VIETNAM – Hanoi’s busy streets are one of the most exciting streets I have crossed. Always filled with thousands of motorcycles, first time visitors would be in for an adventure. The motorcycles won’t stop for you. So here’s a step-by-step guide when crossing a street in Hanoi (based solely on my experience):
- Conquer your fear. At the edge of the sidewalk, take a deep breath. Relax, you will just cross the street. Smile, don’t be stiff.
- Take the first step. But once you do, never ever stop. Never ever take a step back. Motorcycle riders automatically swerves to the back of a crossing pedestrian. So if you stop or take a step back, they will get confused and the chances of your getting hit increases.
- Walk cautiously, but never hesitate to walk forward. Just move forward. You may want to look to your left or to your right because we have been trained to do that as a safety precaution, but it really does not matter in Hanoi. Even if you think a motorcycle is about to hit you, just move forward.
- When you’re finally on the other side (hopefully of the street, not that “other side”), dance! You just finished a death-defying adventure worth kicking the bucket for. Haha!
All these may sound like you should forget all the things you’ve learned about being safe when crossing a street, but trust me, Hanoi follows a different set of rules. But one thing is common, always be alert and do not rush.
No matter how wide or narrow the street is, the guide will be applicable. Happy crossing!