972) 2012-10-12 4:56
Your composition gives a vivid and beautiful effect to this aerial view. I like the blur and the white drawing a nice graphic. Nice shot.
Bluejeans (64251) 2012-10-12 5:04
Ola Abmdsudi ,
Uma bela cena de vida diária neste cruzamento com estas motas e peões a cruzar a rua , boa sensação de movimento , boas cores, parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
Suppiluliuma (3913) 2012-10-12 5:35
A perfect explanation and a creative shot. Street secenes from above is a classic shot in Vietnam, but you demonstrated creativity by including those white lines. It certainly is a chaotic order !
JFS (32459) 2012-10-12 5:46
Fantastic and graphic shot, I love the view from the air. A good title could be as well; Living dangerouly...
All the best,
Glint (6171) 2012-10-12 6:35
this is a good and interesting graphical image. Full of motion as the vehicles scoot along and between the edestrians and the lines on the road. Thes lines create a strong diagonal dynamic as well as triangle -always a good compositional element. Enjoyed your note.
siamesa (27865) 2012-10-12 6:40
Bom dia Abmdsudi
Very nice photo. These effects are impressives. Very well done. TFS
holmertz (45936) 2012-10-12 7:55
This is an excellent and creative composition that immediately caught my attention among the thumbnails. You have used the blur of the speeding motorbikes very well and contrasting them with the many white lines of the street. A graphically very successful composition.
saxo042 (37724) 2012-10-12 8:30
Yes, standing on a balcony can give you a new perspective of life below. You see many other things that you can´t detect on street level. This is a very fine and interesting capture with a beautiful pattern and fine colours! A good note too!
eldancer1 (32826) 2012-10-12 9:42
Awesome capture of the daily life of busy people! Yes, it's like this in Manila also. I like the dynamic of the blurred actions on the street. Very well done, tfs.
pajaran (55597) 2012-10-12 10:05
Vrlo interesantan trenurak ...
Dobar trenutak snimka, lepe boje.
Dobra ideja i realizacija lepom fotografijom.
Dobra kompozicija, moje cestitke na ulovljenom trenutku.
Sve najbolje za vikend.
Very interesting trenurak ...
A good time recording, the beautiful colors.
Good idea and realization beautiful photography.
Good composition, my congratulations for the captured moment.
All the best for the weekend.
krzychu30 (15510) 2012-10-12 10:14
excellent way to capture vitality and mobility of a city.The high POV is great and let us admire this a little bit chaotic scene good and safe from above:)I wonder how they settle in in such chaos:)Also the choice of a longer shutter speed was a good idea to convey the mobility of the scene.Brilliant shot and very interesting note about the traffic in Vietnam.
Have a nice weekend
ourania (37398) 2012-10-12 11:47
a wonderful composition and full frame focused on the street and the chaotic movement of calm pedestrians and determined two-wheelers. They all seem very confident trusting each other's skill and judgement. A fascinating improvised choreography on a graphic ground of white lines that could mean anything and are probably not taken too much into consideration. Your point of view and lighting are superb. I love the sense of movement and the confidence of the pedestrian directed to the upper border of the frame. Your composition leaves surroundings and destinations mysterious. I also love your most useful and amusing note and feel ready for the challenge, well trained as a pedestrian and cyclist in the greek roads. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely weekend,
Fis2 (90859) 2012-10-12 12:30
Good idea, super effect.
I like frame and colors.
Very impressive picture.
siudzi (34141) 2012-10-12 12:35
Wow! What an unique and original composition! Love it! Perfectly seen, cropped and executed work. The visual effect is simply amazing.
aliabazari (16067) 2012-10-12 13:20
Hi abmdsudi Dear
Beautiful record of everyday life. The image is vibrant and moving. Nicely done composition and exposure.
lpi (4857) 2012-10-12 13:41
superbe scène de rue!
Très bon shot...Bravo!
macjake (62350) 2012-10-12 13:46
I always enjoy these style of photos. not only does it look good from an artisitic point of view, but its also a fine cultural scene.
I have a similar photo taken in NYC with the busy street life.
its cool to see the static white lines contrasted with the blurred movement.
well done with the slower shutter.
kato (11630) 2012-10-12 16:25
You're capturing well this pedestrian crossing by a good angle and excellent tone, so it's so interesting and impressive to see complicated direction makers on road, crossing people and many motorbikes. I saw same spectacles in Taiwan and Jakarta before. Priority was given to the motorcycle over the car or the pedestrian and I felt that it was somewhat dangerous for it. Do they use this to go to a place of work, or some shopping? You catch well the motion effect except one pedestrian at upper right.
Have a nice weekend.
Waylim (25434) 2012-10-12 16:33
Sorry, been busy and not active much here, just want to show my appreciation for your photos. This one is a really good one with a high POV and great sense of motion. A good POV to watch as life happen in the city.
delpeoples (55290) 2012-10-12 18:56
Hello dear Abmdsudi
Ahhh what an artistic image. The blur of the motorcyclists and their vivid colours, together with the markings on the road, make this a wonderful semi-abstract image. Your POV is sensational and I just love that guy standing still in the midst of all that chaos. Wonderful shot, I just love it.
jhm (145204) 2012-10-13 1:31
You show how traffic walk every day in the world, with one man middle between the motorcycles.
Taken out of the hight, good presentation.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
mkamionka (32937) 2012-10-13 2:28
fantastic illustration of the traffic rules or the lack of them in Vietnam. I like how the motorbikes are blurred and the pedestrians are sharper. It is a surprise that they don't collide with each other. Great perspective from above. The street markings seem completely useless.
Excellent work, and a very interesting note as usually,
dkmurphys (53561) 2012-10-13 3:33
What a great pasture from the busy streets of that city. I like the dynamic and the colors. Well taken ant farm scene.
Schnappilic (9690) 2012-10-13 4:39
Congratulations for your idea of this great framing. Great composition with a lot of grey, moving and static people, white lines. Huge result!
All the best,
danos (91150) 2012-10-13 7:42
great the snapshot from all these public dangerous(motorbikes) as transported in the streets of Hanoi,showing their street culture..
I like this clever capture with everything to be in movement in this intersection of the city.Excellent presentation,Bravo.
maria-v1981 (10932) 2012-10-13 14:43
A street with a lot of movement and agitation. I can not understand how they do not collide. Wonderful slow effect and the colours contrast against the white stripes.
Have a nice Sunday,
bukitgolfb301 (38040) 2012-10-13 15:27
Hi dear Abmdsudi YTH
Oh drastic change of location, from calm contry side in Sapa to busy Capital of Hanoi! I admire your high sense and keen inspiration every time. You are so great photographer, Abmudsudi!
Thanks for your sharing and have a good Sunady!
Takero from Tokyo
kjm (191) 2012-10-14 5:01
Excellent shot, colourfull and dynamic
annjackman (21053) 2012-10-14 5:08
Great advice in your note as I will be there on Saturday. Your viewpoint and exposure has given a colouful view of the chaotic street. The moving vehicles surrounding the people are wonderful against the precise white lines on the grey road surface. Expertly taken.
Kind Regards, Ann
chrisvek (7001) 2012-10-14 7:27
Awesome shoot with perfect and so clever look.Very nice "city" composition.Perfect framing too.Well done!TFS
Have a nice evening
mesutilgim (89762) 2012-10-14 9:36
Wonderfull birdseye view of this quite chaotic crossing with perfect graphical effect. Long exposure time helped to give the effect of the movement perfectly.
TFS and best regards
Cricri (112089) 2012-10-15 11:27
Difficile de passer quand on est piéton avec ces motos un peu folle tout autour, l'effet dynamique est bien rendu, bravo pour le POV et la réalisation
jemaflor (90107) 2012-10-19 2:23
Original result, interesting with the graphism of all these lines on the streets, nice dymanic effect, well managed.
Robert1969 (7160) 2012-10-23 6:31
It looks likes miniatures and the space that
they pass each other is very small: this
makes the picture exciting and the white
traffic lines amplifies the effect. Also
nice is that everyone is on blurred action,
except one person he (or she) is sharp and
has the most space around him (or her).
Light management and composition are as
adidas5nb (5685) 2013-05-03 19:50
now this is an extremely eye catching pic.love the angle from where it is shot.gives a perfect feeling of the busy ness there.love that 1 lady stuck static in that busy street.nice white lines spread all over adds to the frenzy feel.