Take one car and place circa 15 scooters around it, each having its own little direction agenda which it will stick to no matter what. Multiply this by 10. And now, cross the street!
That the traffic is just mad in Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon is no secret. Though I had been to Saigon before I was again surprised by how crazy it is! One day we went up to OMG Bar Saigon, a beautiful roof top bar located close to the Ben Thanh market and its roundabout. While sipping cocktails I just couldn’t stop watching the traffic life on the roundabout. Have you ever disturbed a little ant trail and the ants started off running around like chickens without heads? Well that’s the picture that I had in my head when looking at this roundabout..
Though scary at first, it is actually quite easy to cross a street in Vietnam. The secret is NOT to wait until there are no scooters or cars anymore (that’s never gonna happen). The secret is to JUST WALK. But don’t walk blindly either. Wait until you have a bit of space until the next scooter comes (don’t go on a suicide mission and simply jump in front of a scooter that is 2 meters away), then start walking. ALWAYS look to the direction of the incoming traffic. You may stop if necessary (not suddenly though!) and incidate to scooters / cars that you will let them pass or that they have to let you pass. But never, NEVER, walk back! People expect you to keep on walking – they integrate this into their subconscious assessment of the situation. You don’t want to surprise them by doing the opposite! So don’t pull any weird moves and happy crossing :)