Motorcycling in Hanoi

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We are absolutely blown away by the way people ride motorcycles and in particularly in Hanoi. They ignore all the rules.

Here are some of the things observed:

Sidewalks are okay to drive on to go around a corner (especially when pedestrians such as us are standing on the corner on that sidewalk!)

Dont observe traffic lanes, ride on the line between cars or move into the lane occupied next to you.

Buses can ride your ass and can pass you by within inches.

You can ride the shoulder, between traffic and the other side of the road or make a u- turn in heavy busy traffic and no one seems to care that you do this.

You can ride into oncoming traffic lane and no one cares

You can pull over onto the sidewalk in front of pedestrians. So many bikes park on sidewalks so that pedestrians have to walk on the street in the traffic.

Do not have bike side mirrors or use them only to check your teeth or hair while driving.

It is possible to send text messages with one hand while riding the freeway by motorcycle..and no one cares.

Do not ever practice using shoulder check to see what traffic is doing because its not necessary and would only frighten you to see what’s going on around you.

Dont look both ways while turning into an intersection or going through an intersection..its just not necessary and will only frighten you. You will somehow be included in the flow of traffic so its not necessary.

It is acceptable to carry windows, tables, children in your arms with no helmets or balance them on bike tank, your whole extended family. Bamboo trees (7 ft tall) can be carried, glass doors/windows, beds, etc. etc. we are finding that those pics you see of motorcycles heavily weighed down with stuff are FOR REAL and more importantly they are the NORM versus the odd exception here. so we’ve really enjoyed watching traffic go by as its so amazing how MUCH is on those bikes!

When we were in the city of hanoi we found it was horrendously noisy, congested and there were so many bikes parked on sidewalks that we ended up walking single file on the curb side of the streets. It was so slow going because of all the traffic and bikes parked everywhere and a STRESSFUL experience to be out and about. crazy. crazy place.