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Vietnam - Motorcycle driving

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

It is now five days since I arrived in Vietnam and today is the big departure.

In five days I had time to

-Overcome the fatigue of a 30-hour trip

-Recover from a 12 hour jet lag

-Learn to walk the streets of Hanoi through motorized wildlife

-Rent a motorbike for the next three months

This morning, I leave Hanoi and go to Tam Cốc and... it worries me. All the reviews I've read, the bloggers I've listened to, the backpackers I've met since my arrival, have warned me. Be careful, it's almost impossible to ride in Hanoi... and get out.

But, no question that fear guides my actions. So I get on my motorbike and I leave... behind my companion who has the task of guiding us today. The phone is installed on his motorcycle with Google Map and he has headphones to hear instructions in addition to seeing the route to take on the app.

Here are my impressions of motorcycle riding in Vietnam. Impressions that I will surely revise over the weeks.

Here it is controlled anarchy. On the 8-lane boulevard that we use to leave the city, motorcycles are in the majority but there are also trucks, cars, bicycles and even an old lady with her cane who quietly crosses the uninterrupted flow of vehicles.

There is a virtual absence of traffic lights which, one way or another, are only very poorly respected.

No access ramps. Vehicles simply flow into the flow of traffic without even slowing down and a space is magically created.

Controlled anarchy, yes, because everything is going well, everyone doing their part. Here the horn used to signal its presence is never a sign of aggression or oversized ego.

My companion has ridden motorcycles in Canada, Haiti, Colombia and Kenya and ... it is here that he finds the most pleasant driving. No rules... just shared space that belongs to everyone.

For my part, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease with which I integrated with my bike. I look forward to the rest of the trip.

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