I'm in awe that traffic actually works here

in #vietnamlast month

Vietnam's roads are known for being a bit chaotic. This isn't because Vietnamese are necessarily bad drivers, I would say they are no better or worse than most other countries and would say they certainly pay more attention to what is going on around them than your average American who seems to operate on auto-pilot half the time.

Things in Vietnam, to the newbie who just got here look like it is simply crazy time in the streets. However, I have seen almost no accidents here and the ones I have seen were relatively minor.


This is a rather extreme example, and none of the ones near me are like this but something you frequently encounter in Vietnam is intersections with no clear indication of anyone having right of way. Intersections on minor roads don't have stop signs, as a matter of fact I have never seen a stop sign anywhere in this country at all.

Most of the stop lights seem to be suggestions rather than the rule and even though there are cameras and the threat that they will find you if you violate the red lights I don't think that is actually true based on the amount of people that just blaze on through a red light.


This photo is a bit more realistic and is very common here in Da Nang. No stoplights, no stopsigns, yet in my years here I have only seen a single accident and both of those people just picked themselves up, I presume said sorry, and went on their way. I have never seen some detritus on the side of the road from some horrendous accident.

There is a ton of beeping your horn though and this is a sound that carries on through the night and day and is a bit annoying after a while. When motorists approach an intersection they lay down on the horn to alert other people that they are coming and to prepare accordingly. It sounds crazy, but for some reason it actually works.

I have a horn on my bicycle, and it is something I use frequently. I never thought I would see that day.

Why does it work? Why are there not injuries constantly in every direction? I don't have the answer to that, but for some reason, and perhaps it is decades of it always being this way, the Vietnamese have got it figured out and this is their way.

I don't recommend trying to jump into the fray on your first day when you are visiting though :)