The Art of Crossing the road.....in Vietnam

So, i made it out alive! That is why i am still typing right here. On my first try in Saigon, i was in for the shock of my life. Yeah, coming from a very organized city with strict traffic rules and what not. Jaywalking over in Saigon is the norm, heck, there is no traffic light!! Even if there is, its situated in smaller parts inside the city but i don't think people actually bother to stop though.

Do you actually think crossing the road in 20 minutes is normal for first timers? Yes! It includes going back and forth thinking if you are going to die, planning out shorter road crossing to your destination, checking out how heavy the traffic flow is, your panic attack etc. Well, done that and SCRAP that! Because i am about to give you some pro tips.


1. Breathe in! Remember don't panic. Or you will be at the pavement looking like a depressed human being.

2. Look at the traffic before you actually cross it. Look both left and right. Say your prayers, once there's a distance between you and any nearest incoming vehicles it means you are ready...... (when you are used to it, you don't even need to look before you cross, but well that's just stupid.) 

3. Put your foot onto the road and moved. Once you have step onto the tar, never ever try to reverse. Walk straight in a constant motion. Not too fast & not too slow. Don't stop, don't run, like Hunger Games...joking! You got to give the drivers time to gauge your speed so they could make their way around you perfectly. Trust me on this one. VERY IMPORTANT!

4. Voila, you are safe and sound! Look behind you, give yourself a pat in the back, carve a smile, wipe your sweat, walk on and get ready for the next cross.
  • Try to avoid walking in front of buses and cars because its a little bit difficult for them to stop in time or move their vehicles.
  • If you are really scared follow someone/a group of people crossing the road together with you but remember to stand next to them and not behind them. You do not want to be killed faster do you?
  • Some places have a tourist police, these guys are dressed up in green. Well many job uniforms are in green, you won't know whom is whom. Anyway, they are in a muddy green uniform with a cap? i think and helps people to cross the road. 
  • Ignore the horns around you, basically they are doing this to alert everyone (vans, cars, lorries, you) that they can see you and approaching.
  • Fake it till you make it. You need the confidence and you have to look the part of a cool person crossing the street or you will just run back to your timid self and getting scared all over again. Not worth it.
You will get the hang of it on your 2nd try but don't be too confident and still look out for traffic. I almost flipped out and give up going to the central market where all the buzz are because you know...too chicken but hey i did it! 

After all, who could have said, there are more than 37 million bikes in Vietnam. The ratio to cars, mopeds are the main vehicle on the road...imagine the accomplishment crossing a road with dozens of them zipping by without a scratch on you. It feels great. Good luck, may the force be with you!

Readers warning: Don't try this at home unless of course your home is in Vietnam. 

You can watch this video though and see what its like: DIY Night tour | Saigon, Vietnam Stay tuned for more Adventures!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the advices, they're so useful! :)

    Autumn in Neverland

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is exactly how to deal with traffic. The only things you forgot to mention are sidewalks are treated as part of the road system and green walk signals does not mean its safe to cross

    ReplyDelete

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