Motorcycling in Vietnam


Motorcycles are the only form of transport for many Vietnamese families. To see a whole family (mum, dad and anywhere from one to four children) on one bike is not at all unusual. There are thousands of motorbikes on the road at any one time and they outnumber other vehicles by about 10 to one.  And we were in Da Nang. I imagine that the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi is far denser. Even less notice is taken of red lights than in Ipoh and motorcyclists don’t even seem to slow down at intersections. Somehow they all manage to miss each other most of the time (we did see one collision) aided by enthusiastic and consistent use of horns. The photo above is a good example of the way in which motorbikes are used in Vietnam. Each member of this family is doing something other than concentrating on the traffic – mum is searching for something in her handbag, son is brandishing a sword (perhaps in an effort to keep other motorcyclists at bay) and dad has removed the mask that protects him from the polluted air to take a long pull at his cigarette!

2 thoughts on “Motorcycling in Vietnam

  1. pam says:

    Oh brilliant! So glad you loved it.
    It is a photographer’s paradise. And yes, one does need to mask all the traffic pollution when one’s mouth drops open at all the amazing sights. Did you have a bia hoi whilst sitting on the children’s size plastic chairs?

  2. janeburnett says:

    No but I was very impressed by Jim’s ability to ride a motorcycle (with me clinging on the back) through that traffic and on the right (wrong!) side of the road!

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