One of the things in Vietnam that is most different from the U.S. is traffic. There are hardly any cars, so people zoom around on motorbikes (mopeds). All of the Vietnamese students that I know have their own motorbike. They cost about $1,000 to buy.
The first day that I was here, crossing the street was a major problem. I’m pretty sure there are no traffic laws. The speed limit is 40 kilometers per hour, but I don’t think many people follow that. My friends and I struggled to cross the street from fear of being hit because there are so many motorbikes and they are all going so fast. We discovered that the best solution is to just go and hope that the drivers weave around you. No one has been hit yet, so that’s good.
I have only ridden a motorbike a couple of times. The first time was with my friend Cam. It was really fun and only a little scary because she did not drive that fast. It is crazy how close everyone gets to each other. People are passing and weaving all the time. The second time I rode with my friend Sky. He drives a lot faster. He did a U-turn in front of the hotel and I almost fell of the back!
I mostly get around by taxi, which is also sort of scary. I have just learned to trust that the taxi driver will not hit anyone. I’m still impressed by how fast people drive their motorbikes and that there is some organization to the chaos of Vietnamese traffic.