In most countries in the world there are rules and laws that apply when driving on the public highway. Some counties enforce the rules strictly and at times it’s seen as persecution of the motorist. However, if you’re a pedestrian these rules go a long way to preserving your safety and welfare.
Here in Vietnam crossing the road should be classified as an EXTREME SPORT! When attempting to cross a busy dual carriageway, first you mentally prepare yourself, the adrenalin kicks in and off you go! You feel a great sense of achievement when you reach the other side, nerves in tatters but physically all in one piece.
There is no requirement for taking a driving test here, they have a push bike and by a right of birth move on to a motorised version.
They have laws about wearing crash hats and yes, most people wear them. However it’s not compulsory for children, so every day you will see a family, mum and dad, one or two toddlers but only the parents will have hats on. The children will have not protection whatsoever.
Using a mobile whilst driving is also against the law though personally I thought it was compulsory here, the amount of people you see talking and texting whilst trying to avoid tourists.
Even the pavements afford you little or no protection from the dreaded two-wheel machines. Unlike the pavements in the UK that have KERBS, in Nha Trang they are ramps, so from the road they can get as close as possible to the shops or park them near their houses. So not only are you trying to dodge them on the road, they come at you from all directions on the pavement.
At least you can hear the motorbike. There are some machines that silently creep up on you and at the last minute you hear a small sound that alerts you to the danger. You keep perfectly still and hope there is enough room for them to get past. Yes, the bloody ELECTRIC PUSH BIKE, generally driven by a young teenage Vietnamese girl wearing a mask and sunglasses (silent assassins)! I’m sure she’s smiling behind that mask, seeing two tourists bracing themselves for possible impact!
What does make you angry is the constant tooting of horns. They never stop, I swear they have automated the horn so that it automatically toots every 20 yards. It’s not just motorbikes but lorries, buses, trucks and cars too. Drives you crazy.
But this is Asia. Would I change it?