You notice them the moment you leave Hanoi Airport and merge with the traffic.
There are so many of them, they are absolutely everywhere. Needless to say, on the drive to my hotel I was too scared to strike up a conversation with my driver in case he lost focus for a nanosecond and hit one of them. I think it’s safe to say that 80% of the population of Hanoi aged 16+ owns a scooter 🙂 Or somewhere around that figure anyway.
As for crossing a street in Hanoi, that’s a feat in itself worthy of an Olympic Gold Medal. But that’s a story all on it’s own. For now though, here’s “Scooter 101” courtesy of my delightful guide, Bac:
1. No scooter, no girlfriend.
2. The rules of the road are easy. Green is go. Yellow is also go. Red? It’s still okay to go. He chuckles as he tells us this and you can actually buy a T-shirt with similar wording. No doubt some enterprising soul had a couple of Tiger beers or some rice wine and a very lucrative tourist line was born.
But I digress. The pièce de résistance is …..
3. A scooter is very “flexible”. They carry easy 2 persons and two children. Even some furnitures (sic). Maybe even say 3 pigs. And eggs so many you can’t see the driver.
I can personally attest to all of this. In fact I have some photographic evidence for you.
Oh and as an aside, it’s fairly common for scooter drivers to text while weaving their way in and out of traffic.
Indeed Hanoi traffic is not for the feint-hearted 🙂 🙂