Some impressions of my first visit to Hanoi, Vietnam
Traffic in Hanoi is pretty simple: take your road rules, forget them. When you arrive at an intersection, you honk to let others know you’re not stopping. They might do the same, so you’d end up seeing who’s stopping. It’s a permanent game of chicken. Oh, and the presence of pedestrian crossings or even traffic lights won’t change any of this. Cars don’t even slow down when the light is red. They honk more persistent.
Since the import of cars and car parts is being taxed pretty heavily, the use of scooters is – like in many other Asian countries – the norm. They can transport anywhere between 1 and 4 people, or a fridge, or 5 kegs of beer, or…
The concept of sidewalks being for pedestrians is pretty much not how we see things in Hanoi. Why give up the parking space for a car, or a couple of scooters, so you can safely stay on the side of the road?
Hanoi has a great number of places where you can eat in the street. Take that literally. Most famous is the noodle soup. Lightly spicy, but very tasty.
Koen Blanquart is a strategy consultant, journalist, and author.
Wanderlust is one of his driving factors, and he shares his travels here on Boarding Today. Koen is also the skipper of SV Bagabonda, a sailing vessel making a slow circumvention of the globe..
Koen recently published a book on how to manage a remote team: The Suitcase Office.