For me, the story of Saigon, is the driving. And I feel like this photo explains the whole theory of Vietnamese traffic: JUST KEEP MOVING. Maintain a slow, steady speed and just don’t stop. It is the rule for driving and it is the rule for walking. People are good at charting trajectories. They want you to keep on yours. Everything counts on you sticking to your trajectory. If you stop, if you make any sudden moves, it throws everything off. So basically, do not drive (or cross the street) like a New Yorker. I found this out the hard way.

To a westerner, the traffic in Vietnam pretty much seems like complete chaos. There are no turn lanes. There are very few stop lights, and they are often ignored, anyway. People kinda drive the same way you would walk in a crowded shopping mall. Or at the Texas State Fair. Or on The Mall in DC during a rally. If you want to turn through traffic, you just weave through the onslaught of scooters coming at you. Traffic is just one giant game of chicken. Hopefully not Frogger. Which reminds me, our guide referred to the Frogs Legs we ate on our Vespa tour as “Jumping Chickens.” Good, right?

I just uploaded a bunch more photos to Flickr of the day we spent in Saigon. And there are a bunch of our Vespa tour there.

Also, I think the best way to get the feel for traffic in Saigon would be through video, not through photos. So I made a video of scenes from the Vespa tour. You can watch that here:


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