In The Midst Of Saigon’s Crazy Traffic

The best way to enjoy Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City is by motorcycle but it comes with a caveat. There were like 7.43 million motorcycles in the city in 2016. You just get pushed along helplessly in an endless sea of two wheelers.

A couple of hours ago, I had just jumped off an inter country/cross border bus from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

It was crazy, even edging to the side of the road to do photography or to check the GPS and that can be be impossible. I had a Garmin handheld GPS but navigation was impossible and dangerous.

I wouldn’t recommend riding a bike unless you know the roads or consider yourself a very experienced rider. The only time I could take pics was when the flow stopped momentarily and I was sandwiched in the middle, like as in this pic. Don’t take selfies as I was told, as it can attract phone snatchers. It is a recent phenomenon though.

I am happy to note that motorcyclists in Saigon were mostly ethical. They always make way for a stranded pedestrian and, unlike here, there is no crazy honking or cursing when another vehicle stalls.

Eventually I gave up and parked the bike by the roadside and called the hiring company. They agreed to pick it up. I took a motorcycle taxi (Xe Om) back to the hotel. The bike hirers seemed more worried about the return of their crash helmets. Same experience I had with hirers in Pangkor Island. Haha.

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