Photographer's Note

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!

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6791 W: 150 N: 14825] (65331)
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