For many people, crossing the road is a highlight of visiting any Vietnamese city.
For others it’s a terrifying and stressful task.
Either way, getting from one side of the street to another is not straightforward.
The sheer volume of scooters on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi is quite bewildering and even the most confident traveller will question their ability when they are faced with the task of getting from one side of a busy Vietnamese street to the other.
You may think that a set of traffic lights provides a safe haven, but the sheer speed that they switch from green to red and back again is quite alarming, and enough to catch out most foreign pedestrians.
So what should you do when faced with a wall of thousands of revving scooters? It’s easy when you know how:
1. Watch what the locals do – when and where they cross.
2. Find a friendly face that looks like they know what they’re doing and walk alongside them.
3. Walk (don’t run) at a constant pace and in a straight line – the scooters will drive around you as opposed to you walk around them. At first this will feel like sheer madness but after just one or two trials you’ll soon find out that it’s the way the system works.
4. Don’t stop in the middle of the road to take a photo of a family of five on one moped or a cyclist carrying a piano, however tempted you are. Do it from the side of the road instead.
5. If all else fails look for one of the green clad tourist police that you’ll find in most touristy sections of city. Part of their job remit is to ensure you cross the road safely.
And remember, when you return home – forget everything you learnt in Vietnam….
Travel tip shared by Mark Hodson