Riley’s Guide: How to Cross the Street in Vietnam

As you probably know by now, the traffic in Vietnam is insane. Motorbikes on the sidewalks; driving on both sides of the road; entire families on a single motorcycle; and the few stop lights here are completely ignored.

It is complete chaos, but the locals are unfazed by it.

Now, after two and a half weeks here, my family has gotten very good at crossing the street. In fact, we barely blink an eye at the continuous wave of motorbikes and a few taxis.

If you ever go to Vietnam, here are some tips for crossing the street:

  1. This one’s obvious–look the way the traffic is coming, which means both directions.
  2. Meet the eyes of the people driving straight at you. This will help them avoid you.
  3. When in the middle of the road, KEEP GOING AND DON’T STOP. Believe me, they will dodge you, even if it’s by just a hair.
  4. You don’t want to be arrested for jay-walking, but crosswalks don’t really matter here. To locals, it’s just white paint on the road with no meaning.
  5. Last and most importantly–be careful! According to our driver, 40 people a day die in traffic accidents in Vietnam.

Conclusion: Look confident, don’t hesitate, and hopefully you’ll make it across alive.

*If you follow these tips and you are hurt, don’t blame this guide.

12 comments

  1. […] @4WornPassports gives us a bit of quirky advice on How to Cross the Street in Vietnam. […]

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  2. […] but with over 2,000,000 successful plunges, I guess it is safe.  In fact, it’s probably safer than crossing the street in Vietnam.  Unfortunately, a visit to AJ Hackett’s shop in Queenstown left two of my adrenaline junkies […]

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  3. Zarah Salgado · · Reply

    Great explanation Riley! Zarah from Betel Garden here. Miss you guys! Email me.
    ;D

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  4. Daniel D · · Reply

    Happy New Year gang!! Keep sharing your great experiences and be safe.

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  5. Sanderlin Holmes · · Reply

    The conclusion could be a motto ” for life” .. Really enjoying your trip..
    Sanderlin

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  6. Hilarious Riley. Think I would stay on my side of the street. A lot worse than me riding the bike in DC.

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  7. Count me in! I had a 50cc red esprit in college- got used for 50$ and then sold for 50$ . Never filled the gas tank for the whole year I had it….great times!

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    1. I can TOTALLY see you on a little red scooter. Maybe you, Denene, and Jen can start the scooter club, but I’ll need to ride on the back of someone else’s.

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  8. So funny! Especially the last line! Experienced this is when in Nicaraugua. too. Kinda funny, kinda amazing and kinda scarey all in the same breath!!!

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  9. Denene Lemke · · Reply

    Now I really want a scooter! Kellie could get one too, and we could have a scooter gang here in LP!

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    1. Awesome idea! The only problem is that the one time I tried to drive one, I wrecked it before getting it out of the parking lot. I seriously don’t know how they do it. It’s worth a trip to Vietnam just to watch the traffic.

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