Road Rules In Vietnam

Riding a scooter through Vietnam is perhaps one of the crazier things I’ve done. While I’m confident on a motorbike and have had plenty of experience in South East Asian traffic, the Vietnamese are just crazy. And the sheer number of accidents on their roads is proof of this.

Here are some observations from my time on Vietnamese roads:

Toot Your Horn As Often As Possible

  • Horns are fun, everybody agrees
  • Toot to let people know you’re coming
  • Toot again so they will get out of the way
  • Ignore whoever is tooting at you cause tooting is someone else problem

Passengers On A Motorbike Are Okay

  • Seats of motorbikes are quite large compared to the size of Vietnamese butts
  • Three adults is common on a motorbike…
  • …as is two adults and 2 small children
  • Five people will fit on a scooter easily, six at a push and eight if you really put your mind to it.


Helmets Should Always Be Worn When Riding

  • It doesn’t matter how flimsy the helmet as long as it’s on your head
  • As long as one person has a helmet you’re okay
  • if the adults have helmets, the kids are fine
  • When on side streets helmets are optional
  • Tourists who don’t where helmets are idiots
  • There are a lot of idiots on Vietnamese roads

Motorbikes Are Pack Horses

  • Carrying a 6 metre long pipe over your shoulder is fine
  • If the wheels still roll, you haven’t overloaded the bike


Drive On The Right Hand Side Of The Road

  • Unless you can’t be bothered crossing the road then anywhere on the road is fine
  • If there’s a median strip drive wherever you like, just don’t hit anything

Round-a-bouts Are A Thing

  • Round-a-bouts are road obstacles in the middle of many intersections, you go around them
  • If no-one’s in front of you, you have right of way
  • If some one is in front of you, don’t crash into them


  • Giving Way Is A Thing
  • If you’re coming out of a side road just don’t make eye contact and everyone will give way to you
  • It’s fine, looking means you might care if someone else is on the road
  • Give way to anyone you might crash into

Students Rule The Roads

  • Children go to school for 4 hours a day
  • When they get out at around midday the roads are mayhem
  • They travel in groups on bicycles and mopeds all over the road
  • They don’t seem to notice the trucks flying past right beside them


Crossing Intersections

  • When approaching an intersection without traffic lights, beep you horn loudly, cause horns are fun
  • Don’t stop and don’t make eye contact with anyone
  • If no-one’s in front of you, you have right of way
  • If some one is in front of you, don’t crash into them

Overtaking Is Easy

  • Wait until most of the traffic coming the other way has passed, then pull out
  • Beep your horn madly and flash lights at any remaining on-coming traffic so they know to get the hell out of the way
  • Don’t fall off your bike

The Human Sea…

  • It’s annoying riding against the traffic down some streets in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Taking a different road is probably the best thing to do


Until next time,


This entry was posted in Humor, Self Help, Travelling and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Road Rules In Vietnam

  1. Pingback: Tips for Motorcycling in Vietnam – Part 2 | Keyman on Travel, Life

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